NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/25) + 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:

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Plays Monk (Oct.25-27)
Jazz at Lincoln Center, Rose Theater / 8PM, $40+
“Thelonious Monk’s music is playful, profound, and universally loved. Its deceptive simplicity unites musicians of all backgrounds and offers endless opportunity for interpretation and improvisation. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis has been performing a steadily growing Thelonious Monk repertoire since its inception (now totaling more than 40 songs), and the JLCO will one day have arrangements of all 72 original Monk compositions. Tonight you will hear the latest additions to their Monk songbook.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Kombilesa Mi
>> Cynthia Scott
>> Take Me To The River – New Orleans Live!
>> Tosca
>> Ravi Coltrane
>> Incivility: Violence in Congress on the Path to the Civil War
Continuing Events
>> Archtober
>> Harry Potter: A History of Magic
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Kombilesa Mi
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Hailing from Palenque, the first free black town in the Americas, the hip-hop group Kombilesa Mi overlays traditional Colombian rhythms and instruments with lyrics in both Spanish and the local language, Palenquero. The result is an electrifying fusion of Palenquero music and urban rap. Proud of their heritage and passionate about music, Kombilesa Mi (Palenquero for My Friends) represents the voice of a new generation of Colombian musicians. The band’s Lincoln Center performance is part of their U.S. debut tour.”

Cynthia Scott
Smoke / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $15
“For three decades, the vocal artistry of the multi-talented Arkansas-born vocalist Cynthia Scott has encompassed the swing of jazz, the soul of blues, R&B, and the sacred stirrings of gospel music. She is loved by audiences from New York to Africa, Europe and Asia; by musicians from Wynton Marsalis to Ray Charles – who discovered her – and by jazz critics like the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich, who called her “a mesmerizing vocalist.”

Take Me To The River – New Orleans Live!
feat. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ivan Neville, Ian Neville, George Porter Jr., Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & Los Bayou Ramblers
Sony Hall / 8:00PM, $55

Tosca (next Oct.29)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $30+
“Met favorite Sondra Radvanovsky and rising star Jennifer Rowley share the title role of the volatile diva at the heart of Puccini’s operatic thriller. Joseph Calleja brings his stylish tenor to the role of Cavaradossi, Wolfgang Koch is the nefarious police chief Scarpia, and Carlo Rizzi conducts Sir David McVicar’s resplendent production.”

Ravi Coltrane (Oct. 23-28)
Village Vanguard / 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“His childhood home on Long Island (the onetime domicile of his parents, John and Alice Coltrane) has been officially designated a National Treasure, and the saxophone scion continues to gracefully shoulder the substantial weight of his family legacy, three decades into his career. Coltrane, a compelling improviser and a canny bandleader, is convincingly his own man. He’s joined here by the Israeli pianist Gadi Lehavi.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

Elsewhere, but with all the letter bombs recently, this looks very timely:

Incivility: Violence in Congress on the Path to the Civil War
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St./ 6:30PM, $5
“If you despair of today’s political environment, and can’t imagine a more unruly and uncivil time, look no further than Joanne Freeman’s latest book, The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War. The Yale historian documents the collapse of civil dialogue amongst members of congress in the years preceding the Civil War, from vitriolic diatribes to the infamous attack on Charles Sumner on the Capitol floor. She is joined in conversation by fellow historian and author, Alexis Coe.”

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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.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic (Now-1/27/19)
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W.
“Gather round ye muggles and wizards, squibs and witches, tourists and natives: magic is on its way. Harry Potter: A History of Magic, commemorating the beloved series’s 20th anniversary, is now open at the New-York Historical Society. One of the most eagerly anticipated exhibits to hit the city since, well, ever, the show comes straight from the British Library in London, where, not surprisingly, it was the institution’s most successful exhibition.

Artifacts like crystal balls, Leonardo da Vinci notebooks, and the first written record of the magic word “abracadabra” are among the treasures on display, joined by original materials from author J.K. Rowling’s archives. Also on view to the public for the first time will be Mary GrandPré’s illustrations created for Scholastic’s original editions of the novels. Costumes and set models from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opened on Broadway in April, will be showcased in the exhibition. A long list of events will take place in conjunction with the exhibit, including trivia night, talks, an adult costume party, and more.” (cityguideny)
Daily, except most Mondays, $21, $6 ages 5-13, free 4 and younger

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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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