NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/19) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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:  “February 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:

Susan Fowler and Gretchen Carlson in Conversation
The Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St. | 41 Cooper Sq./ 7PM, FREE
“In 2017, twenty-five-year-old Susan Fowler published a blog post detailing the sexual harassment and retaliation she’d experienced as an entry-level engineer at Uber. The post went viral, leading not only to the ouster of Uber’s CEO and twenty other employees, but “starting a bonfire on creepy sexual behavior in Silicon Valley that … spread to Hollywood and engulfed Harvey Weinstein” (Maureen Dowd, The New York Times).”

“Susan Fowler, the technology op-ed editor at The New York Times, shares her story of facing down one of the most valuable startups in Silicon Valley history–and what came after. She will be joined in conversation by journalist, author, and empowerment advocate Gretchen Carlson.”


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Bat for Lashes
>> Le Nozze di Figaro
>> Sam Sifton in Conversation With Padma Lakshmi: See You on Sunday
>> The Brussels Effect: How the EU Rules the World
>> Doc Fortnight 2020

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


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Bat for Lashes
The Town Hall / 8PM, $30
“Cooly sensual London songstress Natasha Khan, otherwise known as Bat for Lashes, returned recently with a fifth album, Lost Girls, which combined sprightly, shimmering dream pop with arrestingly poetic lyrics. Hear it at Town Hall’s posh digs—a fitting environment for the singer’s dark, addictive and stately songwriting.” (TONY)

The Metropolitan Opera
Le Nozze di Figaro (next Feb.14, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30 PM, $30+
“Two outstanding casts—including sopranos Nadine Sierra, Anita Hartig, Susanna Phillips, and Hanna-Elisabeth Müller; mezzo-sopranos Gaëlle Arquez and Marianne Crebassa; baritone Mariusz Kwiecien; and bass-baritones Luca Pisaroni and Adam Plachetka—come together for Mozart’s scintillating class comedy. Antonello Manacorda and Cornelius Meister conduct Sir Richard Eyre’s fast-paced production.”

at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $
“A Cuban-born pianist of immense talent and understated touch, Villafranca will present in the coming week material from two new projects: “Life Stories,” a book of songs he wrote inspired by his journeys through Cuba, Haiti, Spain and New Orleans, and “Don’t Change My Name,” a tribute to Florentina Zulueta, a woman from the African kingdom of Dahomey who was enslaved and brought to Cuba in the 17th century. Villafranca’s band will include the trumpeters Jeremy Pelt (on Tuesday and Wednesday only) and Alex Norris (on Thursday), the saxophonist and clarinetist Roxy Coss, the trombonist Robin Eubanks, the bassist Peter Slavov, the drummer Dion Parson, and the percussionists and vocalists Mauricio Herrera and Lisette Santiago.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

BILL FRISELL (Feb.18-23)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $20, $35
“Each of the ensembles Frisell has in store for this six-day run promises something rewarding. The challenge is deciding which to pick. For the first two nights, this folk-inflected experimental guitar hero will play in a trio with two of his frequent collaborators, the bassist Thomas Morgan and the drummer Kenny Wollesen. On Feb. 20-21, he will be in duet with the expert trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, and from Feb. 22 to 23 he will present a quintet featuring Akinmusire, Wollesen, the saxophonist Greg Tardy and the bassist Tony Scherr.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Sam Sifton in Conversation With Padma Lakshmi: See You on Sunday
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $35
“New York Times food editor and columnist Sam Sifton can dazzle guests with chef-y cooking. But he’d rather not.

His preferred approach is to cook and eat great, no-fuss food with family and friends. “(People) show up. Feed them. It isn’t much more complicated than that,” he says. Sifton joins us to share low-stress, big-flavor recipes from his new book, See You on Sunday: A Cookbook for Family and Friends, all designed to make sharing meals with family and friends more achievable, more joyful, and more frequent. Don’t miss this deeply personal perspective from the man Epicurious calls the “ambassador of deliciousness,” as he talks about the great pleasure to be found in cooking simply for others, and the delight and connection that can be found over the simplest and most perfect of desserts: Mallomars with Champagne flutes of milk.”

The Brussels Effect: How the EU Rules the World
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway / 6:30PM, FREE
Featuring Anu Bradford, Chazen Senior Scholar, and Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization, Columbia Law School

What you’ll learn:
Why the EU is a regulatory superpower with the ability to elevate standards worldwide, ranging from antitrust to data privacy and from consumer safety to environmental protection
How the Brussels Effect compares with the Beijing Effect and China’s economic rise
Why Brexit will not liberate the UK from EU regulations

Doc Fortnight 2020 (thru Feb.19)
Widen your world at a documentary film festival
MoMA / various times, $12
“Hungry for more documentaries now that you’ve finished watching Cheer? MoMA’s annual Doc Fortnight festival will scratch that itch with a collection of eclectic nonfiction films from all over the world. This weekend, you can catch their shorts program, which showcases nine films that capture our uncanny times; Felix in Wonderland, a doc-slash-concert film about German musician Felix Kubin; Aswang, an exploration of the aftermath of Duterte’s reign in the Philippines; and more award-winning films.” (thrillist)

Continuing Events

The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope

Saturday, February 15, 2020 – Sunday, April 19, 2020

Experience Famed Designer Jeff Leatham’s Bold and Colorful Vision

“The dazzling floral creations of Jeff Leatham, famed artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris and floral designer to the stars, energize the 18th annual Orchid Show. Leatham’s bold and colorful vision unfolds through captivating installations and designs, transforming each gallery of the exhibition in the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into a different color experience and visual effect, like the turn of a kaleidoscope.

Thousands of orchids provide bursts of forms and colors—in purples, reds, oranges, and hot pink—revealed through overhead arches, vine-inspired ribbons, mirrored sculpture, dramatic lighting, and other artistic embellishments.”



2/18-19 Jon Batiste, Cafe Carlyle
2/19 Soul Asylum, Bowery Ballroom
2/19 Bat for Lashes, Town Hall

♦ 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 / Midtown West

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.

“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 (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.


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 Triad – 158 W72nd Street (btw Amsterdam/Columbus Ave.)

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher 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.”


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


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