NYC Events, “Only the Best” (05/19) + 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:  “May 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.
OR 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:

Bill Charlap Trio (May 14-26)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40-$45
“Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…when he sits down to play, the result is an embrace, an act of possession. The tune rises, falls, disappears, and resurfaces in new forms as Charlap ranges over the keyboard with nimble, crisply swinging lines, subtly layered textures, dense chords, and spiky interjections.” TIME Magazine
One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed and recorded with modern masters ranging from Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis to Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. Since 1997 he has led the Grammy Award-nominated Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, long recognized as a leading group in jazz. Veterans of all the top jazz venues, including, this trio is exemplary for its jaw-dropping level of chemistry and on-the-fly interactivity, made possible by both technical chops and hard-earned experience.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Parsons Dance Company
>> Ben Wendel
>> NEW YORK CITY BALLET
>> THE GIL EVANS PROJECT
>> 9th Avenue International Food Festival
>> World’s Fare 2019

>> Say “Happy Birthday!” to Walt Whitman

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Parsons Dance Company (May14-26)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave./ 2PM, $55+
“David Parsons got his start in Paul Taylor’s company. Now the acolyte honors his mentor, who died last year, by presenting “Runes,” a powerfully strange ritual that Taylor made in 1975 and which later served as a breakout piece for Parsons. Also on the program is the New York première of “Eight Women,” by Trey McIntyre, set to songs by Aretha Franklin, who died the same month as Taylor. McIntyre has a strong track record making dances to pop music. Here, some of the women are played by men.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Ben Wendel (May 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Ben Wendel, a saxophonist and bassoonist (and a member of the popular band Kneebody), created his “Seasons” project as a series of online video duets that sprang from programmatic piano pieces by Tchaikovsky. It took on a new life as both an album and a band. Here four partners from those duets—the guitarist Gilad Hekselman, the pianist Aaron Parks, the bassist Matt Brewer, and the drummer Eric Harland—join Wendel to give ample voice to his adventurously inviting music.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 2)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 3PM, $35+
“This weekend coincides with the return of the principal Amar Ramasar, one of two dancers who was fired for sharing sexually explicit photos of female dancers and was then reinstated to his position at City Ballet by an arbitrator. He appears opposite Sara Mearns in George Balanchine’s “Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet” (the matinees on Saturday and Sunday). On Friday night, a relatively fresh cast of Jerome Robbins’s “Dances at a Gathering” takes the stage with debuts by four of the finest dancers in the company: Unity Phelan, Anthony Huxley, Russell Janzen and Joseph Gordon. The coming week affords more chances to see Robbins’s masterpiece, along with Balanchine’s “Stars and Stripes.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
tonight: BALANCHINE BIG & BOLD

Balanchine evokes two distinct atmospheres in the ballets sharing this program, each boasting a cast of over 50 dancers.

THE GIL EVANS PROJECT (May 16-19)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $35
“Evans is the rare composer whose music doesn’t need any refurbishing or newfangled interpretation to sound contemporary. Ryan Truesdell, a young composer and arranger, has made it his mission to prove that point: He goes directly to Evans’s original big-band manuscripts — including some charts that haven’t been played in over 50 years — and restages them to full effect. On Thursday and Friday, Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project ensemble will perform selections from Evans’s tenure with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra in the 1940s. On Saturday and Sunday, the focus will fall on Evans’s better-known work of the 1950s and ’60s.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

9th Avenue International Food Festival (May18-19)
“The streets between 42nd and 57th are filled with the smell of smoke and oil from gyro carts, empanada stands, and donut shops at the 9th Avenue International Food Festival. Come hungry and without a destination in mind: The crowd’s shoulder to shoulder, but that’s easily forgotten while sipping a cold beer as you walk down the street. Pause to take in some live music, then follow your nose to the fried Oreos, Kobe beef hot dogs, and bacon-topped cocktails.
Cost: Free to enter, but bring cash for street food.” (thrillist)

Elsewhere, but these sure look worth the detours:

Say “Happy Birthday!” to Walt Whitman (May18-19)
The Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library / 12PM-1:30PM, FREE
“Mark the 200th birthday of Brooklyn’s own Walt Whitman with a series of lectures, readings, and workshops inspired by the Leaves of Grass poet himself. The Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library at Grand Army Plaza is hosting scholars, poets, and artists to celebrate Walt Whitman’s legacy. Stop by to get inspired and remember that Whitman’s family believed his poems were, and I quote, not “worth reading.” So there’s still hope for your Avengers fanfiction!”

World’s Fare 2019 (May 18-19)
“Taking inspiration from the 1964 World’s Fair, World’s Fare 2019 will offer authentic foods and wares for purchase, served up by more than 100 vendors representing cultures from around the globe. ($23, with beer garden entry: $49; children age 9 and younger: $9; Noon to 8 p.m.; Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, Queens; theworldsfare.nyc)” (amNY)

AND The Statue of Liberty Museum opened just this week!


Continuing Events

NYCxDESIGN (May 10-22)
“New York City’s annual celebration of design, attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe. Taking place each May, the event celebrates a world of design and showcases over a dozen design disciplines through events taking place across the city’s five boroughs.”

What to See – Times Square transforms into a design paradise for NYCxDESIGN

“Here’s a reason for New Yorkers to head to Times Square: there are sixteen installations to check out at DESIGN PAVILION, the hub of NYCxDESIGN, the annual city-wide celebration of design.  Stretching from 42nd Street to 47th Street across five plazas (kiosks will show maps to aid your journey), there is everything from an “ecocapsule,”, a tiny house, a carousel of creative chairs, to an iconic Eastern European bloc kiosk shown in the United States for the first time.” (untapped cities)

Design Pavilion in Times Square. Explore the future at this free annual public design happening. Design Pavilion serves as the public hub for NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s annual celebration of international design. Open daily 11am-9pm between West 42nd and West 47th, bounded by Broadway and Seventh Avenue, highlights of the Design Pavilion include a 50,000 pound yacht, an interactive tiny house sculpture, FutureHAUS (the world’s best solar home), and a sound and vision exhibition. (cityguideny)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

5/19 & 21 Passion Pit, The Rooftop At Pier 17
5/19 Anthony De Costa, Mercury Lounge
5/19-20 Nils Lofgren, City Winery
5/21 Jimmy Webb, City Winery
5/22 St. Lucia, Irving Plaza
5/22 Positively Bob Dylan 78th Birthday Tribute, City Winery

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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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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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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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NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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