NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/09) + 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:  “February 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:

Join the celebration at the Chinatown Lunar New Year parade
“Happy Lunar New Year, which in 2020 is the Year of the Rat, first in the Chinese Zodiac. The occasion is being marked as it has for several years with a glorious procession through Manhattan’s Chinatown. Starting at Mott and Canal streets, the parade moves down East Broadway toward the Manhattan Bridge before wrapping between Eldridge and Forsyth streets toward Grand Street (next to Sara D. Roosevelt Park). Thousands are expected to line the streets to watch performers, participants in merry costumes and marching bands. They’ll also be joined by colorful lion and dragon dancers, whom tradition holds bring luck while scaring off evil spirits.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 1 p.m. Feb. 9, Manhattan
INFO FREE; betterchinatown.com

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Agrippina
>> MATTHEW BOURNE’S ‘SWAN LAKE’
>> Dee Dee Bridgewater
>> New York City Ballet
>> RAVI COLTRANE
>> Animation First Fest
>> Special Access Tour @ The Guggenheim,

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Metropolitan Opera
Agrippina (next Feb.13, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 3PM, $30+
“Handel’s tale of intrigue and impropriety in ancient Rome receives its first Met performances, with star mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as the controlling, power-hungry Agrippina and Harry Bicket conducting. Sir David McVicar’s production ingeniously reframes the action of this black comedy about the abuse of power to “the present,” where it should loudly resonate. The all-star cast features mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey as Agrippina’s son and future emperor Nerone, soprano Brenda Rae as the seductive Poppea, countertenor Iestyn Davies as the ambitious officer Ottone, and bass Matthew Rose as the weary emperor Claudius.”

MATTHEW BOURNE’S ‘SWAN LAKE’ (LAST DAY)
at New York City Center / 8PM, $35
“Three years after its premiere in London in 1995, this flamboyant production conquered Broadway, winning three Tony Awards, including one for best choreography. It’s the familiar fairy tale with a sexy modern twist: Rather than a flock of female swans and a demure Odette, Bourne gives audiences a gang of bare-chested, feral male swans led by a strapping fellow whose seduction of the Prince flavors the vintage story with overt homoeroticism. And in lieu of classical ballet steps, Bourne brandishes his style of muscular modern dance. After touring the world regularly since its debut, the show returns to New York for 13 performances.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Dee Dee Bridgewater (Feb. 5-9)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $30-$45
“There’s little that the vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater can’t wrap her inclusive sensibilities around. On her most recent album, “Memphis . . . Yes, I’m Ready,” the venerated performer takes on R. & B. and gospel material associated with the Southern region she originally called home. True to form, the ever-game Bridgewater grabs this repertoire by the throat and doesn’t let go until it gleefully surrenders to her ardor.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

New York City Ballet (through March 1)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“The coming week brings a potpourri of programs: The “New Combinations” bill on Friday and Tuesday pairs Jerome Robbins’s “Opus 19/The Dreamer” (1979) with Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia” (2001), Justin Peck’s “Bright” and Alexei Ratmansky’s new work, “Voices.” The Saturday and Sunday matinees highlight collaborations between Balanchine and Stravinsky, while the performances on Saturday evening and Wednesday juxtapose Balanchine with Peck in two slightly different mixes. The program on Feb. 6 again includes Balanchine (“Haieff Divertimento” and “Episodes”) and Peck (the lovely “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes”) along with Robbins (“Concertino”).” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

RAVI COLTRANE (Feb. 4-9)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Coltrane has released just one leadership album in the past decade, but he’s kept a busy and diverse itinerary as a bandleader in live scenarios. If recording devices have been running, there ought to be enough material by now for a boxed set of live recordings from his past 10 years, full of various bands and projects. The band this saxophonist will bring to New York in the coming week is new, and if the personnel is any indication it suggests an interest in tacking to the center of a certain musical tradition, with help from musicians whose hometowns all boast rich, nurturing jazz histories: the pianist Orrin Evans, from Philadelphia; the bassist Bob Hurst, from Detroit; and the drummer Jeff Watts, known as Tain, from Pittsburgh. (Allan Mednard, a New Yorker, will fill the drum chair from Tuesday to Feb. 6.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Animation First Fest (Feb.7-9)
@ French Institute: Alliance Française / varioustimes, $16+
“It’s time again to fête French illustrators at the Animation First Fest, the only festival in the United States dedicated to French animation. This year’s roster includes 18 premieres, award-winning shorts, immersive exhibits, virtual reality, video game demonstrations, and panels. A few highlights: Hello World!, made with papier-mâché puppets animated in stop-motion with hand-crafted sculptures; Lorenzo Mattotti’s The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily, inspired by a classic Italian children’s book; The Swallows of Kabul, which uses illuminates the brutality of life under the Taliban regime with shimmering watercolor-style animation; and the documentary Notre Dame de Paris The Age of the Builders, which spans 850 years.” (gothamist)

Special Access Tour @ The Guggenheim,
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Temple of Spirit
Guggenheim Museum / 11AM, $49
“Join the New York Adventure Club for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Guggenheim Museum. In addition to learning the backstory, get exclusive access to a subterranean theatre and a secret balcony.” (ThoughtGallery)

MORE COMING SOON.


Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week (LAST DAY)

A celebration of NYC’s most fabulous pastime: dining out. With hundreds of restaurants throughout the City rolling out special prix-fixe menus for a limited time, this is your chance to revel without a cause.

Restaurants offer a minimum of three choices for appetizers and three choices for entrées at lunch ($26). Restaurants offer a minimum of three choices for appetizers, three choices for entrées and at least two desserts at dinner ($42). Several restaurants may also offer drink specials, supplemental items and other à la carte options for an additional price.
2-course lunch $26 | 3-course dinner $42

NYC Broadway Week (LAST DAY)
“There’s nothing like live theater—and no place for it like Broadway. NYC Broadway Week invites you to experience the magic firsthand with 2-for-1 tickets to some of the most spectacular performances on stage right now.”

AND

NYC Must-See Week (LAST DAY)
“It may be impossible to do it all in New York City—but trying is the fun part. During NYC Must-See Week, enjoy 2-for-1 tickets to many of the iconic experiences right in our backyard, including attractions, museums, tours and performing arts.”

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

2/9 Aztec Two-Step, City Vineyard
2/10 EOB (Ed O’Brien of Radiohead), (le) Poisson Rouge
2/11 Richard Julian, Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1
2/12 The Heavy, Webster Hall
2/12 James Maddock, Rockwood Music Hall
2/12 Joe Pug, Rough Trade

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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: 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 Triad – 158 W72nd Street (btw Amsterdam/Columbus Ave.)

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

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

The Duplex – 61 Christopher 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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