NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/20) + 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-MAY”
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:

Frances Ruffelle Live(S) in New York
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, $30
“Ruffelle has a place of her own in the hearts of musical-theater fans for her performance as sacrificial waif Éponine in the original London and Broadway casts of Les Misérables. Having recently relocated to New York City, she returns to the nightclub stage with a charmingly game and gamine monthly set at the Green Room 42.” (TONY)

Eponine has all grown up and she puts on one hot show – don’t miss it.

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> John Zorn
>> Dave Liebman Group
>> AMERICAN BALLET THEATER
>> VIJAY IYER SEXTET
>> Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana 
>> SEAN JONES QUINTET
>> Harlem EatUp!
Continuing Events
>> Jerome Robbins Centennial
>> Mad. Sq. Eats
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

John Zorn
Village Vanguard / 3PM, $35
Between the successful relocation of the Stone to the New School; the release of an excellent new LP called Insurrection; and the reuniting of Mike Patton and Trey Spruance in San Francisco this March, John Zorn is having one hell of a 2018. It gets better: The sax great is doing a matinee appearance at the Village Vanguard on Sunday, where he will introduce new works for an exciting ensemble: vibraphonist Sae Hashimoto, pianist Steve Gosling, and a jazz rhythm section of electric bassist Shanir Blumenkranz and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. The group will perform secret premieres of two compositions: “Auto-Da-Fe,” which means “act of faith” in Portuguese, and the vibe-heavy “The Conqueror Worm,” from Zorn’s 2013 LP Dreamachines. Fall into the YouTube rabbit hole by searching the names of all four musicians to get an idea of what can be expected on the Vanguard stage this weekend.” (Ron Hart, VillageVoice)

Dave Liebman Group
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, btw 105th/106th Sts. / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“Dave Liebman doesn’t think small. Completing his “Elements” tetralogy, the champion saxophonist presents “Earth,” an ambitious linked piece that strives to drape iconic locales (the Grand Canyon, Mt. Everest, etc.) in musical garb. Joining him are such committed cohorts as the pianist Bobby Avey and the reed player Matt Vashlishan.” (NewYorker)

AMERICAN BALLET THEATER (Thru July 7)
at the Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $22+
“This weekend, the company wraps up its performances of “Giselle,” the first full-length ballet of the season. On Monday night, the spring gala unveils a pièce d’occasion by the tap dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance. Set to recorded music by the Brooklyn acoustic ensemble Dawn of Midi, it features 15 dancers. The evening also includes excerpts from Alexei Ratmansky’s “Harlequinade,” with Isabella Boylston as Columbine and James Whiteside as Harlequin. The week continues with a new program pairing Wayne McGregor’s “AfteRite” — his premiere set to Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” — and Mr. Ratmansky’s “Firebird.” (NYT)

VIJAY IYER SEXTET (LAST DAY)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30PM, $ hot tkt may need to look for Sunday show.
“Mr. Iyer’s sextet provides a resonant vessel for his heady, hot-blooded compositions; the group’s debut album, “Far From Over,” was one of last year’s best. The band includes the trumpeter Graham Haynes, the alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, the tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, the bassist Stephan Crump and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey. For the first four nights of this run, Jeremy Dutton replaces Mr. Sorey.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, saw them Wednesday night and for fans of Flamenco this is worth the detour:

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana (LAST DAY)
BAM Fisher / 7:30PM, $25+
“This U.S.-based Spanish dance troupe celebrates its 35th anniversary with new dances by Belén Maya — including Mujeres Valientes, for six dancers, which represents Latin American women (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Manuela Saénz) who have challenged authorities and fought against ignorance and injustice. Gaspar Rodriguez’s score for five musicians will be performed live. The program, enacted by a cast of eight dancers and five musicians, also includes new solos by José Maldonado and Guadalupe Torres, both of Spain; special lectures; and chats. Belén Maya is the New York–born daughter of two great flamenco dancers, Carmen Mora and Mario Maya; her performance in Carlos Saura’s 1995 film, Flamenco, opened new avenues for female interpretations of flamenco dance.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, VillageVoice)

SEAN JONES QUINTET (LAST DAY)
at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $40
“Intrepid and smoky toned and nearly always convincing, Mr. Jones held the first trumpet chair in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for many years. Now he leads his own small ensembles and is preparing to begin his first year as head of the Peabody Institute’s jazz program. This weekend Mr. Jones returns to Columbus Circle for three nights in a stellar quintet with the alto saxophonist Brian Hogans, the pianist Orrin Evans, the bassist Luques Curtis and the drummer Mark Whitfield Jr.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

Harlem EatUp!
“This weekend rounds out the Harlem EatUp! festival, with free and paid events. Dine in Harlem restaurants with guest chefs like Stephanie Izard and Geoffrey Zakarian; stroll through the Grand Tasting (ticketed) on Saturday for unlimited tastings and collaborations, like cookie tarts by Make My Cake and Jacques Torres; buy a Rao’s meatball in the Marketplace (free admission) to benefit the Harlem EatUp! Foundation; or catch free musical performances and culinary demonstrations. Net proceeds will be donated to foundations benefiting the Harlem community. When you’re full, dance it off at FELA-Bration! a celebration of West African culture at the West Harlem waterfront park, presented by Sweet Spot Music & Arts. Admission is free.” (NYMag)

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Continuing Events

Jerome Robbins Centennial (LAST DAY)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / Various times, $30+
“A child of immigrants born in Manhattan in 1918, Jerome Robbins — in his tour across the forms of dance, theater, and cinema — probably left as many enduring monuments as anyone. (These include the brilliant jazz ballet Fancy Free; the musicals West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and Gypsy; and a clutch of incomparable lyrical and dramatic ballets made for his home team, the New York City Ballet.) He also made many enemies, his eighty-year jaunt on this planet inspiring several full-length, tell-all biographies. You’ll have forever to contemplate this raft of accomplishments, but you have three weeks this May to savor 22 ballets at Lincoln Center, including his legendary Afternoon of a Faun on one of five all-Robbins bills. A sixth program — a tribute — opens the season and features two world premieres: NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck honors Robbins to a score by Leonard Bernstein, another child of immigrants also celebrating a centennial in 2018; and Tony-winning director Warren Carlyle creates a medley of Robbins’s dances from Broadway hits and other sources.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Mad. Sq. Eats (May 07-31)
General Worth Square (5th Ave btw 25/26 St.) / near Madison Square Park
11AM-9PM; FREE
“Twice a year, this outdoor food fest brings buzzworthy bites from the city’s best restaurants to Worth Square in the Flatiron District. Highlights include Roberta’s sensational pizza, MeltKraft grilled cheese sandwiches and cheesesteaks by the Truffleist.” (TONY)

“Mad. Sq. Eats brings the diverse flavors of the city’s best restaurants and food entrepreneurs to Worth Square, a prime location in the heart of New York’s historic Flatiron District. The highly anticipated bi-annual event draws hungry crowds of neighborhood residents, workers, and tourists who enjoy this unique opportunity to savor offerings from buzzworthy eateries.”

2018 Vendor List
Burger & Lobster / Jicama / Renegade Lemonade /
the Truffleist / Mayhem Sandwiches / Gotham Poke & Hawaiian Kitchen / Bao by Kaya / La Sonrisa / Frida’s Favorites / Roberta’s /
Duck Season / Daa! Dumplings / Mr. Bing / Baked Cheese Haus / Chick’NCone / Arancini Bros / Top Hops Beer Shop / CousCous /
Melt Ice cream Sandwiches / Ice & Vice / Palenque Arepas /
Coney Shack / Korilla / Casa Toscana / Enfes NYC

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♦ 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.

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
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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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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