NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/24) + 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-MAY”
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.

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

¡VAYA! 63: Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE, but get there early for a seat.
“Selected as the “Best Cuban Band” by New York Latin Magazine in 2017 and “Best Band in Manhattan” by WNYC in 2017, the explosive Los Habaneros are a force to behold onstage—and for tonight’s party, on the dance floor. Mixing musical styles from their home in Cuba with the diversity of sounds they encountered when they made New York City their home, Los Habaneros transcend traditional musical genres to create a real fusion that provokes fans into hip-shaking abandon. The band is made up of a young generation of Havana-trained musicians, including director and singer Gerardo Contino, artistic director and pianist Axel Tosca Laugart, and percussionist Yusnier Sanchez Bustamante. The band’s first album, Somos Latinos (2013), was released to very high critical acclaim. It was produced by Latin Grammy-nominated Luisito Quintero, and included five-time Grammy Award–winning bassist John Benitez. Their second album, Los Habaneros, will be released in 2018.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Rene Marie
>> JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE
>> Natalie Joy Johnson: The 40th Birthday Show
>> BRIAN MARSELLA, CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE AND ANWAR MARSHALL
>> Guillermo Klein y los Guachos
>> Homicide: Life on the Street | A Reunion
Continuing Events
>> Fleet Week 
>> Vision Festival
>> Mad. Sq. Eats
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Rene Marie (May 24-26)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Feisty and outspoken, Marie is no wallflower of a performer—electrifying a room is all in a night’s work for her. Although her 2013 tribute to an earlier musical and social sparkplug, “I Wanna Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt,” garnered considerable attention, “Sound of Red,” Marie’s most recent recording, is a decidedly personal project offering original songs that confirm her aversion to stylistic pigeonholing.” (NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE
at the Music Hall of Williamsburg / 8PM, $25
“This bill features the next generation of two musical families: Mr. Earle is the son of the country troubadour Steve Earle and named in part for the elder Mr. Earle’s mentor Townes Van Zandt. Lilly Hiatt, who will be opening the concert, is the daughter of the singer-songwriter John Hiatt (“Have a Little Faith in Me,” among others). What ties them together is a passion for songs, specifically ones that transcend both genre and time: Even as these scions distinguish themselves musically (Mr. Earle skews traditional country, and Ms. Hiatt’s sound is more grunge rock than Music Row), their work is still grounded in storytelling.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Natalie Joy Johnson: The 40th Birthday Show
The Green Room 42 / 10;30PM, $20
“Gutsy musical-theater neodiva Johnson (Kinky Boots) had a cabaret breakthrough with 2011’s Relentless at Joe’s Pub, and has been rocking New York City nightlife ever since. Her 40th-birthday extravaganza promises to be a rollicking night of song, sex and showbiz excess.” (TONY)

BRIAN MARSELLA, CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE AND ANWAR MARSHALL
at the Stone / 7PM, $20
“Three excellent Philadelphia musicians, each with his own vantage point, come together to elevate a hometown hero. The pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali, who died in 1980, is widely respected among jazz musicians in Philadelphia for his frayed, locomotive style and his imaginative compositions, but he’s hardly known anywhere else. (He is only thought to have recorded on one album, “The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan,” from 1965.) Mr. McBride is a bassist of wide renown; Mr. Marsella, a pianist, and Mr. Marshall, a drummer, are young musicians on the rise.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Guillermo Klein y los Guachos (May 22-27)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30, +10:30PM, $35+
Ahead of the curve in the nineteen-nineties, when he initially convened his own large ensembles, this ambitious composer, arranger, pianist, and vocalist continues to thwart big-band conventions. Klein’s music delights in shifting time signatures, rich tonalities, and arresting multicultural influences, attracting some of the most farsighted improvisers around, including Miguel Zenon, Ben Monder, and Taylor Haskins.” (NewYorker)

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

Homicide: Life on the Street | A Reunion
Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd St./ 6:30PM, $32
“Get back together with the cast and creatives behind Homicide: Life on the Street as they reunite at the Paley Center for Media.

Running for seven seasons on NBC, Homicide: Life on the Street was a critically revered cop drama that won an unprecedented three Peabody Awards and an intensely passionate fan base, as it artfully limned an emotionally fraught band of brothers (and sisters). Based on David Simon’s nonfiction book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, the series followed homicide detectives adrift in inner-city Baltimore, fittingly named from the anglicized version of the Irish Baile an Tí Mhóir, meaning Town of the Big House. Along with NYPD Blue and Law & Order, it defined the sophisticated police drama for the nineties, but distinguished itself with fearless formal innovation and a predilection for excavating the doubts and vulnerabilities simmering beneath the surface of its characters. Join us as we reunite key members of the cast and creative team of one of the most influential and acclaimed dramas in television history.”

Oh man, I can’t wait to see these guys. What an awesome TV series that was – well written, well acted. They don’t make them like that anymore.

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Continuing Events

Fleet Week (May 23-29)
“If it’s the weekend before Memorial Day, then it must be time for Fleet Week. On Wednesday, the Parade of Ships will take place, with numerous vessels—including the amphibious transport dock USS Arlington, the missile destroyer USS Mitscher, and the oceanographic survey ship USNS Maury—heading up through the New York Harbor and up the Hudson. The ships are docked afterwards for the public to visit. Besides visiting participating ships and concerts, there are marine demos, Navy diver demos, and aviation displays.” (Gothamist)

The best Fleet Week events in NYC (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Vision Festival (May 23-28)
Roulette / 509 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn / at various times, $40
“Moving across the river to Brooklyn once again, the Vision Festival remains steadfast in its commitment to exploratory jazz and the still active pioneers of the genre; the wide-ranging roster includes Oliver Lake, Matthew Shipp, Roscoe Mitchell, Mary Halvorson, Fay Victor, and the festival co-organizer William Parker. This year, the intrepid showcase celebrates the pianist and composer Dave Burrell, featured on opening night in various ensembles, including a reunion with another crucial free-jazz cohort, the saxophonist Archie Shepp.” (NewYorker)

“Vision Festival 2018: 8 acts not to miss at the annual jazz showcase” (TONY)

Mad. Sq. Eats (May 07-31)
General Worth Square (5th Ave btw 25/26 St.) / near Madison Square Park
11AM-9PM; FREE
“Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. Highlights include Roberta’s sensational pizza, MeltKraft grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesesteaks by the Truffleist.” (TONY)

“Mad. Sq. Eats brings the diverse flavors of the city’s best restaurants and food entrepreneurs to Worth Square, a prime location in the heart of New York’s historic Flatiron District. The highly anticipated bi-annual event draws hungry crowds of neighborhood residents, workers, and tourists who enjoy this unique opportunity to savor offerings from buzzworthy eateries.”

2018 Vendor List
Burger & Lobster / Jicama / Renegade Lemonade /
the Truffleist / Mayhem Sandwiches / Gotham Poke & Hawaiian Kitchen / Bao by Kaya / La Sonrisa / Frida’s Favorites / Roberta’s /
Duck Season / Daa! Dumplings / Mr. Bing / Baked Cheese Haus / Chick’NCone / Arancini Bros / Top Hops Beer Shop / CousCous /
Melt Ice cream Sandwiches / Ice & Vice / Palenque Arepas /
Coney Shack / Korilla / Casa Toscana / Enfes NYC

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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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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