NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/06) + 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:  October 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:

New York Times Food Festival (Oct.5-6)
Bryant Park / 12-5PM, $25+
“Join New York Times journalists, leading chefs, and some of the best restaurants in the city at this inaugural festival curated by Times editors. Enjoy tastings, live cooking demos, panel discussions and more.” (amNY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Barry Harris
>> Turnadot
>> CLASSIC NYCB
>> SULLIVAN FORTNER TRIO
>> From Naples to New York Pizza Festival 2019
>> Lower East Side Pickle Day
>> Farewell Mucha!

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Barry Harris (Oct. 1-6)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“There are only a few active jazz musicians left who had the privilege of playing with Charlie Parker, and the pianist Barry Harris is one of them. The eighty-nine-year-old master has fashioned a style that calls on the keyboard language of the bebop pioneer Bud Powell, leavening its frenetic effect with his own easy approach. He’s joined here by two expert associates: the drummer Leroy Williams and the bassist Ray Drummond.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

The Metropolitan Opera
Turnadot (next Oct.9, 7PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 3PM, $53+
“Two of opera’s most thrilling dramatic sopranos, Christine Goerke and Nina Stemme, reprise their fierce portrayals of the title princess. Yannick Nézet-Séguin takes the podium to conduct Franco Zeffirelli’s dazzling production of Puccini’s final masterpiece, which also features tenors Roberto Aronica and Marco Berti as Calàf, sopranos Eleonora Buratto and Hibla Gerzmava as Liù, and bass-baritones James Morris and Nicolas Testé as Timur.”

New York City Ballet (thru Oct.13)
CLASSIC NYCB (next Oct.13, 3PM)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $35+
“In a program that honors the past while looking to the future, works by our founding choreographers bookend premieres from Principal Dancer Lauren Lovette and BalletMet Artistic Director and former NYCB Soloist Edwaard Liang.”

SULLIVAN FORTNER TRIO (Oct. 3-6)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“At just 32, this dazzling New Orleanian pianist has already been handsomely decorated: He’s won the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, the American Pianists Association’s 2015 Cole Porter Fellowship and the 2016 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists. And he’s caught the ears of many elder musicians. Here he performs with the bassist John Patitucci and the drummer Nasheet Waits, both a generation above him and among jazz’s most respected rhythm-section players.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Elsewhere, but this is my hometown, the Bronx, so you bet it’s worth the detour:

From Naples to New York Pizza Festival 2019 (Oct.5-6)
Get a slice (or six) of heaven
Crescent Ave, Belmont, Bronx / 12-5PM, $25/ 3slices – $35/ 6slices
“The New York Pizza Festival is inviting thirty American and Italian pizzaioli to the Bronx’s own Little Italy. With pizza from Brooklyn’s Di Fara, Chicago’s Forno Rosso (don’t worry, it’s not deep-dish), and Naples’ Vincenzo Capuano, this celebration of the Neapolitan pie features slice after slice of cheese, crust, and sauce. The festival will benefit Slice Out Hunger, a pizza-based non-profit dedicated to ending hunger in the United States.” (thrillist.com)

GD: Hey, you can bring in pizza from out of town, but New York pizza will still rule them all. Bring ’em on!

Lower East Side Pickle Day
Find yourself in a fine pickle
Orchard Street between Delancey and E Houston / 12-5PM, Free to enter, food (namely, pickles) and drinks available for purchase.
“Perhaps a little less Instagrammable then some of New York’s other street fairs, the Lower East Side’s Pickle Day is a sour, sticky celebration of the humble pickle. In the early days of the Lower East Side, Jewish immigrants operated pushcarts filled with pickles; today, we honor the neighborhood’s past with barrels and buckets full of brined cucumbers. If you absolutely have to get a shot for the ‘gram, there’s a pickle photobooth, a pickle mascot to pose with, and — of course — the iconic pickle on a stick.” (thrillist)

Farewell Mucha!
Poster House, 119 W. 23rd St./ 4-6PM, FREE, with admission
“Join us as we say goodbye to our inaugural shows! Explore the galleries one last time while also taking part in a few charming parlor games Mucha himself enjoyed. Tarot card readers, mentalists, fortune tellers, and a bonafide séance expert will be present to channel the spirits as the sun sets” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

New York Film Festival (Sept. 27 — Oct. 13)
“Lincoln Center’s signature cinematic event returns with a lineup that’s simply packed with eagerly anticipated movies by major filmmakers. The festival opens with Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and closes with Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn.” In between, you can find new work by everyone from Bong Joon-Ho (“Parasite”) to Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow”), along with Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”).” (amNY)

FALL FOR DANCE (Oct.1-13)
at New York City Center / 8PM, $15 (Sundays 3PM)
“The annual smorgasbord of high-quality, low-cost dance returns with five diverse programs that mixes hometown stars with global luminaries, and classics with new commissions. Program 1, on Tuesday and Wednesday, features Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in a work by Crystal Pite, Vuyani Dance Theater from South Africa with the stateside debut of a piece by Gregory Maqoma, Caleb Teicher & Company in Teicher’s “Bzzzz,” and Misty Copeland in a Kyle Abraham premiere. The lineup for Program 2, on Oct. 3 and 4, comprises Mark Morris Dance Group, the French hip-hop troupe Dyptik, the Washington Ballet and Malevo, who bring a rock version of the Argentine folk dance malambo. All shows have sold out, but any cancellations will result in tickets becoming available online and at the box office, so keep an eye out.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Ron Carter (Oct. 1-26)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ various times, $30-$40
“If Ron Carter had retired in the mid-seventies, after helping cement the sonic identity of the now revered CTI Records, he’d still be recognized as one of the most substantial bassists in jazz history, having shared stages with a slew of legendary figures (including Miles Davis) and recorded with dozens more—but he didn’t. He has since added thousands of recordings to his résumé and established a respected solo career. Week one of this monthlong stint features the exemplary instrumentalist fronting his Great Big Band.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

10/6 Sturgill Simpson, Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/8 “Songs For The Mind” w/ Deva Mahal and more, Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/8 “On Your Radar” w/FUV’s John Platt, Rockwood Music Hall
10/9 Big Thief, Brooklyn Steel
10/9 Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Webster Hall

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.

Wilco
October 12
Radio City Music Hall
Yes, Ode to Joy, the title of Wilco’s upcoming album, was used centuries ago by Friedrich Schiller and then Beethoven. But occasional parallel thinking is inevitable in any creative endeavor.

Kacey Musgraves
October 15
Radio City Music Hall
The Grammy-winning country artist brings her tour to Radio City.

Steely Dan
October 15, 16, 18, 19 and 22
Beacon Theatre
Donald Fagen keeps the jazz-rock music of Steely Dan, familiar from songs like “Do It Again,” “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” going strong.
Advertisement

Alessia Cara
October 23
PlayStation Theatre
The Canadian pop and R&B star known for the song “Here” plays in Times Square.

Sleater-Kinney
October 30 and 31
Kings Theatre and Hammerstein Ballroom
Minus one Janet Weiss, the Pacific Northwest rockers tour behind new album The Center Won’t Hold.

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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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