NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/08) + 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:  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:

Macbeth (next Oct.12, 8PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 8 p.m.; $37+
“Soprano Anna Netrebko created a sensation when she made her Met role debut as Lady Macbeth in 2014 in Verdi’s gripping Shakespeare adaptation. Baritone Željko Lučić, who starred in the 2007 premiere of Adrian Noble’s evocative production, takes over the title role. Marco Armiliato conducts a cast that also features tenor Matthew Polenzani as Macduff and bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Banquo.” (NYT)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> THANDISWA MAZWAI
>> Fly
>> Chita Rivera
>> ROBBINS + PECK
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> ART BLAKEY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
>> The Marriage of Photography and Architecture with Art Historian Sharon Suchma

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

THANDISWA MAZWAI
at the Schomburg Center / 7 p.m.; FREE
“One of the most famous musicians in South Africa, Mazwai jump-started her career as a vocalist for the band Bongo Maffin, which helped pioneer kwaito, a genre of South African house music. Since then she has established herself as a belter of clatteringly rhythmic, galvanizing songs about love, resistance and African identity (typically sung in Xhosa) — as well as a thrilling bandleader. This concert is presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall Citywide.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Fly (Oct. 8-13)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“The novelty of compact ensembles of saxophone, bass, and drums may have worn off since Sonny Rollins spotlighted his celebrated stripped-down trio at the Village Vanguard, in 1957, but Fly—consisting of the tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, the bassist Larry Grenadier, and the drummer Jeff Ballard—is proof that the concept still has wings. Discerning in its dedication to composition and arrangements as much as to creative improvisation, Fly is a coöperative that generates strength through egoless unity.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Chita Rivera
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $75+
“Rivera came to New York in the early 1950s, and the rest is razzle-dazzle history: starring roles in the original casts of West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie and Chicago; 10 Tony nominations (including two wins); the 2002 Kennedy Center Honors. She’s often called a legend, but she’s very much real—and, at 86, still firmly in command of her talents.” (TONY)

New York City Ballet (Oct. 8-13)
Tonight: ROBBINS + PECK
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“The last week of the fall season offers a little bit of everything, including several masterpieces of the repertoire: Jerome Robbins’s “Dances at a Gathering,” Merce Cunningham’s “Summerspace,” and George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and “Symphony in C.” Two new works, by Lauren Lovette (a company member) and by Edwaard Liang (a former member), return on the last day of the season, Oct. 13, paired with Robbins’s haunting “Opus 19/The Dreamer,” created for Mikhail Baryshnikov, in 1979. Gonzalo Garcia and Taylor Stanley alternate in the role of the Dreamer, a man navigating his inner world and the turbulent melodies of Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:30PM, $25
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her weekly series at the downstairs Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents. Guests at the October 8 edition include Aisha de Haas, Christine Lavin, Sue Matsuki, the Boy Band Project, Kristen Alderson, Colleen Harris, Lauren Tyler Scott, Joel Waggoner and musical director Brad Simmons.” (TONY)

ART BLAKEY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION (Oct. 7-12)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $35
“Blakey is remembered equally for the thunderous power of his drumming and for his influence on future generations; for over three decades, his Jazz Messengers remained a proving ground for premier young musicians. In recognition of what would have been Blakey’s 100th birthday on Oct. 11, Jazz at Lincoln Center has assembled a six-night celebration of his legacy, starting on Monday with a performance by the drummer and Jazz Messengers alum Ralph Peterson, who now pays Blakey’s legacy forward as the leader of his own Gen-Next Big Band. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the all-star sextet One for All will play a selection of tunes from the Messengers’ songbook, and for the remaining nights the trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, a veteran of the Messengers, will lead tributes to Blakey (with his Our Father Who Art Blakey Big Band on Oct. 10, and then in a smaller group on Oct. 11 and 12).” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

The Marriage of Photography and Architecture with Art Historian Sharon Suchma
The General Society Library, 20 W. 44th St./ 6:30PM, $15
“Celebrate Archtober with art historian Sharon Suchma, PhD. She’ll talk about the interplay between two well-suited disciplines—photography and architecture—a relationship that goes back to the dawn of photography nearly 200 years ago.” (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)

10/8 “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.
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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 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.

CAFFE VIVALDI HAS CLOSED, VERY SAD.
I HAVE LEFT THIS REVIEW ON MY SITE AS A KIND OF MEMORIAL and A WARNING. WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES.

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.”
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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.

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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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.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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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 WINTER 2020).
◊ Order before FEB. 28, 2020 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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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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