NYC Events, “Only the Best” (08/22) + 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-August”
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:

David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band
Birdland, 315 W 44th St./ 5:30PM, $30
“Inspired by the noble jazz pioneers Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and their colleagues, David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band breathes life and passion into America’s own great art form. Legendary record producer George Avakian describes the band in this way:

“There has never been a band quite like this one. Most groups, past and present, stick to one style. Some current groups attempt to recreate early recordings in their entirety. These guys do neither. Inspired by divergent bands of the 1920s and 30s, you’ll hear them swing a variety of styles in music by a wide range of composers, always true to the joy and heart of the music.”

Now in its 14th year of residency at Birdland, the weekly post-workday engagement is the city’s best musical bargain! Tuba player David Ostwald leads a rotating lineup that features talents such as clarinetist Anat Cohen, trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Ehud Asherie, drummer Marion Felder and more!”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ‘MR. GAGA’ WITH GALLIM
>> Harold Mabern
>> BRANDEE YOUNGER QUINTET
>>  Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole:
>> Bill Frisell
>> Fly Girls: Keith O’Brien with Siobhan O’Connor
>> Fear & Force: New York City’s Sons of Liberty
Continuing Events
>> 2018 U.S. Open Fan Week
>> Candytopia
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

‘MR. GAGA’ WITH GALLIM
at Rumsey Playfield / 8 p.m., FREE
“Andrea Miller spent several years in Tel Aviv as a member of Batsheva — the Young Ensemble, the junior wing of Israel’s premier contemporary dance troupe. There she was immersed in Gaga, the movement research of Batsheva’s renowned director Ohad Naharin; it imbues his work with an almost paradoxical sense of intensity and delicacy. Ms. Miller is now a respected choreographer in her own right with her New York-based company Gallim, who will perform at SummerStage in Central Park before a screening of the excellent documentary “Mr. Gaga.” The film explores little-known aspects of Mr. Naharin’s biography and features gorgeous excerpts from his work.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Harold Mabern (Aug. 21-26.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $35
“This fluent and eminently soulful pianist is no stranger to New York clubs, but it’s always an event when he appears at this hallowed venue. A Memphis transplant who carried his deep blues roots up North with him in the early sixties, Mabern will be supported by two trusted associates: the bassist John Webber and the drummer Joe Farnsworth.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

BRANDEE YOUNGER QUINTET (Aug. 21-22)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $
“Ms. Younger’s harp playing can be airy or imagistic, but it’s usually grounded in a groove. Over the past decade, she’s proven adept at bringing the instrument into contexts where it had rarely gone: jazz infused with neo-soul; springy post-bop; experiments alongside Afro-Cuban improvisers. On Night 1 of her brief run at Jazz Standard, the classically trained harpist will appear in an electrified quintet with some of her most accomplished contemporaries: Keyon Harrold on trumpet, Chelsea Baratz on tenor saxophone, Rashaan Carter on electric bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums. On Night 2, a different but equally impressive group joins her in an acoustic format: Mr. Harrold, as well as Anne Drummond on flute, Dezron Douglas on upright bass and E. J. Strickland on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

 Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole: Two For the Road (Aug.21-31)
54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“Feinstein, the popular and polished standard-bearer of American song, returns to the club that bears his name for a long run that teams him with one of the best cabaret performers out there: Broadway leading lady Ebersole (Grey Gardens), who is equally skilled at comedy and sentiment and who moves with ease between her lustrous belt and legit soprano. Among the selections in their Great American Songbook–centered set are “Stormy Weather,” “Time After Time” and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.” (TONY)

Bill Frisell (Aug.21-25)
The Stone / 8:30PM, $20
“Guitarist Bill Frisell, the cowlick on the towhead of jazzy Americana, begins a five-night residency devoted to duets with drummers. It’s a smart move: His floating, twanging, looping, and harmonically allusive style provides the perfect background for percussive pageantry. Frisell begins Tuesday alongside Gerald Cleaver, a drummer rooted in Detroit’s hard-bop heritage who can go just about anywhere. Kenny Wollesen, Frisell’s exquisitely laid-back drummer in a longtime trio with bassist Tony Scherr, joins him Wednesday for a set that may include some of Wollesen’s own percussion inventions. Expect fireworks August 23, when Andrew Cyrille brings his pioneering outside handiwork to the table. Johnathan Blake, who’s played with everyone from Robert Glasper and Oliver Lake to rapper Q-Tip and singer Monday Michiru, and man-machine Mark Guiliana, who played on Bowie’s Blackstar, fill out this ingenious week of strings and things that go bump in the night.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

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

Fly Girls: Keith O’Brien with Siobhan O’Connor
New York Public Library—Mid-Manhattan Library, 476 Fifth Ave. (42nd St. Entrance)/ 6:30PM, FREE
“In the 1920s and ’30s airplane racing was a dangerous and popular new sport. Fans flocked to multi-day events, and cities vied to host them. Many of the pilots themselves were admired and respected as heroes—unless they were women. The press and popular opinion considered female pilots ridiculous and foolish to attempt such a masculine and dangerous sport. In Fly Girls, Keith O’Brien tells the stories of five remarkable women of varied backgrounds who joined forces for the chance to compete against men, so that in 1936 one of them could triumph in the toughest race of all.

Keith O’Brien, the author of Outside Shot: Big Dreams, Hard Times, and One County’s Quest for Basketball Greatness, as well as a former reporter for the Boston Globe and contributor to National Public Radio, will be joined in conversation with Siobhan O’Connor, vice president of editorial at Medium and former executive editor at Time. Q&A to follow.”

Exhibition Opening | Fear & Force: New York City’s Sons of Liberty
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, $7
“We may not like paying taxes, but we would never think to tar and feather the tax collector. Yet as many of the colonists prepared for what would be the American Revolution, there was an organized group who opposed the government through violent resistance. Come see objects preserved from pivotal moments relating to the New York Sons of Liberty, like the tearing down of the King George statue in Bowling Green Park, and throwing chests of tea into the New York Harbor.”

Indie Beauty Expo
Pier 36, 299 South St./ $39 to $195, 5 to 9 p.m.
“Beauty gurus, listen up. More than 240 indie beauty, wellness and lifestyle brands from all around the world are going to be in one place this week (O’o Hawaii, Julie Mollo!, Moon Bath, Ikoo and Plant Apothecary among others). The expo, which will have exclusive show specials such as gifts with purchase, upgrades and discounts, will give shoppers an opportunity meet brand founders and other beauty lovers while getting a first look at the newest products.” (amNY)

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Continuing Events

2018 U.S. Open Fan Week (Aug.21-26)
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park /
“There’s going to be a lot of racket (swinging) at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park come August 27 during the U.S. Open, a two-week tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. Tickets for the usually star-studded matches (Bey and Jay-Z attended in recent years) tend to be steep ($65 to $100 for the cheap seats), but you can attend free of charge during U.S. Open Fan Week.

Just one week before the professional matches begin, head to the National Tennis Center to watch a qualifying tournament, where 128 women and 128 men compete. You can also check out the top dogs in tennis practice on the grounds (think Serena and Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal), and be just a few feet away from your favorite players. There’s even more tennis-related activities scheduled off the court, too. Get pumped for New York’s major summer sporting showdown during the U.S. Open Experience on Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23 at Brookfield Place. Players and special guests will make appearances and pose for selfies, and there will be food sampling and more sponsor-related activities at the scene. The event promises to be more fun than you can shake a racket at!” (TONY)

For a wonderful guide to the U.S. Open, try TimeOutNewYork’s guide.

Candytopia (thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)
DIVE INTO A HUGE MARSHMALLOW PIT AT CANDYTOPIA
“First it was in Los Angeles, and now it’s made its way to the east coast. Candytopia is officially open in NYC! Just like many other pop-ups, this one has uniquely designed rooms — except this one is all about candy. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to snag a ticket and enjoy the marshmallow pit and candy-filled rooms.” (bestproducts.com)

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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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