Today’s Elite 8 NYC Events > FRIDAY/ DECEMBER 13, 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:
Peter & the Wolf with Isaac Mizrahi (Dec.13-15)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / 6:30PM, $30+
“Fashion celeb and dandy Isaac Mizrahi reads and designs Peter & the Wolf in what may be the finest match of material and narrator that Prokofiev’s instructive orchestral folktale has found since David Bowie recorded it. He is abetted by the excellent Ensemble Signal (conducted by Oliver Hagen and Brad Lubman) and choreography by John Heginbotham.” (TONY)
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Steve Miller
>> Der Rosenkavalier
>> A Very Meow Meow Holiday Show
>> Winter Rhythms 2019
>> The Cosmic Synthesis of Sun Ra and Afrofuturism: Sisters, Sounds and Science of Afrofuturism—Moor Mother, Black Quantum Futurist & Nona Hendryx
>> Christian McBride
>> Chris Botti Holiday Residency
You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Steve Miller (Dec.13-14)
Rose Theatre, Broadway at 60th St. / 8PM, $50+
“Julian (Cannonball) Adderley, a brilliant alto saxophonist who combined soulful intensity with blinding virtuosity, kept a popular audience in mind once he began leading his own successful bands. Steve Miller, the rock guitarist and hitmaker, is a longtime fan; his tribute to the iconic crossover musician features the saxophonist Patrick Bartley’s sextet and the full-throated vocalist Brianna Thomas.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)
The Metropolitan Opera
Der Rosenkavalier (next Dec.17, 7PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7PM, $37+
“Strauss’s intoxicating concoction of viennoiserie never gets stale, and Robert Carsen’s 2017 production scrapes away some of the whipped-cream décor and focuses attention where it belongs: on the characters. Simon Rattle conducts a cast that includes Camilla Nylund as the “aging” (i.e., 32-year-old) Marschallin and Magdalena Kozená as her boy lover Octavian.” (NY Mag, Vulture- Justin Davidson)
Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
A Very Meow Meow Holiday Show
Come to the (Christmas) cabaret (Dec.12-14)
BAM Harvey Theater / 7:30PM, $35+
“If you think a cabaret show will be old fashioned, let Meow Meow make you (by force, if necessary) think again. Meow Meow — an Australian cabaret performer and agent of chaotic good — is back from a sold-out tour in London with the merry “A Very Meow Meow Holiday Show” at BAM. With an original score, a metric ton of sequins, and equal parts ennui and joie de vivre, Meow Meow offers a bracing take on the holiday season.” (Thrillist)
Winter Rhythms 2019 (Dec.12-21)
Urban Stages / 7PM, +9PM, $30
“The tenth annual edition of Urban Stages’s cabaret festival comprises 22 shows, including sets devoted to Johnny Mercer, Madeline Kahn, Bea Lillie, Czechoslovak soprano Jarmila Novotná and the concept of hope. The starry December 17 performance, a celebration of Britwit Noël Coward, features Jim Dale, Jim Naughton, Jeff Harnar, Edward Hibbert, Simon Jones, Sidney Myer, Marissa Mulder, KT Sullivan, Eric Comstock and Coward
lionizer Barry Day.” (TONY)
The Cosmic Synthesis of Sun Ra and Afrofuturism: Sisters, Sounds and Science of Afrofuturism—Moor Mother, Black Quantum Futurist & Nona Hendryx
Harlem Stage, 150 Convent Ave./ 7:30PM, $25
“The Past longing for the Present that will be the Future! The voices of our future ancestors alive in Black Quantum Futurism who are interdisciplinary creatives, unraveling the Past-Present-Future-Time which is always NOW!
Black Quantum Futurism (Moor Mother and Rasheedah Phillips) will weave quantum physics, afrofuturism, and Afrodiasporic concepts of time, ritual, text, and sound that present innovative thoughts and music; a vehicle for current matters and tools for practical ways to escape negative temporal loops, oppression vortexes, and the digital matrix.”
GD: bet you don’t see anything else like this over the holidays. and the Harlem Stage is a wonderful performance space.
Christian McBride (Dec. 10-15)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35, need to try the late sets.
“A nineties wunderkind who has fulfilled his early promise, the extraordinary bassist Christian McBride began as a staunch defender of mainstream jazz. His forays into such far-flung terrain as free improvisation and electrified funk notwithstanding, he always returns to where his heart lies. His Inside Straight ensemble is a taut quintet that includes the saxophonist Steve Wilson and the vibraphonist Warren Wolf.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)
Chris Botti Holiday Residency
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $55-$95, may be a tough ticket, try the late set
“This trumpet players’s skills are actually as good as his telegenic looks, even if he rarely puts them to use playing the kind of bop he cut his teeth on. A consummate showman, Botti presents his blend of smooth jazz-funk, glossily Miles-ian ballads and assorted pop and classical chestnuts at the Blue Note for his 13th annual holiday residency.” (TONY)
Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
More Smart Stuff coming soon.
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)
12/13-14 Anders Osborne, Brooklyn Bowl
12/14 Los Lobos, Concert Hall at the NY Society of Ethical Culture
12/14 Live From Here with Chris Thile, Town Hall
12/14 The Fixx, Sony Hall
12/15 Rachel & Vilray, The Bell House
12/16 A John Waters Christmas, Sony Hall
12/16-17 City Winery and Steve Earle present the 5th Annual “John Henry’s Friends” rehearsal dinner with Steve Earle and the Dukes, Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter and more, City Vineyard
12/17 Steve Earle and the Dukes, Town Hall
12/18 James Blake, BAM
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.