The lore of New York would be incomplete without hole-in-the-wall jazz joints. Although an increasingly endangered species, a classic one survives in Harlem, and makes a great destination for a night out with friends. The picket fence and Christmas lights in front telegraph that Paris Blues is a zero-pretense dive. Inside, savor the classic vibes, as Duke Ellington and Billie Holliday look down from the walls. There’s truly a mixed crowd, so you’ll fit in no matter who you bring. Let the friendly locals welcome you. The bartenders know how to mix a drink, but maybe you’ll nod to the nabe and get a Sugar Hill Ale from the Harlem Brewing Company. Now it’s time to focus on the band. Owner Samuel Hargress Jr. makes sure his stage is a sanctuary for inspired musicians. The intimate space ensures you’re right in the middle of things, as you catch an amazing, improvised tenor sax solo, the virtuoso runs of a crack keyboardist, or a blues-rock guitarist climbing up on the bar to lay down licks. If your crew has a sports fan in it, don’t worry about missing the game—an oversized TV glows from behind the stage. Old Harlem may be disappearing, but authenticity still runs strong at Paris Blues.