NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/14) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“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: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

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

Bill Charlap Trio (Sept.11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./
“Melding spit-and-polish precision with low-simmering passion, this long-standing unit has evolved into the premier mainstream piano trio of its time. Charlap, who prizes interpretation above original composition, buffs up the ensemble’s songbook and jazz standards with an airborne momentum provided by two non-relative Washingtons: the bassist Peter and the drummer Kenny.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> American Roots: Mark O’Connor Band & Friends
>> 2001: A Space Odyssey: Live
>>JONATHAN FINLAYSON
>> JIMMY GREENE
>> Linda Eder
>>  Joey DeFrancesco 
>> Raquel Cion:
Continuing Events
>> mm
>> Oktoberfest NYC
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

American Roots: Mark O’Connor Band & Friends (Sept.14-15)
The Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall / 7PM, +9:30PM, $22+
“Fiddle virtuoso Mark O’Connor leads a rousing exploration of early American music and its relationship to jazz, highlighting connections between the blues, bluegrass, Cajun, gospel, folk, spirituals, western swing, contemporary jazz, and more. Winner of three Grammy Awards and seven Country Music Awards, O’Connor is the preeminent entertainer and scholar of this diverse but unified musical heritage.”

2001: A Space Odyssey: Live (Sept.14-15)
New York Philharmonic
Lincoln Center, David Geffen Hall / 8PM, $45+
“Experience this spectacle of sight and sound as the New York Philharmonic performs classical favorites ranging from Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and Johann Strauss II’s On the Beautiful Blue Danube to Ligeti’s Atmosphères alongside a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s landmark science-fiction classic.”

JONATHAN FINLAYSON
at Greater Calvary Baptist Church / 7PM, +8PM, $20
“Next month Mr. Finlayson will release “3 Times Round,” an album featuring a powerful new sextet, in which well-placed, almost pugilistic movements carry a Zen-like purpose. Half of the credit for that goes to Mr. Finlayson’s entangled, houndstooth compositions. The rest goes to his band, a top-flight crew of 30- and 40-something improvisers. For this performance, part of Craig Harris’s Harlem Jazz Boxx series, Mr. Finlayson plays with a smaller but promising band, featuring David Bryant on piano, John Hébert on bass and Tim Angulo on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

JIMMY GREENE (Sept. 14-16)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m., $40
“A leading tenor saxophonist in straight-ahead jazz, Mr. Greene plays his horn with the bountiful spirit of a Dexter Gordon, the clean energy of a Michael Brecker and sometimes the swagger of a Joshua Redman. He spends this weekend at Smoke with an all-star band: Renee Rosnes on piano, John Patitucci on bass, Rogerio Boccato on percussion and Jeff Watts on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Linda Eder (Sept.12-14)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $90+
“Linda Eder—the Star Search songstress turned Broadway and concert star—has never been known for the subtlety of her approach, which can be boiled down to two steps: (1) Stand, and (2) Sing. But gee whiz, the lady can really belt a number. Her current set includes selections from her latest solo album, If You See Me.” (TONY)

Joey DeFrancesco (Sept. 11-15)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“The organ trio has exerted a hold on the public imagination ever since Jimmy Smith roared out of Philadelphia, his feet pumping bass lines on the pedals, in 1956. DeFrancesco, another Philly keyboard whiz, joins up with the guitarist Mark Whitfield and the drummer Terri Lyne Carrington to uphold the tradition, while adding a few contemporary touches.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Raquel Cion: Me & Mr. Jones—My Intimate Relationship with David Bowie
Pangea / 9:30PM, $25
“Alt-cabaret siren Cion explores inner and outer spaces in a reprise her tribute to shape-shifting rock icon David Bowie.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More smart stuff coming soon.

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

Continuing Events

Photoville (Sept.13-16 and 20-23)
Brooklyn’s outdoor photo garden is back
Dumbo’s Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, 4-10 p.m. Thurs/Fri;
noon-10 p.m. Sat.; noon-9 p.m. Sun
“Whatever the weather, don’t let it keep you from the spectacular outdoor exhibit that is Photoville, the annual survey of photography where more than 600 artists cram entertaining and eye-opening images into 90 exhibitions and installations. In addition to browsing your way through the 65 shipping containers making their home in Brooklyn Bridge Park for two weekends, make time for panels, artist lectures, professional seminars, hands-on workshops — all free and open to everyone. There’s also a food and beer garden courtesy of Smorgasburg. “ (Metro)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! 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.

===========================================================
Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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 enjoyment and discovery.

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.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’  “After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish for NewYorkers)

‘OBSESSION: NUDES BY KLIMT, SCHIELE AND PICASSO’ Note this is at the Met Breuer (through Oct. 7). “The highlight of this uneven but jewel-studded show of erotically charged nudes from the bequest of an eccentric woolen goods heir is Egon Schiele’s incandescent “Seated Woman in Chemise.” The 1914 drawing shows a nearly naked model seated on the floor holding apart her folded legs with her hands. From the top of her egg-shaped, doll-like head, so idealized it’s practically inhuman, to the blunt exposure of her sex, rendered as simply and honestly as the medium allows, she’s an unresolvable contest of fantasy and reality” (Will Heinrich)
212-731-1675, metmuseum.org

‘HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION’  (through Oct. 8). “Let us pray. After last year’s stark exhibition of Rei Kawakubo’s irregular apparel, the Met Costume Institute is back in blockbuster mode with this three-part blowout on the influence of Catholicism on haute couture of the last century. The trinity of fashion begins downstairs at the Met with the exceptional loans of vestments from the Vatican; upstairs are gowns fit for angels in heaven (by Lanvin, Thierry Mugler, Rodarte) or angels fallen to earth (such as slinky Versace sheaths garlanded with crosses). The scenography at the Met is willfully operatic — spotlights, choir music — which militates against serious thinking about fashion and religion, but up at the Cloisters, by far the strongest third of the show, you can commune more peacefully with an immaculate Balenciaga wedding gown or a divine Valentino gown embroidered with Cranac’s Adam and Eve.” (Farago)

‘CROWNS OF THE VAJRA MASTERS: RITUAL ART OF NEPAL’ (through Dec. 16). “Up a narrow staircase, above the Met’s galleries of South and Southeast Asian art, are three small rooms of art from the Himalayas. The space, a bit like a treehouse, is a capsule of spiritual energy, which is especially potent these days thanks to this exhibition. The crowns of the title look like antique versions of astronaut headgear: gilded copper helmets, studded with gems, encrusted with repoussé plaques and topped by five-pronged antennas — the vajra, or thunderbolt of wisdom. Such crowns were believed to turn their wearers into perfected beings who are willing and able to bestow blessings on the world. This show is the first to focus on these crowns, and it does so with a wealth of compressed historical information, as well as several resplendent related sculptures and paintings from Nepal and Tibet. But it’s the crowns themselves, the real ones, the wisdom generators, set in mandala formation in the center of the gallery, that are the fascinators.” (Holland Cotter)

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW) for NewYorkers

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 09/10 and 09/12.
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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/13) + 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: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

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

Joey DeFrancesco (Sept. 11-15)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“The organ trio has exerted a hold on the public imagination ever since Jimmy Smith roared out of Philadelphia, his feet pumping bass lines on the pedals, in 1956. DeFrancesco, another Philly keyboard whiz, joins up with the guitarist Mark Whitfield and the drummer Terri Lyne Carrington to uphold the tradition, while adding a few contemporary touches.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Doctor Nativo 
>> DONALD HARRISON, RON CARTER AND BILLY COBHAM
>> Linda Eder
>> MATT MITCHELL
>> Justin Vivian Bond: A Star is Borned
>>  There Will Be Blood: Live
>> Art Deco New York: The Architects Speak
Continuing Events
>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Doctor Nativo 
Guatemalan Hip-Hop Meets Traditional Mayan Music
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“A founding member of the first Mayan rap group, Balam Ajpu, Doctor Nativo’s solo work explores themes of Mayan spirituality, social justice, and folk wisdom. He brings his thrilling musical blend of reggae, cumbia, hip-hop, and Mayan traditional music to Lincoln Center for a free show celebrating Guatemalan Independence Day and the release of his debut solo album, Guatemaya.”

DONALD HARRISON, RON CARTER AND BILLY COBHAM (Sept. 11-16)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m., $30-$45
“These three jazz luminaries have performed together off and on since 2004, mostly focusing on standards and goading one another into a wide-open exchange. Mr. Harrison, an alto saxophonist from New Orleans, has long retrofitted various musical lineages from his hometown into his post-bop style, which is often also spiced with a quiet-storm-radio flavor. Mr. Carter, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, is probably jazz’s pre-eminent living bassist, having lent his powerful but elastic sound to more than 2,000 sessions. Mr. Cobham, best known as a jazz-rock drummer, exudes a restless command in almost any mode.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Linda Eder (Sept.12-14)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $90+
“Linda Eder—the Star Search songstress turned Broadway and concert star—has never been known for the subtlety of her approach, which can be boiled down to two steps: (1) Stand, and (2) Sing. But gee whiz, the lady can really belt a number. Her current set includes selections from her latest solo album, If You See Me.” (TONY)

MATT MITCHELL (Sept.11-15)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m., $20
Mr. Mitchell, a pianist, can create the illusion of complexity with just a few notes, or cause you to give up tracking his movements with a spill of square-peg harmonies. He’s one of today’s most impressive, and often daunting, performers on any instrument. If you can’t hang with heavy metal, but maybe you’d like to, let him be your gateway drug. Mr. Mitchell begins a five-night Stone residency on Tuesday with a nine-piece band, Hyperunderstanding. The groups for the rest of the week are slightly more modest: a trio on Wednesday, sextets on Thursday and Sept. 15, and a quartet — one to catch, with Chris Speed on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Chris Tordini on bass and Dan Weiss on drums — on Sept. 14.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Justin Vivian Bond: A Star is Borned (Sept.12-16)
Joe’s Pub / 9:30PM, $35
“Justin Vivian Bond, the immortal angel of downtown cabaret, returns to Joe’s Pub for another salty night of songs and off-the-cuff stories, this time toasting the upcoming remake of A Star is Born. The epic Mx. Viv and their accompanying band celebrate the songs of Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga and Judy Garland, weaving in reflections of their own childhood dreams of stardom along the way. Not to be missed.” (TONY)

There Will Be Blood: Live (Sept.12-13)
New York Philharmonic
Lincoln Center, David Geffen Hall / 7:30PM, $30+
“The Philharmonic performs Jonny Greenwood’s riveting film score as the powerful, Oscar-nominated film starring Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis is projected above the Orchestra on a giant screen.”

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Art Deco New York: The Architects Speak
Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St./ 6:30PM, $30
“Kick off the fall season with ADSNY as we hear about some of New York’s most acclaimed Art Deco architecture straight from the architects that designed them! In this unique event, at the Center for Jewish History, architectural historian and ADSNY Vice-President Anthony W. Robins will explore the work of three of the architects who helped transform the face of New York City in the 1920s and 30s with the colorful and geometric designs we now call Art Deco––and let us hear the architects describe their buildings in their own words.”

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

Continuing Events

Photoville (Sept.13-16 and 20-23)
Brooklyn’s outdoor photo garden is back
Dumbo’s Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, 4-10 p.m. Thurs/Fri;
noon-10 p.m. Sat.; noon-9 p.m. Sun
“Whatever the weather, don’t let it keep you from the spectacular outdoor exhibit that is Photoville, the annual survey of photography where more than 600 artists cram entertaining and eye-opening images into 90 exhibitions and installations. In addition to browsing your way through the 65 shipping containers making their home in Brooklyn Bridge Park for two weekends, make time for panels, artist lectures, professional seminars, hands-on workshops — all free and open to everyone. There’s also a food and beer garden courtesy of Smorgasburg. “ (Metro)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! 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.

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

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Hit the Hot Link and 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. (btw 6/7), thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Sony Hall – 235 W 46th St. (btw 7/8), sonyhall.com, 212-997-5123
and one more, not exactly WestSide:
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

Special Mention:
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.

See Below.
———————————————————————————————————-

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
=================================================================================

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,  JUNE 23 WAS THE FINAL NIGHT. VERY SAD.
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.”

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11AM-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.
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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 FALL 2018).
◊ Order before NOV.30, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/12) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

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

VAN MORRISON AND WILLIE NELSON AND FAMILY
at Forest Hills Stadium / 6:30 p.m., $85+
“The Northern Irish singer-songwriter just turned 73; the Texas country icon is 85. Yet both remain unfazed by the prospect of touring and performing to promote new albums: Van Morrison released a jazzy collaboration with the organist and trumpet player Joey DeFrancesco earlier this year; Mr. Nelson will put out a collection of Frank Sinatra covers next week. Their joint show is a chance to see two of the 20th century’s most memorable interpreters of song in one place, as well as the closest New Yorkers can get to experiencing Mr. Nelson’s massive Outlaw tour without leaving the five boroughs.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Sure, this show is not on Manhattan’s WestSide, but it’s an easy 15 minutes from Penn Station on the LIRR. Either one of these guys alone would be a very fine show, but together this is just awesome.

=========================================================
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Linda Eder
>> Justin Vivian Bond: A Star is Borned
>> There Will Be Blood: Live
>> MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET
>> Bill Charlap Trio
>>  Maggie Jackson, Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention
>> Quirky: Melissa A. Schilling with Justin Fox
Continuing Events
>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Linda Eder (Sept.12-14)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $90+
“Linda Eder—the Star Search songstress turned Broadway and concert star—has never been known for the subtlety of her approach, which can be boiled down to two steps: (1) Stand, and (2) Sing. But gee whiz, the lady can really belt a number. Her current set includes selections from her latest solo album, If You See Me.” (TONY)

Justin Vivian Bond: A Star is Borned (Sept.12-16)
Joe’s Pub / 9:30PM, $35
“Justin Vivian Bond, the immortal angel of downtown cabaret, returns to Joe’s Pub for another salty night of songs and off-the-cuff stories, this time toasting the upcoming remake of A Star is Born. The epic Mx. Viv and their accompanying band celebrate the songs of Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga and Judy Garland, weaving in reflections of their own childhood dreams of stardom along the way. Not to be missed.” (TONY)

There Will Be Blood: Live (Sept.12-13)
New York Philharmonic
Lincoln Center, David Geffen Hall / 7:30PM, $30+
“The Philharmonic performs Jonny Greenwood’s riveting film score as the powerful, Oscar-nominated film starring Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis is projected above the Orchestra on a giant screen.”

Bill Charlap Trio (Sept.11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30Pm, +10:30PM, $35
“Melding spit-and-polish precision with low-simmering passion, this long-standing unit has evolved into the premier mainstream piano trio of its time. Charlap, who prizes interpretation above original composition, buffs up the ensemble’s songbook and jazz standards with an airborne momentum provided by two non-relative Washingtons: the bassist Peter and the drummer Kenny.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET (Sept. 11-12)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $30
“Mr. Hill, a trumpeter and Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition winner, started the Blacktet when he lived in Chicago, intent on uniting generations of musical thought in a way that was particular to his hometown, but broadly appealing. The group’s most obvious M.O. is to bring elements of hip-hop into a thrashing and throbbing contemporary jazz sound, but there’s more to it than that. Having recently moved to New York, Mr. Hill continues the Blacktet now with an altered group of musicians. At Jazz Standard, that band — Josh Johnson on alto saxophone, Joel Ross on vibraphone, Junius Paul on bass and Jonathan Pinson on drums — is likely to perform selections from the forthcoming album “Modern Flows Vol. 2.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Maggie Jackson, Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention
The New York Society Library, 53 E. 79th St./ 6:30PM, $15
“Author Maggie Jackson talks about her science-based approach to our current deficit of presence, looking at “the fragmentation of attention that is eroding our abilities to problem-solve, innovate, and care for one another.” She appears in support of the new edition of her book Distracted: Reclaiming Our Focus in a World of Lost Attention, which has drawn comparisons to Silent Spring.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Quirky: Melissa A. Schilling with Justin Fox
Mid-Manhattan Library, 476 Fifth Ave. (42nd St. Entrance) / 6:30PM, FREE, may need to use standby line
The quirky characteristics of eight great innovators and what we can learn from them.
“The intellectual strides of disruptors like Einstein, Tesla, Edison, Marie Curie, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs are well known. Less often considered is the “personal, social, and emotional quirkiness” that also informed their genius and contributed to their success. Management and organization expert Melissa A. Schilling illuminates these aspects in Quirky: The Remarkable Story of the Traits, Foibles, and Genius of Breakthrough Innovators Who Changed the World.”

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

Continuing Events

FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (LAST DAY)

“Tooting its own horn for the sixteenth year, this enduring paean to the trumpet spreads out over more than six venues, in an omnivorous overview of contemporary brass music. Hard-blowing stylists including Ingrid Jensen, Jeremy Pelt, and Rachel Therrien are featured, along with an evening of music by the late, neglected composer Julius Eastman, whose politically informed works have taken on unexpected new life in the past few years.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! 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.

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

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th 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.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TONY)

‘BODYS ISEK KINGELEZ: CITY DREAMS’ (through Jan. 1). “The first comprehensive survey of the Congolese artist is a euphoric exhibition as utopian wonderland featuring his fantasy architectural models and cities — works strong in color, eccentric in shape, loaded with enthralling details and futuristic aura. Mr. Kingelez (1948-2015) was convinced that the world had never seen a vision like his, and this beautifully designed show bears him out.” (NYT-Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘THE LONG RUN’ (through Nov. 4). “The museum upends its cherished Modern narrative of ceaseless progress by mostly young (white) men. Instead we see works by artists 45 and older who have just kept on keeping on, regardless of attention or reward, sometimes saving the best for last. Art here is an older person’s game, a pursuit of a deepening personal vision over innovation. Winding through 17 galleries, the installation is alternatively visually or thematically acute and altogether inspiring.” (NYT-Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

Rubin Museum of Art

Chitra Ganesh: The Scorpion Gesture (Through Jan. 7)
“The Brooklyn artist’s new animations ingeniously combine her own drawings and watercolors with historical imagery, peppering the journeys of bodhisattvas with contemporary pop-culture references. Five of these pieces are installed on the museum’s second and third floors amid its collection of Himalayan art, elements of which appear in her psychedelic sequences of spinning mandalas and falling lotus flowers. (Ganesh’s works are activated, as if by magic, when viewers approach.) In “Rainbow Body,” a cave, which also appears in a nearby painting of Mandarava, is filled with people in 3-D glasses, watching as the guru-deity attains enlightenment. “Silhouette in the Graveyard” is projected behind a glass case containing a small sculpture of Maitreya, from late-eighteenth-century Mongolia, for a cleverly dioramalike effect. Prophesied to arrive during an apocalyptic crisis, the bodhisattva is seen here against Ganesh’s montage, which includes footage of global catastrophes and political protests, from the Women’s March to Black Lives Matter.” (

New-York Historical Society 

Summer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection. (thru Sept.16)

SPECIAL MENTION (not Manhattan’s WestSide, but let’s show some love to da Bronx)
at the New York (Bronx) Botanical Garden:

‘GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: VISIONS OF HAWAI‘I’ (through Oct. 28). “Finding out Georgia O’Keeffe had a Hawaiian period is kind of like finding out Brian Wilson had a desert period. But here it is: 17 eye-popping paradisal paintings, produced in a nine-week visit in 1939. The paintings, and their almost psychedelic palette, are as fleshlike and physical as O’Keeffe’s New Mexican work is stripped and metaphysical. The other star of the show, fittingly, is Hawaii, and the garden has mounted a living display of the subjects depicted in the artwork. As much as they might look like the products of an artist’s imagination, the plants and flowers in the Enid Haupt Conservatory are boastfully real. On Aloha Nights every Saturday in June and every other Saturday in July and August, the garden is staging a cultural complement of activities, including lei making, hula lessons and ukulele performances.” (NYT – William L. Hamilton)
718-817-8700, nybg.org / easy 20 minute ride from Grand Central on Metro North.

==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 09/10 and 08/21.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/11) + 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: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

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

Bill Charlap Trio (Sept.11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30Pm, +10:30PM, $35
“Melding spit-and-polish precision with low-simmering passion, this long-standing unit has evolved into the premier mainstream piano trio of its time. Charlap, who prizes interpretation above original composition, buffs up the ensemble’s songbook and jazz standards with an airborne momentum provided by two non-relative Washingtons: the bassist Peter and the drummer Kenny.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================
6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ‘9/11 TABLE OF SILENCE PROJECT’
>> Joey DeFrancesco
>> Me The People
>> MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET
>> FIAF Fall Open House
>>  Transformed Overnight: The Impact of 9/11
Continuing Events
>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

‘9/11 TABLE OF SILENCE PROJECT’
at Lincoln Center Plaza / 8:15-8:46 a.m.
“The choreographer Jacqulyn Buglisi revives her peaceful tribute to the events of Sept. 11, in which more than 100 dancers dressed in white perform a ritual around the fountain at Lincoln Center. Inspired by the visual artist Rossella Vasta’s installation of 100 ceramic plates arranged on a table to symbolize a united humanity, the work, as Ms. Buglisi sees it, is a moving meditation. At precisely 8:46 a.m. — when American Airlines Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center — the dancers reach to the sky for one minute. Spectators are invited to join in.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
watch the live stream here

Joey DeFrancesco (Sept. 11-15)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“The organ trio has exerted a hold on the public imagination ever since Jimmy Smith roared out of Philadelphia, his feet pumping bass lines on the pedals, in 1956. DeFrancesco, another Philly keyboard whiz, joins up with the guitarist Mark Whitfield and the drummer Terri Lyne Carrington to uphold the tradition, while adding a few contemporary touches.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Me The People
Laurie Beechman Theatre / 7:30PM, $35+
“Following a smash run Off Broadway in 2017, Me The People returns to New York with the world premiere of the Fire and Fury Edition featuring new songs inspired by the latest madness from our fearless leader and his merry band of spineless enablers. Book and lyrics by Nancy Holson (Emmy Award winner for The News in Revue, Bush Wars). Starring members of the original Off Broadway cast lauded by the NY Times as “fine singers and fizzy delights” (TONY)

MARQUIS HILL BLACKTET (Sept. 11-12)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $30
“Mr. Hill, a trumpeter and Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition winner, started the Blacktet when he lived in Chicago, intent on uniting generations of musical thought in a way that was particular to his hometown, but broadly appealing. The group’s most obvious M.O. is to bring elements of hip-hop into a thrashing and throbbing contemporary jazz sound, but there’s more to it than that. Having recently moved to New York, Mr. Hill continues the Blacktet now with an altered group of musicians. At Jazz Standard, that band — Josh Johnson on alto saxophone, Joel Ross on vibraphone, Junius Paul on bass and Jonathan Pinson on drums — is likely to perform selections from the forthcoming album “Modern Flows Vol. 2.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

FIAF Fall Open House
Sample FIAF’s Membership Perks
French Institute Alliance Française / 6PM, FREE
“Enjoy a free French film, attend a wine and cheese tasting, get discounts on fall events, save on French classes and FIAF Memberships, and win prizes!”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Transformed Overnight: The Impact of 9/11
Brooklyn Historical Society / 7PM, FREE
“Seventeen years after the 9/11 attacks, we reflect on how NYC and the world have changed through the eyes of three cultural creators: Tina Chang, Brooklyn’s first Poet Laureate who wrote movingly about the attacks; Clifford Chanin, 9/11 Memorial & Museum EVP & Deputy Director of Museum Programs, who contributed to the complex process of developing the Museum’s narrative; and Pat Kiernan, a journalist whose work reporting New York news spans both pre- and post-9/11.”

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

Continuing Events

FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (Sept. 5-12)

“Tooting its own horn for the sixteenth year, this enduring paean to the trumpet spreads out over more than six venues, in an omnivorous overview of contemporary brass music. Hard-blowing stylists including Ingrid Jensen, Jeremy Pelt, and Rachel Therrien are featured, along with an evening of music by the late, neglected composer Julius Eastman, whose politically informed works have taken on unexpected new life in the past few years.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! 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.

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

Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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 enjoyment and discovery.

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.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

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).
=====================================================
Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
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.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

==============================================================================
“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.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/10) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

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

An evening of Thelonious Monk listening and discussion
featuring two of today’s most visionary and original jazz voices, Helen Sung and Jason Moran.
NYPL for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza / 6PM, FREE, reservation required
“Before Robert Moses and John D. Rockefeller ever broke ground on Lincoln Center, one of the twentieth century’s most important composers was already walking, humming to himself, on the sidewalks of the Upper West Side. Thelonious Monk, the composer of “‘Round Midnight”, “Blue Monk”, and “Straight, No Chaser”, lived in an apartment near the corner of Amsterdam and 64th street. Join for a Monk Centennial celebration, in the neighborhood that he called home.”

=========================================================
6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Muldoon’s Picnic
>> WAXAHATCHEE
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Neorealism and Photography: The New Image in Italy
>> Atticus: The Dark Between Stars
>>  Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
Continuing Events
>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Muldoon’s Picnic
Irish Arts Center, 553 W. 51st St./ 7:30PM, $45 (only  a few seats left!)
Hosted by Paul Muldoon
With house band Rogue Oliphant
“The critically-acclaimed feast of music, storytelling, poetry, and more—now in its eighth season—has become a staple of New York’s cultural diet. Led by Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, this words-and-music jamboree features an evolving lineup of world-class special guests from across the spectrum of arts and letters.”

WAXAHATCHEE
at Le Poisson Rouge / 8 p.m., $25
“With the four studio albums that the singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield has released as Waxahatchee, she has worked with appealingly messy grunge and stripped-down folk as her two aesthetic extremes — for the most part, the results land somewhere in between. Ms. Crutchfield’s plain-spoken songwriting and clear, sweet voice tie her work together, whether or not distortion pedals are in use. She will perform on her own at the Bell House and Le Poisson Rouge in support of her just-released, mostly acoustic EP “Great Thunder”; garage rockers Night Shop and the singer-songwriter Anna St. Louis open.”
(NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 9:30PM, $30
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Neorealism and Photography: The New Image in Italy
NYU, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, 24 West 12th St./ 6PM, FREE; RSVP required
“While the term “neorealism” is primarily associated with cinema and literature, photography was also involved in the wider turn toward social and humanist themes in Italy in the 1940s and ’50s. Photography documented the war’s impact and the conditions of ordinary Italians in the postwar years—and made these visible through touring exhibitions, illustrated magazines, and photobooks.

Speakers will examine the new types of photographic images that emerged in those years, consider the relations between photography and cinema, and assess the validity of the concept of neorealism in photography.”

Atticus: The Dark Between Stars
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $
“Atticus has captured the hearts and minds of nearly 700k followers (including stars like Karlie Kloss, Emma Roberts, and Alicia Keys). In his second collection of poetry, The Dark Between Stars, he turns his attention to the dualities of our lived experiences—the inescapable connections between our highest highs and lowest lows. He captures the infectious energy of starting a relationship, the tumultuous realities of commitment, and the agonizing nostalgia of being alone again. While grappling with the question of how to live with purpose and find meaning in the journey, these poems offer both honest explorations of loneliness and our search for connection, as well as light-hearted, humorous observations.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Anand Giridharadas presents Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
St. Joseph’s College, 245 Clinton Ave. Bklyn./ 7:30PM, FREE with RSVP
“Author Anand Giridharadas speaks with HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen about his new book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. In it, Giridharadas questions why we should favor the unelected few over democratic institutions, and points out how elite efforts to “change the world” only serve the status quo.”

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

Continuing Events

FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (Sept. 5-12)
“Kick off the first night of the 16th annual Festival of New Trumpet Music at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. This year’s festival will feature more than 80 musicians performing across sixteen concerts in five different locations.”

“The trumpeter (and, at this festival, organizer) Dave Douglas has assembled a stylistically ambitious lineup for this year’s Festival of New Trumpet Music, welcoming some of the best-known trumpeters in improvised music as well as fresher faces. Things begin on Wednesday and Thursday with consecutive shows at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola featuring the rising trumpeters Linda Briceño, Michael Rodriguez and Rachel Therrien. That weekend, Sept. 7-9, a smorgasbord of top talent is at the New School, including Jeremy Pelt, Jaimie Branch and Tom Harrell, the recipient of the festival’s 2018 Award of Recognition. On Sept. 10, the Jazz Gallery hosts a double bill, with three rising trumpeters — David Adewumi, Adam O’Farrill and Davy Lazar — in one band, followed by Nabaté Isles’s group.( NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

“Tooting its own horn for the sixteenth year, this enduring paean to the trumpet spreads out over more than six venues, in an omnivorous overview of contemporary brass music. Hard-blowing stylists including Ingrid Jensen, Jeremy Pelt, and Rachel Therrien are featured, along with an evening of music by the late, neglected composer Julius Eastman, whose politically informed works have taken on unexpected new life in the past few years.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! 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.

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

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.com,

Special Mention:
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.
===========================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here are two exhibitions the New Yorker likes:

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

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try this NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 08/21 and 08/25.

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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/09) + US Tennis Open (Day 14)

“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: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

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

GEORGE CABLES TRIO
at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $35
“The pianist Mr. Cables, 73, upholds a history of 20th-century piano playing that includes Walter Davis Jr.’s sturdy soul-jazz, the understated erudition of Mulgrew Miller and Herbie Hancock’s kaleidoscopic harmonies. He established himself on the New York scene in the early 1970s, playing with Art Blakey, Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson, among others. These days he’s often heard in the Cookers, a hard-bop supergroup, or his own trio. That band, which has recorded some gently arresting recent albums for the High Note label and features Essiet Okon Essiet on bass and Victor Lewis on drums, will appear at Dizzy’s.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

=========================================================
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Music of Fats Waller
>> Bill Charlap Trio
>> RUTHIE FOSTER
>> Christian McBride
>>  See/Saw
>> NYC World Ramen Contest
>> Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Continuing Events
>> Today’s Top Event –  U.S. TENNIS OPEN

>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

54 Sings Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Music of Fats Waller
54 Below / 7PM, +9:30PM, $35+
“The 54 Sings series chews the Fats Waller with a reunion salute to the Tony-winning 1978 revue of Waller’s exuberant catalog, including “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue” and “The Joint Is Jumping.” On the lineup are original cast members Andre DeShields, Ken Page and Charlayne Woodard, along with Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Zurin Villanueva, Cynthia Thomas and American Idol alum Frenchie Davis, guided by the show’s original director, Richard Maltby Jr.” (TONY)

Bill Charlap Trio (Sept. 4-9; Sept. 11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30Pm, +10:30PM, $35
“Melding spit-and-polish precision with low-simmering passion, this long-standing unit has evolved into the premier mainstream piano trio of its time. Charlap, who prizes interpretation above original composition, buffs up the ensemble’s songbook and jazz standards with an airborne momentum provided by two non-relative Washingtons: the bassist Peter and the drummer Kenny.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

RUTHIE FOSTER
at City Winery / 8 p.m., $
“Thanks to her rich, earthy voice and the fact that she’s rarely seen without an acoustic guitar in hand, Ms. Foster is often presented as a blues singer. She is, but over her 21-year career Ms. Foster has mixed enough country, R&B and gospel into her sound to prove that this label was always wholly inadequate. On her most recent album, “Joy Comes Back,” she places covers from artists as diverse as Black Sabbath, Chris Stapleton and the Four Tops alongside lesser-known cuts like the rousing “Working Woman” and draws out the common threads that bind the seemingly disparate songs together.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Christian McBride (Sept. 4-9)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $20-$35
“In the past decade, McBride has adapted his outsized talents on the bass and his capacious abilities as a bandleader to the shape and the sound of a wide variety of ensembles; he’s equally comfortable powering a piano trio and a barking big band. His New Jawn quartet consists of two horns—the saxophonist Marcus Strickland and the trumpeter Josh Evans—and the snapping rhythm team of McBride and the drummer Nasheet Waits.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but this looks unique and worth the detour:
See/Saw (LAST WEEKEND)
An Immersion into a Magician’s Mind.
122 Franklin St., Bklyn / 7PM, +9:30PM, $74 (complimentary prosecco)
“Ever wanted to get into L.A.’s exclusive Magic Castle? Now there’s no need, because for the price of admission through Sunday you can see magician Siegfried Tieber from the Castle this weekend in Greenpoint. In his show See/Saw, presented by Atlas Obscura, the illusionist and close-up card manipulator (who stumped Penn & Teller on their show “Fool Us”) will baffle. And that’s all we’ll say for now.” (grubstreet)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

NYC World Ramen Contest
An intercontinental ramen showdown
Third Ave. btw 75th & 76th St.,/ 10AM-6PM, entry is free, ramen is $10 per bowl.
“Four of our local ramen shops face off against four direct from Japan at this weekend’s NYC World Ramen Contest for a two-day battle for noodle supremacy where you pick the winner. Just a few of the varieties include lobster ramen, wagyu brisket ramen and duck truffle ramen. The event is part of Japan Fes., a street fair with vendors and performances, a biannual affair where you’re sure to eat, hear and see something new.” (Metro)

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit (Sept.08-09)
University Place at East 13th Street to the east side of Washington Square Park at West Third Street./ 12-6PM, FREE
This city tradition feels fresh every fall when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. The Fall Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit will feature fine arts, mixed media, jewelry, ceramics and more.

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

Continuing Events

Today’s Top Event

U.S. TENNIS OPEN (Day 14 – LAST DAY)

The U.S. Open begins play today at 1PM at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens (about 45 min. from Times Square). This tournament, which serves up the world’s best tennis players right in our backyard, is the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year.
subway: @ Times Square take #7 to Willets Point.

The most comprehensive review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes/Sports. 
OR for another useful guide to the U.S. Open, try TimeOutNewYork’s guide.

Today is the last day of what has been a wonderful 2 weeks of tennis. Or it was until that dumb ass umpire ruined the Women’s Final yesterday. Congrats to Naomi Osaka.

Today is the Women’s Doubles Final and the Men’s Singles Final at Arthur Ashe Stadium:

1:00 PM ET
Australia(13) Ashleigh Barty
USA Coco Vandeweghe
Hungary(2) Timea Babos
France Kristina Mladenovic

4:00 PM ET
Argentina(3) Juan Martin del Potro
Serbia(6) Novak Djokovic

The betting favorite is the Joker, but most of us are rooting for Delpo, who has fought his way back to contention after 3 wrist surgeries, and 9 years after winning the U.S.Open.
—————————————————————————————————-
If you always wondered how much money is at stake in this tournament, here are the numbers: (the total purse for the 2018 US Open is $53 million.)

In the men’s and women’s singles tournaments this year, players will earn $54,000 for playing in the main draw. Reaching the final is worth $1.85M, and the winner gets $3.8M, which means that final match is worth $2M for winning. Don’t make any unforced errors!

The payout is a bit higher than in 1968, the start of tennis’ professional era. The first US Open awarded a total of $100,000 in prize money. Only 6 percent of that, $6,000, went to the women’s champion, Virginia Wade. The men’s champion was slated to earn $14,000 but, because of his amateur status, Arthur Ashe brought home just a $20 per diem.

BTW, both the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will earn $700,000, the highest in US Open history.

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

FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (Sept. 5-12)
“Kick off the first night of the 16th annual Festival of New Trumpet Music at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. This year’s festival will feature more than 80 musicians performing across sixteen concerts in five different locations.”

“The trumpeter (and, at this festival, organizer) Dave Douglas has assembled a stylistically ambitious lineup for this year’s Festival of New Trumpet Music, welcoming some of the best-known trumpeters in improvised music as well as fresher faces. Things begin on Wednesday and Thursday with consecutive shows at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola featuring the rising trumpeters Linda Briceño, Michael Rodriguez and Rachel Therrien. That weekend, Sept. 7-9, a smorgasbord of top talent is at the New School, including Jeremy Pelt, Jaimie Branch and Tom Harrell, the recipient of the festival’s 2018 Award of Recognition. On Sept. 10, the Jazz Gallery hosts a double bill, with three rising trumpeters — David Adewumi, Adam O’Farrill and Davy Lazar — in one band, followed by Nabaté Isles’s group.( NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

“Tooting its own horn for the sixteenth year, this enduring paean to the trumpet spreads out over more than six venues, in an omnivorous overview of contemporary brass music. Hard-blowing stylists including Ingrid Jensen, Jeremy Pelt, and Rachel Therrien are featured, along with an evening of music by the late, neglected composer Julius Eastman, whose politically informed works have taken on unexpected new life in the past few years.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! 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.

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

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

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th 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.

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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/08) + US Tennis Open (Day 13)

“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: NYC Events-September”
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.

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

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

NYC World Ramen Contest
An intercontinental ramen showdown
Bleecker St.,btw Christopher/10th St./ 10AM-6PM, entry is free, ramen is $10 per bowl.
“Four of our local ramen shops face off against four direct from Japan at this weekend’s NYC World Ramen Contest for a two-day battle for noodle supremacy where you pick the winner. Just a few of the varieties include lobster ramen, wagyu brisket ramen and duck truffle ramen. The event is part of Japan Fes., a street fair with vendors and performances, a biannual affair where you’re sure to eat, hear and see something new.” (Metro)

=========================================================
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Bill Charlap Trio
>> THE COOKERS
>> Christian McBride
>>  See/Saw
>> OctFest
>> Pig Island 2018
>> Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
Continuing Events
>> Today’s Top Event –  U.S. TENNIS OPEN

>> FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC
>> Oktoberfest NYC
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Bill Charlap Trio (Sept. 4-9; Sept. 11-16)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30Pm, +10:30PM, $35
“Melding spit-and-polish precision with low-simmering passion, this long-standing unit has evolved into the premier mainstream piano trio of its time. Charlap, who prizes interpretation above original composition, buffs up the ensemble’s songbook and jazz standards with an airborne momentum provided by two non-relative Washingtons: the bassist Peter and the drummer Kenny.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

THE COOKERS (Sept. 4-8)
at Birdland / 8:30 and 11 p.m., $30-$40
“The Cookers are a true all-star squad of hard-bop notables from across the past few decades. But the group’s music — mostly original compositions from its members — pushes ever onward. The band includes Eddie Henderson and David Weiss on trumpet, Billy Harper on tenor saxophone, Donald Harrison on alto saxophone, George Cables on piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Billy Hart on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Christian McBride (Sept. 4-9)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $20-$35
“In the past decade, McBride has adapted his outsized talents on the bass and his capacious abilities as a bandleader to the shape and the sound of a wide variety of ensembles; he’s equally comfortable powering a piano trio and a barking big band. His New Jawn quartet consists of two horns—the saxophonist Marcus Strickland and the trumpeter Josh Evans—and the snapping rhythm team of McBride and the drummer Nasheet Waits.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but this looks unique and worth the detour:
See/Saw (LAST WEEKEND)
An Immersion into a Magician’s Mind.
122 Franklin St., Bklyn / 7PM, +9:30PM, $74 (complimentary prosecco)
“Ever wanted to get into L.A.’s exclusive Magic Castle? Now there’s no need, because for the price of admission through Sunday you can see magician Siegfried Tieber from the Castle this weekend in Greenpoint. In his show See/Saw, presented by Atlas Obscura, the illusionist and close-up card manipulator (who stumped Penn & Teller on their show “Fool Us”) will baffle. And that’s all we’ll say for now.” (grubstreet)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

OctFest (Sept.08-09)
Pair a cold one with some tunes.
Governor’s Island, Parade Ground / 2PM-10PM, $75+
“Summer hasn’t quit and neither should you. This Saturday and Sunday is OctFest, two days of craft beer and cool bands on Governors Island, presented by Pitchfork and their beer magazine, October. Brew samples are included with your ticket, which will pair well with an above-average food lineup including Island Oyster, Mission Chinese Food, and Colonia Verde. And oh hey, and there’s music too, including Vince Staples, the Flaming Lips, Yo La Tengo, Jeff Tweedy, and Nile Rodgers.” (grubstreet)
This may be a tough ticket and you may need to go on the secondary market. If so, mark your calendar for next year.

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:
Pig Island 2018
Erie Basin Park (Near IKEA) / 11:30AM-4PM, $85
“How many piggies can you eat? Find out this Saturday when the 9th annual Pig Island goes down by the Red Hook waterfront. Choose from dishes by more than 20 purveyors including Arrogant Swine, Fletcher’s, Kimchi Smoke, and the Kingsley, plus beer, cider, spirits and live music by Dusty Wright & the Bush Hogs. An all-inclusive ticket is $85, and now that you won’t have to wear a swimsuit for much longer, you can go crazy.” (grubstreet)

Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit (Sept. 8-9)
University Place at East 13th Street to the east side of Washington Square Park at West Third Street./ 12-6PM, FREE
This city tradition feels fresh every fall when artists following in the footsteps of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning set up shop in the park. The Fall Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit will feature fine arts, mixed media, jewelry, ceramics and more.

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

Continuing Events

Today’s Top Event

U.S. TENNIS OPEN (Day 13)

The U.S. Open begins play today at 12PM at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens (about 45 min. from Times Square). This tournament, which serves up the world’s best tennis players right in our backyard, is the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. subway: @ Times Square take #7 to Willets Point.

The most comprehensive review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes/Sports. OR for another useful guide to the U.S. Open, try TimeOutNewYork’s guide.

Today is the WOMEN’S Final at Arthur Ashe Stadium:

4:00 PM ET
USA(17) Serena Williams
Japan(20) Naomi Osaka

No one gives Osaka a chance, but I do. Serena better be on her game.
—————————————————————————————————-
If you always wondered how much money is at stake in this tournament, here are the numbers: (the total purse for the 2018 US Open is $53 million.)

In the men’s and women’s singles tournaments this year, players will earn $54,000 for playing in the main draw. Reaching the final is worth $1.85M, and the winner gets $3.8M, which means that final match is worth $2M for winning. Don’t make any unforced errors!

The payout is a bit higher than in 1968, the start of tennis’ professional era. The first US Open awarded a total of $100,000 in prize money. Only 6 percent of that, $6,000, went to the women’s champion, Virginia Wade. The men’s champion was slated to earn $14,000 but, because of his amateur status, Arthur Ashe brought home just a $20 per diem.

BTW, both the men’s and women’s doubles champion teams will earn $700,000, the highest in US Open history.

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

FESTIVAL OF NEW TRUMPET MUSIC (Sept. 5-12)
“Kick off the first night of the 16th annual Festival of New Trumpet Music at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. This year’s festival will feature more than 80 musicians performing across sixteen concerts in five different locations.”

“The trumpeter (and, at this festival, organizer) Dave Douglas has assembled a stylistically ambitious lineup for this year’s Festival of New Trumpet Music, welcoming some of the best-known trumpeters in improvised music as well as fresher faces. Things begin on Wednesday and Thursday with consecutive shows at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola featuring the rising trumpeters Linda Briceño, Michael Rodriguez and Rachel Therrien. That weekend, Sept. 7-9, a smorgasbord of top talent is at the New School, including Jeremy Pelt, Jaimie Branch and Tom Harrell, the recipient of the festival’s 2018 Award of Recognition. On Sept. 10, the Jazz Gallery hosts a double bill, with three rising trumpeters — David Adewumi, Adam O’Farrill and Davy Lazar — in one band, followed by Nabaté Isles’s group.( NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

“Tooting its own horn for the sixteenth year, this enduring paean to the trumpet spreads out over more than six venues, in an omnivorous overview of contemporary brass music. Hard-blowing stylists including Ingrid Jensen, Jeremy Pelt, and Rachel Therrien are featured, along with an evening of music by the late, neglected composer Julius Eastman, whose politically informed works have taken on unexpected new life in the past few years.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Oktoberfest NYC: Where to grab a beer and celebrate (Sept.22-Oct.15)
“Oktoberfest may seem far off, but it’s less than a month away. The Bavarian festival is kicking off Sept. 22 in Munich and the city’s festivities will begin in earnest.
So, if you’re looking for some lederhosen-laden action closer to home, here are beer-and-sausage-fueled affairs in New York City.” (amNY)
Check here for a full description of each of 11 events.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! 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.

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

Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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 enjoyment and discovery.

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.

 

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