Selected Events (01/10) + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Tribeca

Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – SATURDAY, JAN. 10, 2015.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

Chelsea Art Gallery Tour  — Gallery Tour   (1pm) (3:45pm)

Marques Toliver  — R&B   (6:30pm)

Nrityagram Dance Troupe Dance   (5pm) (7pm)  

Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio — Jazz   (7pm) 

16th Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia  — Dance   (7:30pm)

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Jan.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site: nyc123blog.wordpress.com

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Chelsea Art Gallery Tour
“Take a fascinating gallery tour of Chelsea – the world’s center for contemporary art – and see the very latest in painting, sculpture, electronic media & photography. Our guide, who holds a Ph.D. in arts education, helps explain the artwork and leads the group in lively discussion.

The tour takes place at 1:00 PM & 3:45 PM. These two tours will be identical in every way: the same guide and the same exhibits, so choose whichever start time best fits your schedule. It will take place no matter what the weather – rain or shine (the art is all indoors).”  (thoughtgallery.org)  I love this tour.
Meet at 526 W. 26th St. between 10th & 11th Ave.
$25. SPECIAL OFFER: use DISCOUNT code “chelsea51″ for $10-off admission!
nygallerytours.com / 212-946-1548.

Marques Toliver
imgres“Mr. Toliver, a classically trained violinist from Florida, has shifted his considerable gifts to the unusual hybrid of baroque R&B. In his hands, it is fascinating: He croons fitfully about spirituality over intricate string solos, joking between songs. This young talent released his lovely first full-length album, “Land of CanAan,” in 2013. With Mother Falcon.” (Anderson-NYT)

Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, at Astor Place,
At 6:30 p.m./ 212-967-7555 / joespub.com.

Nrityagram Dance Troupe
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“An ancient (going back to the 1st century B.C., at least) form of dance from India, Odissi is performed in all its sinuous, square-stance glory by the Nrityagram dance troupe; a tie-in with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Treasures from India: Jewels from the Al-Thani Collection exhibit, it’s being held in the Temple of Dendur.” (thoughtgallery.org)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave, at 82nd St.
(212) 535-7710 / metmuseum.org

Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio 
“There’s a dry, rippling calm in the tenor saxophone playing of Ms. Aldana, who last summer released “Crash Trio,” the prepossessing debut album by her flagship band. With Pablo Menares on bass and Francisco Mela on drums, it’s a unit fond of syncopated feints and flowing cadences, informed by post-bop custom but decisively of its time.”
(Nate Chinen-NYT)
Minton’s, 206 West 118th Street, Harlem,
7 to 11 p.m. / 212-243-2222 / mintonsharlem.com

Elsewhere, but looks worth the detour:
16th Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia
This bi-annual favorite, hailed by the The New York Times as “a hot ticket,” returns with a standout line-up of groundbreaking artists from the other side of the globe.

This year’s showcase includes from Japan: Nobuyuki Hanabusa’s group enra performing Newton, an out-of-this-world amalgamation of motion graphics and choreography; Mikiko Kawamura’s street style solo Alphard set to a bold soundscape with J-pop and classical music; and Kaori Seki’s quartet Marmont, in which bodies morph into nebulous creature-like positions.
From Taiwan: I-Fen Tung’s fresh duo How to Say grapples with communication through words and dance and Shang-Chi Sun’s Traverse, in which graceful martial arts-like movements oscillate between combat speed and tranquility.
Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street
7:30pm / $28

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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 (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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A PremierPub / Tribeca

Russian Vodka Room / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))

b_flat4There 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 E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk 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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