NYC Events, “Only the Best” (03/20) + 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:  March 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:

CARLA BLEY TRIO
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $
“Unlike her compositions — a lovable admixture of American folk songs, avant-garde jazz, soft rock and Romanticism — Bley, at age 82, remains a rather inaccessible figure. She doesn’t tour often, and she has long preferred the scholarly remove of a composer’s identity to the more public one of a bandleader. All of which makes this appearance, featuring her longstanding trio (Bley on piano, Steve Swallow on bass and Andy Sheppard on saxophones), something especially worth seeking out.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> CUNY DANCE INITIATIVE
>> The Bad Plus

>> Rigoletto
>>
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

>> Central Park Celebrates Spring
>>An Evening with Music Director Jaap van Zweden
>> Death Becomes Us

Continuing Events
>> NOCHE FLAMENCA
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

CUNY DANCE INITIATIVE (Mar.20-23)
at Baruch Performing Arts Center / 7:30 p.m.;
“Over the past five years, this expansive residency program has brought more than 100 dance artists to 13 CUNY campuses across the city. This annual showcase offers a sampling of that work, and this year it’s spread over two programs. Program A (on Wednesday and March 22) features the flamenco pair Sonia Olla and Ismael Fernandez, the tap dancer Andrew Nemr, the choreographer Loni Landon and a solo from Urban Bush Women. Program B (on Thursday and March 23) includes Pigeonwing Dance, a solo by Parijat Desai, a mix of dance and spoken word by MBDance and an excerpt from Ephrat Asherie Dance.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

The Bad Plus (Mar.19-24)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“As momentous transitions go, it’s been a relatively smooth one for the epochal trio the Bad Plus, which replaced its pivotal pianist Ethan Iverson with the equally skilled player Orrin Evans in 2017. A fine subsequent studio album, “Never Stop II”—which incorporated original material from Evans—and absorbing live performances have proved that the future looks bright for this once iconoclastic and now firmly entrenched ensemble.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Rigoletto (next Apr.26, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $20+
“Verdi’s tragic jester returns in Michael Mayer’s neon-bedecked, Las Vegas–themed production. Baritones Roberto Frontali and George Gagnidze share the title role, and soprano Nadine Sierra reprises her portrayal of Gilda, the role that helped launch her now-blossoming Met career. Tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Bryan Hymel share the role of the lascivious Duke, and Nicola Luisotti conducts.”

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (Mar.20-24)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $55+
“It’s rare for a touring ensemble to perform to live music, and even rarer for a contemporary troupe to do so—it’s too expensive, too cumbersome. But Aspen Santa Fe has come up with a simple and elegant solution: a trio of piano ballets, all accompanied onstage by the excellent pianist Joyce Yang. In Jorma Elo’s high-spirited “Half/Cut/Split,” the dancers cavort, speedily, to Schumann’s “Carnaval.” The surrealism of Fernando Melo’s “Dream Play”—in which dancers appear to balance on tightropes and fly—is paired with the spare melodies of Satie and Chopin. And Philip Glass’s looping motifs set a moody atmosphere for Nicolo Fonte’s “Where We Left Off.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Central Park Celebrates Spring
various locations in the park / 9AM- 6PM, FREE
“Ahh, it’s finally spring and the park is coming alive. There will be a full day of free programming at Central Park, including an introductory birding tour in the Ramble; pop-up readings by Mark Bittman, author of “How to Cook Everything” and “Dinner for Everyone,” and Nicole Krauss, author of “Forest Dark;” volunteer opportunities and gardening tips from Conservancy staff from Shakespeare and Conservatory Gardens; catch-and-release fishing at the Harlem Meer; games at Chess & Checkers House and more.” (amNY)

An Evening with Music Director Jaap van Zweden
Insights at the Atrium
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“As he approaches the end of his inaugural season as music director of the New York Philharmonic, Jaap van Zweden discusses his path to the Philharmonic, the core values he brings to his musicianship and the Orchestra, and his views on the role of the symphony orchestra in the 21st century.”

Death Becomes Us (Mar.20-24)
Find your favorite murder.
Various locations, times
“The first NYC edition of this D.C.-based festival brings together crime authors, content creators, and their fans. Highlights include a talk with Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder of Serial and a panel on being falsely accused with Amanda Knox and Damien Echols, who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.” (vulture.com)

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Continuing Events

NOCHE FLAMENCA (thru Mar.31, NO MON.)
at the Connelly Theater
“This splendid flamenco company, led by Martín Santangelo, its artistic director, and the dancer Soledad Barrio, presents “Entre Tú y Yo” (“Between You and Me”), an evening of solos, duets and ensemble works that includes “Refugiados” (“Refugees”), which has been recently added to the company’s repertoire. The piece transforms poems written by children in refugee camps into song and dance. The program also features the latest iteration of “La Ronde,” which is inspired by Max Ophüls’s 1950 film and spotlights the talents of a guitarist, a vocalist and a solo dancer.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
(March 12-14, 7:30 p.m.; through March 31).
If you like flamenco even a little, you must see Soledad’s performance.

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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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