NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/05) + 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-February”
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.

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

Inauguration Week: Truth |
Who Needs Truth: An Evening of Politics and Performance
The Cooper Union, 7 E. 7th St./ 7:30PM, FREE
“If news can be fake and facts have alternatives, how are we to know what’s true anymore? Does a post-truth politics tilt toward tyranny? Join the Aspen Institute, The Cooper Union, and the Public Theater’s Public Forum for an evening featuring Harvard University Professor Michael Sandel leading a public debate on the multi-faceted concept of truth in our society.

Sandel will be joined by poet Elizabeth Alexander; actors Danny Burstein (Fiddler on the Roof); Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton); John Lithgow (The Crown); dancer, actor and recent Kennedy Center Honoree Carmen de Lavallade; immigration activist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, and others, who will set the stage with thought-provoking readings and performances.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert: Valerie June
>> The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> Skirball Talks: At the Intersection of Art, Neuroscience, & Perception
>>Ashton and Balanchine: Parallel Lives
>> Skye & Massimo’s Philosophy Cafe: On the Virtues of Loneliness
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert: Valerie June
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / 6:30PM, FREE
“Valerie June’s soulful voice and gritty guitar playing are at the heart of her earthy and deeply personal brand of blues. Soul, bluegrass, traditional Appalachian folk, and a dash of R&B are all present in her stunning sound. Nominated for a 2014 Blues Music Award, June continues to win accolades with her new record, The Order of Time. Her strain of Americana, which she describes as “organic moonshine roots,” is rich, raw, and rewarding.”

The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South (btw W11th/Perry St.) / 8:30Pm +10:30PM, $30
world class big band with 16 members on that small stage, a monday night institution.
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition.” (NYT)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 9:30PM, $30
“Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of “Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

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

Skirball Talks: At the Intersection of Art, Neuroscience, & Perception
NYU Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Pl./ 6:30PM, FREE, RSVP required
“Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist Eric R. Kandel, an expert in the neurobiological underpinnings of learning and memory within the world of art, joins a panel with artists Teresita Fernández and Robert Whitman, and NYU’s Chair of Neural Science, Eric Klann. Together they’ll examine the “the relationships between mind, brain, perception, and art.” Lynn Gumpert, Director of the Grey Art Gallery, moderates, in conjunction with the gallery’s current show, The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Ashton and Balanchine: Parallel Lives
2018 Lincoln Kirstein Lecture featuring Alastair Macaulay
NYPL Performing Arts / 6PM, FREE, reserv. required
“Join The Center for Ballet and the Arts for the annual Lincoln Kirstein Lecture, co-presented by the New York Library for the Performing Arts. In “Ashton and Balanchine: Parallel Lives,” The New York Times’s chief dance critic Alastair Macaulay will show ways in which Frederick Ashton and George Balanchine watched each other, took ideas from each other, differed from each other, and, between them, did more than anyone else in twentieth-century ballet to advance the nature of classicism in dance.”

Skye & Massimo’s Philosophy Cafe: On the Virtues of Loneliness
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St./ 6PM, $5
“Massimo Pigliucci’s Philosophy Cafe gets less lonely as Existentialism and Romantic Love author Skye Cleary joins this monthly Socratic dialogue. February’s session looks at the “virtues of loneliness,” weighing companionship against entanglement.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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BONUS:
NYC Restaurant Week (Jan.22-Feb.9)

NYC Restaurant Week® guide (TONY)

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Continuing Events

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER’
Metropolitan Museum of Art (through Feb. 12).

”A monument to a monument. With 133 drawings by the beyond-famous artist on loan from some 50 front-rank collections, this show is a curatorial coup and an art historical tour de force: a panoptic view of a titanic career as recorded in the most fragile of media: paper, chalk and ink. And it demands that you be fully present. Drawing is more than a graphic experience; it’s a textural one, about the pressure of crayon and pen on a page; the subliminal fade and focus of lines; the weave and shadow-creating swells of surfaces. These are effects that can’t be captured by a smartphone.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

The art world has been agog about this exhibition for sometime. One critic after another exclaims that it is the “Exhibition of a lifetime!” The hype has been over the top. Usually that means you’ll be disappointed when you actually experience it, because it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. Not this time.

This is a huge and marvelous exhibition that shows the evolution of Michelangelo from a young artist to a mature, divine genius. An exhibition that you will remember for sometime. Even the works of other artists that are included for contrast and context are amazing.

Here are a few reviews from the critics to give you a fuller flavor of this exhibition. They strongly encourage you to make the time to see this “once in a lifetime” exhibition. I also encourage you to see it.

Only 08 days left, because the exhibition closes February 12, and that last week it will probably be crazy packed.

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Let there be light!
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.

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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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