NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/22) + 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:  “September 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:

Ravi Coltrane (last day)
Village Vanguard / 8:30, +10:30PM, $35
“Expect plenty of inside-outside postbop intrigue here, as the subtly commanding sax star distills the innovative spirit from his jazz-royalty legacy into a distinctly modern style with a killer quartet.” (TONY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> New York City Ballet
>> Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene
>> Houston Person
>> JAPANFes’ Konamon Street Food Festival
>> Brooklyn Book Festival
>> Animation Block Party 2019
>> Queens County Fair
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

New York City Ballet (thru Oct.13)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $35
“Performances of Balanchine’s treasured triptych “Jewels” continue on Friday and Saturday, followed on Sunday and Tuesday by a program pairing Mr. B with the acclaimed British choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Wednesday brings an all-Balanchine program of “Valse Fantaisie,” “Kammermusik No. 2” and “Union Jack.” On Thursday, City Ballet hosts its eighth Fall Fashion Gala, which features new works from the principal dancer Lauren Lovette and the former soloist Edwaard Liang, and costumes by Zac Posen and Anna Sui. Rounding out the evening is the Balanchine classic “Symphony in C.” (NYT)

Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene (Sept.18-22)
York Theatre Company at St. Peter’s Church / 2:30PM, $40
“Whether attracting or repelling her audiences, international chanteuse Lemper is never less than magnetic. Her style is perversely polymorphic: One moment she might tear into a song with predatory hunger, then she might purr out a dreamy croon or toss back her head for a brassy squeal of jazz. Her newest set is inspired by a long conversation she shared with languid legend Marlene Dietrich in 1988.” (TONY)

Houston Person (Sept. 19-22)
Jazz Standard,116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
You don’t come to Houston Person in search of innovation; you merely bask in a surplus of old-school warmth and melodic charm and in a generosity of tone that emanates from precious few saxophonists of any age. For this outing, the eighty-four-year-old tenor master likely dips into the blues-drenched ballads that make up his characteristic new album, “I’m Just a Lucky So and So.” (Steve Futterman, New Yorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

JAPANFes’ Konamon Street Food Festival
Lexington Ave., btw 83rd and 84th st. / 10AM-6PM, FREE
“Celebrate Nisei culture with this two-day festival and competition featuring five of the top Japanese “flour shop” chefs, who use flour in their dishes like okonomiyaki (Japanese pizza) and takoyaki (bite-size balls filled with octopus). Chefs will be visiting from across Japan and chefs from Karl’s Balls, BentON, Fuji Yakisoba and Osaka-ya will represent New York.” (amNY)

Oh baby, such good stuff elsewhere, and these three look worth the detour:

Brooklyn Book Festival
Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St./ 10AM, FREE
“It’s the most bookish day of the year: Brooklyn Book Festival, the largest free literary fest in NYC. More than 300 authors writing in every category will participate in readings, discussions, signings, tabling, and assorted events, including the festival on Sunday, Children’s Day on Saturday, and myriad Bookend Events surrounding the weekend. A tiny fraction of this year’s authors include Alexander Chee, Edwidge Danticat, Jonathan Safran Foer, Mira Jacob, Marlon James, Lucy Knisley, DeRay Mckesson, Bill McKibben, Joyce Carol Oates, Matt Taibbi, and Nell Zink.” (gothamist)

Animation Block Party 2019 (Sept.20-22)
Watch the Road Runner in action
Multiple venues
“BAM’s 16th annual Animation Block Party brings three days of animated shorts and features to Brooklyn’s screens. Catch a collection of shorts from female animators, a 35mm print of the 40-year-old Looney Tunes classic Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie, and an exploration of the world’s most experimental animation. This surprising and thoughtful curation is ideal for both cartoon buffs and those of us who are starting to get bored by the late-summer movie season.” (thrillist)

Elsewhere, but this is our only state fair, and looks worth the detour:

Queens County Fair (Sept.21-22)
Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy./ 11am-6pm, $10
“One of this country’s first-ever agrarian fairs took place in Queens in 1693. Keep the tradition alive at the Queens County Farm Museum’s 37th-annual Queens County Fair. The two-day extravaganza offers family-friendly fun, with live comedy, music, juggling, acrobats, and clowns, plus carnival rides and midway games, pie-eating and corn-husking contests, hayrides, horseback rides, tractor pulls, and relay races. There will be a beer garden sponsored by Bridge & Tunnel Brewery and featuring signature craft beer 1697 Adriance Ale, as well as tours and demos at the 18th-century Adriance Farmhouse. It’s also the season-opening of this year’s Amazing Maize Maze.” (gothamist)


Continuing Events

Photoville @ Brooklyn Bridge Plaza (LAST DAY)

It’s the eighth year for the gargantuan photography show Photoville, featuring 80 exhibits and work by more than 600 artists, nightly outdoor programming, site-specific installations, talks, demonstrations, workshops, and more. It’s all installed in and around 60+ shipping containers scattered throughout Brooklyn Bridge Plaza. The huge opening night celebration, presented by United Photo Industries, showcases work from the Magnum Foundation, For Freedoms, Bronx Documentary Center, Batsi’ Lab, and Facing Change: Documenting America. The festival will run through September 22nd.


Feast of San Gennaro (LAST DAY)

“Where: Mulberry Street, between Canal and Houston streets; on Hester Street, between Baxter and Centre streets; and on Grand Avenue, between Baxter Street and Centre Market Place. The stage is at the corner of Grand and Mott streets.

What it’s all about: The Feast of San Gennaro dates to 1926 when Neapolitan immigrants wanted to continue the September 19 feast day observed back home. The feast also was a way for Italian immigrants to celebrate their heritage. After being told they would be relegated to worship in the basement of other churches, dominated by Irish Catholics, the community built its own church.

Over the years, the Feast of San Gennaro has grown to 11 full days of celebration, food and drink. Speaking of which, vendors you’ll see include: Cannoli King Caffe Palermo, Grotta Azzurra, Umberto’s Clam House, Lombardi’s, Capri, Alleva Dairy, DiPalo, Ferrara Bakery and more.” Iconic eats to celebrate the feast.(amNY)

Mangia at the 93rd annual San Gennaro Feast

There’ll be food, glorious food, as the 93rd annual Feast of San Gennaro honoring the patron saint of Naples kicks off in Little Italy. The 11-night fest features live music and food on top of food on top of food. Activities include a cannoli-eating contest (2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13), as well as a parade (2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 with “The Sopranos” star Steve Schirripa serving as grand marshal), a zeppole-eating competition (1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18) and a High Mass in the name of San Gennaro (6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19). (Free; food and other items available for purchase; sangennaronyc.org)

Brooklyn Americana Music Festival @ Various venues (LAST DAY)

“Get ready for plenty of hand-clapping and foot-stomping at the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival, touching down all across Dumbo and Red Hook for the fifth year running. The fest promises 50 shows in nine venues over four days, all free of charge except for the opening-night gala. Some highlights include Female Songwriter of the Year Dayna Kurtz, Americana-folk troubadours Underhill Rose, NOLA R&B group Sabine McCalla and the Dew Drops, classic country crooners the Haggard Kings, country-blues outfit Cari Ray and the Shaky Legs, a Green Chile Bluegrass Brunch, and much, much more.” (gothamist)

Opens Thursday, September 19th // Various venues // Free

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

9/22 & 24 Lizzo, Radio City Music Hall
9/22 Cat Power, Webster Hall
9/23 Nick Cave, The Town Hall
9/24 Jade Bird, Webster Hall
9/24 Brittany Howard, Beacon Theatre
9/24 The B-52s, SummerStage Central Park
9/24 Tegan and Sara, The Murmrr
9/25 Janelle Monae, The Rooftop at Pier 17
9/25 Michael Kiwanuka, Brooklyn Steel
9/25 Xavier Rudd, Music Hall of Williamsburg

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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 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.

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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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