NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/01) + 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:  “December 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.”

==============================================================

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do This:

The Cast of Broadway’s Frozen
Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 W54th St. btw Broadway/8th) / 9:30PM, $55+
Broadway stars Caissie Levy, Noah J. Ricketts, Ryann Redmond, and Joe Carroll come to Feinstein’s/54 Below for an evening of song and dance. The performers will also showcase their work beyond Frozen, with a few surprises from the residents of Arendelle to ring in the holiday season.” (playbill)

========================================================

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Ana Gasteyer: Sugar & Booze
>> SOLEDAD BARRIO & NOCHE FLAMENCA
>>  JOHN SCOFIELD AND DAVE HOLLAND
>> Jason Moran & the Bandwagon
>> Burt Neuborne: “When at Times the Mob Is Swayed”
>> ‘DOUG LOVES MOVIES: THE 12 GUESTS OF XMAS’

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

=======================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Ana Gasteyer: Sugar & Booze (also Dec.21)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater (425 Lafayette St. at Astor Place) / 7 PM, $25
“In addition to her stardom on Saturday Night Live, Gasteyere is a Broadway baby who starred as Elphaba in the Broadway and Chicago productions of Wicked. She expanded the role of Mrs. Schwartz for A Christmast Story LIVE! on Fox and played Principal McGee in Grease: Live. But if you’ve heard her sing, you know she’s one of the jazziest belters around—perfect for the holidays.” (Playbill)

SOLEDAD BARRIO & NOCHE FLAMENCA (LAST DAY)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 pm.; $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)

JOHN SCOFIELD AND DAVE HOLLAND (LAST DAY)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $30-$45
“There’s really no way to “O.K. boomer” these two. Each has a stint with Miles Davis on his résumé, and they’ve both been in the game for decades. But neither Scofield, an acid-toned guitarist, nor Holland, a brilliantly versatile bassist, has ever planted his feet in a set approach. And both continue to work in conversation with younger musicians — even as they carry the flag for the jazz-rock fusion movement, in which they played an essential role. Here they will perform in an intimate duet.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Jason Moran & the Bandwagon (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S. / 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Since September, the pianist and composer Jason Moran has been applying his conceptual gifts to a mixed-media art exhibition at the Whitney, performing in mock re-creations of iconic jazz venues. For this engagement, at another famed locale a few blocks away, Moran employs his long-standing Bandwagon trio, a daringly inclusive ensemble—with the bassist Tarus Mateen and the drummer Nasheet Waits—that exemplifies the multidirectional, go-for-broke spirit of the most compelling modern jazz.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Burt Neuborne: “When at Times the Mob Is Swayed”
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 11AM, FREE
“Noted civil liberties lawyer Burt Neuborne comes to the New York Society for Ethical Culture for a Sunday Platform inspired by his recent book, When at Times the Mob Is Swayed. He’ll share his insights into the structure of our constitutional system, the durability of the separation of powers, and if our democracy can survive Trump.” (ThoughtGallery)

‘DOUG LOVES MOVIES: THE 12 GUESTS OF XMAS’
at Gramercy Theater / 8 p.m.; $25
“Since 2006, Doug Benson has discussed his adoration of cinema with other comedians, actors and the film critic Leonard Maltin and shares these sessions through his podcast series. The stoner comic’s own experiences in front of the camera include starring roles in two mockumentaries modeled on Morgan Spurlock’s films: “Super High Me” and “The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled.” But Benson’s highest-profile movie credit so far? “The LEGO Batman Movie.” At press time, Benson had announced only one guest, the comedian Josh Gondelman, teasing fans with some early Christmas suspense about who else might attend.” (NYT-Sean L. McCarthy)


Continuing Events

NYC holiday markets – five to explore.  (Newsday)

HOLIDAY SHOPS AT BRYANT PARK

WHEN | WHERE Oct. 31-Jan. 5, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 40th Street and Sixth Avenue
INFO bryantpark.org/eat-drink/holiday-shops

UNION SQUARE HOLIDAY MARKET

WHEN | WHERE Nov. 21-Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Union Square Park’s southern side
INFO urbanspacenyc.com

COLUMBUS CIRCLE HOLIDAY MARKET

WHEN | WHERE Dec. 4-24, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 59th Street and Central Park West
INFO urbanspacenyc.com

GRAND CENTRAL HOLIDAY FAIR

WHEN | WHERE Nov. 18-Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday (closed Thanksgiving; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve), Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St.
INFO grandcentralterminal.com

GRAND BAZAAR NYC

WHEN | WHERE Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 100 W. 77th St.
INFO grandbazaarnyc.org

—————————————————————————————————-

Holiday windows in NYC you won’t want to miss

“‘Tis the season! As Thanksgiving draws near, New York City’s department stores are unveiling their holiday windows. Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, American Girl and others are each putting their festive foot forward for the holidays.” (amNY)

==========================================================

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S THE NUTCRACKER
NEW YORK CITY BALLET (THRU Jan.5)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center/ TODAY: 2PM, +8PM,; $95+
“’Twas the day after Thanksgiving and all through the land, ballet companies began trotting out productions of “The Nutcracker,” a holiday dance tradition most grand. And in New York, the grandest among them is City Ballet’s, formally known as “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” which has been performed since 1954. That title rightly emphasizes this version’s secret weapon: Act II’s glorious choreography, particularly the breathtaking final pas de deux between the Sugarplum Fairy and her cavalier. Act I has its own virtuosic feat in the form of a supersize Christmas tree, which captures all the magic and wonder of this familiar tale.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

===========================================================

COMING SOON (WFUV)

11/29-30, 12/2-3 Bob Dylan, Beacon Theatre
11/29-30 Hot Tuna, Town Hall
11/29 & 12/2 Darlene Love, Sony Hall
11/30 Guster, Terminal 5
12/1 Beirut, Terminal 5
12/4 Bon Iver, Kings Theatre
12/4 The Hold Steady, Brooklyn Bowl
12/4 Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Town 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.”

==========================================================================
♦ 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.

=====================================================

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.”
==============================================================
“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.
========================================================

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.

========================================================
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
========================================================
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 SPRING 2020).
◊ Order before MAY. 31, 2020 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

=====================================================

Bonus 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.

=======================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s