NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/18) + 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-November”
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:

Not Manhattan’s WestSide, but this definitely looks worth the detour:

Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
Book Launch with Massimo Pigliucci |
The Brooklyn Commons: 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn / 2PM, FREE
“From vaccine misinformation to climate change denial, it seems there’s more bunk than ever. Join a celebration for the release of the second edition of Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk, where philosopher Massimo Pigliucci questions the root causes of pseudoscientific belief, creating “a ‘taxonomy of bunk’ that explores the intersection of science and culture at large.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Marcus Roberts Nonet
>> ‘VELOCITY’
>> TWYLA THARP DANCE 
>> Renegade Craft Fair
>> Brooklyn Chocolate Fest.
Continuing Events
>> White Light Festival
>> Harry Potter: A History of Magic
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Marcus Roberts Nonet (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“The 1989 recording “Deep in the Shed”—the pianist Marcus Roberts’s second project as a bandleader, featuring the guest soloist Wynton Marsalis (under the alias E. Dankworth) and a cadre of fine young players—was a bracing affirmation of jazz essentials coated in the thick rhythms and tones of the blues. Roberts has used the ensuing decades to examine both historical and original jazz tangents. At his first Vanguard appearance in fifteen years, he revisits his opus with a nonet braced by six horns.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Juilliard Opera presents Britten’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’
The Juilliard School, Peter Jay Sharp Theater / 2PM, $30
Steven Osgood, conductor Juilliard Orchestra

‘VELOCITY’   (also Nov.23-25).
at the New Victory Theater / 12PM, +4PM, $17+
“In this high-energy production, the much-lauded champion dancers James Devine and David Geaney look at the past, present and future of Irish dance. Featuring live music by a Celtic band, along with a D.J., “Velocity” — performed by Geaney, AnneMarie Keaney and Gabriella Wood — is a celebratory jam session and suitable for all ages.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

TWYLA THARP DANCE  (next Nov.20, 7:30PM)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM; $60+
“Tharp takes inspiration from just about anything fit for a stage — from ballet to the circus to baton twirling — so she can sometimes feel like a stylistic maximalist. But early in her career, she caught the minimalism bug sweeping through the arts at the time. This nearly four-week engagement, called “Minimalism and Me,” focuses on works she created between 1965 and 1971. Among them are the now-classic “Tank Dive,” “The History of Up and Down” and “Eight Jelly Rolls,” a richly layered romp to music by the ragtime master Jelly Roll Morton.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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

Renegade Craft Fair
Metropolitan Pavilion / 11AM-5PM, FREE
“Browse quality, curated goods, peruse imaginative earrings, cheeky underwear, whimsical ceramics, calligraphy-embellished stationery, and elegantly-embroidered silk scarves from more than 200 vendors at Metropolitan Pavilion. You can also play designer yourself at a workshop, munch on food truck fare, and finish the day with relaxing a cocktail after you shop til you drop.
Cost: vendors set their own prices.” (thrillist.com)

OK, so this is not Manhattan’s WestSide. It is so far away in South Brooklyn that it is hardly even New York City. But it is chocolate.

Brooklyn Chocolate Fest.
Barren Island, Floyd Bennett Field / 10AM-5PM; $13
“It’s officially wool sweater season, which means diets are over for the foreseeable future. Delight in their demise at Brooklyn Chocolate Fest. Gooey, melty standouts include a chocolate fountain, free samples, pudding shots, CBD sorbetto, and chocolate-covered bacon. Besides the chocolate, entertainment includes “hot chocolate break dancers,” a butterfly-feeding exhibit, and an eating contest.” (thrillist.com)

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Continuing Events

White Light Festival (LAST DAY)
“Lincoln Center’s annual White Light Festival, integrating performances from around the world in a cross-cultural extravaganza, will play six venues across the city.

The festival will include performances of Waiting for Godot from Ireland’s Druid Theatre Company, directed by Tony-winning director Garry Hynes—the first female to win a Tony Award for direction of a play.

Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui brings Sutra to the stage, featuring martial arts from China’s Shaolin monks. Hip-hop, contemporary dance, and aerial work combine in the presentation of Borderline by Company Wang Ramirez. The U.S. premiere of Blak Whyte Gray, a mix of hip-hop and African-inspired movement, makes its way from across the pond to the Lincoln Center stage, as well as the U.S. premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s chamber opera Only the Sound Remains, directed by Peter Sellars and starring Philippe Jaroussky and Davóne Tines.”

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 SPRING 2019).
◊ Order before MAY 31, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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