Selected Events (12/20) + Holiday Markets in NYCity 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – SATURDAY, DEC. 20, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

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‘Pipes of Christmas’
“This holiday music event, presented by the Clan Currie Society, features readings from the Celtic literature of Scotland, Ireland and Wales; the singer Gillebride MacMillan; the fiddler Paul Woodiel; and the uilleann piper and flutist Christopher Layer.” (NYT)
Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, 921 Madison Ave, at 73rd St.
212-868-4444 / pipesofchristmas.com
2pm and 7pm / $60

75 Years on the Yellow Brick Road:
Things You Likely Never Knew About The Wizard of Oz
You might be aware that the film classic The Wizard of Oz is 75 years old this August. But do you know why Dorothy wears the iconic Ruby Slippers instead of the silver pair L. Frank Baum gave her in the book? Or that F. Scott Fitzgerald wanted to write the screenplay as a vehicle for the Marx Brothers? Michael Patrick Hearn, the leading authority on The Wizard of Oz, explores these and other little-known facts about the creation of the most beloved Hollywood movie ever made.
New York Public Library, Fifth Ave. at 42nd St.
2PM / FREE, No tickets necessary.

Prohibition Saturdays (formerly the empire salon)
“moves its monthly vintage jazz party to the gansevoort park rooftop for an evening of live music by jason prover + the sneak thievery orchestra, burlesque by legs malone, and sexy trivia. free charleston dance lesson at 6:45pm.” (the skint)
Gansevoort Park Hotel, 420 Park Ave South (btw 28/29 St.)
5-10pm / no minimum, free admission.

Big Apple Circus (through Jan 11)
“This nonprofit organization might take its name from the biggest metropolis in the country, but its tented spectacles always have an intimate feel, because none of the seats are more than fifty feet from the ring. In the midst of its thirty-seventh season, the troupe is presenting “Metamorphosis,” a show that focusses on the theme of transformation and features aerialists, contortionists, animals, and, of course, clowns.” (NewYorker)
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center, 62nd St. btw Amsterdam/Columbus Aves.
bigapplecircus.org

‘Holiday Light: Joyous Music for Chanukah and Christmas’
“This performance, featuring the Western Wind, will offer international and traditional pieces from the Middle Ages to the present. The performance includes soloists and instrumentalists.” (NYT)
Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, at Grove St., West Village
212-873-2848 / westernwind.org
8PM / $25 to $250; $20 for students and 65+.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
=================================================================================

Holiday markets in NYC

New York has a wealth of holiday markets and craft fairs that you can browse if the big department stores with their holiday windows aren’t your bag.

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Not only is there free ice-skating on Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink, but also 127 holiday shops, including 27 new kiosks and 26 eateries. New offerings such as eco-friendly clothing and accessories from Angelrox ($10–$250) and organic hair- and skin-care products from Surya Brasil (starting at $15) are up for grabs. And after you shop and skate, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. FYI: The vendors are only there until Jan 4, but If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours (open through March 1). FYI: On Tuesday, Dec 2, come for the tree, but stay for the grand lighting ceremony at 6pm, including performances on and off the ice.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Sixth Ave, between 40th and 42nd Sts
Until Sun Jan 4

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
This annual holiday bazaar, run by the people behind the Union Square market, features handmade items from local artisans and snacks from vendors such as Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen and Sigmund Pretzel Shop. Look for the market concierge to help you navigate your way through the approximately 100 booths.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market Central Park South, at Central Park West
Mon Dec 1 – Wed Dec 24

Grand Central Holiday Fair
This fair’s six-week run features 76 microboutiques plus 22 new artists and businesses boasting everything from contemporary jewelry and art objects to African crafts and Christmas ornaments. And since it’s situated inside the terminal itself, you won’t have to worry about shivering while you’re browsing the goods. Highlights include Jacques Torres Chocolates ($6-$100), man candles ($30) from The Lode Man Shop and handcrafted knit and crocheted outerwear from Spratters & Jayne ($60-$325).
Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair 89 E 42nd St, at Park Ave
Until Wed Dec 24

Union Square Holiday Market
If there’s one alfresco shopping event worth braving the cold for, it’s this one. This European-style winter market boasts more than 150 local and national vendors hawking an impressive selection of handcrafted gifts, ranging from jewelry and accessories to leather goods and artwork. Check out the brew-your-own beer kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop ($40); handmade, monogrammed stuffed animals from Hazel Village ($39); and wooden puzzles and board games from Kubiya Games ($38). And with food vendors like Momofuku Milk Bar, Bar Suzette, Wafels & Dinges and No Chewing Allowed!, you could easily spend a whole day here.
Union Square Holiday Market 14th St to 17th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South
Until Wed Dec 24

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Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market
Brooklyn purveyors set up shop across the river at Artists & Fleas’ seasonal pop-up bazaar, situated inside Chelsea Market. Expect to find trendy and noncommercial holiday-themed gifts vetted by husband-and-wife team Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer, who ensure that every item is locally made and well crafted. Among the 30-plus vendors are bag designer Pamela Barsky, vinyl slinger Eat Records and vintage seller Brooklyn Bleu. Enter the building at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 15th Street.
Artists & Fleas – Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Ave, between 15th and 16th Sts,
Sat Nov 1 – Wed Dec 24

Creeds Collective Holiday Pop-up
This pop-up’s two-month run allows you to grab splurgeworthy presents from up-and-coming fashion, beauty and wellness brands for everyone on your list—or hell, let’s be honest, yourself. Our favorites include Angela & Roi handbags ($340), Dharma eyewear ($99), Coye Nokes shoes ($350) and more. And 10 percent of proceeds from every purchase goes toward Global Citizen’s (globalcitizen.org) fight against extreme poverty. The pop-up also offers complimentary mini spa treatments from natural hair- and skin-care brand THANN, a nail-art bar by Primp & Polish and a #hashtag photo booth, to reward yourself for getting through your shopping list.
Creeds Collective Holiday Pop-Up 54 Crosby St , between Broome and Spring Sts
Until Sun Dec 28

Hester Holiday Market at One Penn Plaza
The Hester Holiday Market at One Penn Plaza brings Hester Street Fair’s favorite gift and food vendors to 34th Street just in time for the holidays! This outdoor market will be a destination for one-of-a-kind shopping with curated and handmade gifts that you won’t find in any stores. Plus an incredible roster of artisanal food vendors will be fueling the holiday cheer. The holiday market will also celebrate the festivities with caroling, classes and much more! (www.hesterstreetfair.com)

This bazaar usually stays indoors for the winter, but this year, you’ll find vintage wares, crafts and other gifts at its new outdoor location. This one-of-a-kind shopping destination features curated and handmade gifts you won’t find in any store as well. Plus, there will be a full roster of artisinal food vendors to fuel the holiday cheer.
One Penn Plaza Eighth Ave, between 33rd and 34th Sts,
Mon Dec 1 – Sun Dec 21

Jingle holiday pop-up
Accessories designer Jill Schwartz curated this 6,000-square-foot shop inside Chelsea Market, featuring local and international goods perfect for gift-giving. Inside, you’ll find stylish wares by Izola and vibrant living sculptures (starting at $60) from Twig Terrariums. Plus, this pop-up has enough holiday spirit to cheer up even scroogiest New Yorker.
Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Ave, at 16th St
Tue Dec 16 – Mon Dec 29

The Soho Holiday Collective
This holiday pop-up is all about one-of-a-kind fashions from emerging designers. It’s a hands-on affair, where you can actually meet and be styled by the designers themselves. Find luxury apparel, jewelry and gift items from Jes Wade, KES, Lulu Estate Jewelry and more. After you visit with the designers, be sure to check out the pop-up’s garage style gallery, which features an array of framed pop culture photography by Rock Paper Photo and Capital Art. We imagine the classic photos of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor will go fast.
Soho Holiday Collective Pop-up 150 Wooster St , between W Broadway and Greene St,
Until Wed Dec 24

Elsewhere, but worth a detour:

Artists & Fleas Williamsburg Holiday Market
Founders Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer will again curate a special holiday-themed version of their weekend market, now featuring more than100 vendors inside their Williamsburg space, which expanded to the warehouse next door. Boasting sellers, artists, makers and collectors, enjoy free gift-wrapping stations, tasty treats and Christmas carolers to get you all warm and fuzzy. If off-the-wall gifts are your thing, you might want to snatch up Kt Ferris Creations’ trendy evil-eye necklaces ($28–$150), Curated Basics’ black stainless steel cuffs for guys ($40), festive knit Twinko onesies for pets or Marley & Alfie horseshoe dream catchers ($99) for your ecentric friends and family members.
Artists & Fleas 70 North 7th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
Until Sun Dec 28

Astoria Market Holiday Markets
On three Sundays before Christmas (Nov 16; Dec 24, 21), Queens’ classic Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden transforms into an NYC-centric artisan market chock-full of handmade and vintage merchandise. Standout vendors include handmade ceramics from Mayware and delicious gluten-free baked goods from WHOS bakery. Eggnog, hot cider and roasted chestnuts are available for the peckish, too.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden 29-19 24th Ave, between 29th and 31st Sts, 
Sun Nov 16 – Sun Dec 21

LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market
For eight weekends before Christmas, more than 55 vendors set up shop in a warehouse space adjacent to LIC Flea & Food’s outdoor lot at this gift-geared seasonal spin-off. It’s one of the biggest indoor markets in New York, so this holiday bazaar is a can’t-miss. Featuring more than 55 vendors, the holiday offerings include everything from fashion to arts and crafts and of course, antiques. Plus, there’s plenty of food carts to fuel your search for the perfect holiday gifts. Other bonuses include live music from the Dandy Wellington band and, of course, the chance to take a photo with the big man in the red suit—Santa is here every weekend until December 21.
LIC Flea 5-25 46th Ave , between Vernon Blvd and 5th St.
Until Sun Dec 21

This comprehensive listing and much more useful holiday info, including a holiday gift guide, can be found at TONY magazine’s Christmas in NewYork Guide.

For a virtual tour of  holiday department store windows, try the slideshows at the NYT and Refinery 29.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Selected Events (12/19) + Holiday Windows in NYCity 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – FRIDAY, DEC. 19, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

The New York Pops, ‘Home for the Holidays’ - SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music

“AN IRISH CHRISTMAS” – SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music 

Michael Feinstein,‘Happy Holidays: Swinging with the Big Band’  - Cabaret

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum - SmartStuff/ Museum

Bob Seger  - Pop/Rock

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

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The New York Pops, ‘Home for the Holidays’ (also Saturday)
“The big attraction in this year’s edition of the long-running New York Pops Annual Christmas concert is the reunion of the “The Light in the Piazza” romantic couple, Kelli O’Hara and Matthew Morrison. In addition to the expected holiday favorites (“Carol of the Bells” etc.), we’ll be disappointed if they don’t treat us to “Passeggiata” or some of the other beloved numbers from Adam Guettel’s rapturous score. As a bonus event, for all the Christmas elves in your life, the Pops are doing a special family concert on Saturday afternoon based on the story and songs of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” (WSJ)
Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium, 57th St. & Seventh Ave.
(212) 247-7800

“AN IRISH CHRISTMAS” (through Dec.21.)
“The singer, banjoist, and mandolinist Mick Moloney came up in the Dublin folk scene of the nineteen-sixties, then moved to Philadelphia, earning a Ph.D. in folklore and folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. He also founded the Washington Square Harp and Shamrock Orchestra, based at N.Y.U.

With the fiddler Athena Tergis, the klezmer singer Tamar Korn, the Filipino vocalist Grace Nono, and plenty of help from the local community of musicians and scholars, he’ll be presiding over four evenings of songs, stories, lore, and laughs, presented by the Irish Arts Center.” (NewYorker)
Symphony Space, Broadway at 95th St.
212-864-5400.

Michael Feinstein,‘Happy Holidays: Swinging with the Big Band’
(through Saturday, Dec 27)
“Mr. Feinstein’s second holiday residency at Birdland (in anticipation of the new venue, he’s opening next year in partnership with the storied jazz landmark) is an endlessly entertaining study in emotional extremes of the season, from the sublimely swinging (like the opening instrumental, Glenn Miller’s “Bugle Call Rag” and the encore, the “White Christmas” favorite, “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing”) to the suicidally despondent (like Johnny Meyers’s heartbreaker “After the Holidays”).

Such polarized musical manic depression can only mean one thing: that Mr. Feinstein is mentally preparing himself for the Frank Sinatra centennial, as he further indicates with a twist on the classic Neal Hefti-Count Basie chart of “I Won’t Dance” and underscores with an exuberant, ambitious Sinatra medley at the climax.” (WSJ)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St.
(212) 581-3080

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
“After three years of renovations, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum — the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to design — has finally reopened. The museum’s home, the Carnegie Mansion, located on New York City’s Museum Mile, was home to steel baron Andrew Carnegie and his family. Post-renovations, the Cooper Hewitt now has 60 percent more gallery space and offers an entirely new visitor experience using interactive and immersive creative technologies. Opening exhibitions include “Tools: Extending Our Reach,” a look at 1.85 million years of tool use and design, and “Beautiful Users” an introduction to one of the fundamental changes in design thinking over the past half-century.” (dnainfo.org)
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2 E. 91st St. (btw 5th and Madison Avenues) / 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. / $16/$18,

BOB SEGER
“Less bombastic than Bruce Springsteen (initially), without the commercial concessions of Tom Petty (for a time), but as talented as either one of them, both onstage and in the studio, Seger started out as the embodiment of Detroit rock and roll, a raw-voiced garage rocker in the tradition of Mitch Ryder. Over the course of his career, Seger evolved into an arena-rock giant who traded in some of his rock-and-roll power for the sweeping reach of epics like “Night Moves” and “Against the Wind.”

Seger semi-retired after his 1995 album, “It’s a Mystery,” but there have been recent signs of life, with the release of “Face the Promise,” in 2006, and “Ride Out,” in October. The latter is a fully realized late-career Bob Seger album, with spirited covers (Steve Earle’s “The Devil’s Right Hand”), more perfunctory covers (John Hiatt’s “Detroit Made”), and a clutch of originals that range from the well-made to the maudlin.” (NewYorker)
Madison Square Garden, Seventh Ave. at 33rd St.
800-745-3000.

==========================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==================================================================================================

Holiday Windows in New York City 2014

Do me a favor, arrange your day so that you check out these windows after dark when the window displays are illuminated. They are so much more impressive at night.

Barneys holiday windows
This year, the Madison Avenue shop incorporates video, light installations and more forward-thinking concepts into its holiday displays. The theme is “A New York Holiday,” and elements include an interactive scene with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a “floating city” created with 3-D mapping and light projections.
Barneys New York 660 Madison Ave, at 61st St.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows
Bergdorf Goodman was inspired by ice this year: The shop’s holiday windows all present variations on the theme “Holidays on Ice,” with displays devoted to Halloween (with a masquerade party), Valentine’s Day and even Arbor Day. (Ice-skating trees? One can hope.)
Bergdorf Goodman 754 Fifth Ave, at 58th St.
Until Wed Jan 7

Bloomingdale’s holiday windows
This year’s holiday windows at Bloomie’s puts the famous brown shopping bags into different shopping scenes around the world—everywhere from China and France to Great Britain and Italy (and, of course, Bloomingdale’s right here in New York City).
Bloomingdale’s 1000 Third Ave, at 59th St,
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Henri Bendel holiday windows
Henri Bendel has partnered with the estate of Al Hirschfeld to create window displays inspired by the celebrated cartoonist’s work. In one window, you’ll see 3-D depictions of celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, Liza Minnelli and Woody Allen; in the store itself, Bendel’s giant tree becomes a playhouse for a model of Charlie Chaplin.
Henri Bendel 712 Fifth Ave, at 56th St.
Wed Dec 3 – Wed Dec 31

Lord & Taylor holiday windows
Children from NYC schools and Women in Need shelters were asked to create drawings based on the theme “What Is Christmas Made Of?” Those works, 125 of which are featured here, inspired the scenes in this year’s display.
Lord & Taylor 424 Fifth Ave, between 38th and 39th Sts.
Thu Dec 4 – Thu Jan 1

Macy’s holiday windows
Boasting a “Dream…and Believe” theme, Macy’s 2013 holiday windows depict a young boy’s journey through a magical dreamland. The six windows on the Broadway side of the store—Dream, Giving & Sharing, Joy, Beauty, Magic and Believe—use technology and LED lights to tell the story. Visiting families can also view the classic “Yes, Virginia…” windows on the 34th street side of the store.
Macy’s Herald Square 151 W 34th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves.
Wed Dec 10 – Wed Dec 31

Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows
This year, Saks debuted a new Snowflake Spectacular, a 3-D light show that plays out across the department store’s exterior each evening. The dazzling display is just one element of the shop’s holiday celebration: Window displays tell the story of the Saks Yeti, and also include an interactive window where visitors can display their own Yeti name (visit saks.com/snow for more details).
Saks Fifth Avenue 611 Fifth Ave, at 49th St.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Tiffany & Co. holiday windows
Behind the windows into which Holly Golightly once gazed so admiringly, Tiffany’s conjures an image of a yuppie wintertime fantasia: the Upper East Side on Christmas Eve. The miniature brownstone scenes are replete with tiny chandeliers and garlands, and those well-known baby-blue boxes are strewn beneath the trees.
Tiffany & Co. 727 Fifth Ave, between 56th and 57th Sts.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

This comprehensive description and much more useful holiday info, including a holiday windows slide show, can be found at TONY magazine’s Christmas in NewYork Guide.

For more holiday windows photos, try the slideshows at the NYT and Refinery 29.

For “The Definitive Guide to New York City’s 2014 Holiday Window Displays” try the NewYorkObserver

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Selected Events (12/18) + Nutcracker Performances 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – THURSDAY, DEC. 18, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

The New Standards’ Holiday Show - SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music [FREE]

Step Right Up: Classic American Arcade and Target Forms – 
SmartStuff/ Book Talk [FREE]

Walter Martin Holiday Show  - Pop/Rock

Medieval Illumination as a Model for Modernism - SmartStuff/ Museum Talk

“A City Singing at Christmas”  - SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music [FREE]

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

=========================================================

The New Standards’ Holiday Show
Special Guests Nellie McKay, Rhett Miller, Mike Doughty, Craig Finn, Dessa and more!

The_New_StandardsDescribed as “a little lounge, a little punk, a little rock, and a whole lot of cool,” this trio featuring piano, stand-up bass, and vibraphone reinvents their favorite songs with panache. John Munson (bass/vocals) was an original member of Trip Shakespeare, and then moved on to become part of the double-platinum group Semisonic. Chan Poling (piano/vocals) founded the punk-rock group The Suburbs and continues to write for theater, TV, and film. Steve Roehm (vibes) started his career with the Texas group Billygoat and was a member of the jazz/funk fusion group Electropolis. These three world-class musicians come together as The New Standards, a jazz-inspired, unlikely soul-filled group who command the stage with virtuosity, style, and a wicked sense of humor.

The New Standards’ Holiday Show has long been a Minnesota institution. Audiences have come to expect a show that combines swinging renditions of classic holiday tunes with a smattering of irreverence, inebriation, and spectacle. But it’s the surprises that delight: the special rock star guests, a touching poem or story, dances and comic bits, or a show-stopping version of “Snow Days”— that sweet ode to Minnesota winter— like you’ve never heard it before.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center,
at 7:30 (but get there by 7 to ensure a seat) / Target FREE Thursdays

Step Right Up: Classic American Arcade and Target Forms.
Richard and Valerie Tucker will speak about their book

steprightupbook-coverStep Right Up: Classic American Arcade and Target Forms explores self-taught art of late nineteenth and early twentieth century shooting gallery targets, whole galleries, and arcade forms. Commonly seen on early midways and carnivals as well as in saloons and other public places of amusement, the artworks presented are the rarest and most aesthetically pleasing decorative targets and arcade forms known.

The progression from the world of shooting gallery and arcade forms, as well as painted American fixtures and accessories, to contemporary art and sculpture has been a natural evolution. Also featured are examples of other amusement attractions to which the visitor to the carnival, circus, or midway would have been exposed. A few European forms are included to illustrate the difference to and American forms.
Book signing and reception to follow.
American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th St.)
6PM / FREE
212. 595. 9533 / folkartmuseum.org

Walter Martin Holiday Show
“Amid a few years of change that included the decision of his longtime band, the Walkmen, to go on hiatus and his wife’s pregnancy, Mr. Martin funneled his excess rock energy and familial affection into his first solo album. “We’re All Young Together,” released last spring, is a warmly singsong, folk-inflected dash of wholesome family pop. He hosts a holiday show with Kat Edmonson.” (Anderson-NYT)
Joe’s Pub, at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St, at Astor Place
7PM / $20.
212-967-7555 / joespub.com

Medieval Illumination as a Model for Modernism
Searching for alternatives to the classical Renaissance basis of academic models, modern artists turned to types of representation not based on observation but rather on abstract or imaginative constructs. Barbara Rose, independent scholar and former Morgan Drawing Institute Fellow, examines the imagery of medieval illuminated manuscripts devoted to the Apocalypse and discusses their relevance for artists such as Miró, Picasso, Léger, and Matisse. This program is co-organized by the Morgan Drawing Institute.
The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue
6:30pm / $15
212-685-0008

“A City Singing at Christmas”
“The halls are decked at St. Patrick’s Cathedral; and for one evening only, St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, The Young People’s Chorus of New York City and the New York City Master Chorale will join in song to celebrate the season. Join the congregation for an evening of traditional and contemporary Christmas carols at the 35th Annual “A City Singing at Christmas.” Guests are asked to arrive early to ensure seating.” (dnainfo.com)
St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 460 Madison Ave.
7 p.m / FREE and open to all

==============================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==============================================================================

For many the Holiday Season means a visit to the NYC Ballet to enjoy their performance of the “Nutcracker” ballet. Thought Gallery, a very fine site with event info on a range of NYCity cultural topics, surprises us with a comprehensive list of more “Nutcracker” performances around town than you ever imagined. Who Knew?

Going Nuts: A Roundup of Nutcracker Ballet Performances in NYC
By Troy Segal

“A FINELY AGED NUT Many a native NY-er has grown up with New York City Ballet founder George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a holiday tradition since its debut in 1954. Balanchine based his version on the productions he himself danced in as a child in Russia. Act I serves up the spectacle: a rambunctious holiday party and an epic battle between the armies of the Nutcracker Prince and the multi-headed Mouse King. Act II is devoted to displays of dancing virtuosity by waltzing flowers, jumping candy canes and little clowns that emerge from a lady’s hoopskirt. Nov. 28–Jan. 3.

A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN Returning for the last time to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s version of The Nutcracker takes a dramatic approach to the often-saccharine classic: “The Waltz of the Snowflakes,” for example, turns into a nearly fatal blizzard for our heroine Clara, and the Sugar Plum Fairy is explicitly a projection of her desire to be all grown up, rather than just the usual showy anonymous ballerina role. Not that there aren’t plenty of sweet moments, too, from the adorable baby mouse to the magically expanding Christmas tree to the dazzling turns by American Ballet Theatre’s artists. Dec. 12–21.

DANCING IN THE STREETS In contrast to the productions above, The Knickerbocker Suite unfolds the familiar story in modern-day NYC. Those swirling snowflakes turn into shoppers, waltzing in and out of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s; Mother Ginger, traditionally a lady whose skirts house hidden little dancers, becomes the Statue of Liberty leading a host of immigrants. The concepts are as fresh as the cast, all students of Manhattan Youth Ballet. Dec. 12–14 & 19–21.

TINY BUT TASTY The New York Theatre Ballet is a chamber dance company specializing in streamlined stories for the littlest balletomanes. Its version, dubbed Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker (after is its resident choreographer) and set in an Art Nouveau world, runs only an hour, but packs in all the big turns, using its small cast in ingenious ways and with witty fashions (the Metropolitan Opera’s resident costume designer did the garments). Dec. 19–21.

RED HOT If ballet ever merged with burlesque, the result might be something like Nutcracker Rouge. This strictly-for-grownups version—by Company XIV, which loves to mash up music, Baroque dance and texts and acrobatics—has Marie (not so much a little girl as a nubile young thing) embarking on a discovery of the sweet things in life—and we’re not talking candy canes. The classically trained dancers pose, pirouette and gyrate to the Tchaikovsky’s greatest hits, as well as Madonna’s (we said it was a mash-up, didn’t we?). If you like your hot chocolate with a little spice, this is for you. Through Jan. 4.”
(Troy Segal-ThoughtGallery.org)

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Selected Events (12/17) + Ice Skating in NYCity 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – WEDNESDAY, DEC. 17, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Noel Nights  – SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music

Gestures in Space: From Skyscrapers to Chairs – SmartStuff/ Lecture (FREE)

Mac Conner: A New York Life  – SmartStuff/ Museum

Lorna Luft – Cabaret

La Bohème by Puccini - Opera (FREE)

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

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Rufus and Martha Wainwright’s Noel Nights (also Thursday)
“These prodigious musical siblings revive their giddy, glittery collaborative holiday show in New York after a three-year absence. The yuletide offerings will include performances by them, and several members of their talented folk-pop family: Loudon Wainwright III, Sloan Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche.” (Anderson-NYT)
Town Hall, 123 West 43rd St.
800-982-2787, the-townhall-nyc.org
8PM / $47 to $77.

Gestures in Space: From Skyscrapers to Chairs
Architect, designer and National Academician William Pedersen will speak about his design process and body of work, ranging from skyscrapers to furniture. Guests are also encouraged to visit the National Academy Museum’s Curatorial Lab prior to the event, where Pedersen’s Loop de Loop chair series is currently on view.
National Academy Museum, 1083 Fifth Avenue(at 89th Street)
6:30pm / FREE with registration
212.369.4880

Mac Conner: A New York Life (through Jan. 09, 2015)
Mac1Mac McCauley (“Mac”) Conner is considered by many to be one of New York’s original “MAD Men”. Born in 1913, Conner grew up admiring Norman Rockwell magazine covers in his father’s general store. He arrived in New York as a young man to work on wartime Navy publications and stayed on to make a career in the city’s vibrant publishing industry. The exhibition presents Conner’s hand-painted illustrations for advertising campaigns and women’s magazines like Redbook and McCall’s, made during the years after World War II when commercial artists helped to redefine American style and culture.
Museum of City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, at 103rd St.
From 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.,/ $10.
(212) 534-1672 /

Lorna Luft (also Dec 18)
“Liza Minnelli gets the lion’s share of public attention, but Judy Garland’s other singing daughter has a better-preserved voice—and one that sometimes eerily recalls that of her matchless mom. On Dec 17 and 18, she drapes herself in Garland’s musical wreaths in a holiday show at 54 Below.” (TONY mag)
54 Below, 254 W 54th St. (btw Broadway and Eighth Ave)
7:00pm $45–$85 plus $25 minimum
Dec 18 7:00pm and 9:30pm / $45–$85 plus $25 minimum
866-468-7619 / 54below.com

MSM Opera Repertoire Ensemble: La Bohème by Puccini
Thomas Muraco, Conductor
Manhattan School of Music, Ades Performance Space
Broadway and 122nd St.
7:30PM / FREE
Seating may be limited. Please plan to arrive early.
(917) 493-4428 / http://www.msmnyc.edu

=======================================================================

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
=============================================================================

Ice Skating in NYCity (nycgo.com)
Winter just isn’t winter without ice-skating in New York City. And though most of us can probably name two or three rinks off the top of our heads, we might be more than mildly surprised to find there are 15 venues open for public ice-skating this holiday season. The best known of the City’s rinks is without a doubt the Rink at Rockefeller Center—tracing figure eights while surrounded by the shops, restaurants and buildings of a NYC landmark provides the quintessential NYC skating experience—but plenty of other (frequently less crowded) options exist. Here are the ice rinks you want to head to in Manhattan:

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Where: Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets
When: Late October to early March
Price: Free; skate rental $15–$19
If you already own skates, this is the most affordable spot in the City—it’s the only rink that offers free admission. Bryant Park also hosts annual holiday shops, a good destination if you want to cross some gifts off your list after your turn on the ice.

Trump Rink in Central Park
Where: Central Park, mid-park between 62nd and 63rd Streets
When: Late October to first week of April
Price: Adults $11.25 (Mon.–Thurs.), $18 (Fri.–Sun.); kids 11 and under $6; seniors $5 (Mon.–Thurs.), $9 (Fri.–Sun.); skate rental $8
Few rinks can match the ambience of Central Park’s Trump Rink, especially after a fresh snowfall. If you’re there at night, be sure to look up for some prime NYC stargazing.

Rink at Rockefeller Center
Where: Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
When: Mid-October through April
Price: Adults $27–$30, kids 10 and under $15; skate rental $12
Millions of visitors plan trips to the City every year just to catch a glimpse of skaters taking a spin on the ice below the famous Christmas tree and gilded statue of Prometheus; others will wait in long lines to experience it for themselves.

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Ice Rink at Riverbank State Park
Where: Henry Hudson Parkway between West 138th and West 145th Streets
When: November through March
Price: Adults $5, kids 11 and under $3; skate rental $6
Riverbank, in Hamilton Heights, is the only state park in Manhattan; it offers incredible river views across to New Jersey and gorgeous vistas of the George Washington Bridge.

Lasker Rink
Where: Central Park, northeast corner between 106th and 108th Streets
When: Late October to late March
Price: Adults $7.50, kids 12 and under $4; skate rental $6.50
Up in the northern reaches of the park, Lasker Rink is a bit less discovered than its sister skate center in the park (see “Trump Rink in Central Park” below)—and a much better deal.

See/Change Ice Rink
Where: Fulton and Front Streets, South Street Seaport
When: Late November to early March
Price: Adults $10, kids 5 and under free; skate rental $6
The seaport relaunched itself in 2013 after Superstorm Sandy with the opening of an outdoor ice rink. Bonus: November 28, opening night, coincides with a tree-lighting ceremony.

Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers
Where: Pier 61, West 23rd Street and Hudson River Park
When: Year-round
Price: $10; skate rental $5
Want to skate downtown…in mid-July? The enormous rink at Chelsea Piers is the place to head, though it’s a reliable stop-off any time of year.

Standard Hotel
Where: 848 Washington St., between West 12th and West 13th Streets
When: Late November until early spring (weather dependent)
Price: Adults $12, kids $6; skate rental $3
One of the hipper—and more exclusive—hotels in the City has a ground-level rink available to the public. If you can’t find the info on the main website, check standardculture.com for the latest prices and times.

nycgo.comthe website of New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, has lots of useful NYCity info for the holidays:
Best NYC Toy Stores,
Ice Skating,
2014 Holiday Events,
Holiday Gift Guide,
Winter Events
This fine site is worth checking out when you are planning your NYCity visit, anytime of the year.

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Selected Events (12/16) + Top Manhattan Toy Stores 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″+1/ Selected NYCity Events – TUESDAY, DEC. 16, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

Brazilian Night w/ Irene Walsh – Brazilian Music

Rhett Miller’s Holiday Extravaganza – SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music

The Heart Is Not a Metaphor  – SmartStuff/ Book Talk

Jeff (Tain) Watts - Jazz

James Langton’s New York All-Star Big Band - Jazz

Holiday Party - SpecialEvent/ Holiday Party

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

=========================================================

Brazilian Night w/ Irene Walsh
Irene Walsh on vocals
Cesar Garabini on 7-string guitar
Rob Curto on accordion and piano
Sergio Krakowski on pandeiro

The show will present a gorgeous, dynamic repertoire of samba, forro, choro and original compositions.

The Brazilian music series at Caffe Vivaldi happens on FIRST and THIRD TUESDAYS of the month. The series features both traditional and experimental Brazilian music by the top artists in NYC. The show is curated by Irene Walsh, producer and director at Split Rock Films. Every show is completely unique and Irene sings at least one set of classic samba at every show.
Many shows are filmed and will be posted on the YouTube channel for Split Rock Film.
Caffe Vivaldi, 32 Jones St, (near Bleecker St and 7th Ave),
7PM to 10PM / $10 suggested donation for the benefit of the artists

Rhett Miller’s Holiday Extravaganza 
“The Dallas band the Old 97’s, alternative-country torchbearers since the early ’90s, have long catered to outlaw-rock fans. The band’s spirited lead singer, Rhett Miller, will be hard-pressed not to offer a track or two from the band’s fiery catalog during his second annual holiday music and comedy revue, which will feature Jen Kirkman, Dave Hill and Wyatt Cenac.” (NYT-Anderson)
City Winery, 155 Varick Street, near Spring Street, South Village,
212-608-0555 / citywinery.com
8PM / $25 to $35.

The Heart Is Not a Metaphor | Robert Gober, Ann Temkin |
An Artist Dialogue Series Event

“Robert Gober’s objects and installations are among the most challenging artworks of the last thirty years. On his emergence in the mid-1980s, with deceptively simple sculptures of everyday objects such as sinks and beds, this New York artist was quickly acknowledged as one of the most significant of his generation. Whether in his exacting handcrafted replications of machine-made products, his enigmatic transformations of the human body, or his enveloping theatrical environments, Gober’s formal intelligence is matched by a penetrating reading of his times.

To celebrate the publication of Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor, produced in conjunction with the first large-scale survey exhibition of his art in the United States, the artist joins in conversation with Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of Painting at Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, to discuss the his art and career and the themes and motifs to which he has returned throughout the decades.” (BookForum)
The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
5th Avenue at 42nd St.
6PM / FREE

JEFF (TAIN) WATTS (through Dec. 21)
“The relentlessly propulsive drummer and the thoughtfully probing saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, his special guest for this run at the Village Vanguard, have ties that go back years: Watts provided the percussive flair for Coltrane’s début recording as a leader, in 1997. The Watts-and-Coltrane team creates a dynamic that recalls the electric charge produced by Ravi’s father, John, and his drummer Elvin Jones.” (NewYorker) 
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St.
212-255-4037, villagevanguard.com
At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m./ $25 and $30 cover, with a one-drink minimum

James Langton’s New York All-Star Big Band
Featuring Dan Levinson and Molly Ryan (through Thursday)
“Last July, this same combination played Midsummer Night’s Swing at Lincoln Center, playing the iconic arrangements of Benny Goodman, and it was quite possibly the most exciting performance of Goodman’s music that has been heard ever since the great clarinetist was alive to play it. Now they’re taking the ensemble indoors—as a follow-up act to Michael Feinstein—and the act has been expanded to include the band books of other legendary leaders of the swing era, such as Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Charlie Barnet.” (WSJ)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St.,
11pm / $40
(212) 581-3080

PLUS 1 / Elsewhere, but sure looks worth the detour:

Holiday Party
“Amuse yourself at a Victorian holiday party, complete with music, punch, and readings from A Christmas Carol, within the period-decorated confines of the Merchant’s House Museum.”

“The House will be in festive mid-19th century holiday dress with a table top tree, poinsettias, candlelight, and greenery decking the halls. Join us for a collation of Dickensian fare and old Scrooge’s favorite, a ‘bowl of Bishop,’ as we celebrate the holidays in Old New-York. Tours of the House, holiday music, and a raffle & gift bazaar. With special performance previews of ‘A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House’ throughout the evening by star Kevin Jones.” (ThoughtGallery.org)
Merchant’s House Museum, 29 E 4th St.
212-777-1089
6pm / $25

======================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
======================================================================

Manhattan Toy Stores (nycgo.com)
Here’s a rundown of some top Manhattan toy stores. Now buy that kid a toy.

FAO Schwarz
This store is a place to gawk: at the oversize stuffed animals, at the real people in toy soldier outfits, at the giant piano made famous by Tom Hanks movie Big and at the immensity of the space itself. Able to trace its roots all the way back to 1862 (when the founder first started vending toys out of a Baltimore shop), FAO Schwarz is a bona fide tourist attraction. These days, kids can customize certain items here—designing, for example, their own Muppet or toy car.

American Girl Place
New York City is home to a large flagship store for American Girl–brand dolls. The company has found success selling figures representing young girls from various historical periods and ethnic backgrounds. Those who’d like to further indulge their children’s desire to treat the dolls like real people can take advantage of a photo studio, a salon for dolls to get new ‘dos and a doll hospital where damaged “girls” are admitted as patients, fixed up (the store sends the dolls out for that) and shipped back to their happy owners good as new.

Scholastic Store
The retail outlet of NYC publisher Scholastic sells a full slate of the house’s titles—including popular series like Harry Potter, The Magic School Bus, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Captain Underpants. The big, colorful store also hosts craft workshops, movie screenings and other kid-friendly events. Check their website for details. Also sold on site: computer programs, games, puzzles, videos and, of course, toys.

Toy Tokyo
This East Village store caters to serious toy collectors with its selection of rare and imported items, such as hand-painted figurines and wind-up toys from Hong Kong and Japan. Expect to find the latest Transformers, Star Wars and urban vinyl (read: designer action figures made of vinyl) toys here, along with unexpected gems.

Forbidden Planet
This cool store specializes in comics, graphic novels, manga, anime and other “alternative hobbies,” like sci-fi and role-playing games. Forbidden Planet also has a huge selection of toys and statues, and its staff, described by one customer as a “fleet of cute nerds,” is extra-helpful since they’re all enthusiasts themselves.

Disney Store
Cited by some as a symbol of Times Square’s now-long-ago transformation into a family-friendly destination, the Disney Store is exactly what it sounds like: a repository of Disney-branded products, including plenty of toys. If your kid is looking for a Buzz Lightyear action figure, a plush Pumbaa or, say, an Epcot Spaceship Earth play set, this is the place to find it. Thanks to Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise, you can also find lightsabers and other Lucas-related goodies.

Toys “R” Us
We’ll allow that there might be a Toys “R” Us in your hometown, but chances are that one doesn’t have its own Ferris wheel or an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex.

Video Games New York
Filled with hard-to-find items—vintage games for systems like for NES, SNES, Atari Jaguar, Dreamcast, Neo Geo, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance and Commodore, not to mention Japanese imports and hardware for arcade machines—this store is as much a museum as a place to shop. Parents who grew up with some of those older consoles may find themselves feeling like kids again. While the used inventory is where Video Games New York really distinguishes itself, the place also carries new machines and releases.

Kidding Around
The downtown location of this store (there’s also an outpost in Grand Central Terminal) has a mom-and-pop feel, to go with some high-end, unusual gifts you might not find at a larger chain. It also sells New York City–themed toys, such as a model Staten Island Ferry.

Nintendo World
Though the 10,000-square-foot Nintendo emporium stocks the latest WiiU games, that’s not where its primary charm lies. You’ll find that instead in T-shirts that set characters in the real New York City (for example, Mario emerging from a sewer); in vintage consoles, games and accessories (even the Gyromite robot!) under glass displays; and in the opportunity to chat with a virtual Nintendo character.

American Museum of Natural History Gift Shop
The shop at this museum—itself a must-visit for any parent with an inquisitive child—sells a wide array of science-related fare, including toys. You might find a set of glow-in-the-dark planets, a pocket microscope, a butterfly garden kit or a plush dinosaur.

blogger’s note:
AC Gears, 69 E 8th St. (b/t University Pl & Greene St in Greenwich Village)
should be added to this list. more like a toy store for adults, with some gadgets directly from Japan. you won’t find their stuff anywhere else in town.

nycgo.com, the website of New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, has lots of useful NYCity info for the holidays:
Best NYC Toy Stores,
Ice Skating,
2014 Holiday Events,
Holiday Gift Guide,
Winter Events
This fine site is worth checking out when you are planning your NYCity visit.xx

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Selected Events (12/15) + Holiday Markets in NYCity 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – MONDAY, DEC. 15, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

Mariah Carey – Pop/Rock

Secret New York — Curious Activities  – SmartStuff/ Book Talk

Laura Osnes - Cabaret

“Holiday Songbook” - SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music

Tinashe - Pop/Rock

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

=========================================================

Mariah Carey (also Tuesday, Thursday and Dec. 20 through 22)
“After failing to hit some crucial notes during a performance of her seasonal staple, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Ms. Carey took to Twitter to apologize to her fans. This pop star will have ample time to make amends — and show if she still has the chops to flaunt her multi-octave range — during her six-night holiday residency at the Beacon Theater.” (Anderson-NYT)
Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, at 74th St.
800-745-3000 / beacontheatre.com
8PM / $59.50 to $250.

Secret New York — Curious Activities, with TM Rives, writer and photographer.
December Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan
This illustrated lecture explores some of the curiosities of the Metropolis and focuses on the spots that resonate with a special something: history, irony, and / or weirdness.
Mid-Manhattan Library, 5th Ave @ 40th St.
6:30 pm / FREE

Laura Osnes
“Back in the day, the standard ploy for a Broadway headliner doing a nightclub act was to reprise all her big numbers from all her big roles. The tactic of Tony nominated Laura Osnes (who, most recently, was outstanding in the Encores production of “The Band Wagon”) is precisely the opposite; instead, she concentrates on key show tunes from the shows she hasn’t yet booked, hitting on key moments from “Brigadoon,” “A Little Night Music,” “My Fair Lady” and many others.

She does some as if she were actually in the show (“Popular” from “Wicked”), but her best interpretations are more original, as when she renders “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” as something like a country waltz, as if it were from “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Nashville.” There’s also an ingenious juxtaposition of Cole Porter and Paul McCartney.”(WSJ-Will Friedwald)
54 Below, 254 W. 54th St.,
7PM / $55-$75
(646) 476-3551

“Holiday Songbook”
“Now that “Jingle Bells” has been in the air for weeks, it might be good time to treat yourself to a few new holiday songs by Broadway composers and lyricists, sung by Broadway vocalists. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is presenting a free annual “Holiday Songbook” concert at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditiorium. 6 p.m. Open admission, no reservations required. 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, Upper West Side.” (DNA INFO)

Tinashe
“Tinashe’s been bubbling under the surface as pop’s new It girl for some time now, thanks to her work with girl group the Stunners and her solo mixtapes. This year Tinashe released her debut studio album, Aquarius, one of the year’s most sexy, sultry listens, highlighted by her club-poppin’ breakout single “2 On,” featuring Schoolboy Q. Also a schooled dancer, Tinashe’s performances offer the full package. Think of her as a mini Beyoncé in training.” (Jill Menze, VillageVoice)
Highline Ballroom, 431 West 16th Street, Chelsea,
6PM / $20 – $75
212-414-5994, highlineballroom.com 

========================================================================

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==================================================================================================

Holiday markets in NYC

New York has a wealth of holiday markets and craft fairs that you can browse if the big department stores with their holiday windows aren’t your bag.

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Not only is there free ice-skating on Bryant Park’s 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink, but also 127 holiday shops, including 27 new kiosks and 26 eateries. New offerings such as eco-friendly clothing and accessories from Angelrox ($10–$250) and organic hair- and skin-care products from Surya Brasil (starting at $15) are up for grabs. And after you shop and skate, warm up at spacious rinkside restaurant Celsius. FYI: The vendors are only there until Jan 4, but If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours (open through March 1). FYI: On Tuesday, Dec 2, come for the tree, but stay for the grand lighting ceremony at 6pm, including performances on and off the ice.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Sixth Ave, between 40th and 42nd Sts
Until Sun Jan 4

Columbus Circle Holiday Market
This annual holiday bazaar, run by the people behind the Union Square market, features handmade items from local artisans and snacks from vendors such as Mrs. Dorsey’s Kitchen and Sigmund Pretzel Shop. Look for the market concierge to help you navigate your way through the approximately 100 booths.
Columbus Circle Holiday Market Central Park South, at Central Park West
Mon Dec 1 – Wed Dec 24

Grand Central Holiday Fair
This fair’s six-week run features 76 microboutiques plus 22 new artists and businesses boasting everything from contemporary jewelry and art objects to African crafts and Christmas ornaments. And since it’s situated inside the terminal itself, you won’t have to worry about shivering while you’re browsing the goods. Highlights include Jacques Torres Chocolates ($6-$100), man candles ($30) from The Lode Man Shop and handcrafted knit and crocheted outerwear from Spratters & Jayne ($60-$325).
Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair 89 E 42nd St, at Park Ave
Until Wed Dec 24

Union Square Holiday Market
If there’s one alfresco shopping event worth braving the cold for, it’s this one. This European-style winter market boasts more than 150 local and national vendors hawking an impressive selection of handcrafted gifts, ranging from jewelry and accessories to leather goods and artwork. Check out the brew-your-own beer kits from the Brooklyn Brew Shop ($40); handmade, monogrammed stuffed animals from Hazel Village ($39); and wooden puzzles and board games from Kubiya Games ($38). And with food vendors like Momofuku Milk Bar, Bar Suzette, Wafels & Dinges and No Chewing Allowed!, you could easily spend a whole day here.
Union Square Holiday Market 14th St to 17th St, between Broadway and Park Ave South
Until Wed Dec 24

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Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market
Brooklyn purveyors set up shop across the river at Artists & Fleas’ seasonal pop-up bazaar, situated inside Chelsea Market. Expect to find trendy and noncommercial holiday-themed gifts vetted by husband-and-wife team Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer, who ensure that every item is locally made and well crafted. Among the 30-plus vendors are bag designer Pamela Barsky, vinyl slinger Eat Records and vintage seller Brooklyn Bleu. Enter the building at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 15th Street.
Artists & Fleas – Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Ave, between 15th and 16th Sts,
Sat Nov 1 – Wed Dec 24

Creeds Collective Holiday Pop-up
This pop-up’s two-month run allows you to grab splurgeworthy presents from up-and-coming fashion, beauty and wellness brands for everyone on your list—or hell, let’s be honest, yourself. Our favorites include Angela & Roi handbags ($340), Dharma eyewear ($99), Coye Nokes shoes ($350) and more. And 10 percent of proceeds from every purchase goes toward Global Citizen’s (globalcitizen.org) fight against extreme poverty. The pop-up also offers complimentary mini spa treatments from natural hair- and skin-care brand THANN, a nail-art bar by Primp & Polish and a #hashtag photo booth, to reward yourself for getting through your shopping list.
Creeds Collective Holiday Pop-Up 54 Crosby St , between Broome and Spring Sts
Until Sun Dec 28

Hester Holiday Market at One Penn Plaza
The Hester Holiday Market at One Penn Plaza brings Hester Street Fair’s favorite gift and food vendors to 34th Street just in time for the holidays! This outdoor market will be a destination for one-of-a-kind shopping with curated and handmade gifts that you won’t find in any stores. Plus an incredible roster of artisanal food vendors will be fueling the holiday cheer. The holiday market will also celebrate the festivities with caroling, classes and much more! (www.hesterstreetfair.com)

This bazaar usually stays indoors for the winter, but this year, you’ll find vintage wares, crafts and other gifts at its new outdoor location. This one-of-a-kind shopping destination features curated and handmade gifts you won’t find in any store as well. Plus, there will be a full roster of artisinal food vendors to fuel the holiday cheer.
One Penn Plaza Eighth Ave, between 33rd and 34th Sts,
Mon Dec 1 – Sun Dec 21

Jingle holiday pop-up
Accessories designer Jill Schwartz curated this 6,000-square-foot shop inside Chelsea Market, featuring local and international goods perfect for gift-giving. Inside, you’ll find stylish wares by Izola and vibrant living sculptures (starting at $60) from Twig Terrariums. Plus, this pop-up has enough holiday spirit to cheer up even scroogiest New Yorker.
Chelsea Market 75 Ninth Ave, at 16th St
Tue Dec 16 – Mon Dec 29

The Soho Holiday Collective
This holiday pop-up is all about one-of-a-kind fashions from emerging designers. It’s a hands-on affair, where you can actually meet and be styled by the designers themselves. Find luxury apparel, jewelry and gift items from Jes Wade, KES, Lulu Estate Jewelry and more. After you visit with the designers, be sure to check out the pop-up’s garage style gallery, which features an array of framed pop culture photography by Rock Paper Photo and Capital Art. We imagine the classic photos of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor will go fast.
Soho Holiday Collective Pop-up 150 Wooster St , between W Broadway and Greene St,
Until Wed Dec 24

Elsewhere, but worth a detour:

Artists & Fleas Williamsburg Holiday Market
Founders Amy Abrams and Ronen Glimer will again curate a special holiday-themed version of their weekend market, now featuring more than100 vendors inside their Williamsburg space, which expanded to the warehouse next door. Boasting sellers, artists, makers and collectors, enjoy free gift-wrapping stations, tasty treats and Christmas carolers to get you all warm and fuzzy. If off-the-wall gifts are your thing, you might want to snatch up Kt Ferris Creations’ trendy evil-eye necklaces ($28–$150), Curated Basics’ black stainless steel cuffs for guys ($40), festive knit Twinko onesies for pets or Marley & Alfie horseshoe dream catchers ($99) for your ecentric friends and family members.
Artists & Fleas 70 North 7th St, between Kent and Wythe Aves
Until Sun Dec 28

Astoria Market Holiday Markets
On three Sundays before Christmas (Nov 16; Dec 24, 21), Queens’ classic Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden transforms into an NYC-centric artisan market chock-full of handmade and vintage merchandise. Standout vendors include handmade ceramics from Mayware and delicious gluten-free baked goods from WHOS bakery. Eggnog, hot cider and roasted chestnuts are available for the peckish, too.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden 29-19 24th Ave, between 29th and 31st Sts, 
Sun Nov 16 – Sun Dec 21

LIC Flea & Food Holiday Market
For eight weekends before Christmas, more than 55 vendors set up shop in a warehouse space adjacent to LIC Flea & Food’s outdoor lot at this gift-geared seasonal spin-off. It’s one of the biggest indoor markets in New York, so this holiday bazaar is a can’t-miss. Featuring more than 55 vendors, the holiday offerings include everything from fashion to arts and crafts and of course, antiques. Plus, there’s plenty of food carts to fuel your search for the perfect holiday gifts. Other bonuses include live music from the Dandy Wellington band and, of course, the chance to take a photo with the big man in the red suit—Santa is here every weekend until December 21.
LIC Flea 5-25 46th Ave , between Vernon Blvd and 5th St.
Until Sun Dec 21

This comprehensive listing and much more useful holiday info, including a holiday gift guide, can be found at TONY magazine’s Christmas in NewYork Guide.

For a virtual tour of  holiday department store windows, try the slideshows at the NYT and Refinery 29.

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Selected Events (12/14) + Holiday Windows in NYCity 2014

Today’s “FAB 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – SUNDAY, DEC. 14, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

MERRY TUBA CHRISTMAS AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER -
SpecialEvent/ Holiday Music

The Everything Old Is New Again Holiday Concert  – Cabaret

Israel Horovitz’s Scrooge and Marley: Dickens Adaptation  -
SmartStuff/ Literary Reading

Justin Timberlake - Pop/Rock

Nostalgia Trains & Buses Return for the Holidays   – SpecialEvent/ Subways

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “9 Notable Events-Dec.”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

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MERRY TUBA CHRISTMAS AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER
Hundreds of tenor and bass tuba players will congregate on The Rink at Rockefeller Center, 49th and 50th streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, at 3:30 p.m. to play Christmas carols and other crowd favorites. Tubists of all ages will line up under the famous Christmas tree and fill the plaza with the organ-line sound of low brass. Spectators are encouraged to sing along with the Christmas carols and holiday favorites.

The musicians, hailing from across the country, will be conducted by Chris Wilhjelm, conductor of the famous Goldman band. Conceived by tuba virtuoso Harvey Phillips to honor his teacher, the late William J. Bell (Born Christmas Day, 1902), the first Tuba Christmas was presented at Rockefeller Center in 1974, conducted by Paul LaValle, of Band of America fame. This unusual Christmas tradition is firmly established in over 200 cities around the world.
30 Rockefeller Plaza
rockefellercenter.com/whats-happening // free.

The Everything Old Is New Again Holiday Concert
WBAI fundraiser
“Join host David Kenney and a cast performers from the Broadway, Jazz & Cabaret world for an afternoon of music, fun and lots of prizes!!! The cast includes Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway; Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano; Gabrielle Stravelli and Pat O’leary; James Gavin and Carol Fredette; Karen Mason and Paul Rolnick; Karen Oberlin and Steve Ross ; KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar ; with Alex Rybeck at the piano.” (cabarethotline)
THE METROPOLITAN ROOM, 34 West 22nd St.
212-206-0440
3pm / $30-$250 cover plus a 2-drink minimum.

Israel Horovitz’s Scrooge and Marley: Dickens Adaptation
Theatre at Trinity presents Scrooge & Marley, a staged reading of Israel Horovitz’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Directed by Handan Ozbilgin, this is a multi-generational, highly participatory fun parish event performed each year during Advent. Come and enjoy. Light reception to follow. All are welcome!
St. Paul’s Chapel
2PM / Suggested free will donation to Trinity Church: $5

Nostalgia Trains & Buses Return for the Holidays (Sundays thru 12/28)
Once again this holiday season, the MTA will offer nostalgia lovers the opportunity to the ride back into the past with rides on vintage buses and subway trains. There’s no better way to get around while doing your holiday shopping! Dating back to the early part of last century, the Nostalgia Train is made up of subway cars in service along the lettered lines between the early1930s to the mid-1970s. Equipped with ceiling fans, padded seats and incandescent light bulbs, the R/1 through R/9 cars served the IND and later some BMT lines. Customers will have the opportunity to hop on board as it operates along the Sixth Avenue M Subway Line.

Many New Yorkers bear fond memories of the trains. However, with the cars having been out of service for nearly 40 years, many more New Yorkers have never experienced the charm of wicker seats and ceiling fans.

The holiday “Nostalgia Train” will operate on Sundays only, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., on December 14, 21, and 28.

Elsewhere, but looks worth the detour:

Justin Timberlake
“The renaissance of Justin Timberlake’s solo career has been something of a transition for the former boyband star. With Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds, Timberlake established that he could continue on as a pop star in his own right — but The 20/20 Experience aims for adulthood and maturity, both sonically and in subject matter. “Mirrors” and “Suit & Tie” both sought a more contemporary, jazz-infused sound, and the rest of the record played with experimental instrumental breakdowns, gospel, and doo-wop. For the most part, it worked, and Justin was able to ascend into a new, more grown-up phase of his career.

The follow-up second volume of the record wasn’t as critically lauded as its predecessor, but revealed that Timberlake and his constant collaborator Timbaland aren’t afraid to take chances. But turning *NSync fame into a full-fledged solo career wouldn’t be possible for just anyone — JT still performs with the same verve and charisma that makes an arena feel like a living room.” (Caitlin White-VillageVoice)
Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue, at Flatbush Ave.
subway: #2/3 to barclays center (25-30 min from times square)
800-745-3000 / barclayscenter.com
9pm / $54.50 to $200.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity (pop. 8.4 million) had 54 million visitors last year and quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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Holiday Windows in New York City 2014

Do me a favor, arrange your day so that you check out these windows after dark. They are so much more impressive at night.

Barneys holiday windows
This year, the Madison Avenue shop incorporates video, light installations and more forward-thinking concepts into its holiday displays. The theme is “A New York Holiday,” and elements include an interactive scene with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a “floating city” created with 3-D mapping and light projections.
Barneys New York 660 Madison Ave, at 61st St.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Bergdorf Goodman holiday windows
Bergdorf Goodman was inspired by ice this year: The shop’s holiday windows all present variations on the theme “Holidays on Ice,” with displays devoted to Halloween (with a masquerade party), Valentine’s Day and even Arbor Day. (Ice-skating trees? One can hope.)
Bergdorf Goodman 754 Fifth Ave, at 58th St.
Until Wed Jan 7

Bloomingdale’s holiday windows
This year’s holiday windows at Bloomie’s puts the famous brown shopping bags into different shopping scenes around the world—everywhere from China and France to Great Britain and Italy (and, of course, Bloomingdale’s right here in New York City).
Bloomingdale’s 1000 Third Ave, at 59th St,
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Henri Bendel holiday windows
Henri Bendel has partnered with the estate of Al Hirschfeld to create window displays inspired by the celebrated cartoonist’s work. In one window, you’ll see 3-D depictions of celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker, Liza Minnelli and Woody Allen; in the store itself, Bendel’s giant tree becomes a playhouse for a model of Charlie Chaplin.
Henri Bendel 712 Fifth Ave, at 56th St.
Wed Dec 3 – Wed Dec 31

Lord & Taylor holiday windows
Children from NYC schools and Women in Need shelters were asked to create drawings based on the theme “What Is Christmas Made Of?” Those works, 125 of which are featured here, inspired the scenes in this year’s display.
Lord & Taylor 424 Fifth Ave, between 38th and 39th Sts.
Thu Dec 4 – Thu Jan 1

Macy’s holiday windows
Boasting a “Dream…and Believe” theme, Macy’s 2013 holiday windows depict a young boy’s journey through a magical dreamland. The six windows on the Broadway side of the store—Dream, Giving & Sharing, Joy, Beauty, Magic and Believe—use technology and LED lights to tell the story. Visiting families can also view the classic “Yes, Virginia…” windows on the 34th street side of the store.
Macy’s Herald Square 151 W 34th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves.
Wed Dec 10 – Wed Dec 31

Saks Fifth Avenue holiday windows
This year, Saks debuted a new Snowflake Spectacular, a 3-D light show that plays out across the department store’s exterior each evening. The dazzling display is just one element of the shop’s holiday celebration: Window displays tell the story of the Saks Yeti, and also include an interactive window where visitors can display their own Yeti name (visit saks.com/snow for more details).
Saks Fifth Avenue 611 Fifth Ave, at 49th St.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

Tiffany & Co. holiday windows
Behind the windows into which Holly Golightly once gazed so admiringly, Tiffany’s conjures an image of a yuppie wintertime fantasia: the Upper East Side on Christmas Eve. The miniature brownstone scenes are replete with tiny chandeliers and garlands, and those well-known baby-blue boxes are strewn beneath the trees.
Tiffany & Co. 727 Fifth Ave, between 56th and 57th Sts.
Thu Dec 4 – Wed Dec 31

This comprehensive description and much more useful holiday info, including a holiday windows slide show, can be found at TONY magazine’s Christmas in NewYork Guide.

For more holiday windows photos, try the slideshows at the NYT and Refinery 29.

For “The Definitive Guide to New York City’s 2014 Holiday Window Displays” try the NewYorkObserver

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