Selected Events (08/08) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

Today’s Elite 8 > SATURDAY / AUGUST 08, 2015

“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.  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Deon Cole (through August 9)
Carolines, 1626 Broadway (btw 49/50 St) / 7:30 +10PM, $33
“His scene-stealing work on Black-ish has been a star turn, but Deon Cole has quietly been generating laughs for years in less visible roles and behind the scenes—for example, as a writer on Conan. He’s also been performing stand-up, for more than 20 years.” (nycgo.com)

> Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band
Highline Ballroom, 431 W16th St / 7PM, $25
“This King of Pop tribute band, which has toured the world, not only sings songs from MJ’s early days in the Jackson Five through Invincible, but it’ll also expertly re-create some of his most famous dance moves, like the moonwalk and the choreography from “Thriller.”
Should be fun and the Highline is a great music hall.

> Ballet Festival (through Aug. 16)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave, at 19th St. / 8PM, $19-$39
“The Joyce Theater celebrates the diversity of ballet with a two-week buffet of companies and choreographers who are molding the form in interesting ways.”
tonight: the Washington-based Chamber Dance Project presents four New York premieres, all set to live music.

> “Cymbeline” / Shakespeare in the Park (through August 23)
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
a fairytale tucked within a tragedy. Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe in the Bard’s romance where cross-dressing and fake deaths move the plot. this is one tough ticket
– if you qualify, try the new line for seniors 65-plus at the Delacorte Theater.
– take your chances with the online ticket lottery (click here to learn how)
– or try the new ticket lottery at the Public Theater near Astor Place (instructions here).
(seniorplanet.org)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

> The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland
Morgan Library & Museum, / 2PM, free with museum admission
Hear from an Oxford don as he brings to life the “Secret History of Wonderland”: the friendship between Charles Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, and Alice Liddell.

> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Enjoy the summer edition of Restaurant Week (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

ELSEWHERE, but I guarantee this is a lot of fun:
> Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (also Sunday)
Now in its twenty-fifth year, this event brings dragon-boat teams from around the world to Queens for races on Meadow Lake, in Flushing Meadows Park. The matches are vividly colorful and fiercely competitive, but the action isn’t limited to the water. Onshore, there’s an international food court, along with concerts, comedy performances, martial-arts demonstrations, and other activities.” A bit out of the way, but this is a lot of fun.

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Annual Roots of American Music
Americanafest NYC – Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center / 7PM, FREE
Highway 61 Revisited, the album that changed the way we hear rock, folk, and blues, and became the defining soundtrack for a generation, bursts into new life as Dylan’s masterpiece is covered track-by-track by a house band made up of some of the various artists it inspired – Shawn Colvin, Pokey LaFarge, and Aimee Mann & Ted Leo

Watkins Family Hour featuring Sean & Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, with special guest Fiona Apple and more. Grammy-winning Nickel Creek co-founders Sean and Sara Watkins helped revive today’s bourgeoning bluegrass and folk scenes. Alongside their solo careers, the siblings regularly gather musical friends at favorite LA club Largo. That fabled jam session now moves east to Lincoln Center Out of Doors for an evening with rock and pop greats, including Fiona Apple.

Second-generation Americana innovator Justin Townes Earle has spun a complicated personal past into musical gold. Deftly telling tales with universal resonance, his raw songs shine in their spare wry sensibility.

Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. jazz.org/dizzys, 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave), birdlandjazz.com, 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. smokejazz.com, 212-864-6662
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 enjoyment and discovery.

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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, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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A PremierPub / Tribeca

B-Flat / 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 iot 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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