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Gotham After Hours - Music and Cocktails in the City That Never Sleeps

From torch-song cabarets to cutting-edge dance clubs, from neighborhood bars to velvet-rope lounges, plus world-class comedy clubs and establishments with all manner of live entertainment, New York City is a world capital of nightlife. Here you can find libations from beer and wine to elaborate cocktails and high-end champagne, often accompanied by great food.

Like everything else, travel and live jazz have suffered the economic downturn in New York and beyond. Fortunately, this summer you don’t have to go any farther than the New York Harbor every Wednesday night for great jazz and beautiful city views.

For the 10th year in a row, The Smooth Cruises are sailing along the scenic Hudson River every Wednesday night through Sept. 2nd. This series features some of the world’s premier jazz artists with Marquee Concerts transforming the Spirit of New York cruise ship into a floating jazz club. There is a sunset cruise (6:30pm) and a moonlight cruise (9:30pm), and this year’s featured artists include Peter White & Mindi Abair (Aug. 12th),  Marion Meados & Shilts (from Down to the Bone) (Aug. 19th), Phil Perry (Aug. 26th), and Pieces of a Dream (Sept. 2nd). Tickets are $55 and available at www.smoothjazznewyork.com, 866-211-3812 or the Spirit Cruises box office on Pier 61.

Voted a top-rated comedy club by the Daily News and best comedy club in NYC by NY Press, Gotham Comedy Club is one of the city’s most elegant and upscale venues. It hosts seven shows a week with today’s top talent, such as Lewis Black and Colin Quinn. Even legends like Jerry Seinfeld drop in on occasion.

If you’re looking for a place that is a little more exotic to have a tipple, Sofrito’s hip Caribbean atmosphere, cuisine and drinks menu will surely please. Enjoy mojitos and sangria at their 100-foot bar while enjoying live music and timeless Puerto Rican classics like ropa vieja, garlic shrimp, paella, and more.

Out-of-towners who want to break away from the Midtown mold of tourist attractions and go where the New Yorkers go for their food and entertainment would be well advised to head uptown to Broadway and 92nd Street. That’s where they will find Cleopatra’s Needle (named after the legendary monument in Central Park), a hot spot specializing in cool jazz and casual Mediterranean food. Happy hour runs every day from 4 to 7:30pm, with half-price martinis and glasses of wine, and reduced prices on all other drinks.

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