Selected Events (06/21) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

Today’s TOP 10 – SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2015

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.”
We make it as easy as 1-2-3.  (click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Blue Note Jazz Festival
> Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya
Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 W3rd St. / 8PM +10:30PM, $30 +$45
“blending beguiling South African rhythms with rich Ellingtonian textures, Ekaya reflects the dual identities of its leader.” (NewYorker)

> Make Music New York
Various locations / 9AM-9PM, FREE
NYCity’s public spaces fill with musicians during this daylong, citywide festival.
they claim over 1,200 free concerts across the city, some of them indoors.

“Best bets include Concerto for Buildings for orchestra and 24 percussionists in Soho, an all-accordion version of Terry Riley’s In C in Brooklyn’s Carroll Park, Honk 210Hz’s compositions for Highline traffic patterns, Loop 2.4.3’s army of gongs in Grand Army Plaza, hundreds of tablas on Central Park’s Dairy Lawn, ten straight hours of punk rock just off Staten Island, and a throng of Theremins on Roosevelt Island.” Richard Gehr, VV

> Bang on a Can Marathon
Winter Garden, Brookfield Place, 220 Vesey St / 12PM-10PM, FREE
“An annual destination for lovers of contemporary music, the Bang On a Can Marathon invites the A-listers of innovative sound to perform in its yearly throwdown.

Highlights include the Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Nels Cline, Corey Dargel, Tomoko Mukaiyama, So Percussion, Bobby Previte, and Third Angle New Music. Stop by for a quick listen or get comfortable and stay for the duration.” (

> Stanley Cowell
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
pianist and composer Cowell makes a rare appearance at the Village Vanguard.

> Sunday Night in Brooklyn with Colin Quinn
Over the Eight, Williamsburg, 594 Union Ave / 8PM, FREE.
“Colin Quinn invites his funniest comic friends to perform and then closes out the show with an hour’s length of new material.” (TONY)

> NYC Dance Week at The Ailey Extension (through June 27)
Ailey Dance, 405 W55th St., at Ninth Avenue / at various times
10 days of free dance classes of all sorts across the city, began on Friday.
Advance registration is required; vouchers, along with the schedule of classes, are available at

> Summer on the Hudson: Let’s Dance!
Pier 1, Riverside Park South / 6PM-9:30PM, FREE
Learn to dance like a pro at these Salsa, Cha-Cha and Bachata lessons and group social dances led by master teachers from the Piel Canela Dance and Music School.

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> ‘Yoga: A New Dimension’  with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center / 7PM,
celebrate International Day of Yoga against the backdrop of the summer solstice. guests include the famed Indian musician Bappi Lahiri.

> Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair
Street Fair, 6th Ave & 46th St. / 11AM-6PM, FREE
The Workmen’s Circle’s Taste of Jewish Culture Street Fair is a signature event that brings together thousands of foodies and dozens of purveyors of delicious food for a day of eating, learning, and celebrating.

Elsewhere, but Brooklyn Bridge Park is always worth the detour:
> ‘Song of Myself’ Marathon
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1 / 4PM, FREE
annual reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” returns, more than 50 people will take part.

Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  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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