Selected Events (02/16) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

 Today’s Fab 5+ > TUESDAY / FEB. 16, 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:
Seu Jorge (most nights thru Feb 28)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./8 +10:30PM, $50-$75, (2nd show always an easier ticket)
“This Brazilian singer, guitarist, and actor grew up as Jorge Mário da Silva in Belford Roxo, a favela outside Rio. After his brother was killed, in 1990, in a battle between favelados and the police, Jorge decided to become a musician, a choice that prompted his uncle to kick him out of the house. Despite the hardship of living on the street, Jorge persisted in honing his nascent talents, especially his supple baritone voice and lyrical nylon-string-guitar playing.

His big break came when he was cast as Knockout Ned in “City of God,” a searing Oscar-nominated portrait of favela life that was followed by a role as a Bowie-singing Brazilian sailor in Wes Anderson’s film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” Jorge’s magical, melancholy Portuguese interpretations of hits like “Changes” and “Space Oddity” earned high praise from their creator, as well as giving Jorge an American beachhead. For this two-week run, he’ll sail through harmonically adventurous, playful originals and covers shaped by samba, bossa nova, and other Brazilian styles.” (NewYorker)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Taj Mahal Trio (also Wednesday)
City Winery, 155 Varick St. betw Spring/Vandam St./ 8PM, $
“More than 40 years into his storied career, this bluesman brings his Grammy-winning alchemy of gruff wails, searching harmonica and nontraditional tropicalia beats to this serene hall. He is overdue for a studio release, as his last album, “Maestro,” was in 2008; it featured great bandying with Angélique Kidjo and Ziggy Marley.” (Anderson-NYT)

Dance on Camera (LAST DAY)
Lincoln Center theaters, West 65th St./ At various times, $11-$14
“The 44th edition of the Dance on Camera Festival, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Dance Films Association, comprises 36 short films, 20 feature films and four retrospective screenings, along with panels and events featuring appearances by, among others, the illustrious dancers Natalia Makarova and Merrill Ashley. The opening and closing night films represent the festival’s range: First is “The Flight Fantastic,” celebrating the art of trapeze; last is “Feelings Are Facts: The Life of Yvonne Rainer,” which pays homage to a postmodern pioneer. In between is ballet, jazz, flamenco and more.” (Schaefer-NYT)

Carol Woods
Iridium, 1650 Broadway / 8PM, $30
“Carol Woods has the kind of massive blues voice that can move audiences to their feet or to their knees, and has deployed it often on Broadway (including in multiple stints as Mama Morton in Chicago). Tonight she invites the crowd at Iridium to get lost in the Woods.” (TONY)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Kind of Blue: A Magnet for the Imagination
National Jazz Museum in Harlem, 58 W129th St./ 7PM, $10 suggested donation
Loren Schoenberg, a musician and jazz historian, hosts a listening party of Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue”
“Considered by many to be the most classic jazz album of all time, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis defined the essence of jazz to several generations of jazz lovers. Its cool fire ignited improvisational flames of deep feeling, with master musicians including Bill Evans, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley riffing on mere sketches of music.”

and how about some hot chocolate?
City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival (thru Feb.28)
City Bakery, 3 W18th St./ opens 7:30AM, $
“Regress to childhood with skillfully concocted mugs of hot chocolate courtesy of this downtown canteen. Owner-mastermind Maury Rubin will serve a different flavor of his intoxicating cocoa every day during February.” (TONY)


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 — / 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 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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

44. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
First: Don’t watch the movie! I don’t care how great Audrey Hepburn is in it (which, very), because the atrocity that is Mickey Rooney renders the film unforgivable. But… read the book. Capote does an amazing job of capturing the ultimate new-to-New York experience of whole-sale recreating yourself in an effort to totally shed your less-than-stellar past life. Oh, and also: prostituting yourself. That is very New York.

45. The Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) by Eileen Myles
This roving, roaming book is Myles at her finest (though, really, when is she ever not?) and takes readers on a deep dive into the raucous mess that New York was for Myles, certainly, when she was young (and, no, this isn’t technically autobiography, but also, don’t be blind), but which also holds true for all of us, pretty much, who are in New York when we’re young.

46. The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll
Who doesn’t love a good coming-of-age story? Especially one set in New York. Especially one that isn’t “good” exactly, but is also, kind of, bad, and therefore the best. Anyway, that’s what The Basketball Diaries is; it’s raw and drug-fueled and teeters on the edge of insanity, tempting you to fall off that edge, clutching this narrative on your way down, knowing as you’re falling that it’ll be a long climb back up.

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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