Selected Events + Today’s Featured Neighborhood: Upper WestSide (09/22)

Today’s “Fab 5″+1/ Selected NYCity Events – MONDAY, SEPT. 22, 2014
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

Mac Conner: A New York Life (through Jan. 09, 2015)
Mac1McCauley (“Mac”) Conner is considered by many to be one of New York’s original “MAD Men”. Born in 1913, Conner grew up admiring Norman Rockwell magazine covers in his father’s general store. He arrived in New York as a young man to work on wartime Navy publications and stayed on to make a career in the city’s vibrant publishing industry. The exhibition presents Conner’s hand-painted illustrations for advertising campaigns and women’s magazines like Redbook and McCall’s, made during the years after World War II when commercial artists helped to redefine American style and culture.
Museum of City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, at 103rd St.
From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.,/ $10.
(212) 534-1672 /

‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ (also Thursday)
For all you opera buffs who have been waiting for opening night at the Metropolitan Opera – here it is, “The Marriage of Figaro”, with James Levine back on the podium.
You may want to wait until Thursday’s performance for lower ticket prices.

“The director Richard Eyre, a recent Metropolitan Opera regular (“Carmen,” “Werther”), stepped in just last year to stage Mozart’s classic comedy, updating it to Spain in the 1930s. The bright, youthful cast includes the bass-baritone Ildar Abdrazakov as Figaro, the cunning valet; the compelling soprano Marlis Petersen as his fiancée, Susanne; the perky young mezzo Isabel Leonard as the randy page Cherubino; the baritone Peter Mattei, virile and charismatic, as Count Almaviva; and the young soprano Amanda Majeski, making her Met debut as a replacement for Marina Poplavskaya, as the Countess. James Levine, a brilliant Mozartian, returns to the podium for his first opening night since 2010.” (Woolfe-NYT)

blo_269Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center,
At 6:15 p.m. on Monday and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday,
$85 to $1,500 on Monday, and $30 to $475 on Thursday


Allan Holdsworth, Jimmy Haslip & Gary Husband at the Iridium
“Innovative, influential jazz and rock guitar god Holdsworth teams with bassist Haslip (the Yellowjackets) and drummer Husband (John McLaughlin’s the 4th Dimension) for what promises to be a jazz-rock fusion tour de force.” (

Allan Holdsworth is widely regarded by fans and contemporary musicians as one of the 20th century’s most prominent guitarists. He is one of a handful of musicians who has consistently proven himself as an innovator in between and within the worlds of rock and jazz music. Many of music’s best-known instrumental masters cite Holdsworth as that rare and shining voice—a legendary player who continues to push the outer limits of instrumental technique and the electric guitar’s range of tonal and textural possibilities.
The Iridium, 1650 Broadway (at 51st St.)
8 & 10PM / $35-$45
(212) 582-2121 /

George Boorujy: Taxonomy (through Nov 13)
Taxonomy is a collection of George Boorujy’s dynamic large-scale paintings of North American animals with disarmingly human characteristics, as well as a series of his preliminary clay models and drawings. Inhabitants of New York City and other urban centers often think of themselves as removed from nature, but Boorujy’s hyperrealistic ink-on-paper portraits force us to rethink our relationship with animals and our own place within the environment.
Arsenal in Central Park, 3rd Fl gallery, 830 Fifth Ave. (btw 63/64 St)
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. / FREE
(212) 360-8163 /

We’re All Mad Here
with Lauren Beukes, Lev Grossman, and Jeff VanderMeer
Authors Lauren Beukes (Broken Monsters), Lev Grossman (The Magician’s Land), and Jeff VanderMeer (Acceptance) talk the weird, the fantastical, and the magical, followed by a Q&A and signing.

Broken Monsters
“Scary as hell and hypnotic. I couldn’t put it down…I’d grab it if I were you.”
–Stephen King
A criminal mastermind creates violent tableaus in abandoned Detroit warehouses in Lauren Beukes’s new genre-bending novel of suspense.

The Magician’s Land
The stunning conclusion to the bestselling Magicians trilogy
Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him.

The Magician’s Land is an intricate thriller, a fantastical epic, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole.
Housing Works Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby St. (btw E Houston and Prince St.)
subway: #1-2-3 to Times Square; transfer to N/R to Prince St.
walk E. 1 block, then N. 1 block to bookstore
212-334-3324 /
7:00pm / FREE

Elsewhere, but looks worth the detour:

The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Age
From x-rays and Marie Curie to the use of the atomic bomb in World War II, to the 2011 meltdown in Japan, humans have had a complicated and difficult relationship with nuclear power. Craig Nelson illuminates the fascinating historical figures intertwined in this complex history, from Enrico Fermi to Ronald Reagan and more.

Craig Nelson’s books include The New York Times bestseller Rocket Men, as well as Thomas Paine, which won the Henry Adams Prize.
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St.
at 12:00 pm / $24
212-415-5500 /

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity is a big town with many visitors, where quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.

A PremierPub – Upper West Side

Dinosaur / 700 W125th St. @ 12th ave.

Walk only five minutes from the 125th St. station on the #1 line to find this authentic honky-tonk barbecue joint. Some folks think Dinosaur is just a place to eat ribs. Au contraire. With 24 carefully selected taps, this is a place to drink beer, and eat ribs.

HarlHostStandNo food goes better with American craft ales than American barbecue. Dinosaur may be the best combo of good beer drinking and hearty eating in town, which makes the trip uptown to West Harlem totally worthwhile.

This second incarnation of Dinosaur in Harlem is in a two story, old brick warehouse near the Hudson River. Don’t let that run down exterior fool you. Inside it’s a large space with huge, rough wooden columns and unfinished wooden floors and brick walls – just right for a bbq joint. As soon as you open the front door you are hit with that tantalizing aroma of barbecue coming from the large open kitchen. Reminds me of those great rib joints I frequented when stationed in North Carolina all those years ago. If your stomach wasn’t grumbling before, it is now.

Head to the bar, sit down and try to decide on a beer. It’s not an easy decision – a good problem to have. This is a pretty damn good beer list to choose from, one that most beer bars should be jealous of. I love that they feature NY craft beers. You may want to try the four beer sampler, which is always fun, and in this place may be necessary.

The blues music playing in the background will get you in the mood for their North Carolina style barbecue, and even when it’s a full house your order shouldn’t take too long (assuming you snagged a table). The food is all slow smoked, so it’s already mostly done and ready to go. I always start with an order of their giant, spice rubbed wings, so good they may make you give up Buffalo wings.

Unfortunately, a place this good does not fly under the radar. There can be some long waits for a table at dinnertime. So you need a strategy – avoid prime time, and try not to arrive with your entire posse, which will limit your seating options.

A seat at the bar, a small table in the bar area, or in the summer, an outside table underneath what’s left of the elevated West Side Highway, all may open before a table inside the main dining room. Otherwise, try Dinosaur for lunch, or come very late for dinner, maybe after a show at the nearby Cotton Club nightclub.

Phone #: 212-694-1777
Hours: Mo-Th 11:30am-11:00pm; Fr-Sa 11:30am-12:00am;
Su 12:00pm-10:00pm
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day; $1 off all drinks
Music: Fri / Sat 10:30pm
Subway: #1 to 125th St.
Walk 2 blk W on 125th St. to Dinosaur Bar-B-Q,
just past the elevated highway.

“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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