NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/28) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“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:

JOHN SCOFIELD QUARTET (Nov. 27-Dec. 2)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $20-$35
“With an acrid, lightly distorted sound and a habit of subtly stirring psychedelia and country rock into his dexterous improvising, Scofield has been one of jazz’s leading guitarists since the 1970s. His most recent album, “Combo 66,” is a triumphant romp; he appears here in the quartet from that record, featuring Gerald Clayton on piano and organ, Vicente Archer on bass and Bill Stewart on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Les Pêcheurs de Perles
>> Mark Turner
>> ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
>> MARY HALVORSON AND JOE MORRIS
>> Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene
>> FRANK KIMBROUGH
>> Harper’s Magazine Presents John Cleese and Iain McGilchrist
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

Les Pêcheurs de Perles (The Pearl Fishers) [next Dec.01, 8PM]
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20+
“Penny Woolcock’s breathtaking production, a highlight of the 2015–16 season, makes its much awaited return with an all-star cast. Soprano Pretty Yende is the beautiful priestess Leïla, with tenor Javier Camarena and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien as rivals for her forbidden love. Emmanuel Villaume conducts Bizet’s sensual score.”

Mark Turner (Nov. 27-Dec. 2)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Two decades ago, Mark Turner was the new kid on the block. Today, the tenor-saxophone demigod is a leading light for a generation of aspiring players. Turner, who recently scored a low-key triumph with “Temporary Kings,” a lyrical duet album with the pianist Ethan Iverson, has matured into an authoritative bandleader with a feel for unique sidemen. His Vanguard quintet includes the much discussed Cuban pianist David Virelles.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (through Dec. 30).
at New York City Center / 7PM, $
“In 1958, a small group of African-American dancers performed at the 92Y, and now, six decades later, that company is one of the largest and most popular modern dance troupes in the country. Ailey begins its annual monthlong winter season with a gala program on Wednesday celebrating its diamond anniversary. The program includes a new work by its artistic director, Robert Battle, and a performance of the company’s beloved signature dance, “Revelations,” featuring live music and a gospel choir. Still to come this season are works by Ronald K. Brown, Jessica Lang and a new two-act creation by the hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris called “Lazarus,” inspired by Ailey’s life.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

MARY HALVORSON AND JOE MORRIS
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $15
“Halvorson and Morris are two guitarists whose sound you can recognize immediately. Both give off the feeling that their instrument is a rough and dangerous thing, a kind of electric reactor, though they play quite differently: Halvorson in a corkscrewing tangle, Morris in sharply percussive flecks and bites. This show marks the release of their new album, “Traversing Orbits,” on the Rogue Art label (it’s available only on CD).” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene
54 Below, 254 W. 54th St./ 9:30; $55+
“No matter what aspect Ute Lemper’s eclectic music takes, the dramatic, imperial, and often quite funny chanteuse can’t help but channel her inner Marlene Dietrich. This program, inspired in part by a three-hour phone conversation that Lemper had with the film-and-stage legend in 1988, makes that influence explicit.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

FRANK KIMBROUGH
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $30
“There’s been a spate of activity around Thelonious Monk’s legacy over the past two years; it’s impossible to keep track of everything. But one impressive project that bears accounting is Kimbrough’s new album, a six-disc collection on which he and his band cover every piece in Monk’s songbook. Kimbrough’s treatments amount to a devoted and respectful homage, though they’re laden with moments of subtle reinvention. The record, “Monk’s Dreams,” is out on Friday. He appears here with the members of his quartet: Scott Robinson on saxophones and reeds, Rufus Reid on bass and Billy Drummond on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Harper’s Magazine Presents John Cleese and Iain McGilchrist
W83 Ministry Center, 150 W. 83rd St./ 7PM, $60, includes a copy of the headlining author’s book and a year subscription to Harper’s Magazine.
“And now for something completely different. Actor and Monty Python hand John Cleese has a new book, Professor at Large, which recounts his experiences moonlighting as a Cornell lecturer. He’ll be joined on consecutive nights by psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist (The Master and His Emissary), each taking turns as lead interviewer. Tuesday night focuses on Cleese, with McGilchrist taking the hot seat on Wednesday.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

AND if you can stand the crowds (I can’t),

86th Annual Tree Lighting
Rockefeller Center, 30 Rockefeller Plaza / 7PM, FREE
The 2018 tree will be lit for the first time. Featuring musical entertainment and special guests.

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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 NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

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

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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 enjoyment and discovery.

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.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub / West Village

Corner Bistro 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 55th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $9.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
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Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk: 1 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:
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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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