Selected Events (09/03) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

Today’s Sweet 6 > THURSDAY / SEPT. 03, 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
>Miguel Zenón Quartet (through Sept. 6)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM+10:30PM, $30
“Identities Are Changeable” is the most recent album by the alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, who has turned the exploration of Puerto Rican culture into an aesthetic signature. His focus on the album is the Nuyorican experience, with snippets of oral history woven into his state-of-the-art big band arrangements — which he compresses here to their core, with his longtime quartet.” (Chinen-NYT)

>Jerry González and the Fort Apache Band
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St / 8PM + 10:30PM, $20, $35
Conga-playing trumpeter Jerry González’s fiery barrio-jazz ensemble, Fort Apache, fuses boppish melodies with the Afro-Cuban rhythms its founder picked up in the Bronx ’hood that gives the band its name.” (TONY)

Misty Copeland: ‘On the Town (through Sept. 6)
Lyric Theatre, 213 W42nd St./ 7PM, $62.50-$157.50
NYGO_Listings_Misty Copeland credit Joan Marcus“Broadway’s dance-heavy musical revival about sailors making the most of shore leave in NYC is closing its doors after Sept. 6. But audiences catching the show before then are in for a treat, as American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland — recently named the world’s first African-American principal ballerina — takes on the role of Ivy Smith for the final 12 performances, starting Aug. 25. It’s Copeland’s Broadway debut, fittingly in the show that boasted one of the first-ever racially integrated casts in 1944.” (Metro)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Summer HD Festival (through Sept. 7)
Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Ave and W63rd St / 7:45PM, FREE
tonight: “IL TRITTICO”
Puccini’s classic triple bill is seen in Jack O’Brien’s spectacular production, conducted by James Levine.

“For 11 nights the Metropolitan Opera will take over Lincoln Center Plaza to bring some of the company’s most memorable recent performances to the masses. The series features 10 screenings of previously recorded operas. Seating is first come first served. At various times, 212-721-6500, metopera.org” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (through Sept 27)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
“It’s finally here! The new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)

TODAY’S TOP EVENT
Elsewhere, but absolutely worth the detour:
U.S. TENNIS OPEN (Day 4)
imgresThe U.S. Open continues play today (11AM) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens and runs through Sept. 13. This is the fourth and final Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year. Everyone is looking for the Serena slam this year.
subway: #1-2-3 to Times Square; transfer to #7 to Willets Point. (about 45 min. from Times Square)

Matches to watch today in Louis Armstrong stadium (LA) & the Grandstand (GS):
(predictions per Matt Cronin –  USOpen.org)

GS – BERNARD TOMIC (24) VS. LLEYTON HEWITT
The 2001 US Open champion, Lleyton Hewitt, said he’s not pleased at having to go up against the young Aussies. Hewitt is playing his last US Open tournament, as he will retire after the 2016 Australian Open. Right now, Hewitt is helping coach the young guns, including Tomic, and says they are very good buddies.

Hewitt is a quality player, but he hasn’t played much this season and he’s pushing balls short quite a bit. This is the 15th time that Hewitt has played at the US Open and he has had some wonderful moments, but Tomic is too strong and will beat his older buddy in straight sets.

LA – JOHN ISNER (13) VS. MIKHAIL YOUZHNY
Believe it or not, Youzhny has reached the the US Open semifinal twice–in 2006 and 2010. Youzhny isn’t as fast as he used to be, and he doesn’t crush the balls, but he mixes it up well and he can stroke deep off both sides. He can pass his opponents and can rush the net effectively.

The 30-year-old Isner dominates with his huge serve, his forehand is massive, and when he can make it up close to the net, he can bury it. I do think Youzhny will play extremely well and really push Isner, but big John will set up during the big points and come through, all in tiebreakers in five dramatic sets,

LA – PETRA KVITOVA (5) VS. NICOLE GIBBS
The Czech, a two-time Wimbledon champion, can take down anyone, anytime, but Kvitova has never played fantastic at the US Open and has yet to figure out NYC.

Gibbs was a two-time NCAA champion while at Stanford University, and since she’s joined the tour, she’s shown glimmers of promise but has yet to figure out how to compete with the big girls. Petra, coming off a win in New Haven last week, is playing with a boost of confidence and will win easily in straight sets.

Some other matches worth seeing:
GS – Jack Sock (28) vs Ruben Bemelmans.
Jack may be America’s best player these days.

Court 17 – Donald Young vs Aljaz Bedene.
Donald came back from 2 sets down and 0-3 in the first round.

Today’s tips: Arrive early. Security screening was brutal on Monday, with long delays to enter. The best, most comprehensive review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes/Sports.

Once inside check out one of the electronic scoreboards listing matches in progress. Find a match or players that interest you. Head over to their court for some great tennis, because in this tournament even the qualifiers are great players. There is no other major sporting event where you can get so close to world class athletes as at the U.S. Open – on the outer field courts, the Grandstand court, or even Louis Armstrong stadium. Courts where you can get a real sense of the pace of the game.

Unfortunately, this is the last year for the Grandstand court, which is being replaced by a larger, less intimate court. It will be sorely missed. Make sure you find your way over there to see some matches while you can.

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 — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 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.

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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, 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.
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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.

Website: http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/
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.

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“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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