NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/26) + 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:

Billy Hart Quartet (Oct. 22-27)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“What the Billy Hart Quartet has going for it, besides a veteran drummer whose C.V. is as rich in mainstream work (Stan Getz) as it is in left-of-center endeavors (Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi outfit), is a triumvirate of compelling players—the pianist Ethan Iverson, the saxophonist Mark Turner, and the bassist Ben Street—who take cues from the ecumenical leanings of their leader. This is an exemplary post-bop band whose excellent recordings offer only a taste of what it achieves live.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Between the World and Me
>> BRIC JazzFest Marathon
>> Houston Ballet
>> The Astronomy of Walt Whitman: A Universe in Verse Pop-up
>> Fine Art Print Fair
>> A Different America: How Our Country Has Changed From 1969 Through Today

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Between the World and Me (Oct.25-26)
See Ta-Nehisi Coates’ work come to life
Apollo / 8PM, $30+
“Ta-Nehisi Coates’ National Book Award-winning Between the World and Me was brought, briefly, to life as a stage play at the Apollo Theater in March of last year. Coates gave Kamilah Forbes, the Apollo’s executive director, free reign to adapt his book. Forbes honored the source material with a critically acclaimed original score by jazz pianist Jason Moran and a series of performed excerpts from the text. The show is returning this week to the Apollo for three nights only.’ (thrillist.com)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

BRIC JazzFest Marathon (Oct.24-26)
Celebrate modern jazz in Brooklyn
BRIC House, 647 Fulton St.,Fort Greene / 7:30PM, $35
“BRIC’s annual JazzFest — a three-night festival with live music from both up-and-comers and world-famous phenoms — brings the best of global jazz to Brooklyn. On Friday night, vibraphonist Joel Ross will bring his very literally-named “Good Vibes” orchestra to the stage; on Saturday, drummer Kassa Overall and Joe Russo’s “Boyfriends” improv ensemble will close out the fest. If you don’t know your Thelonious from your sarrusophone, JazzFest is a very funky place to start learning.” (thrillist.com)

Houston Ballet (Oct. 24-26)
City Center, 131 W. 55th St./ 7:30PM, $35+
“New Yorkers like to think that they have the best ballet companies, but Houston Ballet gives them a run for their money. Since 2003, the Australian choreographer Stanton Welch has led its stable of exemplary dancers with a varied repertory. It’s one of the few ballet companies that the choreographer Mark Morris, who is picky, is willing to work with. This is lucky for us, because the company is bringing one of Morris’s recent works to City Center for a short run, Oct. 24-26, its first New York engagement in six years. Morris’s “The Letter V,” set to a Haydn symphony, is witty, lucid, and formal—he describes it as “pastoral.” The other two dances on the program are Aszure Barton’s “Come In” and “Reflections,” by Justin Peck, a choreographer usually associated with New York City Ballet. The Peck work, which he created for Houston this year, is quiet and full of clean geometries, a meditation on order and symmetry set to a piece for two pianos by Sufjan Stevens. Musical accompaniment will be provided by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

The Astronomy of Walt Whitman: A Universe in Verse Pop-up
Governors Island / 2PM, FREE, donations welcome
“Cruise over to Governors Island for The Astronomy of Walt Whitman, a chapel pop-up curated and hosted by Brain Pickings’s Maria Popova. Enjoy a multimedia afternoon that celebrates science through Whitman’s poetry. Appearances include music in addition to astrophysicist Janna Levin, author Nicole Krauss, and Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton. (While you’re out there, wear a costume to take part in the island-wide Halloween celebration.)” (ThoughtGallery)

Fine Art Print Fair (Oct.23-27)
Start your art collection
Javits Center / 12-8PM, $25
“Practice frowning in front of some art as if you’re considering how it would look in your mansion — the Fine Art Print Fair is coming to town! With over 70 galleries exhibiting, there will also be conversations with artists (including Jeff Koons, of the divisive tulip sculpture), a meet-and-greet with artists and printmakers, and talks about art collecting. If the only art you’re currently collecting is the poster your last roommate leave behind, don’t worry — a $25 ticket is all you need to spend to rub shoulders with the printerati.” (thrillist.com)

A Different America: How Our Country Has Changed From 1969 Through Today
Fordham University, 140 W. 62nd St./ 111AM-12:20PM, $65
Matthew Andrews / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“How much has American society changed since the 1960s? And how do you gauge the extent of this change? In this session we will try to answer these questions by exploring a few of the more significant and pivotal moments in American history through the prism of sports. We will look beyond competitive outcomes on the fields of play—who won, who lost, and by how much?—and instead will focus on what these moments can reveal about the struggles for racial justice and gender equality in our nation.

Throughout our session we will consider the ways sports—a marathon, a college football game, a prizefight, a tennis match—have reflected larger trends in American life as well as influenced American history and the nation we occupy today. Whether this influence has been positive or negative is another question we will consider.”


Continuing Events

Ron Carter (LAST DAY)
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 (LAST DAY)
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.”

Archtober (Oct.1-31)
Various Locations / Times
“During this monthlong architecture-and-design festival, you can poke around NYC’s most prominent buildings (like the new Statue of Liberty Museum), attend lectures, films and other events—such as seeing Erez Nevi Pana’s piece Bleached at Cooper Hewitt.” (TONY)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

10/26 Live From Here with Chris Thile, Town Hall
10/26-27 Madeleine Peyroux, Sony Hall
10/28 Ingrid Michaelson, Webster Hall
10/29 Joshua Radin & The Weepies, Gramercy Theatre
10/30 Sleater-Kinney, Kings Theatre
10/30 Pink Martini, 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.

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.

The New Pornographers
November 7
Brooklyn Steel
We love a good Canadian supergroup, of which the New Pornographers are one.

Slayer and Ministry
November 9
Madison Square Garden
It’s a metal show! Slayer is billing this as their last tour, so catch ’em while you’ve got the chance.

Ariana Grande
November 12
Barclays Center
Ariana Grande has a great voice; enjoy it at this show.

The Ergs
November 15
Brooklyn Bazaar
New Jersey pop punks the Ergs—fronted by a singing drummer—play their loud, fast, catchy songs live.

Taking Back Sunday
November 15–16
Terminal 5
These Long Island screamo practitioners are still at it.

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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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