NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/04) + 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, check the tab above: NYC Events-August”
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:

Elsewhere, but this show sure looks worth the detour:
BÉLA FLECK
at Murmrr Theater / 8 p.m., $35-$45
“Mr. Fleck is the most renowned banjoist in modern music, with debts to a variety of American musical traditions. He and the Flecktones, his powerhouse ensemble, just completed a 30th-anniversary tour. In all those years, Mr. Fleck says, he’s never performed a solo show in New York City, his hometown. That’s remarkable, since the banjo has roots as a solo instrument — and as an unimpeachable virtuoso, Mr. Fleck seems like a natural for the format. This show is your chance to catch him onstage alone.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> GERALD CLAYTON QUINTET
>> KIZUNA DANCE
>> Dance Theatre of Harlem
>> Marilyn Maye
>> Summer Streets
>> Celebrate the Caribbean Diaspora
>> Victory Cup NYC Classic
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>>
Brasil Summerfest 
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

GERALD CLAYTON QUINTET (through Aug. 5)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., $35
“Mr. Clayton plays mainline jazz piano with surging energy and a miniaturist’s attention to detail. Thinking of him as a sculptor, he’s more of a Hellenist than an Impressionist: He likes beauty and structure and logic, not messy displacement. Two of his big piano influences are Kenny Barron and Oscar Peterson, but the neat power of his playing — if not his harmonic choices — brings Chick Corea to mind. He appears here with four longtime associates: Logan Richardson on alto saxophone, Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone, Joe Sanders on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, but this setting can’t be beat, worth the detour:
KIZUNA DANCE
at Brooklyn Bridge Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“As part of Gibney Dance’s effort to bring free dance to public outdoor spaces, this young company, founded by Cameron McKinney in 2014, presents an hour of repertory on the Brooklyn riverfront. Kizuna, which means “bonds” or “connections between people” in Japanese, celebrates various aspects of Japanese culture, and Mr. McKinney’s works address topics such as Buddhism, the March 2011 tsunami and earthquake and the art of the Japanese painter Manabu Ikeda.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Marilyn Maye (LAST DAY)
Birdland / 7PM, $40-$50
“The Birdland Theater is proud to announce that legendary, Grammy-nominated songstress Marilyn Maye will be headlining in the brand new performance space for two weeks. Ms. Maye will be accompanied by the Tedd Firth Trio from July 24 – 28, and the Billy Stritch Trio from July 31 – August 4, with shows at 7pm each night.”

This lady puts on a classic show. Catch her while you can (and she can.)

Dance Theatre of Harlem
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Nearing its fiftieth anniversary, the ballet troupe remains a beacon of inspiration, even if its light isn’t quite as bright as it once was. This free program for Lincoln Center Out of Doors includes a welcome revival of Robert Garland’s “New Bach,” which finds jazz syncopations in the Baroque composer’s rhythms, alongside Dianne McIntyre’s defiant “Change” and a yet-to-be-announced surprise selection.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

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

Summer Streets (3 Saturdays in August)
Park Avenue up to Central Park / 7am-1pm, FREE
“Enjoy 7 miles of car-free roadways. The route winds from the Brooklyn Bridge to the 72nd Street entrance to Central Park, spanning Centre Street, Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue and Park Avenue. There will be five “rest stops” with free activities, including a 165-feet-long zip line at Foley Square and an 8-feet-tall bouldering wall at Astor Place. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the open road with rented bicycles, roller skates or handcycles. The programming also includes cultural activities such as live music, kid-friendly art workshops and walking tours of Park Avenue architecture. There will also be water fountains and concession stands providing sustenance along the way.” (amNY)

Elsewhere, but each month this is worth the detour:
Target First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum:
Celebrate the Caribbean Diaspora
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway (Washington Ave.)/ 5pm-10pm, FREE
Celebrate the Caribbean Diaspora (Aug. 4)
“Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday honors the arts, culture, and diversity of the Caribbean diaspora with the Brooklyn Dance Festival, the mobile art center caribBEING House and music from Alex Mali. Join Choreographer Jessica Phoenix in a dance and fitness workshop covering basics of Afro-Caribbean dance forms, watch performers from Dance Caribbean Collective, The Sabrosura Effect, Project of ContempoCaribe, KaNu Dance Theater, and Bloodline Dance Theatre showcase styles from across the English, Spanish, and French Caribbean cultures. You’ll also get to drink and draw, enjoy readings by Caribbean poets, sit in on a talk about history of Black immigrants and how we can support these communities today and dance to music by Brooklyn-based Pan Evolution Steel Orchestra, among other activities.”

Victory Cup NYC Classic
Catch some polo.
Governor’s Island, 10AM-8PM
“This Saturday Governors Island is host to the Victory Cup NYC Classic, a laid-back equestrian polo match plus food and drink tastings, a kids area, and a car show. For the noncommittal there are even free tickets to watch from the lawn, which gives you access to the craft brewers’ festival tent.” (grubstreet.com)

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Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

Brasil Summerfest  (thru Aug. 12)
Brazil’s beats and bites come to NYC
“Brasil Summerfest, the largest music and arts fest of its kind, returns this week with its biggest year yet and runs through Aug. 12. Starting off Sunday at the Hester Street Fair are DJs Gaspar Muniz and Greg Caz, as well as choro music by Regional de NY, samba by Manhattan Samba and drumming from Fogo Azul. Food will include traditional fare like churrasco, coxinhas, feijoada and more, plus beer and sparkling wine. It’s free for all ages.” (Metro)

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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: 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.

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

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove 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.

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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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