Today’s Super 7 NYC Events > SATURDAY/ DECEMBER 07, 2019
“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 Blind Boys of Alabama
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 8PM, $62
“The beloved gospel ensemble the Blind Boys of Alabama originated in 1939, when the singers were students at a Talladega institute for blind children. Three of its founders were still dazzling audiences at the start of this millennium, but death has since thinned those ranks to one—the charismatic Jimmy Carter, now surrounded by younger recruits. Despite being a legacy act saddled with an antediluvian moniker of a thousand squirms, the group remains perennially fresh, whether it’s interjecting godliness into unexpected songs or, as in this case, saluting Christmas.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)
6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Mary Halvorson
>> GAMELAN KUSUMA LARAS
>> The Hold Steady
>> Shop for offbeat gifts at the Oddities Flea Market
>> Target First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum: Best of the Borough
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
‘AKHNATEN’ (LAST CHANCE)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 7:30p.m.; $
“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)
Mary Halvorson (Dec. 3-7)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30 p.m.; $20
“It’s hard to sum up this experimental guitarist in a simple word like “influential”: Her choppy, crinkled, effects-pedal-laden style is too singular to be widely replicated. But now more than ever, there is no denying the status of Halvorson — who received a 2019 MacArthur fellowship in September — as a leading figure in jazz. Next week she will take a victory lap at the Stone, a familiar stomping ground, alongside a few longtime collaborators: On Tuesday she plays in a duet with the remarkable Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier; on Wednesday and Dec. 5 she brings different trios each night; and on Dec. 6 and 7 she appears with her quintet Code Girl, which released a critically lauded album last year.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)
Elsewhere, but these two are easy subway trips and look worth the detour:
RBA: GAMELAN KUSUMA LARAS with I.M. HARJITO | Music and Dance of Java
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave. Bklyn. / 8PM, $30
Gamelan Kusuma Laras is a group that specializes in courtly Javanese repertoire under the direction of the renowned I. M. Harjito.
GD: I am a trained Gamelan player, and if you are not familiar with classic gamelan music, you must give this a shot.
The Hold Steady (Dec.4-7)
Veterans at work.
Brooklyn Bowl / 8PM, $45
Brooklyn indie rockers decided to start a band after seeing Martin Scorsese’s Thanksgiving rock doc The Last Waltz. Seven studio albums in, they’re a rock-and-roll institution in their own right, thanks to a wellspring of anthemic grooves and lead singer Craig Finn’s detailed storytelling. In 2016, the band came home for a run of shows to celebrate 2006’s Boys and Girls in America; it’s now an annual tradition.” (NYMag,-C.J.)
Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
Elsewhere, but this is always worth the detour:
Target First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum: Best of the Borough
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway (Washington Ave.) / 5-11PM, FREE
“The Brooklyn Museum throws its monthly First Saturday fete, this one keeping it local for the “Best of the Borough,” including a 5pm Latin music kick off courtesy of Los Hacheros. As “modern-day torchbearers of the golden age of Latin music,” Los Hacheros infuse the folkloric styles of son montuno, guaracha, and salsa with bomba rhythms.
For twenty years, First Saturdays have been the freshest place to kick off the month. To ensure the safety of visitors and to comply with city fire codes, starting at 5 pm, please enter through the front of the Museum. Keep in mind that there could be lines for entry and that the museum may have to limit entry when we reach maximum capacity.” (ThoughtGallery)
Shop for offbeat gifts at the Oddities Flea Market
“At an event curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn of Science Channel’s “Oddities” and produced by his spouse Regina Cohn (both pictured), this “Holiday of Wonders” market gives those looking for holiday gifts a chance to find the offbeat, unusual and unexpected. Items range from anatomical curios and art inspired by the dark side of life to taxidermy, jewelry and medical history ephemera. Take a break from browsing by dining on wood-fired pizzas from Roberta’s ( robertaspizza.com).” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7-8; Villain LLC, 307 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
INFO $30; theodditiesfleamarket.com
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
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
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
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.
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.
“‘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)
12/7 The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show, Concert Hall at the NY Society for Ethical Culture
12/8 Crooked Still, Music Hall of Williamsburg
12/9 Pixies, Webster Hall
12/9 Cautious Clay, Brooklyn Steel
12/10 Holiday Cheer for FUV with Mavis Staples, Nathaniel Rateliff, Yola and special guests, Beacon Theatre
12/11 Ingrid Michaelson, (le) Poisson Rouge
Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)
David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4, 2019–January 19, 2020
“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’. ”
Each 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.