NYC Events, “Only the Best” (02/02) + 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:  February 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:

Bettye LaVette
Iridium Jazz Club / 8:30PM, $40+
“Bettye LaVette is no mere singer. She is an interpreter of the highest order. Whether the song originated as country, rock, pop, or blues, when she gets through with it, it is pure R&B. She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric.

In 2016, her most recent CD, Worthy, garnered her a third Grammy nomination. She also received the Blues Music Award for Best Soul Blues Female Artist. She is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 1960s and is still creating vital recordings today.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Lucy Kaplansky
>>
BALLETBOYZ
>> J. D. ALLEN QUARTET
>> Songs of Freedom

>>A Night of Philosophy & Ideas
>> Lunar New Year
>> Winter Warmer Festival
Continuing Events
>> Restaurant Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Lucy Kaplansky (Album Release)
City Winery / 8PM, $28
“Lucy Kaplansky is a rare vocal talent, “a truly gifted performer…full of enchanting songs” (New York Times). Blending country, folk and pop styles, she has the unique ability to make every song sound fresh, whether singing her own sweet originals, covering country classics by June Carter Cash and Gram Parsons or singing pop favor- ites by Lennon/McCartney and Nick Lowe.”

BALLETBOYZ (through Feb.3).
at the Joyce Theater  / 2PM, +8PM, $35+
“This company, formed by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt — who met at the Royal Ballet School and both joined the Royal Ballet in 1987 — presents the New York premiere of “Young Men,” a multimedia work focusing on stories of love, friendship, loss and survival among soldiers in World War I. Choreographed by Iván Pérez, a former Nederlands Dans Theater member, the production is set to a score by Keaton Henson and includes a film.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

J. D. ALLEN QUARTET
at Smoke, 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $38
“One of today’s premier tenor saxophonists, Allen spent the last decade working with a steady trio, developing a sturdy but flexible sound based around minor melodies and bristling postbop rhythms. But he recently assembled a new trio featuring a couple of younger musicians, the bassist Ian Kenselaar and the drummer Nic Cacioppo. The early returns are good: An appearance at Winter Jazzfest, where the new trio was joined by the tenor saxophone luminary David Murray, showed how ably the young players have adapted to Allen’s personal style. This weekend the group performs with another of Allen’s frequent collaborators: the crisply expressive guitarist Liberty Ellman.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Songs of Freedom (Jan.31-Feb. 3)
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
In this program, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, and Abbey Lincoln—three of the mightiest voices of their eras—are fêted by the drummer and bandleader Ulysses Owens, Jr. He brings with him a cadre of inspired singers, including René Marie, Theo Bleckmann, and Alicia Olatuja, all of whom are primed to deliver righteous messages of candor and nonconformity.” (Steve Futterman NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Elsewhere, but this definitely looks worth the detour:
A Night of Philosophy & Ideas
Brooklyn Public Library – Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza / 7PM-7AM, FREE
“It’s time again to stay up all night with ideas. Top philosophers from around the world will again gather at the Brooklyn Central Library for a 12-hour sleepover, complete with philosophical debates, screenings, readings, and performances.

The 12-hour marathon features over 60 programs with everything from workshops and film screenings to live debates and circus acts. Complimentary Nespresso coffee served all night, and if you make it to 5 a.m. there’s free pastries from Colson Patisserie.” (Thought Gallery) (Metro)

Lunar New Year
Turnstyle Market, 57th St. and 8th Ave/ 3-7PM, $30
“Start your Year of the Pig party a little early. Taiwanese restaurant Zai Lai and the Turnstyle Market are partnering to ring in the new year with Chinese yo-yo demos, Chinese paper-cutting, red silk dancers, a lion dance, and of course plenty of food. Arrive hungry for hands-on make-you-own dumpling and scallion pancake stations, skewers, and the restaurant’s famed Taiwanese pork buns.” (Thrillist)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Eat and and drink local at the Winter Warmer Festival
“The Winter Warmer Festival gives guests a chance to sample the seasonal wares of several restaurants and pubs from around the city. Beer and liquors from 11 local makers will be available, and attendees can enjoy all this food and beverage by fire pits. Ticket holders gain free after-event admission to Williamsburg’s Schimanski bar-nightclub starting at 9 p.m.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Choice of 1:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2; Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn
INFO $49 to $75; winterwarmer.nyc

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Continuing Events

Restaurant Week (January 21 to February 10)
“Some of New York’s best known “deal holidays,” including NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Broadway Week, are joining forces this winter to create, wait for it… NYC Winter Outing.

From January 21 to February 10, NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Must-See Week will all be running simultaneously offering full nights out for drastically reduced rates. During this time, a selection of Broadway shows, museums, attractions and tours will be available at two-for-one prices and almost 400 restaurants across the city will be offering prix-fixe menus. As in previous years, that means $26 prix-fix lunches and $42, three-course dinners.

For more information on Restaurant Week, including our recommendations for the best deals to take advantage of this season, check out our NYC Restaurant Week page.” (TONY)

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 NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

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

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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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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