NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/09) + 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 future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-December”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
The curated list of events you will find in the “This WEEK” tab ain’t bad, either.


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

Bill Frisell  Thomas Morgan (Dec. 7-10)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30, +9:30PM, $30
“Small Town,” a live duet recording released this year, by the guitarist Frisell and the bassist Morgan, is a quiet masterpiece, its intimate interplay an example of the seismic power that occurs when two exceptional musicians truly listen to each other. A repertoire that spans the Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower” and Paul Motian’s haunting “It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago” demonstrates the duo’s genre-embracing range.” (NewYorker)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Frances Ruffelle Live(S) in New York
>>Jimmy Heath Big Band
>>Billy Stritch “Lucky To Be Me” 
>>Loses Lounge Tribute to Burt Bacharach

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at the Beacon Theater / 8PM, $65+
“There are plenty of fancy Christmas shows out of our price range this season, but this is one worth shelling out for. The iconic pop star Cyndi Lauper hosts a night featuring some of the indie world’s premier talent, from naughty electro-pop star Peaches and Laura Jane Grace of punk band Against Me! to entertainers the whole family can enjoy, like Ani DiFranco and Jackson Browne. Submit to the spirit of the holiday season and treat yourself to a night seeing these fine performers delight in one of the finest sit-down venues in Manhattan.” (Sophie Weiner, Village Voice)

at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $
“The bassist Stephan Crump is best known for his work in the Vijay Iyer Trio, where he offers solid foundations that morph and dilate with an almost imperceptible fluidity. He recently joined two other serious talents — the pianist Kris Davis and the drummer Eric McPherson — to form the Borderlands Trio, which released its debut this year, the freely improvised “Asteroidea.” The band celebrates the disc with this weekend run.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Frances Ruffelle Live(S) in New York
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, $30
“Ruffelle has a special place in the hearts of musical-theater fans for her heart-tugging performance as the sacrificial waif Eponine in the original London and Broadway casts of Les Misérables. Having recently relocated to New York City, she returns to the nightclub stage with a charmingly game and gamine set.” (TONY)

Jimmy Heath Big Band (Dec. 7-10)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $20-$35
“Never a star yet long an honored lodestar to fellow-musicians, Heath has attained reverential stature in the jazz community as a saxophonist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and educator. Still spunky at ninety-one, this diminutive polymath will front a sixteen-piece big band that’s sure to provide vivid tonal color to his enduring tunes.” (NewYorker)

Billy Stritch “Lucky To Be Me” (also Dec.9)
Birdland / 6:00PM, $30
“Acclaimed pianist/singer Billy Stritch brings his new solo show “Lucky To Be Me” to the Birdland stage for three shows only (November 25, December 2 and 9 – Saturdays at 6:00 pm). This show will include Billy’s arrangements of songs by Gershwin, Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Cy Coleman and other giants of American popular music and stories of his career thus far. These shows also commemorate the 20th anniversary of Billy’s first appearance at Birdland in 1997 when he premiered his Brazilian CD “Waters Of March” and will include selections from that recording as well. Billy will be joined by bassist Neal Miner (November 25, December 9) and Tom Hubbard (December 2).”

“He not only does it all but also makes it look easy!” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Billy Stritch is one of the finest, most entertaining piano players and singers on the planet!” – London Jazz Times

Loses Lounge Tribute to Burt Bacharach (Dec.7-9)
@ Joe’s Pub / 7PM, +9:30PM, $30
“Joe McGinty has been leading the Losers Lounge for about 20 years, and this week at Joe’s Pub they’re toasting classic songwriter Burt Bacharach whose laid-back style is about as perfect a fit for LL as you can get. Surprise guest vocalists, brought out to sing favorites like “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “Walk on By,” are the icing on this cake.” (TONY)

at New York City Center / 8PM, $29+
“Ailey’s monthlong winter season continues with a batch of premieres. Joining the repertory on Friday is the John Coltrane-inspired “Members Don’t Get Weary,” the first work for the company by one of its most captivating dancers, Jamar Roberts. On Tuesday, the troupe welcomes back “Shelter,” a 1992 work by the esteemed choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar examining the effects of homelessness. On Wednesday, Talley Beatty’s ode to disco-era Los Angeles, “Stack-Up,” returns to the stage. And, of course, more “Revelations,” the company’s staple, created by Ailey in 1960 to a playlist of spirituals, gospel and blues.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

Continuing Holiday Events

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (6th Ave. & 42nd St.)
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Enjoy Bryant Park through the winter with the Holiday Shops food and gift boutiques (thru Jan.02), Danny Meyer’s pop-up rinkside eatery Public Fare (thru Mar.04), and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 28, 2017 – March 4, 2018
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting)

New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 31)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / various times and prices
“As a young dancer in St. Petersburg in the nineteen-tens, George Balanchine performed the lead in the Harlequins’ “Hoop Dance” in the Mariinsky Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” By all accounts, he was rather proud of his performance, and in 1954, when he created his own “Nutcracker” for the New York City Ballet, he included the dance verbatim in the second act, and renamed it “Candy Cane.” With its double hoop jumps, it is still one of the most beloved sections of the ballet, performed by one adult dancer and eight children from the school. This merging of past and present, adult prowess and youthful flair, has helped insure this production’s enduring appeal for more than sixty years. It returns for a monthlong run.” (NewYorker)

“George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” continues performances throughout the month. It never disappoints, from its onstage snowstorm to the one-ton Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet. And there’s also, of course, Balanchine’s remarkable choreography, which brings the Tchaikovsky score to dancing life. This week, many of the principal dancers get a shot at Sugar Plum — Sara Mearns, Megan Fairchild and Lauren Lovette, among them — but not to be overlooked is the soloist Indiana Woodward, who is scheduled to do the honors on Dec. 7 opposite Chase Finlay as her Cavalier. She’s a delight.” (NYT 12/01-Gia Kourlas)


(11/10/17-1/1/18) The NYC perennial holiday favorite Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes® returns. Fan favorites include “New York at Christmas,” where the Rockettes® board a real double-decker bus, and the high-energy tap number “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Of course, beloved classics like “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” will also be back.


Let there be light!
Luminaries installation at Brookfield Place in the Winter Garden, a stunning holiday arrangement, comprising 650 LED lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Make sure to pack your skates and enjoy ice-skating next door, along the waterfront.
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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:
(5 underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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.

♦ 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 2017.  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):


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://
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

“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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