Selected Events (05/18) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

Today’s Sweet 7 > WEDNESDAY / MAY 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:

Adam Gopnik and Lara Downes: NEW YORK STORIES
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 8PM, $35
“The pianist Lara Downes and the essayist Adam Gopnik come together to make an evening of music about New York City: its anthems, its atmosphere, its ambitions. From Gershwin to Joplin, and from William Grant Still to Kurt Weill, Downes will play the music she thinks best captures the special spirit of the city, while Gopnik will speak his mind — and read from the masters — about what Manhattan means. Together they promise a special evening of city conversation and cross-talk, both in notes and in words.” (thought gallery.org)
Oh Boy! I can’t wait for this one, should be superb.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Kurt Rosenwinkel and the OJM Big Band (through May 22)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $20, $35
“This astonishingly fluid and harmonically adventurous guitarist is among the most gifted members of the generation of players that followed such visionary six-string giants as Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. Here he shares his luxurious chops with Portugal’s Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, which joined him on the 2010 album “Our Secret World.” (NewYorker)

Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio (through May 21)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $
“Perfection” is the assured new debut album by this all-star trio, with David Murray on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, Geri Allen on piano and Terri Lyne Carrington on drums. Stout in its purpose, ringing with expedition, it’s a statement of tribute to the avant-garde hero Ornette Coleman, but also a straightforward celebration of the bonds between these players.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

“This Is Not Your Mama’s MoMA: The Illusions of Modern Art”
El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue / 6:30PM, FREE
“In conjunction with their freaky-deaky show of ’60s-inspired Op and Kinetic Art titled “The Illusive Eye,” this Harlem museum has scheduled a talk between the show’s curator (who’s also the museum’s executive director) Jorge Daniel Veneciano and the esteemed New York Times critic and author of Are You Experienced?: How Psychedelic Consciousness Transformed Modern Art, Ken Johnson (who is clearly into that kind of stuff).

The two will discuss psychedelic and occult properties within the history of Modern art—probably as they relate to the works in this show—and will likely field some bizarre questions from the stoners who actually managed to find their way up to Harlem.” (the Observer)

‘Cleaning Up New York’
Rizzoli Bookstore, 1133 Broadway / 6PM, FREE
“The writer Bob Rosenthal was Allen Ginsberg’s longtime secretary, and in the 1970s wrote the cult classic “Cleaning Up New York,” a mixture of memoir and practical guide to the working-class life. He discusses the work, which was recently reissued, with Ada Calhoun, author of “St. Marks Is Dead.” (NYT-Around Town)

Illustrated Talk: Central Park Trees and Landscapes
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center / 5:30PM, FREE
‘Central Park Conservancy will host natural history author and long-time Park enthusiast Edward Sibley Barnard for an illustrated talk about his new book Central Park Trees and Landscapes: A Guide to New York City’s Masterpiece, co-written by Neil Calvanese, the Conservancy’s former Vice President for Operations and chief arborist.”

Elsewhere, but this looks pretty unique and interesting, worth the detour:
Tenant Kitchens: Adaptations in America
Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 103 Orchard St./ 6:30PM, $25
“Part exhibit, part cooking class, the Tenement Museum presents this rare chance to get your hands dirty in the gallery. Two kitchens from 1916, belonging to the Greek Confino family and the Rogarshevkys, from Lithuania, are faithfully recreated, highlighting the experiences of immigrant families in New York’s downtown slums during the early twentieth century. The culinary historian Sarah Lohman will show guests how to prepare traditional baklava as well as dishes that were invented by resourceful Orchard Street families, who combined old-country cuisines with the hodgepodge of Lower East Side cultures to create a culinary tradition that’s stood to this day.” (NewYorker)

PLUS:
Art Museum Day
“Celebrate Art Museum Day with events and free or discounted admission to many of the city’s museums. Various prices and locations.” (NYT-Today)
Find out who is participating here.

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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
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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