NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/15) + 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-January”
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.
To make your own after dinner plans tonight, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

CUBA FESTIVAL (through Jan. 20)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM; $35+
“Our country’s relationship with Cuba may still be in flux but the Joyce Theater’s commitment to Cuban artists remains steadfast. Starting Jan. 9, the space presents the Cuba Festival. First up is the frequent visitor Malpaso Dance Company, a skilled and earnest troupe that will present a diverse program of works by Merce Cunningham, Abel Rojo and Beatriz Garcia Diaz, plus Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s haunting “Tabula Rasa” (through Jan. 13). The festival continues with the company Los Hijos del Director (Jan. 15-16) and the feisty contemporary Flamenco dancer Irene Rodríguez and her self-named company (Jan. 18-20).” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> EMMET COHEN TRIO WITH RON CARTER
>> Pelléas et Mélisande
>> ‘WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE’
>> Eddie Palmieri
>> Fire in my mouth: Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
>> The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll
>> Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely
Continuing Events
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

EMMET COHEN TRIO WITH RON CARTER (Jan. 15-20)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“Cohen is a young piano virtuoso with a delicate touch and an assured, swaggering swing feel; he has endeared himself to some of the most imposing figures in straight-ahead jazz, and plays in bands led by the bassist Christian McBride and the drummer Herlin Riley. But there may be no living jazz musician with more cachet than Ron Carter, the 81-year-old bassist and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master — and technically Cohen counts him as a side musician. On the album that Cohen, Carter and the drummer Evan Sherman released in 2018, Carter’s slippery bass and Cohen’s debonair flow are all sorts of simpatico.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Pelléas et Mélisande (next Jan.19, 12:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20+
Debussy’s only opera, a mesmerizing meditation on love and betrayal, returns to the Met stage for the first time in almost a decade, with Music Director Designate Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the landmark score. A pair of brilliant young Met stars, tenor Paul Appleby and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, are the naïve title lovers, and baritone Kyle Ketelsen is the imperious Prince Golaud. Ferruccio Furlanetto, as Arkel, and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, as Geneviève, complete the cast.

Elsewhere, but this looks like fun and worth the detour:
‘WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE’
at the Bell House / 7:30 p.m.; $25; tough ticket, may need to go to secondary market.
“Time is not kind in many ways, but as it passes for these ladies, they only get funnier. And the producer Carole Montgomery aims to spread the word by filming this stand-up showcase for television. Fran Drescher, best known for “The Nanny,” will be a special guest; Luenell, Lynne Koplitz, Julia Scotti and Vanessa Hollingshead will perform.” (NYT-Sean L. McCarthy)

Eddie Palmieri (Jan.15-20)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
Eddie Palmieri’s new album, “Mi Luz Mayor,” is dedicated to his late wife, Iraida, and includes songs they would dance to; judging from the propulsive performances that this giant of Latin music elicits from his crack orchestra, the couple must have cut quite a rug. Fusing idiomatic sounds from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other Latin-American locales with modern jazz, Palmieri’s music defines multicultural New York as indelibly as any sound that has arisen from its streets.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

Fire in my mouth: Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
Atrium at Lincoln Center,/ 7:30PM, FREE
“Composer Julia Wolfe, Forward archivist Chana Pollack, and Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition founder Ruth Sergel will discuss the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, its impact, and the importance of memorializing it. Ms. Wolfe will discuss her new multimedia work Fire in my mouth, and Ms. Pollack will present archival materials from the Forward’s front-lines coverage of the tragedy and its aftermath. Philharmonic President and CEO Deborah Borda moderates.”

The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll
Book Culture, 450 Columbus Ave. / 7:00 pm, FREE
“A riveting saga in the history of rock ‘n’ roll: the decades-long rivalry between the two men who innovated the electric guitar’s amplified sound—Leo Fender and Les Paul—and their intense competition to convince rock stars like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton to play the instruments they built.”

Andrew S. Curran, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely
A spirited biography of the prophetic and sympathetic philosopher who helped build the foundations of the modern world.
The New York Society Library, 53 E. 79th St./ 6:30PM, $15
Enlightenment luminary Denis Diderot (1713-1784) helped lay foundations for the modern world. Hear from Wesleyan professor Andrew Curran on his new biography of the philosopher, revealing Diderot’s “often iconoclastic stands on art, theater, morality, politics, and religion.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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Continuing Events

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 Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
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)

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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 65 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:
(4 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)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

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)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

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

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 surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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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