Selected NYC Events (12/05) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“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 those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

MCCOY TYNER QUARTET (also Tuesday)
Blue Note Jazz Club, / 8PM, 10:30PM; $30-$45
“Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner is widely considered one of the finest and most influential pianists in jazz history. His signature booming left-hand and fleeting right created a unique sound that can be heard on his recordings as a sideman with the John Coltrane Quartet in the 1960s and on his 80-plus albums as a leader. Tyners most recent project for McCoy Tyner Music/Half Note Records is his first solo effort in almost a decade titled Solo: Live From San Francisco. The release is the third for his label and features eleven solo vignettes recorded at the Herbst Theater in 2007.

Tyners blues based piano style, replete with sophisticated chords and an explosively percussive left hand has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music. His harmonic contributions and dramatic rhythmic devices form the vocabulary of a majority of jazz pianists.” (WFUV)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

STEVE EARLE, GRAHAM NASH, SHAWN COLVIN
MEGAN HILTY
The Brooklyn Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Neighborhoods & Noshes, Culture & the Cutting Edge
Book Talk: Deirdre Bair on “Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend”
bonus picks: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
METROPOLITAN OPERA

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

STEVE EARLE & CITY WINERY PRESENT
THE 2ND ANNUAL KESWELL BENEFIT CONCERT
STEVE EARLE, GRAHAM NASH, SHAWN COLVIN
Town Hall, / 7:30PM, $45+
“On December 5th Steve Earle and the Dukes will host their second annual benefit concert at Town Hall, to raise funds for children diagnosed with Autism. This is a topic dear to Steve as his -year old son, John Henry, s living with Autism. Also featuring Graham Nash and Shawn Colvin, this evening of amazing music is sure to be a memorable one, as Steve Earle and The Dukes will perform the classic album, Guitar Town, in its entirety for the first time in New York in 30 years.

All net proceeds raised by ticket sales will be donated to he Keswell School (formerly known as The McCarton School), an educational program for children and young adults with Autism.” (WFUV)

MEGAN HILTY (through Tuesday)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM on Tuesday; 7PM on Sunday and Monday; $
“Megan Hilty is a Tony-nominated Broadway powerhouse, so it makes sense that she would try her pipes at cutting a Christmas album. And on her new release, “A Merry Little Christmas,” Ms. Hilty delivers lovely, piano-jazz renditions of the modern holiday-music canon. She will perform many of those tunes, including the sultry “Santa Baby” and the misty-eyed “Count Your Blessings,” during this intimate five-night run.” (O’Donnell-NYT)

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

The Brooklyn Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Neighborhoods & Noshes, Culture & the Cutting Edge
Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
With Ellen Freudenheim, a freelance writer based in Brooklyn.
“This illustrated lecture offers insights into one of the most creative, dynamic cities in the modern world.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Book Talk: Deirdre Bair on “Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend”
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St./ 6:30PM, $5
“On January 17, 1899, a legend was born in Brooklyn. More than 100 years later, Al Capone’s less-than-virtuous legacy continues to captivate our imaginations. With exclusive access to his descendants, National Book Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair reveals the man behind the notorious gangster.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he leads an acoustic edition of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws. On Wednesday he performs a duo set with the guitarist John McLaughlin, and on Thursday he begins a four-night stretch with Mr. McLaughin, Mr. White and the bassist Victor Wooten.”
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

Plus, for all you Opera fans, this week looks special:

METROPOLITAN OPERA (all week)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
“Perhaps the most anticipated production of the season opens this week: Kaija Saariaho’s mesmeric “L’Amour de Loin” (Thursday at 7:30 p.m.). More important, the production will be the return, after an embarrassing hiatus, of a female composer to the house. But it’s also notable for the reappearance of the director Robert Lepage, and the debut of the conductor Susanna Malkki. Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens are the lovers, Tamara Mumford the Pilgrim. Otherwise, Anna Netrebko continues in the title role of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” (Friday and Wednesday at 8 p.m.). Alongside Marcelo Álvarez’s Des Grieux, she’s the shining light in Richard Eyre’s uninspired production. If that’s not enough, there’s more Puccini in the form of the Zeffirelli “La Bohème” (Saturday at 1 p.m., Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.). Still chugging along, it currently has a little more power than usual thanks to the star voltage of Kristine Opolais as Mimì and Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo. Just one performance of “Aida” to round things off (Saturday at 8 p.m.): Latonia Moore is the heroine, Ekaterina Gubanova is Amneris, and Marco Berti, Radamès.” (David Allen-NYT)
x

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues, almost all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM:
‘AGNES MARTIN’ (through Jan. 11, 2017)
Agnes Martin was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1912, lived in New York City in the 1950s and ’60s, and spent the rest of her life in New Mexico, where she died in 2004. More than 100 of her paintings and drawings now float up the ramps of the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda in the most out-of-this-world-beautiful show in this space in years. Her art is about faint colors and subliminal lines; to see it requires sustained looking and some moving around: Stand back, then move up close. By the time you reach the final painting, high up under the museum’s great skylight, you’ve been through a rich life, and had a spirit-lifting, body-lightening lesson in what abstraction can be and can do. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street, 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org. (Cotter)

MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM:
‘HANS MEMLING: PORTRAITURE, PIETY AND A REUNITED ALTARPIECE’ (through January 2017)
“When it comes to jewels, there are Taylor-Burton rocks and discreetly cut heirloom stones. With museum shows, it’s the same. This one, at the Morgan Library, is a minute but invaluable gem. Set in a 20-by-20-by-20-foot gallery known as the Cube, it reunites, for the first time in the United States, dispersed sections of an altarpiece by the 15th-century German-born, Flanders-based Memling and adds some of his exquisite portrait paintings. 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, 212-685-0008, themorgan.org.” (Cotter)

and you should be sure to check out the special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish)

at the very least you will want to see these two:
‘CELEBRATING THE ARTS OF JAPAN: THE MARY GRIGGS BURKE COLLECTION’ (through May 2017)
“This lavish collection of 160 objects came to the Met from the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation in early 2015. The Burkes loved Japanese art — all of it — and the exhibition is close to compendious in terms of media, from wood-carved Buddhas to bamboo baskets, with a particular strength in painting, early and late. The quality of the work? Japan thinks highly enough of it to have made the Burke holdings the first Japanese collection from abroad ever to show at Tokyo National Museum. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

‘JERUSALEM 1000–1400: EVERY PEOPLE UNDER HEAVEN’ (through Jan. 8, 2017)
“Three major faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — have called Jerusalem their own, and its varying histories as a sacred space, a theater of conflict and a cosmopolitan cultural emporium are reflected in this exhibition modeled along classic Met epic lines: 200 fascinating objects from 60 international collections, with a time frame in the past and context in the present (in the form of short videos in each gallery). If much of the art is small, the effect is not. We see a city otherworldly and monumental, but also one of appetites, personalities and ethnic tensions as real today as they ever were. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 12/03 and 12/01.
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Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
PLUS: Tree Lighting December 2 – an original holiday tale on ice with world-class skaters, live music, and a celebrity narrator.

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Selected NYC Events (12/04) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“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 those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

New York City Ballet / “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 1PM, +5PM, $30+
“People like to say they’re sick of “The Nutcracker,” but once the music starts, and little Marie catches a glimpse of that tree, who can resist it? Tchaikovsky loved children, and that love is audible in the score; an early critic called it a “symphony of childhood.” What makes it so good is that it doesn’t eschew darkness, or grandeur. George Balanchine, who created his now classic version in 1954, understood this, and made a ballet that has a bit of everything: cozy family dances, conflict, drama—enter Dewdrop with her urgent leaps—and sugarplums, too.” (NewYorker)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

RANDY WESTON’S AFRICAN RHYTHMS SEXTET
DAVID HAJDU: ‘LOVE FOR SALE’ NIGHT
MEGAN HILTY
DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP
Grand Holiday Bazaar
bonus picks: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
METROPOLITAN OPERA

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

RANDY WESTON’S AFRICAN RHYTHMS SEXTET
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35
Mr. Weston is 90 and still a pianist-bandleader-composer brimming with energy and ideas. He has a new live double album, “The African Nubian Suite,” that explores jazz and blues expression as it relates to the African diaspora. He offers a taste of that material with his long-running band, which includes the saxophonists T. K. Blue and Billy Harper, the bassist Alex Blake and the percussionist Neil Clarke.” (Chinen-NYT)

DAVID HAJDU: ‘LOVE FOR SALE’ NIGHT
Sid Gold’s Request Room, mm/ 7PM, $10
“Celebrate one of the year’s best works of music journalism — Mr. Hajdu’s “Love for Sale” — with a two-hour party of “songs, stories and ribaldry.” Mr. Hajdu, music critic for The Nation and a professor of journalism at Columbia, gathers the singers Jill Sobule; Mark Nadler; his wife, Karen Oberlin; and others, showcasing the writer’s long interest in dissolving boundaries between critic and subject. In addition to his work as an author, Mr. Hajdu is a songwriter and librettist, and “Love for Sale” is a fine reminder that criticism, when well executed, need not be walled off from fandom.” (NYT-AroundTown)

MEGAN HILTY (through Tuesday)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM on Tuesday; 7PM on Sunday and Monday; $
“Megan Hilty is a Tony-nominated Broadway powerhouse, so it makes sense that she would try her pipes at cutting a Christmas album. And on her new release, “A Merry Little Christmas,” Ms. Hilty delivers lovely, piano-jazz renditions of the modern holiday-music canon. She will perform many of those tunes, including the sultry “Santa Baby” and the misty-eyed “Count Your Blessings,” during this intimate five-night run.” (O’Donnell-NYT)

DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“The turbocharged fusion band led by the saxophonist Donny McCaslin gained an emotionally charged form of renown for its heavy lifting on David Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar.” This engagement will feature the group — with Jason Lindner on keyboards, Nate Wood on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums — drawing from Mr. McCaslin’s own new album, “Beyond Now,” which bears a dedication to Mr. Bowie and features brooding covers of two of his songs.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

Grand Holiday Bazaar
100 W77th St./ 10AM–5:30PM.
One of NYC’s oldest marketplaces goes all out for the holiday season, with a special edition open every Sunday through December 18. Shop amazing gifts from more than 100 local merchants, with photographers, jewelers and furniture designers selling their unique wares. Don’t be a Scrooge and strike through your Christmas list at this market that provides endless holiday cheer by supporting local businesses and by donating 100 percent of profits to four public schools in the neighborhood.” (TONY)

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he leads an acoustic edition of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws. On Wednesday he performs a duo set with the guitarist John McLaughlin, and on Thursday he begins a four-night stretch with Mr. McLaughin, Mr. White and the bassist Victor Wooten.”
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

Plus, for all you Opera fans, this week looks special:

METROPOLITAN OPERA (all week)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
“Perhaps the most anticipated production of the season opens this week: Kaija Saariaho’s mesmeric “L’Amour de Loin” (Thursday at 7:30 p.m.). More important, the production will be the return, after an embarrassing hiatus, of a female composer to the house. But it’s also notable for the reappearance of the director Robert Lepage, and the debut of the conductor Susanna Malkki. Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens are the lovers, Tamara Mumford the Pilgrim. Otherwise, Anna Netrebko continues in the title role of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” (Friday and Wednesday at 8 p.m.). Alongside Marcelo Álvarez’s Des Grieux, she’s the shining light in Richard Eyre’s uninspired production. If that’s not enough, there’s more Puccini in the form of the Zeffirelli “La Bohème” (Saturday at 1 p.m., Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.). Still chugging along, it currently has a little more power than usual thanks to the star voltage of Kristine Opolais as Mimì and Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo. Just one performance of “Aida” to round things off (Saturday at 8 p.m.): Latonia Moore is the heroine, Ekaterina Gubanova is Amneris, and Marco Berti, Radamès.” (David Allen-NYT)

================================================
Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
See Below.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
=================================================================================

A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines,  but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11AM-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.
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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.

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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3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Fish280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24 thousand eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Spring 2017).
◊ Order before Mar.31, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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Holiday Windows

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)

 

 

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Selected NYC Events (12/03) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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 those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

MEGAN HILTY (through Tuesday)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday; 7PM on Sunday and Monday; $
“Megan Hilty is a Tony-nominated Broadway powerhouse, so it makes sense that she would try her pipes at cutting a Christmas album. And on her new release, “A Merry Little Christmas,” Ms. Hilty delivers lovely, piano-jazz renditions of the modern holiday-music canon. She will perform many of those tunes, including the sultry “Santa Baby” and the misty-eyed “Count Your Blessings,” during this intimate five-night run.” (O’Donnell-NYT)

6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

‘JOSIE LONG: SOMETHING BETTER’
New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits
BETH ORTON
HIP-HOP NUTCRACKER
DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP
Exploring The Secret Tunnels, Rooftops, and Historic Rooms @ City College
bonus picks: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
METROPOLITAN OPERA

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

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

‘JOSIE LONG: SOMETHING BETTER’
Barrow Street Theater, 27 Barrow St. at 7th Avenue South/ 7:30PM; $30
“Ms. Long is one of Britain’s finest storytelling comedians, with a knack for beautifully interweaving the personal and the political and finding rays of sunshine in even the bleakest of situations. This show, partly a response to the Brexit vote, is about “wanting more from life than it might be up for giving out.” (Czajkowski-NYT)

WINTER RHYTHMS 2016 (thru December 11)
today: New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits
Urban Stages – 259 W30 St./ 7PM, $30
“Launched in August 2015 at the Metropolitan Room, New York Cabaret’s Greatest Hits (Created and Produced by Stephen Hanks; Associate Producer Fr. Jeffrey Hamblin, MD) has become one of the city’s most popular monthly cabaret events. The series features celebrated cabaret performers reprising their Award-winning and critically acclaimed shows of the past. This show presents highlights from many of the 16 outstanding productions. With Mark Nadler, Julie Reyburn, Meg Flather, Karen Oberlin, Jim Brochu & Steve Schachlin, Maureen Taylor, Susan Winter, Jenna Esposito and Adam B. Shapiro. Musical Director: Mark Janas. Hosted by Stephen Hanks.” (BroadwayWorld)

BETH ORTON
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall / 10PM, $45-$53
“Singer-songwriter Beth Orton blends folk and electronica to create strikingly original and expressive music. She has collaborated with such electronic music stars as The Chemical Brothers, and her songs have been featured in film and on television, including Vanilla Sky and Grey’s Anatomy. Orton’s latest album, Kidsticks, is inspired by her new home in Los Angeles, and features electronic and vocal explorations that are fresh and daring.” (WFUV)
Part of Late Nights at Zankel Hall.

HIP-HOP NUTCRACKER
It’s a holiday classic with a twist or two. The score is still Tchaikovsky’s, but the choreography trades classical ballet for hip-hop and break-dancing. There’ll also be an onstage DJ, an electric violinist, digital scenery and an emcee, rapper Kurtis Blow.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, Dec. 3, at 2 and 7 p.m., United Palace of Cultural Arts, 4140 Broadway
INFO $10-$100; 212-568-1157, hiphopnutcracker.com, unitedpalace.org” (STAV ZIV-Newsday)

DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP (through Dec. 4)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“The turbocharged fusion band led by the saxophonist Donny McCaslin gained an emotionally charged form of renown for its heavy lifting on David Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar.” This engagement will feature the group — with Jason Lindner on keyboards, Nate Wood on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums — drawing from Mr. McCaslin’s own new album, “Beyond Now,” which bears a dedication to Mr. Bowie and features brooding covers of two of his songs.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

Exploring The Secret Tunnels, Rooftops, and Historic Rooms @ City College
City College of New York, Convent Avenue and 138th St./ 1:30PM, $34
“Join New York Adventure Club for an exclusive behind-the-scenes exploration of the historic City College of New York (CCNY), the real-life Hogwarts of Manhattan.

Built in 1906, this historic campus contains some of the most beautiful Neo-Gothic buildings in New York, which boast over 1,000 unique grotesques and gargoyles (more than anywhere else in the country!).

Our experience will include exclusive access inside many of its historic buildings, rooftops, and even the secret tunnels underneath the campus.”

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he leads an acoustic edition of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws. On Wednesday he performs a duo set with the guitarist John McLaughlin, and on Thursday he begins a four-night stretch with Mr. McLaughin, Mr. White and the bassist Victor Wooten.”
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

Plus, for all you Opera fans, this week looks special:

METROPOLITAN OPERA (all week)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
“Perhaps the most anticipated production of the season opens this week: Kaija Saariaho’s mesmeric “L’Amour de Loin” (Thursday at 7:30 p.m.). More important, the production will be the return, after an embarrassing hiatus, of a female composer to the house. But it’s also notable for the reappearance of the director Robert Lepage, and the debut of the conductor Susanna Malkki. Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens are the lovers, Tamara Mumford the Pilgrim. Otherwise, Anna Netrebko continues in the title role of Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” (Friday and Wednesday at 8 p.m.). Alongside Marcelo Álvarez’s Des Grieux, she’s the shining light in Richard Eyre’s uninspired production. If that’s not enough, there’s more Puccini in the form of the Zeffirelli “La Bohème” (Saturday at 1 p.m., Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.). Still chugging along, it currently has a little more power than usual thanks to the star voltage of Kristine Opolais as Mimì and Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo. Just one performance of “Aida” to round things off (Saturday at 8 p.m.): Latonia Moore is the heroine, Ekaterina Gubanova is Amneris, and Marco Berti, Radamès.” (David Allen-NYT)

=======================================================
Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

=======================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:
‘FROM THE COLLECTION: 1960-1969’ (through March 12, 2017)
“MoMA shakes up its sanctum sanctorum, installing half of its permanent collection galleries with works chosen by 17 curators from a single decade: the tumultuous 1960s. The limited time frame is balanced by unprecedented breadth and variety. As never before, the presentation mixes together objects and artworks from all six of the museum’s curatorial departments. The blend is alternately stimulating and bewildering, revelatory and infuriating: yet another symptom of the museum’s limited curatorial mind-set. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Smith)
 ‘TONY OURSLER: IMPONDERABLE’ (through April 16, 2017)
“This small exhibition is centered on a 90-minute film in which episodes from the history of spiritualist frauds and hoaxes are re-enacted by people in fanciful costumes while mystic flames, smoke and ectoplasmic phenomena come and go. At certain moments during “Imponderable,” you feel breezes wafting over you and hear loud thumping under the theater’s risers. The crudeness of these effects is part of the generally comical spirit. It’s all about the confusion between illusion and reality to which human beings seem to be congenitally susceptible. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Johnson)

 Whitney Museum of American Art:
‘CARMEN HERRERA: LINES OF SIGHT’ (through Jan.02, 2017)
“At 101, the artist Carmen Herrera is finally getting the show the art world should have given her half a century ago: a solo exhibition at a major museum in New York, where she has lived and worked since 1954. This compact but ravishing exhibition of about 50 works focuses on the pivotal period of 1948-78 — years in which Ms. Herrera developed her signature geometric abstractions, pared-down paintings of just two colors but seemingly infinite spatial complications. Although it’s not the full retrospective Ms. Herrera deserves, the Whitney’s show presents her as an artist of formidable discipline, consistency and clarity of purpose, and a key player in postwar art history. 99 Gansevoort Street, at Washington Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Rosenberg)
‘HUMAN INTEREST: PORTRAITS FROM THE WHITNEY’S COLLECTION’ (through Feb.12, 2017)
“A year ago, the Whitney inaugurated its new downtown home with a permanent collection showcase called “America Is Hard to See.” Its even more immediately engaging successor, devoted entirely to portraiture, is now on view and might well have been subtitled “Americans Are Strange to Look At,” which, in the 250 images here, we sure are: funny-strange, beautiful-strange, crazy-strange, dangerous-strange, inscrutable-strange. The work is arranged by theme and spread over two floors. There are magnetic images everywhere. 99 Gansevoort Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Cotter)

“DREAMLANDS: IMMERSIVE CINEMA AND ART’, 1905-2016′ (thru Feb.05, 2017)
“The Whitney’s new exhibit offers visitors a chance to explore more than a century of experimentation in cinema, mostly by American artists. See works that question and play with elements such as color, touch, music, spectacle, light and darkness, animation and dimension. There will be a film series in addition to the 18,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to the show.” (Newsday)

==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right sidebar dated 12/01 and 11/29.
==============================================================
Holiday Windows

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selected NYC Events (12/02) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District)

“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 those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park – Tree Lighting
40th St to 42nd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (wintervillage.org)/ 6pm.
“This year, the Winter Village plans to make this beloved event the best to date—and we have a feeling it will be. Expect the usual theatrical ice-skating show, starring Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje from the No. 1 world-ranked ice-dancing team in Canada as well as Javier Fernández (four-time European Champion) and Kimmie Meissner (former Olympian). Jazz group Lapis Luna provides the jams, and you’ll definitely want to stop by to see this year’s celebrity host in the flesh. Check out more than 125 holiday shops and food vendors while you’re there.” (TONY)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

DAVE HOLLAND, KEVIN EUBANKS, CHRIS POTTER, OBED CALVAIRE
DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP
Altered States Special Tour
Brexit Before and Beyond
bonus: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration

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

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

DAVE HOLLAND, KEVIN EUBANKS, CHRIS POTTER, OBED CALVAIRE (through Dec. 3)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30, +11PM, $
“Muscular proficiency is one common denominator for the musicians in this group, which features Mr. Holland, a veteran bassist and composer, as the first among equals. You should also expect an earthy foothold in groove and a high premium on dynamic range — qualities almost synonymous with Mr. Eubanks, a guitarist; Mr. Potter, a saxophonist; and Mr. Calvaire, a drummer.” (Chinen-NYT)

DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP (through Dec. 4)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $
“The turbocharged fusion band led by the saxophonist Donny McCaslin gained an emotionally charged form of renown for its heavy lifting on David Bowie’s final album, “Blackstar.” This engagement will feature the group — with Jason Lindner on keyboards, Nate Wood on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums — drawing from Mr. McCaslin’s own new album, “Beyond Now,” which bears a dedication to Mr. Bowie and features brooding covers of two of his songs.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

Altered States Special Tour
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W17th St./ 8:45PM, FREE
“Learn about the connections between transcendent spiritual practices and psychoactive substances on a special Museum tour.

This gallery investigation will precede a film screening of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain in the theater at 9:30 pm.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Brexit Before and Beyond
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway/ 10PM-5PM, FREE
“On June 23, 2016 a slim majority of the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union by national referendum. The reasons that led to this historic vote, ending 43 years of UK membership in the EU, are still being widely debated, as are the potential ramifications. This two-day event brings together journalists and scholars from European and American universities to uncover both the underlying issues that precipitated the UK’s decision to separate from the EU as well as the ongoing fallout from the “Brexit” vote”

PLUS: A discussion with the Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar about his latest film, “Julieta,” at the Apple Store in SoHo / 6PM, FREE, R.S.V.P. required

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“This weekend he leads an acoustic edition of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws. On Wednesday he performs a duo set with the guitarist John McLaughlin, and on Thursday he begins a four-night stretch with Mr. McLaughin, Mr. White and the bassist Victor Wooten.”
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.
====================================

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues, most on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

A PremierPub + 3 Good Eating places

Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest”, Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox (40s, 50s, R&B, and soul). On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
————————————————————————————————————————
Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

==================================================================================
“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.
==================================================================================

3 Good Eating Places

It’s not difficult finding a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Patzeria Perfect Pizza – 231 W46 St. (Btw 7th/8th ave)
Perfect name for a pizza joint. On a street filled with Broadway theaters, this is a real hole in the wall, but don’t let the dive look scare you away. You can never go wrong with a slice of NYCity pizza, and this one is a classic thin crust. Only a few seats here, but pizza was made to eat standing up.

Shake Shack – 691 8th Ave. (Btw 43rd/44th st)
Danny Meyer has revolutionized the high quality burger in this town. Now he has a branch on the West Side that was desperately needed, with a bit less of the insane lines that you find at the Madison Sq. Park location. Worth the wait.

Xi’an Famous Foods – 24 W45th St. (Btw 5th/6th ave)
Try to avoid long lunch lines. Order lamb hand ripped noodles and warm your insides at one of the tables in the back. You’ll return, just remember that even mild is pretty spicy.
==============================================================
“3 Good Eating Places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 Premier Pubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Spring 2017).
◊ Order before Mar. 30, 2017 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
==============================================================

Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column had a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
PLUS: Tree Lighting December 2 – an original holiday tale on ice with world-class skaters, live music, and a celebrity narrator.

 

 

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Selected NYC Events (12/01) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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 those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

W.C. Fields in Vaudeville
Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
If you are only half as big a fan of W.C. Fields as I am, you won’t want to miss this one.
“With Trav S.D., writer, performer, and author of “No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous” and “Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.”

As part of FieldsFest (November 8 – December 25), a festival commemorating the 70th anniversary of W.C. Fields’ death, this illustrated talk explores the great comedian’s early years (1900-1930), as a juggler in vaudeville and a revue comedian, and the many ways those experiences influenced his later motion pictures.”

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

New York in the Revolution
Brexit Before and Beyond
“Will Big League Baseball Survive”
Victoria: The Queen
The Daily Show: An Oral History
bonus:Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration

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

New York in the Revolution
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 6:30PM, $10
Presented by Paul Cohen & Richard Brown
“Historians of the Revolutionary War in America have been fortunate in their resources: few wars in history have such a rich literary and cartographic heritage. The high skills of the surveyors, artists, and engravers who delineated the topography and fields of battle allow us to observe the unfolding of events that ultimately defined the United States. Cohen & Brown will illustrate New York’s important role during the Revolution with historic maps of the period.”

Brexit Before and Beyond (also Friday)
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway/ 6:15Pm, FREE
“On June 23, 2016 a slim majority of the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union by national referendum. The reasons that led to this historic vote, ending 43 years of UK membership in the EU, are still being widely debated, as are the potential ramifications. This two-day event brings together journalists and scholars from European and American universities to uncover both the underlying issues that precipitated the UK’s decision to separate from the EU as well as the ongoing fallout from the “Brexit” vote”

“Will Big League Baseball Survive” with Lincoln Mitchell
Bergino Baseball Clubhouse, 67 E11th St./ 7PM, FREE, RSVP required
“In his shrewd analysis — “Will Big League Baseball Survive?” — Lincoln Mitchell asks whether the sport will continue in its current form as a huge, lucrative global business that offers a monopoly in North America and whether those structures are sustainable.

Mitchell places baseball in the context of the larger, evolving American and global entertainment sector. He examines how both changes directly related to baseball — including youth sports and the increased globalization of the game — and broader societal trends, such as developments in media consumption and celebrity culture, will impact big league baseball over the next few decades.”

Victoria: The Queen
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 12PM, $25
“Her reach was enormous: a century, a vast empire, nine children, forty-two grandchildren. Author and journalist Julia Baird introduces us to Queen Victoria as she truly was: passionate, clever, stubborn, a woman who loved sex and delighted in power.

Victoria was 18 years old when she ascended to the most powerful position in the world. For over 60 years, she reigned through an era of overwhelming change, becoming a symbol of steadfastness and security at a time when science, technology and democracy dramatically reshaped the world.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Chris Smith | The Daily Show: An Oral History
Book Court, 163 Court St., Brooklyn/ 7PM, FREE
“For sixteen years (1999-2015), The Daily Show was a game-changer in television, blurring the line between opinionated news reportage and comedy. It launched careers, lampooned legions of public figures and garnered 18 Emmys.

Now the fascinating behind-the-scenes antics, controversies and relationships will be chronicled by legendary host Jon Stewart and the players themselves. Starting with the inception of the show and Craig Kilburn’s turn as host, this history will cover the groundbreaking election coverage, Jon’s famous monologue in the wake of 9/11, conflicts between correspondents,The O’Reilly Factor, the war with CNN and every satirical moment in between, including all the legendary cast members Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, Lewis Black, Jon Hodgeman, Steve Carrell, John Oliver and a foreword from Jon Stewart.”

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“On Wednesday thru Sunday Mr. Corea will revisit the acoustic side of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including Mr. Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws.” (NYT-CHINEN)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

=====================================================
Bonus NYC events– Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village (all six are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

One current exhibition the NewYorkTimes likes:
‘Implosion: 20’ (through Dec. 22)
Anton Kern Gallery, 532 West 20th Street, Chelsea

“Adroitly scrunched into a midsize gallery, “Implosion: 20” is an excellent group show of 39 artists that feels like a mini-biennial in its sweep and diversity. It celebrates the Anton Kern Gallery’s 20th anniversary, the conclusion of its Chelsea lease and its pending relocation to 55th Street, near Fifth Avenue.

The exhibition represents nearly every artist to whom the gallery has given a solo show; their efforts tend to be impressive. Sometimes the work is new, like Nicole Eisenman’s portrait of Richard Hell, which channels Michael Jackson by way of Ed Paschke. Sometimes it’s old, like Marcel Odenbach’s four-minute video, from 1977-79, “The Eternal Creative Hands or for All Art Historians,” which features the artist’s fidgeting hands.

Perhaps most important, this gathering also celebrates unusually ecumenical, eyes-first ways of looking — the search for convincing ratios of innovation to authenticity. In a time overrun with artists who simply go through the motions, this is very refreshing.” ROBERTA SMITH

One current exhibition TimeOutNewYork likes:
Elmgreen & Dragset, “Changing Subjects”
FLAG Art Foundation, 545 W25th St, 9th Floor (closes Sat. Dec.17)

“The Scandinavian artist duo present works old and new for this mid-career survey show. Among the offerings are set pieces featuring morose, uncannily realistic figures, like those of a body in a morgue locker and a baby left in a basket under an ATM machine, as well as an enigmatic installation of large glass vessel filled with pastel blues, greens and pinks.”

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

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm).

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 11/29 and 11/27.
======================================================

Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
PLUS: Tree Lighting December 2 – an original holiday tale on ice with world-class skaters, live music, and a celebrity narrator.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selected NYC Events (11/30) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

“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 be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / Nov.”
For those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

Have time for only two NYC Events today? Do these two:

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony
Rockefeller Center, 7PM; FREE
“This iconic and always-packed tree-lighting ceremony is filled with celebrity performances, so you’ll want to arrive early to get a good view. Enjoy a two-hour variety show featuring live music by Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Dolly Parton and more before 50,000 energy-efficient LED lights covering the 94-foot spruce are switched on inspiring oohs and aahs. This is the only tree-lighting ceremony you can watch live on TV (tune in to WNBC), which is great for anxious New Yorkers—er, all of us—who want to avoid the crowds.” (TONY)

New York City Ballet / “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 1PM, +5PM, $30+
“People like to say they’re sick of “The Nutcracker,” but once the music starts, and little Marie catches a glimpse of that tree, who can resist it? Tchaikovsky loved children, and that love is audible in the score; an early critic called it a “symphony of childhood.” What makes it so good is that it doesn’t eschew darkness, or grandeur. George Balanchine, who created his now classic version in 1954, understood this, and made a ballet that has a bit of everything: cozy family dances, conflict, drama—enter Dewdrop with her urgent leaps—and sugarplums, too.” (NewYorker)

Pardon the delayed and limited events post today. I was running around trying to buy a car – successfully, thank goodness. Come back tomorrow for our full selection of carefully curated events.

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

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“On Wednesday thru Sunday Mr. Corea will revisit the acoustic side of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including Mr. Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws.” (NYT-CHINEN)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

==================================================
Bonus NYC Events – Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village (all six are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

A PremierPub / Tribeca

B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))

b_flat4There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music it may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat

==================================================================================
“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.
==============================================================
Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
PLUS: Tree Lighting December 2 – an original holiday tale on ice with world-class skaters, live music, and a celebrity narrator.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Selected NYC Events (11/29) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“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 be sure to check the tab above: “Annual NYC Events / Nov.”
For those wonderful, only in NYCity Holiday Windows scroll to bottom of today’s post.
For very best Holiday Shows and Tree Lightings see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

New York City Ballet / “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker”
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / 1PM, +5PM, $30+
“People like to say they’re sick of “The Nutcracker,” but once the music starts, and little Marie catches a glimpse of that tree, who can resist it? Tchaikovsky loved children, and that love is audible in the score; an early critic called it a “symphony of childhood.” What makes it so good is that it doesn’t eschew darkness, or grandeur. George Balanchine, who created his now classic version in 1954, understood this, and made a ballet that has a bit of everything: cozy family dances, conflict, drama—enter Dewdrop with her urgent leaps—and sugarplums, too.” (NewYorker)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

DAVE HOLLAND, KEVIN EUBANKS, CHRIS POTTER, OBED CALVAIRE
Norah Jones
RON CARTER QUARTET
INTELLIGENCE SQUARED DEBATES
Characterizing Animals in Science and Fiction

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

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

DAVE HOLLAND, KEVIN EUBANKS, CHRIS POTTER, OBED CALVAIRE (through Dec. 3)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30, +11PM, $
“Muscular proficiency is one common denominator for the musicians in this group, which features Mr. Holland, a veteran bassist and composer, as the first among equals. You should also expect an earthy foothold in groove and a high premium on dynamic range — qualities almost synonymous with Mr. Eubanks, a guitarist; Mr. Potter, a saxophonist; and Mr. Calvaire, a drummer.” (Chinen-NYT)

Norah Jones
Beacon Theater, 2124 Broadway, at 74th St./ 8PM, $45+
May need to go to the secondary market for a ticket to this one.
“The seductive vocalist responsible for scores of sweet dreams followed up her 2012 Danger Mouse–produced collection of post-modern intimacies Little Broken Hearts. with this year’s elegant, Day Breaks. Hear the earthy jazz chanteuse wrap her velvety twang around new songs and a few from her sophisticated five-album back catalogue.” (TONY)

RON CARTER QUARTET
Blue Note Jazz Club, / 8PM, 10:30PM, $30-$45
“Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of the music’s greats: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons.

In the early 1960s, Carter performed throughout the United States in concert halls and nightclubs with Jaki Byard and Eric Dolphy. He later toured Europe with Cannonball Adderley. From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He has been named Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by DownBeat magazine, and Most Valuable Player by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.”

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

INTELLIGENCE SQUARED DEBATES
Kaufman Music Center, Goodman House, 129 West 67th St./ 6:45PM, $
“President-elect Donald J. Trump has threatened to upend the policies that have come to define President Obama’s legacy — notably in the realm of foreign policy. As we prepare for a new administration, Intelligence Squared presents a debate that asks: Has Mr. Obama’s foreign policy been a failure? Arguing on the “yes” side are Eliot Cohen, a professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and Kristen Silverberg, a former American ambassador to the European Union. On the “no” side are Derek Chollet, a former undersecretary of defense and counselor at the German Marshall Fund, and Vikram Singh, vice president of national security and international policy at American Progress.” (NYT-AroundTown)

BOB AND HARVEY WEINSTEIN
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $48
“The latest edition of Reel Pieces, the 92nd Street Y series hosted by the Columbia University film professor Annette Insdorf, features these two brothers, who as Hollywood producers and power brokers have raked in 75 Oscars — not to mention 303 nominations. As we head into another awards season, they will discuss their careers and share clips from their favorite films.”(NYT-AroundTown)

HOT TICKET

Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration
“Four decades on from practically founding electric-jazz, Corea continues to innovate with his distinctive blend of fusionista technical flash and subtle introspection. He celebrates his 75th birthday this year with a two-month stay at Blue Note, winding through a number of different combo and duet configurations, with such key players as electric bass wunderkin Victor Wooten, studio drumming icon Steve Gadd and saxophone nobility Ravi Coltrane. In the grand finale (12/8), Corea teams up with groundbreaking guitarist John McLaughlin for what the two call “Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu Orchestra”—a hybrid of the two’s quintessential chops-forward, dizzyingly notey fusion groups.” (TONY)

“On Wednesday thru Sunday Mr. Corea will revisit the acoustic side of his popular band Return to Forever, with partners including Mr. Coltrane, the drummer Lenny White and the flutist Hubert Laws.” (NYT-CHINEN)
Blue Note, 131 W3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $55 bar; $85 table
late shows are best bet to find a ticket.

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Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues, most on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St., 54below.com, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.

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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, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 58 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2016.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are My Fave Special Exhibitions @ MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM:
‘AGNES MARTIN’ (through Jan. 11, 2017)
Agnes Martin was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1912, lived in New York City in the 1950s and ’60s, and spent the rest of her life in New Mexico, where she died in 2004. More than 100 of her paintings and drawings now float up the ramps of the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda in the most out-of-this-world-beautiful show in this space in years. Her art is about faint colors and subliminal lines; to see it requires sustained looking and some moving around: Stand back, then move up close. By the time you reach the final painting, high up under the museum’s great skylight, you’ve been through a rich life, and had a spirit-lifting, body-lightening lesson in what abstraction can be and can do. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street, 212-423-3500, guggenheim.org. (Cotter)

MET BREUER:
‘DIANE ARBUS: IN THE BEGINNING’ (through Nov. 27)
“This show of 100 or so early photographs by Arbus (1923-71), many on view for the first time, has a terrific installation, with work hung on columnlike panels that suggest rows of doors receding into darkness. The pictures themselves, dating between 1956 and 1962, have a grainy, moody texture, and they reveal an Arbus who had already landed on some of her favored themes: childhood, negotiable gender, fringe culture and class. If the show as a whole is more powerful than most of its individual images, there are some wonderful things. And as a forecast of mature work to come — familiar examples are included in a separate gallery — it is utterly magnetic. 945 Madison Avenue, at 75th Street, Manhattan, 212-535-0177, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

MORGAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM:
‘HANS MEMLING: PORTRAITURE, PIETY AND A REUNITED ALTARPIECE’ (through January 2017)
“When it comes to jewels, there are Taylor-Burton rocks and discreetly cut heirloom stones. With museum shows, it’s the same. This one, at the Morgan Library, is a minute but invaluable gem. Set in a 20-by-20-by-20-foot gallery known as the Cube, it reunites, for the first time in the United States, dispersed sections of an altarpiece by the 15th-century German-born, Flanders-based Memling and adds some of his exquisite portrait paintings. 225 Madison Avenue, at 36th Street, 212-685-0008, themorgan.org.” (Cotter)

and you should be sure to check out the special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish)

at the very least you will want to see these two:
‘CELEBRATING THE ARTS OF JAPAN: THE MARY GRIGGS BURKE COLLECTION’ (through May 2017)
“This lavish collection of 160 objects came to the Met from the Mary and Jackson Burke Foundation in early 2015. The Burkes loved Japanese art — all of it — and the exhibition is close to compendious in terms of media, from wood-carved Buddhas to bamboo baskets, with a particular strength in painting, early and late. The quality of the work? Japan thinks highly enough of it to have made the Burke holdings the first Japanese collection from abroad ever to show at Tokyo National Museum. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

‘JERUSALEM 1000–1400: EVERY PEOPLE UNDER HEAVEN’ (through Jan. 8, 2017)
“Three major faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — have called Jerusalem their own, and its varying histories as a sacred space, a theater of conflict and a cosmopolitan cultural emporium are reflected in this exhibition modeled along classic Met epic lines: 200 fascinating objects from 60 international collections, with a time frame in the past and context in the present (in the form of short videos in each gallery). If much of the art is small, the effect is not. We see a city otherworldly and monumental, but also one of appetites, personalities and ethnic tensions as real today as they ever were. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Cotter)

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 11/27 and 11/25.
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Holiday Windows and Tree Lightings

THE NYT “New York Today” column has a nice summary of the city’s department store holiday windows (BTW, I always start my day by reading this wonderful, quirky column):

Most beautiful: Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue, at 58th St.
The store’s decadent, travel-themed windows, titled “Destination Extraordinary,” are like a high-fashion fairy tale transporting you out West with cactuses, to a jungle with gorillas, or atop the rolling hills of a medieval castle. Go at night, and you’ll see the entire block glowing green.

Most child-friendly: Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue, at 39th Street; and Macy’s Herald Square, at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue
At Lord & Taylor, look out for ice-skating bunnies, dancing raccoons and mice on skis. A big, snugly bear, too. The display, “Enchanted Forest,” feels ethereal and dreamlike. The sparkling blue, night-sky backdrop and soft lullaby bells might make you want to crawl into the window and drift into a deep winter’s sleep, no matter your age.

Macy’s is the best spot to see Santa Claus. Close in tow are Santa’s helpers, his reindeer and the lovely Mrs. Claus. Watch as Santa and his elves assemble gifts at the North Pole and use a special machine to determine who is nice, merry, jolly, ho-hum or naughty.

Best music: Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue, at 49th St.
So loud you can hear it from over a block away — even above the honking traffic. The windows, the “Land of 1,000 Delights,” mix eye candy with real candy: over-the-top outfits alongside lollipops twice the size of the mannequins.

Best lights: Tiffany’s, 727 Fifth Avenue, at 57th St.
The building’s facade is covered with jewel-like lights that are probably larger than anything you’ll find in the store. Do they look like diamond brooches? Diamond insects? Diamond eyes with fluffy lashes and bushy brows? Depends where you stand.

Most creative: Barney’s, 660 Madison Avenue, at East 61st St.
In 2015, the store had real people carving ice sculptures in the windows. And this year, the display doesn’t disappoint.

Another must see over the holidays:

WINTER VILLAGE AT BRYANT PARK (through Jan. 2)
It’s that time of year when the twinkling glow of the Winter Village takes over Bryant Park. Allow yourself to be beckoned by a smooth expanse of ice on the skating rink; the holiday shops full of clothes, jewelry and other gifts; and the warm beverages and treats that come with the coldest season.
WHEN | WHERE at Bryant Park, between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues. skating rink through March 5.
INFO Free; 917-438-5166, wintervillage.org (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
PLUS: Tree Lighting December 2 – an original holiday tale on ice with world-class skaters, live music, and a celebrity narrator.

 

 

 

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