Selected Events (01/31) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

 Today’s SWEET 6 > SUNDAY / JAN. 31, 2016

“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:
Linda Lavin: My First Farewell Concert
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 6PM, $35-$45
“Singer-actor extraordinaire Linda Lavin, currently on Broadway in Our Mother’s Brief Affair but perhaps still best known to general audiences as the title character of the sitcom Alice, gets back to her musical-theater roots, with Billy Stritch at the piano and a guest appearance by Aaron Weinstein on violin. Lavin has few peers as a performer, so this should be a treat.” (TONY)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Ralph Alessi Quartet (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th ave South, at 11th St./ 8:30 + 10:30PM, $30
“The trumpeter Ralph Alessi has done strong, scintillating work in an acoustic quartet format in recent years, and his new album — “Quiver,” due out on ECM next month — keeps that momentum going. He’ll make his debut as a bandleader at the Village Vanguard with the same group, featuring Gary Versace on piano, Drew Gress on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Kenny Garrett Quintet
the Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st St./ 8 +10PM, $35-$45
“Focus has never seemed a problem for the alto and soprano saxophonist Kenny Garrett, who at 55 still possesses the taut, molten sound that made him a force about 30 years ago. His chosen path as a bandleader builds on the mid-’60s terrain of the John Coltrane Quartet, and there’ll be a typical amount of slashing polyrhythm and modal expedition in this weekend run.” (Chinen-NYT)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

NY Chilifest 
Chelsea Market, 416 W16 St./ 7-9PM, $50-$60
“The halls of Chelsea Market will be filled with something other than tourists this weekend. Chili fanatics are invited to sample tastes from over twenty different restaurants; Toro and The Brooklyn Star are just two stops on the fest’s trail. Rye cocktails and beer will also be available. Ticket options start at $50 for all-you-can-eat chili and $60 if you want to add booze; reserve them here.” (VillageVoice)

New York Wild Film Festival (LAST DAY)
The Explorers Club, 46 E70th St./ Various times $20+
“See 13 films filmed with critters of all shapes and sizes at this annua film fest aimed at raising awareness for conservation efforts. Follow elephants across Africa in Soul of the Elephant, watch three friends climb a death-defying mountain in Meru and hear seals sing in the animated short Ain’t No Fish.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Winter Antiques Show (LAST DAY)
Park Ave. Armory, 643 Park Ave at 67th St./ today 12-6PM, $25
“As it does every year, the Winter Antiques Show fills the cavernous Park Avenue Armory with the wares of seventy or so blue-chip dealers, offering everything from antiquities to Hudson River paintings, Flemish landscapes to modernist furnishings. Not everything is for sale: the show also includes an exhibition of items from the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford.” (NewYorker)

Bonus – Jazz Venues:
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 58 million visitors last year and was 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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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 

Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.

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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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NEW Feature!
The 100 Books Every New Yorker Should Read
by Kristin Iversen, Brooklyn Magazine
today’s picks:

36. Invisible Man / by Ralph Ellison
Ellison’s masterpiece is, simply put, one of the most profoundly moving, tragi-comic works of the entire 20th century. The unnamed narrator’s journey through politically and socially roiling Harlem as he struggles to figure out his place in the world is one of the most affecting meditations on identity and race ever written.

37. The Bell Jar / by Sylvia Plath
Although the majority of Plath’s novel doesn’t take place in New York City, the parts that do take place during an electrically charged summer, and Plath beautifully captures what it means to be a woman who is young and free (which is to say, still impossibly burdened) and on her own in New York for the first time.

39. Franny and Zooey / by J.D. Salinger
Yeah, yeah, The Catcher in the Rye is the obvious Salinger choice, but what’s more New York, really, than a character who spends hour upon hour reading in the bathtub while simultaneously chain-smoking? Nothing, really. Other than that he has a sister who only eats cheeseburgers. We all have one of those, right?

If your interests lead you to Brooklyn, then be sure to peruse Brooklyn Magazine. It’s a high quality, high info, smart monthly.

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