NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/20) + 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:

Taste of the Seaport
Sample foods, down by the East River
“Back for another go-around, the annual “Taste of the Seaport” will feature reps from more than 40 restaurants, all set up with samples of their wares along the waterfront. Several vendors will also be on hand, a KidsZone will be in place to keep the little ones entertained. Grown-ups can enjoy live music, wine and beer. Proceeds benefit PS 343 Peck Slip School and PS 397 Spruce Street School.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 20; South Street Seaport, Piers 16 and 17 (between John and Fulton streets),
INFO $45 (five tastes)-$150 “family pack” (20 tastes); tasteoftheseaport.org

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Lee Konitz Nonet
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> PIE BAKING 101
>> Open House New York
>> Margaret Mead Film Festival
>> more coming soon

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Lee Konitz Nonet
Jazz Gallery, 1160 Broadway, at 27th St., Fifth fl./
With his cool tone and exacting phrasing, Lee Konitz, a brilliant alto saxophonist who diverged from Charlie Parker in the late forties, still sounds like no one else on the horn. The ninety-two-year-old icon has found an invaluable collaborator in the saxophonist and arranger Ohad Talmor; Talmor’s charts, which will be re-created at this performance, anchor Konitz’s weaving improvisations on the recent album “Old Songs New.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

American Ballet Theatre
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 2PM, $
“The “Balanchine, Bennett & the Beach Boys” program combines Balanchine’s “Apollo,” Jessica Lang’s jazzy new work to Tony Bennett songs and Twyla Tharp’s rollicking “Deuce Coupe” with a duet by Clark Tippet, a company member who died of AIDS in 1992 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and Oct. 24). For “The Masters” program, Balanchine’s “Theme and Variations” is grouped with Tharp’s new “A Gathering of Ghosts” and Alexei Ratmansky’s fresh, recent ballet, “The Seasons” (Saturday evening and Tuesday). Wednesday’s “The New Romantics” program includes another piece by Lang along with works by Ballet Theater’s Gemma Bond, a member of the corps, and James Whiteside, a principal dancer.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Open House New York (Oct.18-20)
Citywide, More than 150 sites are free
“The Open House New York weekend gives you access to some of the city’s most important and interesting spaces including Tribeca’s African Burial Ground National Monument; Staten Island’s Fort Wadsworth, which was completed in 1864; and the city’s compost facilities. Take a peek into the neighborhood places you’ve always wondered about, or head to the boroughs you rarely visit — through Open House New York, you can learn more about the city’s architecture, design, history, and trash.” (Thrillist.com)

PIE BAKING 101
See if baking is really as easy as pie
Cook Space, Culinary Studio, Prospect Heights / 11AM-1:30PM, $95
“Get a headstart on pie-baking season with a Pie Baking 101 class at Brooklyn’s Cook Space. With tips on how to make a pate brisee (a classic pie crust) and a pate sucree (a sweet pie crust), you can learn how to bake a pumpkin pie that will impress your friends, wow your new girlfriend, or make your mother-in-law eat some humble pie. If you’re all thumbs in the kitchen, you’ve got plenty of time to practice between now and Thanksgiving.” (thrillist.com)

Margaret Mead Film Festival (Oct.17-20)
American Museum of Natural History / various times, $12
“Named for anthropologist Margaret Mead, this film festival spotlights documentaries, shorts, and other media intended to deepen our understanding of the world. Watch a film about Australia’s Indigenous drag queens competing for the title of Miss First Nation; learn how the people of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, are balancing growth with ecological issues; or see the chilling (and charming) future of AI unfold. It’s not Joker, but it might make you a better citizen of the world.” (Thrillist.com)


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)

The 12th Imagine Science Film Festival (Oct.18-25)
Various locations, times and prices.
“Founded at Rockefeller University by geneticist and filmmaker Alexis Gambis in 2008, ISF has produced annual science film festivals in New York, Paris, and Abu Dhabi, as well as at satellite events worldwide, and serves as a major venue for the release of new and experimental works bridging the worlds of science and film. We seek to challenge and expand the role of science in the current cultural discourse by providing a forum for adventurous interdisciplinary collaboration.”

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

10/20 Jim James & Teddy Abrams, (le) Poisson Rouge
10/21-22 Steely Dan, Beacon Theatre
10/23 Cigarettes After Sex, 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.

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 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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