Selected Events (02/18) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

 Today’s Fab 5+ > THURSDAY / FEB. 18, 2016

“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 more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
Seu Jorge (most nights thru Feb 28)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./8 +10:30PM, $55 @bar-$85, (2nd show always an easier ticket)
“This Brazilian singer, guitarist, and actor grew up as Jorge Mário da Silva in Belford Roxo, a favela outside Rio. After his brother was killed, in 1990, in a battle between favelados and the police, Jorge decided to become a musician, a choice that prompted his uncle to kick him out of the house. Despite the hardship of living on the street, Jorge persisted in honing his nascent talents, especially his supple baritone voice and lyrical nylon-string-guitar playing.

His big break came when he was cast as Knockout Ned in “City of God,” a searing Oscar-nominated portrait of favela life that was followed by a role as a Bowie-singing Brazilian sailor in Wes Anderson’s film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” Jorge’s magical, melancholy Portuguese interpretations of hits like “Changes” and “Space Oddity” earned high praise from their creator, as well as giving Jorge an American beachhead. For this two-week run, he’ll sail through harmonically adventurous, playful originals and covers shaped by samba, bossa nova, and other Brazilian styles.” (NewYorker)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Valda Setterfield and John Scott (through Feb. 20)
New York Live Arts, 219 W19th St./ 7:30PM, $
“Valda Setterfield has been a groundbreaker and a muse for more than half a century, notably as an early member of Merce Cunningham’s company. Now the Irish choreographer John Scott has tapped Ms. Setterfield to portray Shakespeare’s mad monarch in their collaborative production, “Lear.” Created in response to his father’s death, Mr. Scott has called the work “a meditation on loss of memory and physical failings.” To continue the gender flip, King Lear’s children are portrayed by men.” (Schaefer-NYT)

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo: Cinderella (thru Feb 20)
New York City Center, 131W55th St./ 8PM, $50+
“Monaco’s national ballet company visits New York to celebrate its 30th anniversary with a performance of artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot’s unsentimental take on the Cinderella story, in which Ella’s late mother plays a prominent role. The piece is set to music by Prokofiev, and features a set by Ernest Pignon-Ernest.” (TONY)

Dave Holland (through Feb. 21)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South / 8:30 +10:30PM, $30
“During the early and mid-1990s, the bassist Dave Holland had an inspired younger partner in Kevin Eubanks, a guitar virtuoso with fluency in myriad styles. They parted ways for a while — Mr. Eubanks to “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” and Mr. Holland to a series of acclaimed bands and albums — but reunited a few years ago, to strong effect. Next week they’ll be working in a trio with Obed Calvaire, a smartly assertive drummer.” (Chinen-NYT)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Penny Jolly, “Dressing Renaissance Bodies”
Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave./6PM, FREE
“Penny Jolly teaches Skidmore’s courses on medieval art from the early Christian period through the Gothic, as well as on Renaissance Italy and northern Europe; additionally, she offers a course on the history of European dress and hair from the Renaissance through the present. Her research focuses particularly on the 15th century, especially the work of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, and involves topics such as hair and dress, including a study of earrings and the meaning of body hair in art; imagery involving gender, especially as related to breastfeeding, birthing and childhood; Adam and Eve narratives; and the iconography of Mary Magdalene in northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries.”

and how about some hot chocolate?
City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival (thru Feb.28)
City Bakery, 3 W18th St./ opens 7:30AM, $
“Regress to childhood with skillfully concocted mugs of hot chocolate courtesy of this downtown canteen. Owner-mastermind Maury Rubin will serve a different flavor of his intoxicating cocoa every day during February.” (TONY)

+ Thursday’s FREE events
These events did not quite make the cut for today’s FAB 5
but they are worthy, and they are FREE

>Museum Arts & Design (PayWhatYouWish), 6-9PM
>Concert / The Piano Is A Drum: Randy Weston and Senegalese Master Drummers in a Tribute to Doudou N’Diaye Rose; New School, 8PM
>Opening Receptions – Chelsea Galleries, most 6-8PM
for details see NY Art Beat, a fine site for art event listings and reviews.

Bonus – Jazz Venues:
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 58 million visitors last year and was 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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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 
Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.
OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.
Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.
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