NYC Events, “Only the Best” (01/19) + 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:  January NYC Events”
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.
To make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

Al Foster’s Birthday Bash (Jan.18-20.)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“The indefatigable drummer Al Foster celebrates his seventy-fifth birthday by manning an appropriately kinetic quintet that includes the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and the saxophonist Dayna Stephens. Foster, who has stirred up rhythms for the likes of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and McCoy Tyner, among a wide swath of other luminaries, remains a powerhouse percussionist with a poet’s touch.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> AARON BURNETT AND THE BIG MACHINE
>> ANTHONY HAMILTON
>> CUBA FESTIVAL
>> NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER 2
>> Eddie Palmieri
>> Zlatne Uste Golden Festival

>> Black Comic Book Festival
Continuing Events
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

AARON BURNETT AND THE BIG MACHINE
at the Cell / 9PM, $15
“Boisterous and urgent, the tenor saxophonist Burnett sounds like he could be living on the jazz avant-garde of the 1970s, or surviving a cyborg apocalypse three decades in the future. His new album with the Big Machine is “Anomaly,” full of original compositions with a weird, seductive darkness — from ballads to scorching, unsettled postbop. Burnett celebrates the disc’s release with an iteration of the Big Machine that includes Joel Ross on vibraphone, Carlos Homs on piano, Nick Jozwiak on bass and Dan Nadeau on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, but this looks too good to miss:
ANTHONY HAMILTON
at Kings Theater / 8PM, $79+
“This R&B singer retains the aura of a different time — his rich, smooth voice and defiantly traditional instrumentation have long set him apart from many peers in the genre. His breakthrough in the early 2000s, for example, was fueled by an appearance on the bluesy, rustic Nappy Roots hit “Po’ Folks.” He has continued to draw on everything from classic gospel, with his 2016 single “Amen,” to barbershop harmonies, releasing a series of viral covers of rap hits with his quartet, the Hamiltones.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

CUBA FESTIVAL (through Jan. 20)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM,+8PM; $50+
“Our country’s relationship with Cuba may still be in flux but the Joyce Theater’s commitment to Cuban artists remains steadfast. Starting Jan. 9, the space presents the Cuba Festival. First up is the frequent visitor Malpaso Dance Company, a skilled and earnest troupe that will present a diverse program of works by Merce Cunningham, Abel Rojo and Beatriz Garcia Diaz, plus Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s haunting “Tabula Rasa” (through Jan. 13). The festival continues with the company Los Hijos del Director (Jan. 15-16) and the feisty contemporary Flamenco dancer Irene Rodríguez and her self-named company (Jan. 18-20).” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

NEDERLANDS DANS THEATER 2 (Jan.16-19)
at New York City Center / 8PM, $25+
“Known for its continually expanding repertory of new works by a roster of European choreographers, Nederlands Dans Theatre is the toast of the contemporary-dance crowd. The ensemble performing at City Center (tonight through Saturday) is the company’s junior troupe, Nederlands Dans Theatre 2, a group of sixteen classically trained dancers ranging in age from seventeen to twenty-three. A quadruple bill includes Marco Goecke’s 2017 “Wir Sagen Uns Dunkles” (“Darkness Spoken”)—a twitchy exploration of the relationship between dancer and choreographer, set to Schubert, Schnittke, and the British rock band Placebo—and “Mutual Comfort,” by Edward Clug, the choreographer of Diana Vishneva’s recent techno extravaganza, “Sleeping Beauty Dreams.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

Eddie Palmieri (Jan.15-20)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
Eddie Palmieri’s new album, “Mi Luz Mayor,” is dedicated to his late wife, Iraida, and includes songs they would dance to; judging from the propulsive performances that this giant of Latin music elicits from his crack orchestra, the couple must have cut quite a rug. Fusing idiomatic sounds from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other Latin-American locales with modern jazz, Palmieri’s music defines multicultural New York as indelibly as any sound that has arisen from its streets.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but Balkan brass bands are always worth the detour:
Zlatne Uste Golden Festival (Jan.18-20)
Good times the Balkan way
Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Brooklyn/ $30-$45
“Who doesn’t love some brassy, foot-tapping Balkan music — especially live, thundering through a giant hall with beer on tap? The Zlatne Uste Golden Festival brings two days of rousing dance music from over 60 artists to Grand Prospect Hall. Stay fueled with authentic regional cuisine and browse the Balkan Market upstairs, where they sell music, art, jewelry, textiles and more.” (Metro)

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

Black Comic Book Festival (Jan.18-19)
Beyond Black Panther
Schomburg Center / 10AM-7:30PM, FREE
“With Black Panther becoming the highest-grossing comic book film of all time, it’s clear the world wants to see new faces behind the masks of their favorite heroes. Meet the writers, illustrators and publishers who have been bringing diversity to the comics scene at this weekend’s Black Comic Book Festival. Back for a seventh year, the free two-day event will have panels, a marketplace, tons of cosplay and more nerdy fun.” (Metro)

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Continuing Events

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy The Lodge by Urbanspace, 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 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)


Magic After Hours
Tannen’s Magic, Midtown West (Until Dec 31 2019)

“Twice a week, after closing time, 20 people crowd into the city’s oldest magic shop, Tannen’s, for a cozy evening of prestidigitation by the young and engaging Noah Levine. The shelves are crammed with quirky devices; there’s a file cabinet behind the counter, a mock elephant in the corner and bins of individual trick instructions in plastic covers, like comic books or sheet music. The charm of Levine’s show is in how well it fits the environment of this magic-geek chamber of secrets. As he maneuvers cards, eggs, cups and balls with aplomb, he talks shop, larding his patter with tributes to routines like the Stencel Aces and the Vernon Boat Trick—heirlooms of his trade that he gently polishes and displays for our amazement.” (TONY)

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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 65 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.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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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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