NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/10) + 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:  “July 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:

at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m. $70+
“Established in 1748, this company is one of the oldest in the world. In the 1830s, it was headed by the choreographer August Bournonville, and in many ways, it has remained under his thrall ever since. On this return visit to the Joyce, the troupe presents “The Bournonville Legacy,” a compilation of excerpts from his repertoire of charming story ballets, including “Napoli,” “A Folk Tale” and “La Sylphide,” the whimsical work often credited with lifting ballet into its Romantic period. On display will be the Bournonville trademarks: skittering footwork, regal arms, precise head placement and a cheerful buoyancy.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Emoción: The Sounds of Tango
>> Eyal Vilner Big Band
>> Mark Morris Dance Group

>> Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Emoción: The Sounds of Tango
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“Emoción is a vibrant, multinational quintet comprised of virtuoso musicians from Lebanon, Peru, Venezuela, Belgium, and Germany. Originally united by their shared passion for the sounds and rhythms of Tango Nuevo, this ensemble celebrates the universal power of music, and their diverse origins reflect a global fusion of repertoire and influences. With tango music serving as a flexible and often dramatic foundation, the band’s impassioned performances help audiences of all backgrounds make an emotional connection to sounds from around the world.”

at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $
“A drummer in his mid-30s, Owens is a first-call side musician for some of jazz’s most prominent performers (Christian McBride, Kurt Elling and Joey Alexander, among others), but as a bandleader he focuses on creating ambitious, message-driven suites — sometimes featuring original music, sometimes working from within a canon of his own making. His fifth album, released in January, is “Songs of Freedom,” devoted to the liberation poetry embedded in the music of Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln and Joni Mitchell. But at the Standard, he presents a new project, “Generation Y,” featuring Alexa Tarantino on saxophone, Drew Anderson on trumpet, Luther Allison on piano and Philip Norris on bass.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Eyal Vilner Big Band
Featuring Brianna Thomas and Brandon Bain
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center / 6PM, $22
Dance floor opens at 6:00 pm
Dance lesson at 6:30 pm
Live music at 7:30 pm
Style: Big Band Swing
Dance Instructor: Sam Coleman teaches Lindy Hop and Authentic Jazz
DJ: DJ Ron

“Led by saxophonist, composer, and conductor Eyal Vilner, this 16-piece, multigenerational ensemble has been called “an exciting new sound in the finest tradition of contemporary big band music” (All About Jazz). As a group these international players have collaborated with jazz legends such as Jimmy Heath, Jimmy Owens, and Frank Wess, as well as the new generation of greats. Join them under the stars for this evening of big band swing standards as they celebrate the release of their new album.”

Mark Morris Dance Group (July 10-13)
Rose Theatre, Broadway at 60th St./ 7:30PM, $
“Morris, a longtime friend of the Mostly Mozart Festival, returns with a triple bill. It includes a new work, “Sport,” set to Satie’s “Sports et Divertissements,” a suite of witty piano pieces on such subjects as racing, picnicking, and sledding. Morris is also bringing back “V,” a moving, and remarkably redemptive, pure-dance piece set to Schumann’s Quintet in E-Flat Major. It premièred in October, 2001, just a month after 9/11.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

EARTH, WIND & FIRE (July 9-10)
at the Beacon Theater / 8 p.m.; $180
“As this legacy act nears the half-century mark, the members continue to make the rounds minus the band’s founder and creative center, Maurice White, who died in 2016. After wrapping up a Las Vegas residency in March, the group, responsible for fusing gospel, jazz and disco into some of the most boisterous hits of the 1970s, including “September” and “Shining Star,” have just started a summer tour. This week, the remaining original lineup of Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson, with some new additions, will bring their enduring message of peace and unity to the Beacon.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz (July 9-13, 15-16, 18-20)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $70+
“The stars of the original Off Broadway production of The Last Five Years, having gone on to major Broadway careers, reunite for a nightclub set. Scott is a blond bombshell with a paradoxical flair for understatement, a reticent power that reached its apex in her 2010 Broadway showcase, Everyday Rapture; Butz has an unlikely but winning combination of everyday guyness and star magnetism. In addition to The Last Five Years, the two have also shared the stage in Rent and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and both are highly accomplished nightclub performers, so this should be a doozy. Todd Almond is the musical director.” (TONY)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS


Continuing Events

‘Midsummer Night Swing’ (July 2-6, 9-13)
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center
“Each summer, some of the dance at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts takes place outside, in Damrosch Park, where a variety of bands and orchestras will serve up R&B, swing, disco and other styles. Guests can dance the night away — and for those who could use a hand learning steps, group lessons are offered. ($18-$22; 6 p.m.; Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan;” (amNY)



7/9-10 Earth, Wind & Fire, Beacon Theatre
7/9 WFUV’s on Your Radar, Rockwood Music Hall
7/10 Belle & Sebastian, Brooklyn Steel
7/10 Dar Williams, City Winery

♦ 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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