NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/11) + 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:  “December NYC Events
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.

OR 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:

IDINA MENZEL
at Carnegie Hall / 8 p.m.; $49+
“This veteran singer-actress’s voice is celebrated in households across the country, particularly those with young children: As Elsa, the animated snow queen of Disney’s “Frozen,” Menzel powers the inescapable pop-culture juggernaut that is “Let It Go.” Though the song is by far the biggest hit of her career, Menzel is no stranger to the anthemic. As Elphaba in Broadway’s “Wicked,” she belted out tunes about empowerment; as Maureen in “Rent,” she preached self-respect. This week, Menzel is playing a trio of shows around the New York area in support of her new Christmas record. Given its seasonal relevance, odds are she’ll sneak a bit of “Frozen” material into her performance at Carnegie Hall.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> STEVEN BERNSTEIN
>> HARISH RAGHAVAN QUINTET
>> Le Nozze di Figaro
>> Christian McBride
>> Chris Botti Holiday Residency
>> The Atlantic Presents: How to Stop a Civil War—Impeachment at a Time of National Fracturing
>> The Dharma of Star Wars

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

STEVEN BERNSTEIN (Dec. 11-12)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $45
“Many of jazz’s most engaging figures have a way of finding what resonates in the past — a style, a method, a spirit — and giving it new life without trying to preserve or conspicuously modernize it. (Think of Jason Moran, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian McBride: Each has a way of doing this.) Bernstein, a trumpeter who sprang from New York’s experimental-jazz scene in the 1980s, is one of those musicians. On Wednesday he will perform at Dizzy’s with his nine-piece Millennial Territory Orchestra — which romps through a repertoire ranging from Fats Waller to Ray Charles to the Beatles — with the vocalist Catherine Russell joining as a special guest. On Dec. 12 Bernstein will bring his longtime quartet Sexmob, featuring the saxophonist Briggan Krauss, the bassist Tony Scherr and the drummer Kenny Wollesen.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

HARISH RAGHAVAN QUINTET
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“A bassist with as much lyrical sensitivity as he has resounding power, Raghavan is best known for his work in the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire’s esteemed quintet. But he has recently begun to emerge as a protagonist in his own right, leading a five-piece group at clubs around New York and showcasing his book of soaring, neatly woven compositions. At this show he and the members of his quintet (Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone, Joel Ross on vibraphone, Micah Thomas on piano and Kweku Sumbry on drums) will celebrate the release of their fine debut album, “Calls for Action,” out last month.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

The Metropolitan Opera
Le Nozze di Figaro (next Dec.14, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $53+
“Two outstanding casts—including sopranos Nadine Sierra, Anita Hartig, Susanna Phillips, and Hanna-Elisabeth Müller; mezzo-sopranos Gaëlle Arquez and Marianne Crebassa; baritone Mariusz Kwiecien; and bass-baritones Luca Pisaroni and Adam Plachetka—come together for Mozart’s scintillating class comedy. Antonello Manacorda and Cornelius Meister conduct Sir Richard Eyre’s fast-paced production.”

Christian McBride (Dec. 10-15)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35, need to try the late sets.
“A nineties wunderkind who has fulfilled his early promise, the extraordinary bassist Christian McBride began as a staunch defender of mainstream jazz. His forays into such far-flung terrain as free improvisation and electrified funk notwithstanding, he always returns to where his heart lies. His Inside Straight ensemble is a taut quintet that includes the saxophonist Steve Wilson and the vibraphonist Warren Wolf.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Chris Botti Holiday Residency
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $55-$95, may be a tough ticket, try the late set
“This trumpet players’s skills are actually as good as his telegenic looks, even if he rarely puts them to use playing the kind of bop he cut his teeth on. A consummate showman, Botti presents his blend of smooth jazz-funk, glossily Miles-ian ballads and assorted pop and classical chestnuts at the Blue Note for his 13th annual holiday residency.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

The Atlantic Presents: How to Stop a Civil War—Impeachment at a Time of National Fracturing
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $35
“We are living in a dangerous moment in America. Unprecedented partisanship, inequality, social upheaval, and structural failures in our democracy have divided the nation and threaten the American experiment.

This urgent issue is addressed by The Atlantic’s December special edition, “How to Stop a Civil War.” Hear a conversation with three of that issue’s leading writers about how to bring back compromise and civility, and whether we even should.”

The Dharma of Star Wars
@ Rubin Museum / 6PM, Free with museum admission, $19
“To get your galactic fix before The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters, head to the Rubin Museum for The Dharma of Star Wars (also a book). The gallery tour will parse the thematic connections between Himalayan art and the world’s favorite sci-fi franchise, looking at mystical and historical examples. Plus you’ll get answers to crucial questions like whether the Buddha can use the Force and which are the Skywalkers in the museum’s collection.”  (Gothamist)


Continuing Events

NYC holiday markets – five to explore.  (Newsday)

HOLIDAY SHOPS AT BRYANT PARK

WHEN | WHERE Oct. 31-Jan. 5, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 40th Street and Sixth Avenue
INFO bryantpark.org/eat-drink/holiday-shops

UNION SQUARE HOLIDAY MARKET

WHEN | WHERE Nov. 21-Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, Union Square Park’s southern side
INFO urbanspacenyc.com

COLUMBUS CIRCLE HOLIDAY MARKET

WHEN | WHERE Dec. 4-24, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 59th Street and Central Park West
INFO urbanspacenyc.com

GRAND CENTRAL HOLIDAY FAIR

WHEN | WHERE Nov. 18-Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday (closed Thanksgiving; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Christmas Eve), Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, 89 E. 42nd St.
INFO grandcentralterminal.com

GRAND BAZAAR NYC

WHEN | WHERE Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., 100 W. 77th St.
INFO grandbazaarnyc.org

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Holiday windows in NYC you won’t want to miss

“‘Tis the season! As Thanksgiving draws near, New York City’s department stores are unveiling their holiday windows. Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, American Girl and others are each putting their festive foot forward for the holidays.” (amNY)

Here is the extensive Holiday Windows rundown from amNY.

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GEORGE BALANCHINE’S THE NUTCRACKER
NEW YORK CITY BALLET (THRU Jan.5)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center/ TODAY: 2PM, +8PM,; $95+
“’Twas the day after Thanksgiving and all through the land, ballet companies began trotting out productions of “The Nutcracker,” a holiday dance tradition most grand. And in New York, the grandest among them is City Ballet’s, formally known as “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” which has been performed since 1954. That title rightly emphasizes this version’s secret weapon: Act II’s glorious choreography, particularly the breathtaking final pas de deux between the Sugarplum Fairy and her cavalier. Act I has its own virtuosic feat in the form of a supersize Christmas tree, which captures all the magic and wonder of this familiar tale.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

12/11 Ingrid Michaelson, (le) Poisson Rouge

Fall Concerts (nycgo.com)

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
“The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.”

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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 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. 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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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. Not so. 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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Bonus Live Music  – NYC 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.”

In Memoriam:
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.

I MEMORIALIZE THESE TWO WONDERFUL CLUBS AS A WARNING.
WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO SAVE THESE SPECIAL PLACES.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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