NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/26) + 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-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:

TERRY WALDO SEXTET :  Scott Joplin and the World of Ragtime
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $35
“Though the day of Scott Joplin’s birth is not known for certain, the most generally agreed-upon date is Nov. 24, 1868, meaning that Saturday would be the ragtime pioneer’s 150th birthday. In commemoration, the virtuoso pianist Terry Waldo — who plays traditional repertoire with a kind of playful reverence — will lead a sextet through some of Joplin’s music. The ensemble includes the trumpeter Mike Davis, the clarinetist and saxophonist Evan Arntzen, the trombonist Jim Fryer, the banjoist and guitarist Jerron Paxton, the bassist Brian Nalepka and the drummer Jay Lepley. The vocalist Tamar Korn and the pianist Joshua Rifkin will join in on certain tunes.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Broadway Sings Sara Bareilles
>> Combo Chimbita
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> BOB DYLAN
>> Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
>> Public Lecture Series with David Grann: “The White Darkness”
Continuing Events
>>Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>>New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker”
>> Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Broadway Sings Sara Bareilles
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, +9:30PM, $20+
“Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles went Broadway in the musical Waitress, and now Broadway is going Bareilles in the latest edition of Corey Mach’s concert series. The lineup of singers at this “unplugged” acoustic edition includes Mach, Barrett Wilbert Weed, Natalie Weiss, Gerard Canonico, Alexa Green, Mykal Kilgore, Desi Oakley and Waitress’s own Drew Gehling, with musical director and orchestrator Joshua Stephen Kartes leading the band.” (TONY)

Combo Chimbita
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE, better get there early for a seat.
“Drawing on backgrounds in heavy rock, metal, and psychedelic funk and soul, this Colombia-rooted, NYC-based four-piece band gleefully fuses cumbia, ‘70s funaná from Cape Verde, kompa from Haiti, guacharaca, dub, and synth into their own blend of tropical futurism. These first-generation New Yorkers—powerhouse vocalist Carolina Oliveros, synth and bassist Prince of Queens, guitarist Niño Lento, and drummer Dilemastronauta—began experimenting with different traditional musical styles during their late-night residencies at Barbès in Brooklyn. Tonight, they kick off the holiday season at Lincoln Center with a free show at the David Rubenstein Atrium as part of the Lincoln Square BID’s Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square celebration.”

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 9:30PM, $30
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

BOB DYLAN (Nov.26-27,29-30,Dec.1)
at the Beacon Theater / 8PM, $90+
“The 77-year-old impresario of American song is offering a week’s worth of shows as part of what for the past 30 years some journalists have termed his Never Ending Tour — a label Dylan himself flatly rejects. Dylan’s external gruffness masks a man whose performances remain as heartfelt as they were more than 50 years ago, when he was just another guy with a guitar bumming around Greenwich Village. The shows on Friday and Dec. 1 are sold out, but tickets are available through resellers.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

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

Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
Lincoln Center, Hearst Plaza, Upper West Side / 5:30-9:00PM, FREE
“This action-packed cold-weather festival has been going strong for nearly two decades. As always, the fest kicks off with a holiday tree lighting ceremony in Dante Park, followed by artists, musicians and dancers ushering in the holiday season with performances at 20 different venues. If you’re feeling peckish, choose from more than 30 restaurants offering food tastings for just a couple bucks each. Grab a mini beef Wellington from Bluebird London ($4) and a gruyere cheese bread from Bouchon Bakery ($2) and then go take advantage of special one-night-only discounts and deals at shops around the neighborhood.” (TONY)

Public Lecture Series with David Grann: “The White Darkness”
The Explorers Club, 46 E. 70th St./ 7PM, $25
“If you were enraptured by David Grann’s New Yorker piece on British explorer Henry Worsley’s Ernest Shackleton-inspired expedition, you won’t want to miss this Explorers Club presentation on the book-length version, The White Darkness: A Journey Across Antarctica.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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Continuing Events

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy the Holiday Shops, The Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Holiday Shops are open through January 2, 2019.

The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)

Tree Lighting Skate-tacular
As one of the most popular holiday markets in NYC, the Winter Village has big plans to make their tree-lighting ceremony (held 6PM, Tuesday, December 4) a smash.

An annual New York City Christmas tradition, Tree Lighting Skate-tacular is led by a celebrity narrator who reads an original Christmas tale. As the story unfolds, the characters are brought to life by world-class skaters performing on the ice, under the stars in the Midtown cityscape. Excitement builds until the finale: the Tree is lit, surrounded by fireworks. With host Alan Cumming and performances by Olympic skaters Johnny Weir, Kaetlyn Osmond, Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and Jeremy Abbott.
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New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 30)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / various times, $40

A New York holiday tradition returns as City Ballet embarks on another season of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” That magical growing Christmas tree is as glorious as ever, and as usual, a rotating cast of the company’s top ballerinas, and some promising up-and-comers, take turns as the regal Sugar Plum Fairy. There are subtle recent changes as well, notably in Act II’s visit to the Land of Sweets, which the company has reworked to tone down long-ingrained cultural stereotypes.” (NYT- Brian Schaefer)
212-496-0600, nycballet.com

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Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes  (Nov.09- Jan.01)
Radio City Music Hall / various times, $46+
“There’s more great precision dancing than ever in the show’s current edition, which was revamped in 2007 and tweaked again this year. Glamorously outfitted in a series of eye-popping costumes, the Rockettes perform on a double-decker bus, a sparkly staircase and a snowy forest and enact a lightning-fast version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Not to worry: They’re still doing the classic “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” number, too. Each scene is enhanced by video backdrops displayed on one of the world’s largest LED screens.”

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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.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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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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