NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/19) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above: NYC Events-October”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Fred Hersch Duos (Oct. 16-21)
Village Vanguard / 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“The pianist Fred Hersch has a passion for the duo setting; in the past, he’s played weeklong engagements at venues with a different guest each night. Here he’s limiting himself to the company of two extravagantly talented musicians: the clarinettist Anat Cohen, with whom Hersch recorded “Live in Healdsburg,” and Esperanza Spalding, who will be putting aside her bass and concentrating on singing.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Robert Glasper
>> David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy
>> Kate Baldwin: How Did You Get This Number?
>> Ron Carter’s Great Big Band
>> STEELY DAN
>> Pink Symposium
Continuing Events
>> 2018 Margaret Mead Film Festival
>> Candytopia
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Robert Glasper (thru Oct. 28)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Spearheading a fresh movement in jazz takes focus, commitment, and not a little bit of guts, and the keyboardist Robert Glasper is ready to exhibit the lot during this nearly monthlong residency. Week one finds him at the helm of his longtime threesome with the bassist Derrick Hodge and the drummer Chris Dave, a wiry trio that juggles swing conventions and hip-hop rhythmic ploys with gleeful impunity.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy
Presented by Arts Brookfield
Brookfield Place, Winter Garden / 7:30PM, FREE
“Curated by WNYC’s John Schaefer, the return of this annual music series features an all-star indie rock lineup performing David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy led by Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg. Each concert will open with short programs of music that inspired the trilogy composed by Brian Eno and Klaus Schulze.”

Kate Baldwin: How Did You Get This Number?
Feinstein’s 54 Below / 7PM, $45+
“Kate Baldwin broke through in 2009 as the enchanting star of Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow, and has since brightened shows including Giant, Big Fish and the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! (for which she earned her second Tony nomination). Her latest solo set, directed by Robbie Rozelle, focuses on signature songs from her greatest roles.” (TONY)

Ron Carter’s Great Big Band (Oct 16-20)
Birdland, / 8:30PM, +11PM, $30-$40
“Hold on long enough, and your dreams can sometimes come to fruition. In 2011, Carter—then in his seventies and having played and recorded with seemingly every worthwhile collaborator—assembled a mighty big band. He calls the aggregation together whenever possible to interpret crafty charts that leave plenty of room for his still formidable bass work.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

STEELY DAN (Oct. 17-18, 8 p.m.; through Oct. 30).
at the Beacon Theater
“For the first time since Walter Becker’s passing in 2017, Donald Fagen and Steely Dan will be performing several of the band’s most beloved albums in their entirety during their semiregular residency at the Beacon. “Aja” (on Thursday and Oct. 27) and Fagen’s solo effort “The Nightfly” (on Oct. 20 and 29) get two nights each, while “The Royal Scam” (on Wednesday), “Countdown to Ecstasy” (on Oct. 24) and “Gaucho” (on Oct. 26) will each be performed for one night only. Another show, called “By Popular Demand” (on Oct. 21), will be devoted to fan favorites, and the finale (on Oct. 30) will be, fittingly, composed of the band’s greatest hits.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Pink Symposium
Museum at FIT, Seventh Ave. at 27th St./ 10AM-5PM, FREE
“The Museum at FIT presents Pink, its twentieth academic symposium. This symposium will explore the significance of the color pink in fashion, art, and culture. Pink provokes exceptionally strong feelings of both attraction and repulsion, yet it is increasingly being regarded as cool and androgynous, powerful and political. Topics will include the significance of pink clothing in western and non-western cultures (including India, Africa, Mexico, and Japan), the role of pink in eighteenth-century portraiture, associations of pink with politics, gender, and sexuality, and the use of pink in cinema.”

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Continuing Events

Archtober
31 days, 100+ ways to celebrate design in NYC! The eight annual, month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions in New York City will take place October 1-31, 2017.  Archtober’s calendar features 200 architecture and design lectures, conferences, programs, and exhibitions at more than 60+ collaborating institutions across the city.

American Museum of Natural History Presents:
2018 Margaret Mead Film Festival (Oct 18-21)
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street / 6PM, $12
“The American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival, occurring October 18–21, 2018, screens documentaries that increase our understanding of the complexity and diversity of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet. The festival has evolved with the times while maintaining its important history and has grown steadily to reflect the ever-evolving incarnations of storytelling, technology and growing access to communities near and far. The Mead presents the best in documentary, experimental films, animation, hybrid works, and more.”

Candytopia (thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)
DIVE INTO A HUGE MARSHMALLOW PIT AT CANDYTOPIA
“First it was in Los Angeles, and now it’s made its way to the east coast. Candytopia is officially open in NYC! Just like many other pop-ups, this one has uniquely designed rooms — except this one is all about candy. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to snag a ticket and enjoy the marshmallow pit and candy-filled rooms.” (bestproducts.com)

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Hit the Hot Link and check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St. (btw 6/7), thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Sony Hall – 235 W 46th St. (btw 7/8), sonyhall.com, 212-997-5123
and one more, not exactly WestSide:
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening discovery and enjoyment.

Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.

See Below.
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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines,  but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

CAFFE VIVALDI HAS CLOSED,  JUNE 23 WAS THE FINAL NIGHT. VERY SAD.
I HAVE LEFT THIS REVIEW ON MY SITE AS A KIND OF MEMORIAL.
As reported in the “Gothamist”:
“Caffe Vivaldi, one of the last bohemian bastions of the West Village, is set to close this weekend. During its 35 years on Jones Street, the casual cafe won the hearts of locals and celebs alike, including Oscar Isaac, Bette Midler, and Al Pacino.

Despite that friendly communal atmosphere, the owners ultimately struggled to survive under their notorious vulture landlord Steve Croman, who they say waged a harassment campaign against the restaurant, and eventually tripled their rent.”

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11AM-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.
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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Fish – 280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24,000 eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available WINTER 2018).
◊ Order before FEB.28, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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