Selected NYC Events (12/30) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

“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.
For those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Music Events see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

MACY GRAY
The Iridium, 1650 Broadway / 8:30+10:30PM, $95
“The Grammy-winning R&B songstress shows off her jazzy side in this set of shows. Gray is supporting her new album, “Stripped,” which includes new songs (“The Heart”) and a jazzed-up cover of “Redemption Song” and a remix of her hit “I Try.” (DAN BUBBEO, Newsday)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Copland and Marsalis
CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT AND THE AARON DIEHL TRIO
NOCHE FLAMENCA
K2 Friday Nights
bonus pick: METROPOLITAN OPERA

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
City Center, 131 W55th St./ $25+
“You don’t just see an Ailey performance, you feel it. This December, engage your emotions as the world’s most popular dance company returns with five weeks of premieres, new productions, and returning favorites. Highlights include: Hope Boykin’s r-Evolution, Dream., which draws inspiration from the speeches and sermons of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Kyle Abraham’s Untitled America, an unflinching look at the impact of the prison system on African-American families, a work created with the support of commissioning funds from City Center; Mauro Bigonzetti’s Deep, which soulfully melds international influences; and Johan Inger’s Walking Mad, a daring contemporary take on Ravel’s Bolero. And, of course, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations returns as an enduring masterpiece that unites us in hope.”

Copland and Marsalis (also Jan.03)
Lincoln Center, Philharmonic Hall / 7:30PM, $44+
“The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis join the Philharmonic in the World Premiere of the jazz legend’s latest creation, one of The New York Commissions for the Orchestra’s 175th anniversary. With style, class, and talent to spare, Marsalis is one of the world’s finest musicians and composers. Plus William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto, featuring Principal Trombone Joseph Alessi.”

CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT AND THE AARON DIEHL TRIO
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz@ Lincoln Center (Dec. 26-30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 31, 7:30 and 11 p.m.; and Jan. 1, 7 and 9 p.m.). $65+
“Ms. Salvant, 27, is the most fervently acclaimed jazz singer of her generation, and on her most recent album — “For One to Love,” which won a Grammy this year — she deepened her game with a bouquet of original songs. She performs as usual with a trio led by Mr. Diehl, a fastidious and swinging pianist who has been her musical director for the last several years.” (Nate Chinen-NYT)

NOCHE FLAMENCA (Dec. 26-Jan. 28)
West Park Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam Ave & 86th St./ 8PM, $27.50+
“In the early 20th century, Arthur Schnitzler’s play “La Ronde” scandalized audiences with its vignettes of sexual encounters that breached class borders. The inventive and indispensable dance company Noche Flamenca interprets that work through a series of duets that explore the dynamics of loneliness and desire, feelings that flamenco captures well. Accompanying “La Ronde” in a 75-minute program, which will performed from Dec. 26 through Jan. 7, is “Creación,” inspired by the lives of Noche Flamenca’s incomparable star Soledad Barrio and the accomplished hip-hop dancer TweetBoogie (in a role also performed by Nubian Néné). The two will share the stage with younger women dancing both styles.” (NYT-Schaefer)

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

K2 Friday Nights
“The Rubin Museum of Art goes all out for its Friday-night celebrations. At 6pm, Café Serai becomes the K2 Lounge where you can enjoy Pan-Asian tapas and a drink while jamming to sets from Brooklyn Raga Massive with Román Díaz. After the party, head to the cabaret cinema for screenings and talks on revered gems like the upsetting Animal Farm.” (TONY)

Plus, for all you Opera fans, this week looks special:
METROPOLITAN OPERA
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center

Tonight: ‘NABUCCO’ 8 p.m, $20+
For the Dec. 30 performance only, Zeljko Lucic sings Nebuchadnezzar.

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Bonus NYC Events – Jazz Clubs:
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 for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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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 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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Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)

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