Selected Events (12/02) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

Today’s SUPERB 6 > WEDNESDAY / DEC. 02, 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 more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this (of course):
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
Rockefeller Center, btw W48th/51st St./ lighting ceremony begins 7PM, FREE
imgres“The first Christmas tree went up at Rockefeller Center in 1931, when it was just a construction site and workers pooled their money to buy a 20-foot tall balsam fir. Today the trees are much taller (a minimum of 75-feet), and the lighting ceremony is as much of a New York holiday tradition as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

This year’s tree — a 76-foot tall, 10-ton Norway spruce — was donated by the Asendorf and Puchalski family in Gardiner, N.Y., about 80 miles north of Rockefeller Center. But through Jan. 6, the tree will take up residence on the plaza in front 30 Rock.

The event will also be broadcast on NBC from 7 to 9 p.m.
More information about the live entertainment is at rockefellercenter.com/holidays.(NYT-SpareTimes)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
NYCity Ballet: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (through Jan. 3)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / At various times, $
“Thanksgiving leftovers are still in the fridge and yet Christmas is here since “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” is back on stage. Of the dozens of productions in town, none match the scale of City Ballet’s or the giddy sense of childlike awe it inspires. Pantomime dominates the first half but Act II culminates in a breathtaking pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. After all, this is a duet for Balanchine and Tchaikovsky, too, and it’s magical.” (Schaefer-NYT)

‘Santasia’ (through Dec.23)
St. Luke’s Theater, 308 W46th St.(btw 8/9 ave)/ Tuesdays through Dec. 22 at 8PM, Wednesday matinees on Dec. 2, 16 and 23 @ 2PM, $40-$60
“This holiday musical comedy takes both a snarky and sentimental look at Christmas and family. Written by Shaun and Brandon Loeser, with choreography by Tania Pearson-Loeser, the show incorporates songs, sketch comedy and even Claymation movies.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Saxophone Summit (through Dec. 5)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30PM +11PM, $40
“The prominent postbop saxophonists David Liebman, Joe Lovano and Greg Osby constitute the front line of this aptly named supergroup. The band’s rhythm section, no less distinguished, consists of the pianist Phil Markowitz, the bassist Cecil McBee and the drummer Billy Hart.” (Chinen-NYT)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Erykah Badu
Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave./ 8PM, $55-130
may be a tough ticket; may need to stub hub this one.
“Neo-soul maven Erykah Badu hasn’t released an album since 2010’s “New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh,” but that hasn’t kept her off the pop-culture radar. She regularly posts playful Vines with her children, tweets at a clip and recently hijacked Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” putting her own unmistakable stamp on that beat. In the past week, she released her phone-centric mixtape, “But You Caint Use My Phone” (featuring the likes of André 3000) and also hosted the Soul Train Awards. To cap this wild week, she makes her way to perform at Brooklyn’s sterling theatre, her own music front and center.” (WSJ)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City
NYPL – Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave. / 6:30PM, FREE
“With Andrew F. Smith, a writer and lecturer on food and culinary history and the general editor for the “Edible Series.” This lecture covers New York’s culinary history, some of the most recognizable restaurants, eateries and culinary personalities today, and delves into more esoteric culinary realities, such as urban farming, beekeeping, the Three Martini Lunch and the Power Lunch, and novels, movies and paintings that memorably depict Gotham’s foodscapes.”

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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