Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Tribeca (08/26)

Today’s “Fab 5” +1 / Selected NYCity Events – MONDAY, AUG 26, 2013.

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide be sure to check out:
“Notable Events-August”, “on Broadway”,  and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

U.S. TENNIS OPEN / TODAYS PREMIER EVENT
Forget the Big House (ArthurAsheStadium). Get a grounds pass and once inside check out the electronic scoreboard listing current matches. Find a match or players that interest you. Head over to their court for some great tennis, because in this tournament even the qualifiers are great players.

There is no other major sporting event where you can get so close to world class athletes as on the outer courts (or the grandstand court) at the U.S. Open, where you can get a real sense of the pace of the game. Today’s tip: arrive early.
Unfortunately, the security screening has been ratcheted up causing big delays to enter.
The best, most comprehensive review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com

Live Swing Band Mondays
The 34th Street Partnership and Paul Pellicoro’s DanceSport studio offer free swing-dance events. This last Monday evening begins with an open lesson at 5:30pm and continues with live music by Jessie Bunting & the Hot Shim Sham Orchestra until 7:30pm.
Herald Square, 34th St. at Broadway
At 5:30PM / FREE
212-922-9393 / 34thstreet.org

Alberta Cross
“The members of Alberta Cross wear the kind of outlandish hats usually seen only in ’60s photos of Yoko Ono and play gnarly country-rock–inspired tunes by the likes of Neil Young and the Band. Tonight the Brooklyn-based duo stops by City Winery to play an acoustic show in support of its second album, Songs of Patience.” (TONY mag)
City Winery, 155 Varick St. at Vandam St
At 8PM / $15
212-608-0555 / citywinery.com

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
There’s a tradition in many New York City jazz clubs:
Monday nights are reserved for big bands. The Village Vanguard, the most storied of clubs, has observed this practice since 1966. The Grammy-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, established by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, is definitely a big band with 4 trumpets, and 4 trombones to accompany 6 reed players.
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Avenue South, just below West 11th St.
At 8:30 and 10:30 pm / $25
212-255-4037 / villagevanguard.com

Andy Milne Trio
“The pianist Andy Milne draws from a broad palette as an improviser, both in terms of style and syntax. As a leader he often interrogates the rhythmic affinities between jazz and hip-hop, but that seems less likely here, on an acoustic one-nighter featuring an adaptable peer, the bassist John Hébert, and an indefatigable elder, the drummer Andrew Cyrille.” (Chinen-NYT)
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center,
60th Street and Broadway,
At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $25, with a $10 minimum
(212) 258-9595, jalc.org

Alexis Fishman with Max Chernin
“Australian-born Alexis Fishman caught a lot of people’s ears when she won the Next Broadway Sensation competitions at last year’s New York Musical Theatre Festival. Now she brings a taste of Down Under to 54 Below.” (TONY mag)
54 Below. 254 W 54th St., between Broadway and Eighth Ave
At 7PM / $25-$35; $25 food or drink minimum
866-468-7619 / 54below.com

Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm dates and check times, as schedules are subject to change ==============================================================================

A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating places – Tribeca

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 6 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.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk 1 blk E to Church; 1 blk N to bFlat

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