NYC Events,”Only the Best” (11/19) + 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:  “November 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:

SOLEDAD BARRIO & NOCHE FLAMENCA
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m.; $45+
“The fleet footwork of flamenco can be mightily impressive, but this company doesn’t aim to merely wow. In recent years, Noche Flamenca and Barrio, its incandescent headliner, have moved away from spectacle seeking authentic communal encounters. A new iteration of its production “Entre Tú y Yo” (“Between You and Me”) comprises three works: a revised version of “La Ronde,” which explores facets of the duet form; “Refugiados,” created 15 years ago from poems by refugee children; and “Soleá,” a semi-improvised solo by Barrio that impresses not only for its virtuosity, but for the thrilling internal drama she shares.” (NYT)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Sean Patrick Murtagh: Mario!
>>The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> Stanley Clarke Band
>> ‘AKHNATEN’
>> Brian Stokes Mitchell: Plays with Music—Holiday
>> The Dark Side of Love: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do!
>> Boss Tweed: New York’s Corruption King

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Sean Patrick Murtagh: Mario!
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, $27.50
“Murtagh salutes the golden-voiced Italian-American operatic tenor Mario Lanza, the crossover star of MGM’s The Great Caruso, who shone brightly and then burned out at the age of 38. Expect movie songs, opera and Neapolitan classics.” (TONY)

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland Theatre / 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 November 19 edition include Lesli Margherita, Anthony Fett, Jennifer Barnhart, Sidney Myer, Corey Brunish, Dave Hill, Sarah Rice, Hyuna Park, Amadis Dunke and musical director Brad Simmons.” (TONY)

Stanley Clarke Band (Nov.19-23)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“What hasn’t Clarke played over the course of his four-decade career? He’s proficient in mainstream jazz, of course, but he has also taken on chamber-scaled projects of genuine delicacy and electric fusion of arena-rock proportions. He turns up here with a combo that includes young drumming prodigy Mike Mitchell, whose furious chops never fail to inspire awe.” (TONY)

‘AKHNATEN’ (next Nov.23, 1PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 7:30 p.m.; $119+
“Phelim McDermott’s take on Philip Glass’s opera, originally produced by the English National Opera and the L.A. Opera, arrives in New York, with the superlative countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo in the title role. He is joined by J’Nai Bridges as Nefertiti, Disella Larusdottir as Queen Tye, Aaron Blake as the High Priest of Amon, Will Liverman as Horemhab, Richard Bernstein as Aye, Zachary James as Amenhotep III, and a troupe of acrobats and jugglers. Karen Kamensek conducts.” (NYT-David Allen)

Brian Stokes Mitchell: Plays with Music—Holiday (Nov.12-23)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $105
“The baritone star of such shows as Ragtime and Man of La Mancha, Mitchell is one of Broadway’s most accomplished leading men and has proved to be a suave and affable concert performer as well. His solo Feinstein’s/54 Below show is a mix of holiday favorites and theater and jazz standards from his latest album, Plays with Music.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

The Dark Side of Love: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do!
Subject,188 Suffolk St./ 7:30PM, $15
“Dr. Marisa T. Cohen (From First Kiss to Forever: A Scientific Approach to Love) shares her understanding of love. In addition to insights into the “dark side” of relationships, the evening will look at techniques you can use to protect your connections, be they romantic or platonic.” (ThoughtGallery)

Boss Tweed: New York’s Corruption King
Landmark West!, 45 W. 67th St./ 6:30PM, $20
“Join social historian Keith Taillon for a trip into Gilded Age NYC police and Tammany Hall corruption. Along the way get the story of Lower East Side political fixer William M. “Boss” Tweed, whose take is estimated to be close to one billion in today’s dollars.” (ThoughtGallery)


Continuing Events

Richard III (Nov.7–23)
Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival
Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College / 7PM, $40+
“Conscience is but a word that cowards use, devised at first to keep the strong in awe.” Shakespeare’s Richard III is a chilling story of power and ambition. His ruthless monarch resonates through the ages in DruidShakespeare: Richard III, a darkly comic production from Ireland’s Druid theater company and Tony Award–winning director Garry Hynes.”

Canstruction New York (Nov.7-21)
Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St./ 10AM-8PM, FREE
“New York’s top architects, engineers and students have created sculptures out of unopened cans of food, which will be donated later to City Harvest, for Canstruction New York. You’ll see sculptures based on the Women’s FIFA trophy, “The Little Mermaid,” Yankee Stadium and Apollo’s 50th anniversary, among others. Feel free to bring cans of food for donation.” (amNY)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

11/20 Alice Merton, Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/20 FKA Twigs, Kings 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.

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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 2019).
◊ Order before FEB. 28, 2020 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

=====================================================BBonus NYC Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.comFor a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening discovery and enjoyment.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.

I MEMORIALIZE THIS WONDERFUL CLUB AS A WARNING.
WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES.

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Must-see theater coming to New York City stages this fall (amNY)

10 must-see Off-Broadway shows (amNY)

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

and, drum roll, here are all the critics opinions on all the plays –

Playbill’s “the Verdict”

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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