NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/07) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper West Side)

“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 better check the tab above: “NYC Events-December”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
The curated list of events you will find in the “This WEEK” tab ain’t bad, either.

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

Vivian Reed: Sings Lena Horne
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $35+
“The star of Broadway’s Bubbling Brown Sugar, among other things, is a lithe and dynamic triple-threat performer, with a voice that roams magically from contralto depths to R&B peaks. Her new set honors the career and legacy of Lena Horne; songs inclyde “A fine Romance,” “The Lady Is a Tramp” and, of course, “Stormy Weather.” (TONY)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan
>>Ikechukwu Ufomadu: Ike for the Holidays
>>RENEE ROSNES
>>Celisse Henderson
>>ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
>>The Story of Life: Critical Insights from Evolutionary Biology
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan (Dec. 7-10)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30, +9:30PM, $30
“Small Town,” a live duet recording released this year, by the guitarist Frisell and the bassist Morgan, is a quiet masterpiece, its intimate interplay an example of the seismic power that occurs when two exceptional musicians truly listen to each other. A repertoire that spans the Carter Family’s “Wildwood Flower” and Paul Motian’s haunting “It Should’ve Happened a Long Time Ago” demonstrates the duo’s genre-embracing range.” (NewYorker)

Ikechukwu Ufomadu: Ike for the Holidays
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30P, $15
“Early this year, Ufomadu hosted Ike at Night, a supposed satire of late-night variety shows that actually the best-case scenario for what late-night could be. Now he returns with a for a new gig at Joe’s Pub. Ufomadu’s droll, murmuring delivery—delivered with a confidence as big as all outdoors—leaves audiences in a haze of laughter.” (TONY)

RENEE ROSNES (Dec. 7-10)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $
“Ms. Rosnes’s piano playing has an unflashy appeal, focused and energetic and light of touch. As a composer, she can channel the insider language of postbop to broadly compelling effect. Ms. Rosnes appears here with a straight-ahead jazz dream team: the tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana, the vibraphonist Steve Nelson, the bassist Peter Washington and the drummer Lenny White.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Celisse Henderson
Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“With soulful vocals and infectious, blues-tinged hooks, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Celisse Henderson keeps the torch of rock ’n’ roll lit with her full band at this high-octane show. Beyond performing solo shows and in concert alongside artists including Phish, Melissa Etheridge, and Mariah Carey, Henderson has also appeared onstage in the recent revival of Godspell at Circle in the Square Theatre and Bridget Everett’s Rock Bottom at Joe’s Pub at The Public, and on television in PBS’s The Electric Company, 30 Rock, Rescue Me, and more.”

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (through Dec. 31).
at New York City Center / 3PM, +7:30PM, $29+
The Ailey company kicks off the second week of its annual City Center season with the premiere of Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s “Victoria,” set to Michael Gordon’s adaptation of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, on Dec. 1. In it, the Spanish choreographer explores notions of good and evil. Twyla Tharp’s explosive “The Golden Section,” featuring music by David Byrne, returns to the repertory on Dec. 6. And never fear: There are many “Revelations” — Ailey’s 1960 masterpiece — to go around.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

The Story of Life: Critical Insights from Evolutionary Biology
New York Academy of Sciences, 250 Greenwich St., 40th Floor / 7PM, $15
“Catch two paleoanthropologists and a paleontologist as they question whether evolution always leads to greater complexity, or if human consciousness is more a product of dumb luck.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

The live event is Sold Out, but this lecture will be available via Livestream. For full details, and to view the Livestream, please follow the link below:
https://livestream.com/newyorkacademyofsciences

Continuing Holiday Events

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (6th Ave. & 42nd St.)
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Enjoy Bryant Park through the winter with the Holiday Shops food and gift boutiques (thru Jan.02), Danny Meyer’s pop-up rinkside eatery Public Fare (thru Mar.04), and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 28, 2017 – March 4, 2018
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting)
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New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 31)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / various times and prices
“As a young dancer in St. Petersburg in the nineteen-tens, George Balanchine performed the lead in the Harlequins’ “Hoop Dance” in the Mariinsky Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” By all accounts, he was rather proud of his performance, and in 1954, when he created his own “Nutcracker” for the New York City Ballet, he included the dance verbatim in the second act, and renamed it “Candy Cane.” With its double hoop jumps, it is still one of the most beloved sections of the ballet, performed by one adult dancer and eight children from the school. This merging of past and present, adult prowess and youthful flair, has helped insure this production’s enduring appeal for more than sixty years. It returns for a monthlong run.” (NewYorker)

“George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” continues performances throughout the month. It never disappoints, from its onstage snowstorm to the one-ton Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet. And there’s also, of course, Balanchine’s remarkable choreography, which brings the Tchaikovsky score to dancing life. This week, many of the principal dancers get a shot at Sugar Plum — Sara Mearns, Megan Fairchild and Lauren Lovette, among them — but not to be overlooked is the soloist Indiana Woodward, who is scheduled to do the honors on Dec. 7 opposite Chase Finlay as her Cavalier. She’s a delight.” (NYT 12/01-Gia Kourlas)

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(11/10/17-1/1/18) The NYC perennial holiday favorite Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes® returns. Fan favorites include “New York at Christmas,” where the Rockettes® board a real double-decker bus, and the high-energy tap number “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Of course, beloved classics like “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” will also be back. rockettes.com/christmas

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Let there be light!
Luminaries installation at Brookfield Place in the Winter Garden, a stunning holiday arrangement, comprising 650 LED lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Make sure to pack your skates and enjoy ice-skating next door, along the waterfront.
AND
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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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:
(5 underground (UG), classic jazz joints. all 6 within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @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 – UG, 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  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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