NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/06) + 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-April”
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.


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

Elsewhere, but this definitely looks worth the detour:

Brooklyn Folk Festival (April 6-8)
St. Ann’s Church, 157 Montague St., Brooklyn/ various times; $25 or $40; 3 day pass $85
“It’s the 10th anniversary of the Brooklyn Folk Festival, which will be bigger than ever as artists from around the city (and beyond) come together to celebrate folk, traditional and vernacular skills from around the world. With music and dancing as well as workshops, film screenings, contests and the famous Banjo Toss, the fest features 40 bands in three days to highlight the cultural diversity and history of these oral, vocal and instrumental traditions.” (Metro)

What not to miss at this weekend’s Brooklyn Folk Festival (TONY)

The Brooklyn Folk Festival guide Ready yourself for concerts, jam sessions, film screenings, square dances and more at this Brooklyn Heights fest. (TONY)

 7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Brandi Carlile at the Beacon
>> Dada Masilo/The Dance Factory 
>> Christine Ebersole: After the Ball
>> John Scofield
>> The Photography Show Pier 94
>> Dance Theatre of Harlem
>> The Importance of Being Two: What It Means to Have a Divided Mind

Continuing Events
>> New Directors/New Films
>> New York International Auto Show
>>Macy’s Flower Show

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Brandi Carlile at the Beacon
“The American folk rock and Americana singer-songwriter has an early Song of the Year contender with “The Joke,” her soaring anthem for the marginalized that offers a glimmer of hope. “I have been to the movies,” she announces. “I’ve seen how it ends, and the joke’s on them.” (NewsDay)
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 6-7, at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway
INFO $41.50-$81.50, 800-745-3000,

Dada Masilo/The Dance Factory (April 3-8)
Joyce Theater / 8PM, $35+
South African choreographer Dada Masilo combines classical ballet with traditional African dance in her celebrated version of Giselle, one of the oldest surviving works in the Western canon. Composer Philip Miller combines Adolphe Adam’s nineteenth-century score with African sounds, and a dozen members of Masilo’s troupe, the Dance Factory, bring new life and insights to the classic tale of a peasant girl tempted and betrayed by a member of a royal family, and the eerie revenge she exacts. For the last time this season at the Joyce, you can book a couple of seats for a dollar each, and then pay what you think the show is worth after you see it.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

Christine Ebersole: After the Ball (also April 7)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85
“Broadway leading lady Ebersole (Grey Gardens) can really land a joke and knock out a number, moving with ease between her lustrous belt, her mock-operatic soprano and multiple other modes. At F/54 she reprises the set she has played to acclaim for the past couple of years, which includes such classics as “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Lazy Afternoon.” (TONY)

John Scofield (April 3-8.)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10;30PM, $20-$35
You never really know what direction this jazz-guitar avatar is headed; a recent venture found him teaming up with the all-star Hudson quartet to reinvent some nineteen-sixties rock classics. Wherever his fancy leads him, it’s certain that Scofield will exhibit the deliciously twisting lines and sweet-meets-nasty tone that are his calling cards.” (NewYorker)

Dance Theatre of Harlem
New York City Center / 8PM, $25+
“Three premieres; four performances; seven choreographers spanning more than a century of ballet and contemporary dance tradition; and tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., dance diva Carmen de Lavallade, and civil rights leader Xernona Clayton comprise the too-short season of this remarkable troupe, now under the artistic direction of Virginia Johnson. Included are works by George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, Marius Petipa, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Diane McIntyre, the company’s resident choreographer and school director Robert Garland, and Geoffrey Holder (whose fantastical marriage ceremony Dougla returns to the New York stage after too many years away).” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)


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

The Photography Show Pier 94 / (April 5-8)
showcases works from more than 80 of the world’s leading photography art galleries./ noon; $30, run of show $60
“More than 120 exhibitors descend on Pier 94 for the 38th edition of this photo expo. Peruse pieces from the 19th century through present day, check out talks like “Future Gender” and “Refraction: New Photography of the African Diaspora” with industry luminaries and pick up some stunning images for your home.” (TONY)

“The world’s longest-running fair dedicated to photography returns with a show about exploring time, from the 1800s to today. For the first time, The Photography Show will also welcome video and new media, with nearly 100 galleries and publishers participating. There are 15 talks (separately ticketed), as well as three special exhibits including A Time for Reflection, curated by Elton John, and a collection inspired by the Black Panther movement.” (Metro)

The Importance of Being Two: What It Means to Have a Divided Mind
The Strand, 828 Broadway / 7PM, $20, includes complimentary beer
“As dominance increasingly supersedes cooperation in our politics, the times call for re-examining left brain/right brain divides. Catch a Think Olio session on neuroscience, Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary, and the way history has been shaped by the hemispheres. Comparative Religion professor Michael D. Haltenberger leads the discussion.” (

“Modern research on brain hemisphere differences suggests a much more complicated picture than the old rationality and language in the left hemisphere and emotion in the right story. In fact this over-simplification has tainted our view of what the right hemisphere brings to our experience of the world. The elevation of logic over emotion that came with the Enlightenment also brought a devaluation of many of the things that make us human, the importance of relatedness, context, and experience, just those perspectives and values that are brought to us by the, so-called, “minor” hemisphere.”


♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

Continuing Events

New Directors/New Films (March 28 through April 8.)
Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA, / various times, $12-$17
“Delightfully eccentric.
In its 47th year, ND/NF opens with a portrait of freewheeling rapper M.I.A., Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., drawing on videos she made herself, and features Portuguese director Pedro Pinho’s three-hour The Nothing Factory — an epic portrait of an elevator-factory strike with musical numbers.” (D.E., NYMagazine)

Love this festival. After the film screens, the Q&A with the directors and cast (sometimes) is always fascinating. Who knows, you may discover the next Pedro Almodovar – we did.

New York International Auto Show (3/30-4/8)
“The 2018 New York International Auto Show is home to an awe-inspiring display of technology and design, as 1,000 new cars and trucks are arrayed across the acreage of the Javits Convention Center. You can check out all the latest models from a hands-on, driver’s seat vantage. The show also features the hottest exotics, joined by futuristic concept cars and a few shiny classics. Some 60 world and North American debuts can be found at this year’s show! You’ll even leave with a gift bag or two.” (cityguideny)
WHEN | WHERE Friday, March 30, through April 8 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St.
INFO $17, $7 ages 12 and younger, free 2 and younger,

Visit the Macy’s Flower Show
“It’s a floral fairy tale at Macy’s for the store’s annual spring flower show, “Once Upon a Springtime.” Flowers, plants and trees take over windows and countertops, are featured in gardens and on bridges on multiple floors. Events range from a family fun day and breakfast with the Easter bunny to a sip-and-paint class and a men’s grooming and beer tasting.”
WHEN | WHERE Sunday, March 25, through April 8 at Macy’s Herald Square, 151 W. 34th St.
INFO Free (events range up to $24), 212-494-4495,  (Newsday)

Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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. 
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