Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Tribeca (06/26)

Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2014.

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
“9 Notable NYCity Events-June”, and also “on Broadway”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site: nyc123blog.wordpress.com
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
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World Cup
Soccer fans will be glued to their screens today (even at work) as team USA faces Germany in World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Today is do or die for team USA, after allowing Sunday’s shocking and disappointing last second tie with Portugal.

Divided into eight four-team groups, the top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Team USA is in the tough Group G, and needs to beat or tie favored Germany to guarantee a spot in the next round. Otherwise, we have to root for Ronaldo and Portugal (how ironic) against Ghana.

There’s no shortage of venues to watch the games in New York City. A few of my faves include Penn6 with a large 9 screen array of flat panel TV’s behind the bar (132 W31st St.), Jack Dempsey’s, with some very knowledgeable fans (36 W33rd St.), and for outdoor viewing – Bryant and Madison Square parks, which will have big screens set up.

Also, in partnership with ESPN and ABC, the Paley Center for Media will screen many of this year’s World Cup matches including , of course, today’s match at 1PM. A full schedule (through July 13) is at paleycenter.org. 25 West 52nd Street, Manhattan, 212-621-6800.

Ginger Baker
“Every crevice in Baker’s battered face could probably tell ten thousand not very pretty stories, but somehow the brilliant drummer is still with us. His first album in sixteen years, the bracing “Why?,” features his current band, an Afrocentric jazz unit that includes the saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, who put in noted time with James Brown and Van Morrison, and the Ghanaian percussionist Abass Dodoo. Now seventy-four years old, Baker may no longer summon up the incredible power and velocity that made him a legend in the late-sixties Cream era, but his wholly individual approach and unique sound remain instantly recognizable.” (NewYorker)
BB Kings Blues Club and Grill, 237 West 42nd St.
8pm./ $50
bbkingblues.com / 212-997-4144

Bill McHenry (through June 29)
“Tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry has gained wisdom playing with the likes of Paul Motian and trumpeter John McNeil, though his newer partnership with drum sage Andrew Cyrille, documented on 2012’s Le Peur du Vide (Sunnyside), seems every bit as fruitful. Cyrille is a sculptor of the beat, ideally suited for McHenry’s wry, elliptical phrasemaking.

They return to the Village Vanguard from June 24-29: first it’s the Peur du Vide band with pianist Orrin Evans and bassist Eric Revis; then (tonight) a McHenry-Cyrille duo night; then two nights with Cyrille, guitarist Ben Monder and bassist Reid Anderson (the lineup from Roses and Ghosts of the Sun, sans Motian); and finally a quartet with pianist David Bryant and bassist Jonathan Michel.” (Village Voice)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St., West Village,
212-255-4037, villagevanguard.com
At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., / $25 and $30 cover, with a one-drink minimum.

“Stars and Strikes” with author Dan Epstein
Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of ’76

1976. A year of Bicentennial celebrations and presidential primaries, of Olympic glory and busing riots, of “killer bees” hysteria and Pong fever. For both the nation and the national pastime, the year was revolutionary.

It was the craziest season of baseball’s most colorful decade. A year which witnessed the “Big Red Machine,” the rise of the “Bronx Zoo”-era New York Yankees, the dismantling of the Oakland A’s dynasty, the onset of full-scale free agency, the outrageous antics of team owners Bill Veeck, Ted Turner, George Steinbrenner, and Charlie Finley — all set against the star-spangled backdrop of America’s Bicentennial.

Join author Dan Epstein in the Clubhouse for this highly entertaining trip back to 1976…
Dan Epstein is an award-winning journalist, pop culture historian, and avid baseball fan who has written for Rolling Stone, SPIN, Men’s Journal, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, MOJO, Guitar World, Revolver, LA Weekly and dozens of other publications.
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, 67 East 11th St.
AT 7pm / FREE

Azar Lawrence Quintet (through June 29)
“A tenor saxophonist in the post-Coltrane continuum, still best recognized for his prolific output in the 1970s, Azar Lawrence has been back on the circuit, releasing albums and playing club engagements. This one will feature Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Benito Gonzalez on piano, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass and Jeff (Tain) Watts on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway,
212-258-9595, jalc.org
At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. / $35 to $45 cover, with a $10 minimum

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity is a big town with many visitors where quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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The Week That Was in NYCity
(courtesy NYPost, with the most unique front/back pages anywhere)

front5      2hjkhj4

062614front      front62514
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A PremierPub – 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

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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 (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.
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