NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/24) + 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:  “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.”

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

Definitely not Manhattan’s WestSide, but this is Elvis Costello and this is Forest Hills Stadium, a lovely venue easy to get to from Penn Station on the LIRR.

ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS AND BLONDIE
at Forest Hills Stadium / 7 p.m.; $60+
“Costello’s music has always been so omnivorous, so prolix and so beyond the margins that defining it is difficult. But to the extent that he has created a genre unto itself over the past 40-plus years, his most recent album, “Look Now,” represents it fully: that heady Costello mix of Broadway balladry, Detroit soul and postpunk self-righteousness. He appears at Forest Hills as part of a double bill with Blondie, the Debbie Harry-fronted new-wave idols who rose to fame alongside Costello in the late 1970s. On their latest album, “Pollinator,” Blondie maintain the sharp guitars and neatly chopped drums they’re known for, but douse them in layers of synth.” (NYT-Giovanni Russonello)

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8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Accordions Around the World
>> Steve Miller Band, Marty Stuart and his band, Matt Anderson
>> AL BLACKSTONE
>> A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC
>> Charles Busch: Native New Yorker

>> Victor Wooten
>> John Pizzarelli
>> Evening with David Wallace-Wells and “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming”

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Accordions Around the World
Bryant Park / 5:30PM, FREE
“Accordions Around the World is a weekly summer series featuring accordionists as well as bandoneon, bayan, concertina, and harmonium-players of different musical genres. Audiences have an opportunity to hear music from all over the world and to experience the wide range of this often overlooked and little-known instrument in an intimate performance setting. Choose to wander the park to explore different musical stylings or set up a picnic and the artists will rotate around the audience. The finale is Accordion Festival, a five-hour celebration of bands with at least one accordionist.” (nyc-arts.org)

Steve Miller Band, Marty Stuart and his band, Matt Anderson
@ Pier 17 / 6:30PM, $75
“Appealing to space cowboys, gangsters of love, jokers, smokers, midnight tokers, and most of the rest of us, Steve Miller will break out the hits — but probably not play our favorite “Macho City” — tonight.” (brooklynvegan)

AL BLACKSTONE  (through Aug. 4).
at the Joyce Theater / 7 p.m.; $50+
“Dance as long-form narrative storytelling tends to be the domain of ballet and Broadway, but Blackstone brings it to the contemporary dance stage in his Joyce debut, “Freddie Falls in Love.” Blackstone, known for his choreography in “So You Think You Can Dance,” infuses his work with humor, theatrical flair and sharp technique — a combo that has earned him many fans. Here, his wordless tale about two people losing and finding love proves an entertaining journey, thanks to his brisk staging and charming performances by the Broadway alumni Melanie Moore and Matt Doyle, as well as a stellar ensemble.” (NYT)

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (July 23-24)
at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse / 10 p.m.; $
“This ever-popular Mostly Mozart series, which serves complementary wine during its performances, gets going with the excellent young cellist Kian Soltani, who will be accompanied by the pianist Julio Elizalde. They take an eclectic approach to the hourlong genre of concert, with music by Chopin, Schumann, David Popper, Reza Vali and Soltani himself. The next night, Wednesday, the pianist Michael Brown takes a different, more thematic approach, with sets of variations by Mendelssohn, Beethoven and his own work.” (NYT-David Allen)

John Pizzarelli  (July 23-27)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40-$50
“John Pizzarelli, a gifted guitarist and a genial singer with an encyclopedic repertoire, could easily present a rewarding evening of musical charm all by himself, but when he’s determined to kick up some serious dust he calls upon his Swing 7, a horn-laden mini big band that fully indulges his passion for unadorned mainstream jazz. Fortified by the razor-sharp outfit behind him, this monarch of contemporary cabaret replaces Sondheim with Ellington to satisfying effect.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Charles Busch: Native New Yorker (July 23-24)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 8PM, $45+
“Ever since 1984’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Charles Busch has been working toward the title of First Lady of the American Stage, delivering hilariously nuanced portraits of defiant yet vulnerable women, in the style of the great film stars of the 1940s. In his return to Feinstein’s/54 Below, he sets drag aside to continue his side career as a cabaret chanteur. This latest collection is devoted to pop and Broadway music from his formative professional years, including songs by the Jim Croce, Rupert Holmes, Michel Legrand and Stephen Sondheim.” (TONY)

Victor Wooten (July 22-24)
Blue Note / 8PM,10:30PM, $30-$45
“Best known as the longtime bassist of Bela Fleck’s Flecktones, Wooten’s turned up in various capacities in the city the past several years, including alongside Chick Corea for the keyboard pioneer’s 75th birthday celebration. Expect to be awed as he leads a funky quartet.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Evening with David Wallace-Wells and “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming”
Revolution Books, 437 Malcolm X Blvd./Lenox Ave. @132nd St. / 7PM, $5-10 donation
“It is worse, much worse, than you think,” is the opening of David Wallace-Wells’s sobering new bestseller The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming. Wallace-Wells brushes aside prevailing ostrich-head-in-sand attitudes to illuminate imminent food and water shortages, mass refugee movements, and the very real possibility of most of Earth no longer being able to support life.”


Continuing Events

“Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival will run from July 10 through August 10, 2019. Harnessing Mozart’s innovative spirit as its inspiration, this edition will feature groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, international productions and acclaimed artists from a variety of genres, introducing the audience to emerging creative voices, commissions and premieres.  The program will include performances from Mark Morris Dance Company, a panel discussion on Mozart’s Magic Flute, a screening of the film The Great Buster: A Celebration, and much more. For a full festival lineup, visit the Mostly Mozart Festival event page.” (nyc-arts.org)

NYC Restaurant Week 2019: Start making your reservations.

“The more than three-week-long promotion featuring two-course lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42) at some of the city’s best restaurants is back for its summer edition starting July 22. This time around, the celebration features prix-fixe meals at more than 380 eateries, with deals through Aug. 16.

You can find links to menus and the restaurants involved here, but check out our picks for some of the most enticing deals below.” (amNY)

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film
Japan Society, 333 East 47th St./ various times, $15 individual films
“From July 19 – 28, the Japan Society will present JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film. Premiering 26 features and 16 short films, the festival offers a deep dive into one of the world’s most vital film cultures with a diverse selection across its Feature Slate, Classics: Rediscoveries and Restorations, Documentary Focus, Experimental Spotlight and Shorts Showcase sections. This year’s lineup features 19 first-time filmmakers and 14 female directors (the most in the festival’s history), including 10 International Premieres, 16 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, 4 East Coast Premieres and 6 New York Premieres. In addition, over 20 guest filmmakers and talent from Japan will join the festival to participate in post-screening Q&As and parties.”
(NYC-ARTS.ORG)

GregD: This is the Best of Contemporary Japanese Cinema – some films already sold out.

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

7/24 Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie, Forest Hills Stadium
7/24 Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart, Rooftop at Pier 17
7/24 Caroline Rose, Rocks Off Concert Cruises

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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 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.
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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.

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

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

 

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