Featured Neighborhood: Tribeca (04/30)

SELECTED EVENTS (below 34th street) (04/30/13)

PEN World Voices Festival
“Bravery is the theme of this year’s celebration of the written word, with readings and discussions around the city. On opening night, writers reading from their work will include Jamaica Kincaid (“See Now Then”); the Nigerian writer A. Igoni Barrett, whose short-story collection “Love Is Power, or Something Like That” will be released by Graywolf Press in May; and the Cambodian-born writer Vaddey Ratner (“In the Shadow of the Banyan”)”.   — (ANNE MANCUSO, NYT)

Cooper Union Great Hall
7 East Seventh Street, at Third Avenue
at various times and locations
$25, $20 for members and students
(212) 353-1660 / worldvoices.pen.org
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Bill McHenry Quartet
“The tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry finds a place for rugged insight in this hard-driving but elastic band, featuring the pianist Orrin Evans, the bassist Eric Revis and the drummer Andrew Cyrille. Last year the group released “La Peur du Vide” (Sunnyside), an engrossing album recorded during a previous engagement in this room.” — (NATE CHINEN, NYT)

Village Vanguard
178 Seventh Avenue South, at West 11th Street
at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. / $25 cover, with 1 drink minimum
(212) 255-4037 / villagevanguard.com
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Stephen Petronio Company
“Mr. Petronio’s high-velocity dances can verge on too frenzied — a lot of intricate activity, not enough time to process it — but in his new “Like Lazarus Did (LLD 4/30),” he makes room for stillness. Hovering above the stage in a sculpture she designed, the visual and performance artist Janine Antoni will meditate throughout the show, a fitting image for a work exploring cross-cultural creeds of resurrection. The work’s composer, Son Lux, will also perform, joined by members of Bon Iver and yMusic and 30 singers from the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.”  — (SIOBHAN BURKE, NYT)

Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue, at West 19th Street
at 7:30 p.m., / $10 to $69
(212) 242-0800 / joyce.or
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Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm dates and check times, as schedules are subject to change.
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A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Tribeca

“Pubs” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, lounges, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.

B-Flat
277 Church st (Btw Franklin/White)

There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door. But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for XX years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz,  playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

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