Selected Events (04/04) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

Today’s Fab 5 > MONDAY / APR. 04, 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:
54 Sings The Music of Chaka Khan
54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 9:30PM, $30-$40
“This will be an extremely exciting and dynamic night of music. Featuring some of Chaka Khan’s most notable hits from the 70s and 80’s including “I’m Every Woman,” “We Can Work It Out,” “Tell Me Something Good,” “Through The Fire,” and many more, the evening will feature an 8-piece band consisting of the world’s top musicians music directed by drummer Jared Schonig (Pippin, The Color Purple).” (broadwayworld.com)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Smashing Pumpkins + Liz Phair
Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway @ 74th St./ 8PM, $55–$85
“Building off last year’s In Plainsong tour, angsty ’90s icon Billy Corgan is taking his latest Smashing Pumpkins ensemble out on the road. But don’t expect the alt-rock nostalgia to be fuzz-driven—this time, the band is leaving the distortion pedals behind in favor of acoustic explorations of its catalogue. And look out in the upcoming year for a new album—the final LP in its Teargarden by Kaleidyscope cycle—inspired by the stripped-down live sounds.” (TONY)

Miscast 2016
Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center),311 W34th st./ 8:30PM, $99+
“Performers sing numbers that they should never sing anywhere else in this popular annual gala benefit for MCC Theater. Marisa Tomei is the guest of honor; the typically fancy lineup includes Beth Behrs, Tituss Burgess, Cynthia Erivo, Ana Gasteyer, Megan Hilty, Linda Lavin, Lea Salonga, Keala Settle, Aaron Tveit, Ana Villafane and Shanice Williams.” (TONY)

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

An Evening with Oskar Eustis and Neil Murray
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza / 6PM, FREE
“Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater, engages a trans-Atlantic conversation about theater, culture, and community focused arts presentation with Neil Murray, Executive Producer of the National Theater of Scotland.”

Smuggler’s Blues: A True Story of the Hippie Mafia
New York Public Library – Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
“With Richard Stratton, the author of the underground cult classic novel, “Smack Goddess,” and an award-winning writer and filmmaker.

This illustrated lecture is a psychedelic road trip through international drug smuggling, the hippie underground and the war on weed.”

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 (all six are within walking distance of each other):
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
in case you need more options in the Village, these are also fine spots:
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
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 2016.  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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