NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/02) + 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-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.

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

“Peter and the Wolf” (also Dec.7-8-9)
Guggenheim, Fifth Ave. at 89th St. / 2:30PM, +4PM, $45
“Prokofiev’s wonderful children’s work for narrator and chamber ensemble is both a fable about a headstrong boy and, cleverly, an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. The hero is the young Peter, who disobeys his grandfather and is forced to solve a rather sticky situation involving a duck, a bird, and a hungry wolf. (Each character is matched with a corresponding instrument and musical motif.) In this chamber production for “Works & Process,” which has become something of a holiday standard, the style guru Isaac Mizrahi narrates, his delivery alternately avuncular and sassy. The backup band is the excellent Ensemble Signal, and the action is played out in dance and pantomime by members of Dance Heginbotham.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> TWYLA THARP DANCE 
>> Mark Turner
>>JOHN SCOFIELD QUARTET
>> ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
>> Titanique: In Concert
>> Winona LaDuke + Naomi Klein | Land Rights and Climate Change
>> New York Motorcycle Show
Continuing Events
>>Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>>New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker”
>> Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

TWYLA THARP DANCE  (thru Dec.09)
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM; $60+
“Tharp takes inspiration from just about anything fit for a stage — from ballet to the circus to baton twirling — so she can sometimes feel like a stylistic maximalist. But early in her career, she caught the minimalism bug sweeping through the arts at the time. This nearly four-week engagement, called “Minimalism and Me,” focuses on works she created between 1965 and 1971. Among them are the now-classic “Tank Dive,” “The History of Up and Down” and “Eight Jelly Rolls,” a richly layered romp to music by the ragtime master Jelly Roll Morton.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

JOHN SCOFIELD QUARTET (LAST DAY)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $20-$35
“With an acrid, lightly distorted sound and a habit of subtly stirring psychedelia and country rock into his dexterous improvising, Scofield has been one of jazz’s leading guitarists since the 1970s. His most recent album, “Combo 66,” is a triumphant romp; he appears here in the quartet from that record, featuring Gerald Clayton on piano and organ, Vicente Archer on bass and Bill Stewart on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (through Dec. 30).
at New York City Center / 3PM, +7:30PM, $30+
“In 1958, a small group of African-American dancers performed at the 92Y, and now, six decades later, that company is one of the largest and most popular modern dance troupes in the country. Still to come this season are works by Ronald K. Brown, Jessica Lang and a new two-act creation by the hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris called “Lazarus,” inspired by Ailey’s life.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

See a Sugar Plum-free ballet
“Skip The Nutcracker and its derivatives and catch the premiere weekend of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Lazarus, instead. Hip-hop master Rennie Harris is the brains behind this two-act ballet, which addresses the racial inequality Ailey faced when he founded his dance company in 1958 — inequality that continues to plague America 60 years later.” (Thrillist)

Titanique: In Concert (Dec.01-03)
The Green Room 42 / 7PM, $20+
“The songs of Quebecois nightingale Celine Dion are the stately vessel—or are they the iceberg?—in this campy concert spoof of James Cameron’s 1997 romantic disaster film, written by stars Marla Mindelle (Sister Act) and Constantine Rousouli (Cruel Intentions) with director Tye Blue. Also in the cast are Alex Ellis, Stephen Guarino, Mykal Gilgore, Sebastian La Cause, Kathy Deitch and the painfully shy Frankie J. Grande.” (TONY)

Mark Turner (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Two decades ago, Mark Turner was the new kid on the block. Today, the tenor-saxophone demigod is a leading light for a generation of aspiring players. Turner, who recently scored a low-key triumph with “Temporary Kings,” a lyrical duet album with the pianist Ethan Iverson, has matured into an authoritative bandleader with a feel for unique sidemen. His Vanguard quintet includes the much discussed Cuban pianist David Virelles.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

Winona LaDuke + Naomi Klein | Land Rights and Climate Change
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St./ 3PM, $45
Activists Naomi Klein and Winona LaDuke come together to talk the economics of climate change, the role of First Nations in the environmental movement, and the connections between violence against women and violence against land at the Rubin Museum of Art.
Ticket options include copies of Klein’s No Is Not Enough and LaDuke’s All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

New York Motorcycle Show
Ogle things that go vroom.
Javits Center / 2-8PM on Friday, $22
“You may not have the guts to get yourself a sweet hog, but you can still admire them up close. From Friday to Sunday, the New York Motorcycle Show at the Javits Center showcases the best things in two wheels. See demos, get your gear checked, admire everything from scooters to ATVs to dirt bikes and vintage bikes, and, hey, if you get up the courage to buy one, it’s all right there for the taking.” (grubstreet.com)

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Continuing Events

So much going on in this town over the holidays. Too many events & performances to list here. For a much fuller list, check out the tab above “Holidays.”

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy the Holiday Shops, The Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Holiday Shops are open through January 2, 2019.

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 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)

Tree Lighting Skate-tacular
As one of the most popular holiday markets in NYC, the Winter Village has big plans to make their tree-lighting ceremony (held 6PM, Tuesday, December 4) a smash.

An annual New York City Christmas tradition, Tree Lighting Skate-tacular is led by a celebrity narrator who reads an original Christmas tale. As the story unfolds, the characters are brought to life by world-class skaters performing on the ice, under the stars in the Midtown cityscape. Excitement builds until the finale: the Tree is lit, surrounded by fireworks. With host Alan Cumming and performances by Olympic skaters Johnny Weir, Kaetlyn Osmond, Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and Jeremy Abbott.
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New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 30)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / various times, $40

“New York City Ballet continues performances of its acclaimed 1954 production that would melt the Scroogiest of hearts. The elaborate staging includes a one-ton Christmas tree that grows from a 12 feet to 41 feet and an 85-pound, nine-feet wide Mother Ginger. The ballet highlights dozens of talented and adorable children from the School of American Ballet, but the star of the show isn’t just one dancer but a bevy of Snowflakes. Their waltz — full of beauty and daring — will take your breath away. ” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)
212-496-0600, nycballet.com

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Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes  (Nov.09- Jan.01)
Radio City Music Hall / various times, $46+
“There’s more great precision dancing than ever in the show’s current edition, which was revamped in 2007 and tweaked again this year. Glamorously outfitted in a series of eye-popping costumes, the Rockettes perform on a double-decker bus, a sparkly staircase and a snowy forest and enact a lightning-fast version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Not to worry: They’re still doing the classic “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” number, too. Each scene is enhanced by video backdrops displayed on one of the world’s largest LED screens.”

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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 Links 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.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan, see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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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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