Selected NYC Events (01/13) + 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.

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

Noche Flamenca: Antigona (through Jan. 28)
West Park Presbyterian Church, 165 W86th St./ 8PM, $25-$60
“Traditional Spanish dance and ancient Greek theater are an unlikely but well-suited pair in Noche Flamenca’s sharp production “Antigona,” based on Sophocles’s famous tragedy. The dance lights a fire under the play while discovering in itself a knack for narrative drama. In the title role, the powerhouse Soledad Barrio is both fierce and fragile. The century-old church where the performance takes place is filled with striking sets, darkly amorous music played by a live band and a ferocious Greek chorus of dancers.” (NYT-Schaefer)

Noche Flamenca is Spain’s most successful touring company and its greatest exponent of the art of flamenco. Soledad Barrio is a goddess of dance and brings so much passion to her role as Antigona. Two wonderful Spanish guitarists and two vocalists do not get the credit they deserve. Every piece of this performance is outstanding.
Go See It!

5  OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

STEVE DAVIS SEXTET
NICHOLAS PAYTON: AFRO-CARIBBEAN MIXTAPE
Zlatne Uste Golden Festival
J. P. Morgan Tournament of Champions
New York Jewish Film Festival

PLUS – NYC Restaurant Week reservations now open

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

STEVE DAVIS SEXTET (Jan. 13-15)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, btw.105th/06th Sts./ 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $38
“Davis may not have been around for the first flowering of hard bop in the nineteen-fifties, but for this supremely adept trombonist—who has also been heard with the neo-bop One for All unit, as well as with advanced ensembles like Chick Corea’s Origin band—the idiom is as natural as his heartbeat. To stir up the action, he has gathered four similarly minded peers, including the saxophonists Steve Wilson and Jimmy Green, the bassist Peter Washington, and the drummer Lewis Nash, along with a highly regarded elder, the pianist Larry Willis.” (NewYorker)

NICHOLAS PAYTON: AFRO-CARIBBEAN MIXTAPE (Jan. 12-15)
at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $40
“Mr. Payton, a trumpeter, keyboardist and (on occasion) vocalist with a taste for soulful postbop and moody funk, recently unveiled this band in New Orleans, his hometown. Along with the bassist Vicente Archer, the drummer Joe Dyson and the percussionist Daniel Sadownick, it features Lady Fingaz, a hip-hop D.J. who has logged some serious time in New Orleans, though she now lives in San Francisco.” (NYT-Chinen

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Zlatne Uste Golden Festival
The Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Bklyn./
FRI-7:30PM-12:30AM $30; SAT-6PM-2AM $45
“Eastern European and Middle Eastern music, dance, and culture coalesce at this annual festival, held in New York City for more than thirty years. Balkan traditions and customs unfold across two nights and four stages, where attendees can shop for folk arts and sample the wide array of foods native to the region, spanning roughly from Romania to Greece and from Croatia to Turkey. The main draw is a marathon of groups staging performances from the region, including Egyptian traditional dance, a Slavic chorus, a Balkan brass band, and a Mediterranean outfit of violin, accordion, and clarinet. Profits generated from ticket sales will be donated to charitable and educational organizations aiding Balkan communities.” (NewYorker)

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

J. P. Morgan Tournament of Champions (Jan.12-19)
at Grand Central Terminal,
“As the only top-level sporting event to be held annually in Grand Central Terminal, the J. P. Morgan Tournament of Champions is considered one of the squash world’s most coveted titles. More than 100 of the game’s best men and women will compete in this weeklong event, beginning on Jan. 12, which takes place in a specially constructed court inside Vanderbilt Hall. Fans of the sport can opt for free, standing-room viewing — an option that also attracts curious passers-by and commuters — or purchase seated tickets.” (JACK WILLIAMS, NYT)

New York Jewish Film Festival (Jan.11-24)
Walter Reade Theater (at Lincoln Center), 165 W65th St./ 1PM, $14
“For its 26th year, the wide-ranging festival takes over Lincoln Center for two weeks of documentary and narrative film screenings. This edition features Bette Midler: The Divine Miss M, a doc that chronicles the singer’s five-decade career; Mr. Gaga, which documents the work of Ohad Naharin and Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company; and a special screening of Mel Brooks’s classic The Producers, starring the late greats Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.” (TONY)

PLUS – NYC Restaurant Week reservations now open
From Jan. 23 to Feb. 10, have your pick from 375 participating restaurants, with a three-course prix fixe lunch or dinner; lunches are $29, and dinners are $42, not including beverages, gratuities and taxes, a great deal for some of the city’s most popular spots…

This year there are 32 new restaurants participating, joining the array of restaurants that span 41 neighborhoods and four boroughs.

To see the full list, go to nycgo.com/restaurantweek.

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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 60 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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