NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/14) + 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:

Emel Mathlouthi, Faten Kanaan
@ Le Poisson Rouge / 7PM, $18
“Tunisian-born, New York-based art pop singer Emel Mathlouthi is fresh off releasing her excellent new album Everywhere We Looked Was Burning, which is her first album sung almost entirely in English. Tonight’s her first hometown show since its release.” (BrooklynVegan)

“The most natural power derives from the four elements: earth, water, air, and fire. This quartet of forces fuses art to life. As such, Emel Mathlouthi aligns nature and music on her third full-length album, Everywhere We Looked Was Burning [Partisan Records]. Striking a balance between eloquent songcraft, sparse instrumentation, and the voices of the woods, wind, sea, and flames, the Tunisia-born and New York-based singer heralds revolution by trumpeting creative experimentation.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Juilliard Jazz Ensembles
>> SHIZ
>> The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Rep. Adam Schiff in Conversation with Nicholas Kristof
>> Monday Night Magic

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Juilliard Jazz Ensembles: The Conceptual Genius of John Lewis & George Russell
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
“The Juilliard School has been a destination for world-class music education since it was founded, and these incredible young musicians will exemplify that legacy in this performance. The Juilliard School Jazz Ensemble features some of the world’s most talented emerging jazz artists, many of whom are already professional musicians. No stranger to Dizzy’s Club, the ensemble has also performed at noted venues such as the Blue Note and Alice Tully Hall. These gifted young musicians are proof of jazz’s bright future.”

SHIZ
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre / 10:30PM, $9
“Broadway characters find themselves in hot sketch-comedy waters in this monthly night of musical comedy, the brainchild of comic Matt Gehring and singer-songwiter Shaina Taub. The writer-performers include Gehring, Preston Martin, Alex Song, Mahayla Laurence, Max Ash, charisma machine Natalie Walker and ringers Joél Pérez (Fun Home) and Heath Saunders (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812).” (TONY)

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South (btw W11th/Perry St.) / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $35
“World class big band with 16 members on that small stage, a monday night institution.
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition.” (NYT)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $25-$30
“The witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.”
“Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Rep. Adam Schiff in Conversation with Nicholas Kristof
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $50
“Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof talks with Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Join them for an in-depth and illuminating conversation about the issues behind today’s biggest news stories including the investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and its implications for 2020, the release of the Mueller report and analysis of his public testimony, the latest foreign policy issues, the Whistleblower’s complaint, the impeachment inquiry, and more.”

Monday Night Magic
Players Theatre, West Village / 8PM, $42.50
“For more than two decades,, this proudly old-school series has offered a different lineup of professional magicians every week: opening acts, a headliner and a host, plus two or three close-up magicians to wow the audience at intermission. Housed for the past seven years at the unprepossessing Players Theatre, it is an heir to the vaudeville tradition.

Many of the acts incorporate comedic elements, and audience participation is common. (If you have young children, bring them; they make especially adorable assistants.) Shows cost just $37.50 in advance and typically last well over two hours, so you get a lot of value and variety for your magic dollar. In contrast to some fancier magic shows, this one feels like comfort food: an all-you-can eat buffet to which you’re encouraged to return until you’re as stuffed as a hat full of rabbits.” (TONY)


Continuing Events

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)

10/15 Black Keys, Barclays Center
10/15 Orville Peck, Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/15-16 Kacey Musgraces/Lucius, Radio City Music Hall
10/15-16 Steely Dan, Beacon Theatre

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.

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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