NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/27) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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:

Mostly Monk: Mike LeDonne Trio
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $45
“Pianist and organist Mike LeDonne is a modern master who in the past few decades has worked with Benny Goodman, Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, and more. Many of these musicians were among Thelonious Monk’s top collaborators, and tonight LeDonne will draw upon that musical proximity and his own instrumental kinship as he joins Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual Monk Festival.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> DARRAH CARR DANCE
>> Marnie
>> STEELY DAN
>> David Hazeltine Trio
>> Monk’s Dream
>> H.P. Lovecraft Festival
Continuing Events
>> Archtober
>> Harry Potter: A History of Magic
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Marnie (next Oct.31)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $20+
“Composer Nico Muhly unveils his second new opera for the Met with this gripping reimagining of Winston Graham’s novel, set in the 1950s, about a beautiful, mysterious young woman who assumes multiple identities. Director Michael Mayer and his creative team have devised a fast-moving, cinematic world for this exhilarating story of denial and deceit, which also inspired a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard sings the enigmatic Marnie, and baritone Christopher Maltman is the man who pursues her—with disastrous results. Robert Spano conducts.”

DARRAH CARR DANCE
at Irish Arts Center / 2 and 8PM, $30
“In 2015, the fiddler Dana Lyn and the guitarist Kyle Sanna released an album called “The Great Arc,” which tackled the plight of extinct and endangered species through an enchanting, wistful mix of traditional Irish tunes and sweeping, impressionistic sounds. Carr, an Irish dancer and choreographer, and her company bring the journey of that album to life through her mix of Irish and modern dance in “Dancing the Great Arc,” with Lyn and Sanna performing live.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

STEELY DAN (also Oct.29,30)
at the Beacon Theater / 8PM, $60+
“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)

David Hazeltine Trio (Oct. 26-28)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, (btw 105th/106th Sts.) / 7, 9, +10:30PM, $38
“Any pianist who brings in the likes of the bassist John Patitucci and the drummer Al Foster—the rhythm team as carnivorous beast—to round out a trio must be pretty sure of himself. Hazeltine, a mainstay of the hard-bopping One for All ensemble, is ever ready to extol the virtues of mainstream jazz.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Monk’s Dream
Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St./ 7PM, +9:30PM, $30+
“The bassist Russell Hall ropes together a pan-generational consort to applaud the imperishable music of Thelonious Monk, who would have turned a hundred and one in October. Among the celebrants are the vibraphonist Joel Ross, the drummer Jeff (Tain) Watts, the tap dancer Michela Marino Lerman, and the eighty-eight-year-old piano giant Barry Harris.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

H.P. Lovecraft Festival (Oct.25-28)
The master of horror lives again
St. John’s Lutheran Church, 81 Christopher St. / 7:30PM, $24
“St. John’s Lutheran Church in Greenwich Village provides an appropriately dramatic setting for the 10th annual H.P. Lovecraft Festival. Lit by candlelight and bathed in ghostly mist, you’re welcomed into the world of Arkham, populated by the award-winning Radiotheatre troupe. Each will perform a blood-curdling story to your fiendish delight to a live orchestral score.” (Metro)

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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.

Fine Art Print Fair (Oct.25-28)
Javits Center / 12-8PM, $25
“Established in 1991, the Fine Art Print Fair is the largest and most celebrated art fair dedicated to the artistic medium of printmaking. Each year’s Fair presents an unrivaled opportunity to view and acquire outstanding works across the diverse range of periods and specialties represented by the IFPDA’s exhibiting members. While the Fair is known among museum curators and major collectors for its rare and exceptional prints, excellent works can be found in all price ranges, including exciting new projects from today’s leading and emerging artists”

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: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
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Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

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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 (except for certain jazz clubs).
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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