NYC Events, “Only the Best” (08/17) + 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:  “August 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.”


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

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Beck & Cage The Elephant
Forest Hills Stadium / 5PM, $70+
“A quarter century ago, Beck’s “Loser” was that era’s “Old Town Road,” a fluke hit awash in folk and hip-hop elements that seemed to emanate from both everywhere and nowhere. Beck’s subsequent career has been a paradigm of range and ingenuity. In advance of an upcoming album, produced with Pharrell Williams, he co-headlines a tour with Cage the Elephant; Spoon, whose music, like Beck’s, has a pervasive air of cool; and Sunflower Bean, a young group with a pleasing nineties sound.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

GD: Great venue for a concert; easy to get to on the Long Island Rail Road from Penn Station (16 minutes).


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Black Woodstock”
>> Chelsie Denise
>> Summer Streets

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Black Woodstock”
Marcus Garvey Park / 7PM, FREE
“This August doesn’t just mark 50 years since Woodstock — it’s also the anniversary of the Harlem Cultural Festival, which had an epic summer of ‘69. Sometimes referred to as “Black Woodstock,” the Harlem festival featured performances by Nina Simone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Sly and the Family Stone, and Stevie Wonder.

SummerStage and Future Sounds are commemorating the occasion with a “Black Woodstock” show — at the very same Harlem location, now known as Marcus Garvey Park — with a lineup featuring Talib Kweli and Keyon Harrold.” (

at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $20-$30
“Slow and viscous, the original music on “In Bloom,” this young trombonist’s debut recording, moves with an unhurried, sighing attitude. She writes melodies with long, held notes, and her songs usually linger between slow and mid-tempo. The idea, it seems, is to dip you into a feeling or a pattern or a breathing speed, and keep you there. Vandever will play music from “In Bloom,” which came out in the spring, with the band from the album: Theo Walentiny on piano, Lee Meadvin on guitar, Nick Dunston on bass and Connor Parks on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

at the Joyce Theater (Aug. 17, 2 and 8 p.m.; Aug. 18, 2 p.m.), $85+
“Over the past couple of weeks, artists associated with Britain’s Royal Ballet have been taking turns curating programs for the Joyce’s annual midsummer gift to balletomanes. The fourth and final one belongs to the adventurous principal dancer Edward Watson. His lineup will begin with four short works — all duets and solos — by the choreographers Wayne McGregor, James Alsop, Laila Diallo and Javier de Frutos; the pieces will be performed by Watson, his Royal Ballet colleague Sarah Lamb and the former New York City Ballet dancer Robert Fairchild. Following the intermission, the three will come together in Arthur Pita’s “Cristaux” and will be joined by the City Ballet principal Maria Kowroski.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

at Bowery Ballroom / 8 p.m.; $18
“Initially a side endeavor dreamed up by the singer-songwriter Jake Ewald in an attempt to escape from writer’s block, this project has since become the erstwhile Modern Baseball frontman’s primary creative outlet. With his third album under the Slaughter Beach umbrella, released this month, he has edged even further from the nervy pop-punk sound embraced by his former group. The record, titled “Safe and Also No Fear,” is folky and measured; its songs, like the morose, half-sung, half-spoken epic “Black Oak,” unspool their underlying anxieties in their own time.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $38
“A dizzyingly talented pianist with equal doses of stride and bebop in his playing, O’Neal has much in common with Oscar Peterson, the famed piano player who in the 1950s and ’60s was seen as Art Tatum’s heir apparent. (O’Neal, in turn, portrayed Tatum in “Ray,” the blockbuster 2004 film.) This weekend O’Neal will play music from Peterson’s repertoire, celebrating what would have been his 94th birthday. O’Neal will be joined by the bassist Peter Washington and the drummer Lewis Nash.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Chelsie Denise
Time Out Market New York, DUMBO / 7PM, FREE
“A Native New Yorker, Chelsie Denise, is a soulful singer-songwriter using her pen to create melodies from her experiences growing up in the concrete Jungle. This Canarsie native uses her voice while traveling through love, life, and self, with optimism, hope, and growth.” (TONY)

GD: This is a great spot for music on a summer evening.


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Summer Streets (first three Saturdays in August – so this is it for 2019)
Park Avenue and Lafayette St./ 7AM-1PM, FREE
“The 12th annual Summer Streets is closing 7 miles of road to cars from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park for the first three Saturdays of August. Selected streets will be made available exclusively to cyclists, runners and pedestrians, where there will be free fitness classes, dance performances, and rock climbing at stops along the route.”

Continuing Events

Battery Dance presents The 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival
Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce St. (Aug.17) / 6-8PM, $10
“Battery Dance, in association with Battery Park City Authority, announces the 38th Annual Battery Dance Festival with free performances from August 11-16, 2019 from 7-9 pm against the backdrop of New York Harbor at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park in Battery Park City, culminating in a closing performance on August 17, 2019, from 6pm to 8pm at The Schimmel Center at Pace University. Tickets for the closing performance are $10.00; or $65 including after-reception.”

This festival, which started in 1982, returns to Lower Manhattan for a week of outdoor shows, as well as one at the Schimmel Center on Aug. 17. As always, the event includes dance companies and artists from around the world; this year, expect performers from Argentina, Austria, Curaçao, France, India, Iraq, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Turkey. And it wouldn’t be the Battery Dance Festival without a celebration, on Thursday, of Indian Independence Day. The focus is on Manipuri dance with Darshana Jhaveri & Drummers and Dancers of Manipur. Audience members have the chance to dance, too: After each outdoor show, artists will lead participants in a movement adventure of their own.” (NYT-

Concert Series / Curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center
Thursdays from 5-7pm, from June to September
Broadway Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets

“Give your Thursday night a new rhythm as you head to the train or wait for a colleague to join you for dinner. Jazz at Lincoln Center brings New York City’s hottest young jazz bands to the plaza, creating the feeling of an intimate club amidst the lights and sounds of Times Square.”



8/16-17 Galactic, Brooklyn Bowl
8/17 Beck, Cage The Elephant and Spoon, Forest Hills Stadium
8/19 The Binky Griptite Orchestra, Union Pool
8/21 Tame Impala, Madison Square Garden

♦ 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 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. 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.

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://
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

“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.


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.”


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


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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