NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/23) + 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:  “August 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:

Eddie Palmieri (Aug.20-25)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Known as one of the finest pianists of the past 60 years, Eddie Palmieri is a bandleader, arranger and composer of salsa and Latin jazz. His playing skillfully fuses the rhythm of his Puerto Rican heritage with the complexity of his jazz influences: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner as well as his older brother, Charlie Palmieri.”


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Emerging Music Festival
>> 54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits!
>> Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward

>> Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York
>> YARDY x RAGGA NYC x CONNEK Celebrate J’ouvert

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Emerging Music Festival (Aug.23-24)
Dance to NYC’s best new artists
Bryant Park / 6PM, FREE
“The Emerging Music Festival gives eight up-and-coming artists a shot on the big stage. The eclectic mix of musicians — including singer-songwriter Celisse Henderson; the “psychedelic soul” Ghost Funk Orchestra; and Sammy Rae & The Friends, fronted by bandleader Samantha Bowers — will bring the party to the park. There will be music to get you dancing, but bring a blanket to best enjoy the show. In between sets, you can play gigantic lawn games or hit up the local vendors for a drink.” (

at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“In recent years, this 79-year-old drummer and avant-garde luminary has become a frequent presence at the Vanguard. That makes him one of the most eminent and experimental musicians to appear regularly at the storied club. Through Sunday he will be here with a quartet featuring the guitarist Bill Frisell, the pianist David Virelles and the bassist Ben Street.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits!
54 Below / 9:30PM, $40+
“Broadway by the Year impresario Scott Siegel curates this monthly concert series, in which Broadway stars sing some of the Great White Way’s best-loved tunes.” (TONY)

at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“This alto saxophonist and multimedia artist has a deep, integrative way of pulling audiences into her head space, and into her explorations of American history and culture. Her shows often involve some mix of storytelling, free improvising and audience participation. This coming week at the Stone, for four days in a row, she will team up with a different duet partner each night; in this format, it’s likely (though not guaranteed) that she will largely stick to saxophone. She will perform with the drummer Gerald Cleaver on Wednesday, the guitarist Ava Mendoza on Thursday, the guitarist Liberty Ellman on Aug. 23, and the pianist Vijay Iyer on Aug. 24.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward (Aug.21-25)
Irish Repertory Theatre / 7PM, $45-$50
“The Noël Coward touch was always a light one. His music scampers like a mouse; his lyrics bounce like balloons. In his plays, even suffering has an upward tendency. But when his work is excerpted and performed by others, that glancing quality can turn coy and saccharine, as it sometimes does in Barry Day’s two-handed cabaret Love, Noël.

Reading from Coward’s letters and covering nearly two dozen songs, cabaret stars Steve Ross and KT Sullivan pay Coward tribute. Sometimes Ross, the longtime king of café cabaret, is his own tuxedoed self, and sometimes he’s pretending to be Coward; an amused-seeming Sullivan takes on all the women. (She does a great, gloomy Marlene Dietrich.)” (TONY)

Michael Feinstein: I Happen to Like New York (Aug.20-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“Michael Feinstein, the best friend of the Great American Songbook, concludes his “I Happen to Like New York” residency (at his own club) by sharing the stage with two other vocalists. Melissa Manchester, a sturdy stylist who has morphed from pop songstress to cabaret chanteuse, is featured first, followed by the nineteen-year-old Jackie Evancho, who, a decade ago, grabbed the nation by its ears on “America’s Got Talent.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

MOFAD @ Night:
YARDY x RAGGA NYC x CONNEK Celebrate J’ouvert
Museum of Food and Drink, 62 Bayard St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn / 7PM, $30
“J’ouvert, which began as a street party during Carnival in post-emancipation Caribbean, has become an integral part of Caribbean diaspora communities in Brooklyn and beyond. Yardy NYC, RAGGA NYC, and CONNEK have teamed up to bring a slice of J’ouvert to MOFAD, celebrating Afro-Caribbean food and culture at the intersection of tourism, gender, queerness, and the economic landscape of agriculture and cuisine in Jamaica, NYC, and beyond.

The evening will feature food and drinks by Yardy NYC, music curated by the RAGGA NYC, and a panel discussion moderated by food writer Korsha Wilson, featuring DeVonn Francis (Yardy NYC Founder), Christopher Udemezue (RAGGA NYC Founder, CONNEK Co-founder) and Chantel Chaday Emmanuel (CONNEK Co-founder, joining us from Kingston, Jamaica).”

Continuing Events

Trio da Paz & Friends with Maucha Adnet, Harry Allen, and Claudio Roditi (Aug.21-Sep.01)
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“Keeping an unprecedented streak alive for the 12th consecutive year, Trio da Paz comes to Dizzy’s Club for a two-week summer residency. Formed in 1990 by three of Brazil’s most in-demand master musicians, Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, and Duduka da Fonseca, Trio da Paz updates the infectious spirit of jazz-oriented Brazilian music. With their harmonically adventurous interactions, daring improvisations, and dazzling rhythms, this group redefines Brazilian jazz. Reserve your seats quickly to make sure you don’t miss out on this high-demand annual tradition!”

GD: I made sure to catch their first set on Wednesday night. An evening with this group, especially with Maucha, is like a trip to Rio. Trust me on this.

Concert Series / Curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center
Thursdays from 5-7pm, from June to September
Broadway Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets

“Give your Thursday night a new rhythm as you head to the train or wait for a colleague to join you for dinner. Jazz at Lincoln Center brings New York City’s hottest young jazz bands to the plaza, creating the feeling of an intimate club amidst the lights and sounds of Times Square.”



8/24 The Marshall Tucker Band, Sony Hall
8/26-27 Ben Harper & Trombone Shorty, The Rooftop at Pier 17
8/27 Lenny Kravitz, Radio City Music Hall
8/28 King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, SummerStage 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 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. 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 / 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).
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.

“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.


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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