NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/22) + 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:  “June NYC Events”
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.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”


Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

This is not only elsewhere, but it is downright crazy. Who could drink $100 worth of beer in one sitting? but they are IPAs and wouldn’t you love to try, so it’s worth the detour:

Green City 2019
Drink IPAs all day
Industry City, Sunset Park / 11AM—4PM, $100
“Other Half Brewing — known for millennial-bait cans as much craft beer — is throwing a salute to all things IPA. The Green City party, a nod to its flagship All Green Everything IPA (a hazy, fruity, high-ABV favorite), offers a four-hour chance to taste some hoppy goodness from more than 70 breweries. Other Half will open up two floors of its Industry City factory as well as the outdoor courtyard, with over 50,000 square feet dedicated to your day drinking.” (
Cost: $100 for General Admission (includes unlimited beer tasting), food available for purchase.

PS: they’ve also brought on NY Wrestling Connection to provide the entertainment, Ends Meat will be roasting pigs, and Excell’s Kingston Eatery will serve jerk chicken.


8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> American Ballet Theatre

>> Pilobolus
>> Regina Spektor
>> Andrea McArdle
>> Paul Winter’s 24th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration
>> The 37th Annual Mermaid Parade
>> Renegade Craft Fair
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.


Music, Dance, Performing Art

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House/2PM, +8PM, $22+
“The company continues its Lincoln Center spring season with “Le Corsaire” through Saturday, followed by eight performances of Kenneth MacMillan’s sumptuous “Manon” beginning on Monday. In that performance, Hee Seo makes her debut in the titular role, opposite Roberto Bolle as Des Grieux. The full-length production is also Bolle’s swan song at Ballet Theater: On Thursday, he gives his farewell performance. And Wednesday’s matinee will surely be a hot ticket, too, with debuts by Misty Copeland, Catherine Hurlin and Calvin Royal III.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
Tonight: “Manon”

at Dizzy’s Club / 11:15 p.m. $10
“Charles, a vocalist, flutist and multi-instrumentalist, takes a prismatic view of black music, turning the past into the future and letting the sounds of the Caribbean beam into her versions of classic American jazz standards. At this late-night show, she will celebrate the legacy of Abbey Lincoln — a landmark vocalist and composer who died in 2010 — with help from the thrilling pianist Marc Cary, who played in Lincoln’s band for many years; the bassist Jonathan Michel; and the drummer Diego Ramirez.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Pilobolus (through June 29)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave. / 2PM, +8PM, $55+
“For a long time, summer at the Joyce was synonymous with a monthlong encampment by this popular troupe of acrobat-illusionists. But five years have passed since the company’s last visit. How has the group evolved in the meantime? Its two comeback programs don’t offer many chances to find out; the most recent item is “Branches,” an ebb-and-flow nature study, from 2017. The most reliable selections, in any case, come from the better, stranger early period: “Day 2” (1980), with its primordial creatures and Slip ‘N Slide coda; “Walklyndon” (1971), with its silly stage crossings; and, best of all, “Untitled” (1972), a Victorian picnic for giantesses.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Regina Spektor (also June 25-26)
Lunt-Fontanne, 205 W. 46th St. / 8PM, $54+
“The latest badge of prestige for a singer-songwriter is a miniature Broadway residency to call one’s own. Following Morrissey’s run, last month, Regina Spektor sets up her band at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The pianist, who grew up in the Soviet Union and the Bronx, seems a natural fit for such gilded confines: even when she was playing modest clubs, in the early two-thousands, her songs, with their small moments of big drama, conveyed a faded grandeur that seemed beamed in from a bygone Manhattan.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

Andrea McArdle (June 20-22)
Feinstein’s/54 Below /7PM, $45+
“Though she has appeared in many productions since—including Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast and Starlight Express—Andrea McArdle will probably always be remembered most fondly as the big-belting moppet who stole our hearts in the original Annie. (“Tomorrow” belongs to her.) In this new set at F/54, she performs contemporary songs alongside standards and show tunes, and shares stories from her long showbiz journey.” (TONY)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Paul Winter’s 24th Annual Summer Solstice Celebration
Celebrate the summer solstice
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine / mm, $20
“Ring in the summer at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine — the largest cathedral in the world — with ecstatic music that begins in the middle of the night and lasts until the morning. Featuring the cathedral’s gigantic organ, a euphonium player, and a Balinese gong, it’s a euphoric experience for the early-risers and insomniacs among us. Bring a yoga mat, eat a magic brownie, and prepare yourself to sing up the sun.” (

Elsewhere, but these two look worth the detour:

The 37th Annual Mermaid Parade
Flip your fins at the Mermaid Parade
Coney Island / 1PM, FREEllation. This year, it’s on, and you’ll know it — on Mermaid Parade day, it seem
“The Mermaid Parade, which began in 1983, has had a hard time these last few years; revelers in wigs and skimpy shell bikinis have marched on the boardwalk despite damage from Hurricane Sandy and continued threats of cances like half of New York is in their best Ariel cosplay. Follow their fins to the beach, where you can cheer on the merfolk or even dress like one yourself.” (
NB: King Neptune – Arlo Guthrie

Renegade Craft Fair (June22-23)
Shop your friendly local fair
Brooklyn Expo Center / 11AM-6PM, FREE to enter; food, drinks, and crafts available for purchase.
“With delicate porcelain jewelry from Elmhurst artist Mier Luo, leather and seagrass bags from Brooklyn-based Banoll, and sustainable baby clothes from Queens clothier Kiboro, the Renegade Craft Fair features almost enough local New York artists and makers to counteract your bottomless Amazon Prime addiction. If you find yourself needing to refuel between credit card swipes, stop for a sandwich at Deli N’ Dogz hot pastrami truck or a stiff drink from Donna’s Cocktail Club.” (

Continuing Events

RIVER TO RIVER FESTIVAL at various locations (through June 29).

“Hurricane Sandy hit South Street Seaport hard in 2012. Now that event is part subject and that site is part performance space for Jennifer Monson’s new work, “Ditch,” which also explores gentrification and income inequality. One performance takes place at sunrise on Sunday at Pier 35 on the East River Esplanade; two more occur at the South Street Seaport Museum on Wednesday and June 28 at 7 p.m. Also this week, the witty, rigorous Sarah Michelson presents the New York premiere of “june2019:/\” for three performances on Monday and two on Wednesday, the location of which will be divulged only to those who R.S.V.P.” (NYT-Brian Schaeffer)

at the Delacorte Theater (thru June 23).
“Sigh no more, Shakespeare fans. Shakespeare in the Park — its tickets distributed free by line and lottery — returns with this sparkling comedy of sparring lovers. In postwar Messina, Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) and Benedick (Grantham Coleman) are a couple who despise each other. Until they don’t. Kenny Leon directs. ” (NYT-Alexis Soloski)


6/20-22 Drive By Truckers, Brooklyn Bowl
6/20-26 Regina Spektor on Broadway, Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
6/23-24 Jackson Browne w/ Lucius, Beacon Theatre
6/24 Japanese Breakfast/Hatchie, SummerStage Central Park
6/25 Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, Midsummer Night Swing Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center
6/25 The Bad Plus, The Jazz Standard
6/26 Canada Day w/ Alvvays & Foxwarren, SummmerStage Central Park

♦ 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 65 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.


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.

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.”
“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.

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.

“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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 FALL 2019).
◊ Order before NOV. 30, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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.”


NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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