Selected Events (02/21) + Today’sFeaturedNeighborhood: Upper WestSide

Today’s “Fab 5″ / Selected NYCity Events – SATURDAY, FEB. 21, 2015
“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.”  

From Vine to Bottle: Talking Wine at Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar  —  
Food & Drink Talk   (1pm) 

New Orleans Songbook   —  Jazz    (8pm)

“You Like Me: An Evening of Classic Acceptance Speeches” —  
Comedy   (9:30pm)

Matuto  —  Brazilian Folk & American Bluegrass   (4pm)    [FREE]

The American Revolution and the Fate of the British Empire  —  
SmartStuff/ Lecture   (9:30am)  

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Feb.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.
♦ For NYCity Sights, Sounds and Stories visit out our sister site:

From Vine to Bottle: Talking Wine at Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar,
logo“Beginning this Saturday, Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar will hold a total of three two-hour wine classes designed to help educate both the novice and advanced wine drinker. For the first discussion, the use of oak to age wine will be examined, with guests receiving three tastings each of red and white wine aged in oak barrels. Subsequent classes will cover the meaning of the term “dry” and how it relates to sugar and acidity, with the final discussion centered around pinot noir.” (VillageVoice)
Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar, 34 Downing Street,
1 p.m. / $140 for all three classes (they are not available individually)

New Orleans Songbook
“Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? The Crescent City is properly celebrated as ground zero for legendary jazz improvisers, but it is too often forgotten that the Big Easy has also inspired a wide range of songs and songwriters, from locals like Spencer Williams and Randy Newman to international legends like Hoagy Carmichael and Duke Ellington.

Jazz at Lincoln Center has chosen to honor that legacy in anticipation of the opening of the New Orleans Jazz Market, the first jazz-centric concert hall in NOLA. The opening half spotlights two excellent singers, award-winner Cyrille Aimée and worthy newcomer Milton Suggs, alongside the standout pianist Aaron Diehl; the second half presents trumpeter Irwin Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, a suitably rabble-rousing ensemble if ever there was one, in a new concert work dedicated to the forthcoming venue.” (WSJ)
Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street, fifth Floor,
8pm / $30-$120
212-721-6500 /

“You Like Me: An Evening of Classic Acceptance Speeches”
Sally Field You Like Me370x238“Adrien Brody planted a huge kiss on Halle Berry. Cuba Gooding, Jr., shouted “I love you!” to everyone. Marlon Brando boycotted the ceremony and sent the Indian-rights activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. Julia Roberts ordered the conductor to cut the music so she could keep on thanking people. Melissa Leo dropped the “F” bomb. The Oscars have provided some of Hollywood’s most candid, shocking, moving, and delightful moments. On the eve of this year’s ceremony, actors and comedians, including Ilana Glazer, Eliot Glazer, Myles Kane, Julie Klausner, Jenn Harris, and Becky Yamamoto, reinterpret memorable speeches from it and other awards shows, in a program created by the writers Rachel Shukert and Michael Schulman, the latter a contributor to this magazine.” (NewYorker)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St.
9:30pm / $18

Matuto, Joyous Blend of Brazilian Folk and American Bluegrass
matuto_feb_concertThe lively, joyous sound of Matuto entwines Brazilian folk music with the flatpicking guitars and fiery fiddling of American bluegrass. The line-up of Matuto, whose name means “country boy” in Brazilian slang, features a pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine) master, a New York–based singer-guitarist, a percussionist known for his work with Herbie Hancock, plus an array of talented folk, world, and jazz musicians.

Known for its loose, devil-may-care stage presence and high-octane virtuosity, Matuto is a standard-bearer for New York City’s diverse musical culture. The group just released a new album called African Suite, which features music inspired by its State Department–sponsored tour of the continent.
El Teatro @ El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue,
4:00 pm / FREE
212.831.7272 /

The American Revolution and the Fate of the British Empire
cover00_listingHow did a coalition of rebellious colonists defeat one of the most powerful imperial powers of the 18th century? Weaving together the stories of the men who directed the British dimension of the war—including King George III, Prime Minister Lord North, and military leaders General Burgoyne and the Earl of Sandwich, among others—historian Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy dispels the commonly-accepted myth of British incompetence and explores how the Americans achieved their surprising victory.

Andrew Jackson O’Shaughnessy is the author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire, which was the 2014 winner of the New-York Historical Society American History Book Prize.
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West,
9:30AM / $44 ($32 for members)

♦ 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 a record 56 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.

A PremierPub / Upper West Side

Dinosaur Bar-B-que / 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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