Selected Events (12/01) + Top Manhattan Toy Stores 2014

Today’s “TOP 3″/ Selected NYCity Events – MONDAY, DEC. 01, 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.”

15th Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square – Special Event

Bob Dylan – Pop / Rock

Alan Turing – SmartStuff/ Book Talk

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15th Annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square
with Folk Legend Arlo Guthrie and Billy Porter, Tony-Winning Star of Kinky Boots

Join legendary artists, up-and-coming musicians, dancers, street performers and more as we welcome the holiday season and light up the Upper West Side with an evening of music, food, dancing and fun for everyone.

Entertainment – Lincoln Square’s sidewalks and public spaces will come alive with music, performers, processional groups, jugglers, stilt-walkers and more, making for a festive fun-filled evening along the streets of this dynamic Upper West Side neighborhood.

Foodies & Holiday Cheer – Over 30 of Lincoln Square’s finest restaurants and eateries will offer food tastings at nominal cost ($1-$4) at three separate outdoor locations from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Dozens of local stores and neighborhood institutions will host activities and holiday cheer throughout the evening.
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, Rain, Snow or Shine! FREE admission
The celebration begins with the lighting of the Upper West Side Holiday Tree in Dante Park at Broadway & 63rd Street and continues along Broadway from Time Warner Center to 68th Street.

Bob Dylan (through December 3)
“Bob Dylan’s most recent release, The Basement Tapes Complete, lumbered into the spotlight a few weeks ago with a quantity and quality of critical approval it’s impossible to imagine any other contemporary artist inducing. Recorded in 1967 with the Band, during a self-imposed sabbatical, the glorious American sounds captured on these six CDs is about as authentic and as innocent as it gets.

So one can imagine Dylan, 73, seizing the opportunity to give this mightily fetishized material a final victory lap in the autumn of his career. Instead, expect Dylan to play pretty much the same glacially morphing set he’s been reworking with his crackerjack band for years. It’s what he wants you to hear during this five-night run, and it’s what will be delivered.” (Richard Gehr -VillageVoice)
Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, at 74th Street
8 p.m., $75.00-$190.00 / sold out – see stubhub.com for tickets
800-745-3000, beacontheatre.com

Alan Turing
From his revolutionary idea that laid the foundation for the modern computer, to his leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, and finally to his tragic ending, Alan Turing led an incredible life. At the National Museum of Mathematics event, “Turing Tales,” author Andrew Hodges talks about his book “Alan Turing: The Enigma,” which inspired the new movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game.” From 7 p.m.
National Museum of Mathematics, 11 East 26th St., Midtown.
Register and pay online.

editor’s note: a 2nd hard drive failure in 7 months (what’s going on here Apple!) requires a reduction in daily event info on this site until the hardware issues have been resolved. while we use borrowed equipment and until further notice, the daily “Fab 5” is now the “Top 3”. we look forward to restoring full service later this week.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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Manhattan Toy Stores (nycgo.com)
Here’s a rundown of some top Manhattan toy stores. Now buy that kid a toy.

FAO Schwarz
This store is a place to gawk: at the oversize stuffed animals, at the real people in toy soldier outfits, at the giant piano made famous by Tom Hanks movie Big and at the immensity of the space itself. Able to trace its roots all the way back to 1862 (when the founder first started vending toys out of a Baltimore shop), FAO Schwarz is a bona fide tourist attraction. These days, kids can customize certain items here—designing, for example, their own Muppet or toy car.

American Girl Place
New York City is home to a large flagship store for American Girl–brand dolls. The company has found success selling figures representing young girls from various historical periods and ethnic backgrounds. Those who’d like to further indulge their children’s desire to treat the dolls like real people can take advantage of a photo studio, a salon for dolls to get new ‘dos and a doll hospital where damaged “girls” are admitted as patients, fixed up (the store sends the dolls out for that) and shipped back to their happy owners good as new.

Scholastic Store
The retail outlet of NYC publisher Scholastic sells a full slate of the house’s titles—including popular series like Harry Potter, The Magic School Bus, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Captain Underpants. The big, colorful store also hosts craft workshops, movie screenings and other kid-friendly events. Check their website for details. Also sold on site: computer programs, games, puzzles, videos and, of course, toys.

Toy Tokyo
This East Village store caters to serious toy collectors with its selection of rare and imported items, such as hand-painted figurines and wind-up toys from Hong Kong and Japan. Expect to find the latest Transformers, Star Wars and urban vinyl (read: designer action figures made of vinyl) toys here, along with unexpected gems.

Disney Store
Cited by some as a symbol of Times Square’s now-long-ago transformation into a family-friendly destination, the Disney Store is exactly what it sounds like: a repository of Disney-branded products, including plenty of toys. If your kid is looking for a Buzz Lightyear action figure, a plush Pumbaa or, say, an Epcot Spaceship Earth play set, this is the place to find it. Thanks to Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, you can also find lightsabers and other Lucas-related goodies.

Toys “R” Us
We’ll allow that there might be a Toys “R” Us in your hometown, but chances are that one doesn’t have its own Ferris wheel or an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex.

Video Games New York
Filled with hard-to-find items—vintage games for systems like for NES, SNES, Atari Jaguar, Dreamcast, Neo Geo, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Commodore, not to mention Japanese imports and hardware for arcade machines—this store is as much a museum as a place to shop. Parents who grew up with some of those older consoles may find themselves feeling like kids again. While the used inventory is where Video Games New York really distinguishes itself, the place also carries new machines and releases.

Kidding Around
The downtown location of this store (there’s also an outpost in Grand Central Terminal) has a mom-and-pop feel, to go with some high-end, unusual gifts you might not find at a larger chain. It also sells New York City–themed toys, such as a model Staten Island Ferry.

Forbidden Planet
This cool store specializes in comics, graphic novels, manga, anime and other “alternative hobbies,” like sci-fi and role-playing games. Forbidden Planet also has a huge selection of toys and statues, and its staff, described by one customer as a “fleet of cute nerds,” is extra-helpful since they’re all enthusiasts themselves.

Nintendo World
Though the 10,000-square-foot Nintendo emporium stocks the latest WiiU games, that’s not where its primary charm lies. You’ll find that instead in T-shirts that set characters in the real New York City (for example, Mario emerging from a sewer); in vintage consoles, games and accessories (even the Gyromite robot!) under glass displays; and in the opportunity to chat with a virtual Nintendo character.

American Museum of Natural History Gift Shop
The shop at this museum—itself a must-visit for any parent with an inquisitive child—sells a wide array of science-related fare, including toys. You might find a set of glow-in-the-dark planets, a pocket microscope, a butterfly garden kit or a plush dinosaur.

blogger’s note:
AC Gears, 69 E 8th St. (b/t University Pl & Greene St in Greenwich Village)
should be added to this list. more like a toy store for adults, with some gadgets directly from Japan, you won’t find their stuff anywhere else in town.

nycgo.com, the website of New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, has lots of useful NYCity info for the holidays:
Best NYC Toy Stores,
Ice Skating,
2014 Holiday Events,
Holiday Gift Guide,
Winter Events
This fine site is worth checking out when you are planning your NYCity visit.

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