- 5C Café
68 Avenue C, 212-477-5993
Jazz-heads’ favorite haunts help determine their conception of the city grid. Uptown? Smoke. Downtown? Detour. It’s unlikely that even the most dedicated fans, though, have this remote spot plotted on their mental maps. Situated on a run-down block in Alphabet City, 5C looks more like the health-food eatery it doubles as (blenders and fresh vegetables line the windows) than like a jazz club. In fact, it brings in a number of avant-jazz’s hottest players, including Charles Gayle, Matthew Shipp, and Charles Eubanks. And in keeping with 5C’s very Loisada locale, cover is kept low (never more than eight bucks). Best of all, 5C is a potent reminder of Avenue C’s past at a time when many of its more homespun businesses are giving way to overpriced bars. Well worth amending one’s internal gazetteer for.
Best Cheap Jazz
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).