NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/23) + 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, check the tab above: NYC Events-JULY”
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:

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South (btw W11th/Perry St.) / 8:30Pm +10:30PM, $35
world class big band with 16 members on that small stage, a monday night institution.
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition.” (NYT)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Descendants: An African Sextet in New York
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Dyllón Burnside: Up Close and Personal
>> Nell Painter and Vivian Gornick in Conversation
>> Medieval Sex and Death
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week  
>>
Dance on Camera Festival
>>
Twelfth Night
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Descendants: An African Sextet in New York
Nelson Mandela Centennial Celebration
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
With vocalist Melanie Scholtz, trumpeter Lesedi Ntsane, tenor saxophonist Yacine Boulares, pianist Aaron Rimbui, bassist Zwelakhe-Duma Bell, and drummer Kesivan Naidoo.

“Nelson Mandela’s lifelong battle for freedom in South Africa had a secret weapon: music.”

The Descendants: An African Sextet in New York uplifts Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in celebration of the Nelson Mandela Centennial. The Jazz Afrika Sextet is a collective of versatile young musicians, two of whom are now based in New York, with the rest joining us from Africa. Their performance will showcase the rich history of South African jazz and folksong that has touched listeners all over the world. More than just great music, these musical traditions were significant catalysts for Mandela’s freedom and the end of Apartheid, capturing the world’s attention and adding international urgency to the cause. Join us at Dizzy’s to enjoy this unifying and irresistible music and celebrate the life, lessons, and leadership of Nelson Mandela.”

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 9:30PM, $30
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

Dyllón Burnside: Up Close and Personal
The Cutting Room / 7:30PM, $50
“Burnside is a singer as well as an actor, and appeared on Broadway as the baby-faced Anthony in the short-lived 2014 Tupac Shakur musical Holler If Ya Hear Me. On July 23, you’ll have chance to get to know him even better at the Cutting Room, where he will perform Up Close and Personal, a charity concert to celebrate the season finale of Pose (which has been renewed for a second season)” (TONY)

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

Nell Painter and Vivian Gornick in Conversation
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, $12
“Turn fact into fiction at this conversation with historian-turned-artist Nell Painter and writer Vivian Gornick on transforming lived experiences into written narrative.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Medieval Sex and Death
The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, $45

“Discover the fascinating history of sex, medicine, and reproduction in the Medieval period through an after-hours exploration of the Rare Book Room’s incredible collection.
Inside the privacy of the library, we’ll gather around to explore highlights from the New York Academy of Medicine’s rich collections on medieval medicine. How did medieval men and women avoid the plague? Was it possible to influence the gender of a baby during conception?

Medieval Europe takes shape through a varied manuscript tradition and early modern print culture as a glittering, volatile period, where plague and disease reminded individuals of their mortality, and the mysteries of conception and birth were mysterious and opaque. During this visit to the rare book room, we’ll dive into this spirited time by exploring the woodcuts of Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools, the tradition of the Danse Macabre in anatomy, and early medieval attempts to draw and understand reproduction. Born, loved, wounded, and buried, the medieval bodies you’ll encounter in our rare book room afford a glimpse of what it was to be human a thousand years ago.”

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Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Dance on Camera Festival (July 20-24)
Film Society of Lincoln Center / Various times and prices
“A co-production of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Dance Films Association, this year’s festival — its namesake’s 46th — offers sixteen programs encompassing ambitious features and quirky shorts from seventeen countries. In addition to the programs at the giant Walter Reade Theater, free screenings and discussions take place in the FSLC’s Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center Amphitheater across the street. Grab an all-access pass, another discount package, or single tickets and enjoy the comfy, commercial-free cinema environs.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

“If you’ve been wondering what happened to the excellent Dance on Camera film festival, which used to take place in the first weeks of January, here’s your answer: it was moved to the slow weeks in the middle of the summer. The forty-sixth edition contains the usual mix of documentaries, artist portraits, film shorts, and performance archives. Highlights and curiosities include never-before-seen footage of Marcel Marceau, a fourteen-minute film of the extraordinary Indian classical dancer Shantala Shivalingappa performing in South India, a meditation on the history of tap by Mark Wilkinson, and three short films devoted to the Danish Romantic-ballet choreographer August Bournonville.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

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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.

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

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove 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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