Selected NYC Events (11/26) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper WestSide)

“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.
For future NYC Events be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / Nov.”
For those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to the bottom of today’s post.

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Hendrix in Harlem 
Apollo Theatre, 253 W. 125th St./ 7PM, $
hendrix-bw-web-image “The Apollo Theatre hosts a tribute to Jimi Hendrix. In 1964, Hendrix won over the notoriously tough crowd at the venue’s Amateur Night, and followed his win with appearances alongside the Isley Brothers, Little Richard, King Curtis, and Wilson Pickett. In 1966, he travelled to England to start his own band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the band’s formation, the punk and ska band Fishbone will perform covers of songs from throughout Hendrix’s dense career, including early and classic numbers.” (NewYorker)

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

ARLO GUTHRIE
CHUCHO VALDÉS-JOE LOVANO QUINTET
Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders
Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen
Dorrance Dance
JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON
bonus: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

ARLO GUTHRIE
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave. / 8PM, $17.50-$75
“The folk singer-songwriter, best known for “Alice’s Restaurant” and “City of New Orleans,” returns to Carnegie Hall for his annual holiday concert. Helping to ring in the season will be member of Guthrie’s band, Shenandoah, to perform both holiday perennials as well as rarely performed Guthrie songs.” (DANIEL BUBBEO, Newsday)

CHUCHO VALDÉS-JOE LOVANO QUINTET (through Nov. 27)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“Mr. Valdés is a pianist from Havana who has contributed as much as anyone to modernist Afro-Cuban jazz. Mr. Lovano is a leading saxophonist in the postbop continuum, and one of the great small-group bandleaders of his time. They have been on tour for the last week with this rhythmically advanced band, featuring Gastón Joya on bass, Yaroldi Abreu Robles on percussion and Francesco Mela on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders
City Winery, 155 Varick St./ 8PM, $25-$35
“A one of a kind variety show with celebrated musicians, writers and comedians. You’ll laugh, think and sing along. Sometimes all at once. A little bit vaudeville, a little bit literary and a lot of rock ‘n’ roll— you can never predict what’s inside the Cabinet of Wonders.”

“One of the finest nights of entertainment this city has to offer.” –The New Yorker
“Inspired silliness… the audience roared in delight.” –The Wall Street Journal

Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen (LAST DAY)
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $55-$85
“Fosse muse, jazz cat and showbiz-blooded triple-threat entertainer Ben Vereen—of Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar and All That Jazz fame—struts his still-slick stuff. His show is a potent mixture of sweat and veneer; the man has a firm place in Broadway legend.” (TONY)

“Mr. Vereen is a song and dance man who never lets up. He wins you over with his sheer energy, good will and showbiz know-how.” The New York Times

Maria Schneider Orchestra (through Nov. 27)
Jazz Standard, 116 E27th St./ 7:30 and 9:30PM, $
“This peerless large ensemble won two Grammy Awards in 2016: best large jazz ensemble album for “The Thompson Fields,” one of last year’s standout releases; and best arrangement, instruments and vocals, for a stand-alone track made with David Bowie. The accolades only begin to account for the high standard of artistry in the group, which begins with Ms. Schneider’s tonally evocative, emotionally lucid compositions — always the primary feature of this customary Thanksgiving-week residency.” (Chinen-NYT)

“Maria Schneider has a handsome collection of Grammys, and the accolades are well deserved: This protégée of the late bandleading/arranging genius Gil Evans fronts the most polished modern jazz orchestra on the planet, a vehicle for her lush, intricate and refreshingly accessible works.” (TONY)

JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON (through Nov. 27)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Moran, the pianist and composer, is coming to the close of another banner year — as a concert programmer, an interdisciplinary collaborator and the force behind his own label. The Bandwagon, his trio with the bassist Tarus Mateen and the drummer Nasheet Waits, still represents his baseline, and this engagement at the Vanguard has become a cherished staple of this time of year.” (Chinen-NYT)

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he presents Origin II, an updated edition of a late-’90s band, now with Ravi Coltrane and Steve Wilson on saxophones. On Wednesday and Thursday Mr. Corea will revisit the acoustic side of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including Mr. Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws.” (NYT-CHINEN)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

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Bonus NYC Events – Jazz Clubs:
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 (all six are within walking distance of each other):
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
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319

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 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats in advance at these top NYC events, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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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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Holiday Windows

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)

PLUS: Tree Lighting December 2 – an original holiday tale on ice with world-class skaters, live music, and a celebrity narrator.

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