Selected Events Manhattan’s WestSide (12/27) + Gallery Special Exhibits: Chelsea 

Today’s “Fab 5”/ Selected NYCity Events – FRIDAY, DEC. 27, 2013

For other useful and curated NYCity event info for Manhattan’s WestSide check out:
♦ “Notable NYC Events-Dec.”, (because the holiday season kicks into high gear in December)
and also “on Broadway”, and “Top10 Free” in the header above.
♦  For NYCity trip planning see links in “Resources” and “Smart Stuff” in the header above.

‘Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting From the Mauritshuis’ (through Jan. 19)
This is one of the most anticipated shows of the year.

Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” has not been seen in New York for nearly 30 years, but it’s only one of 15 quality paintings in this show on loan from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, which is under renovation.

The NYT art critic thinks that Carel Fabritius’s palpitating little “Goldfinch” is the star of the show, but there are also four Rembrandt’s and Jacob van Ruisdael’s well respected “View of Haarlem With Bleaching Grounds,” among others. Pick your own favorite.
Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, Manhattan,
The Frick has been tweeting: “psst: insider tip: we’re keeping the show open free next 2 Friday evenings 6-9pm. Tends to be oddly quiet after 7pm”. Sounds like a plan

Holiday Markets
More than 150 vendors are selling their goods in Union Square Park, bordered by Park Avenue South, Broadway and 14th Streets, through Christmas Eve. Hours: weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; (through Dec 24)

The Holiday Shops are just part of the seasonal events in Bryant Park, at Avenue of the Americas and 40th Street, through Jan. 5. Hours: weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (through Jan. 5)

In Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, the 14th annual Holiday Fair offers 76 stalls of goods through Christmas Eve. Hours: Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. These shops have some nice stuff. Try to shop before noon and avoid the lunch time worker bee crowds. (through Dec 24)

While in GrandCentral check out the Holiday Train Show (through Feb. 23) which features a 34-foot-long Lionel model train layout. It’s on display at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store near the Station Master’s Office. To be honest, this year’s setup is not as good as previous years and not worth a special trip to GCT. But it is FREE and  can be viewed weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. see

“The Village Vanguard winds down December in what has become a traditional fashion. The clarinettist and musicologist White is a proud scion of the Crescent City, who lives to celebrate the riches of jazz’s first golden era. Hurricane Katrina laid waste much of his archival material, but he is exuberant in his renditions of classics by Armstrong, Bechet, King Oliver, and other Big Easy icons. His band plays with gusto, unhindered by historical pieties.” (NewYorker mag)
Village Vanguard 178 Seventh Ave S, at 11th Street, West Village,
At 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., $25 and $30 cover, with a $10 minimum.
(212) 255-4037,

Michael Feinstein (through Dec. 28)
“It wouldn’t be the holidays without Michael Feinstein —he’s no less a seasonal landmark than the tree at Rockefeller Center. Chances are you know people who’ve come from all over the country to see the decorations on Fifth Avenue, and the Feinstein Holiday show, no less than Radio City’s annual holiday pagent (which, this year, features the excellent singer Jennifer Sheehan ) is always on their must-see list.

Although Feinstein’s at the Regency has shuttered its chimney, the good news is that Mr. Feinstein himself is bringing his traditional holiday package to Times Square, and he always puts together a stunning mix of the old-time holiday standards we expect and something new and/or offbeat. And yes, there’s always Tom Lehrer’s classic “Chanukah in Santa Monica.” (WSJ)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St. (btw 8/9 Ave.)
At 8:30 PM / $75 (at the bar) – $200
(212) 581-3080

HOT TICKET / Darlene Love ON JAN 4*
“Her lovelorn “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is a holiday rock showstopper for the ages; her annual year-end festivities are a New York institution. Truly, Ms. Love, Phil Spector’s former protégée, has been an indelible voice in pop from the 1960s onward, and has reaped extra rewards lately — the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted her in 2011 and the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” released this year, followed her rise reverently.”(Anderson-NYT)
B. B. King Blues Club & Grill, 237 West 42nd St
Her Friday Dec. 20 show sold out early – get your tickets now., (800) 745-3000

Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm dates and check times, as schedules are subject to change. ===============================================================================

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 – my fave is Ovest on W 27th St., where the aperitivo is like Happy Hour on steroids.

WHAT’S ON VIEW: Here are 3 Special Exhibitions in Chelsea Galleries that you may want to see:

Bing Wright (through Jan 18)
Over the years, Wright’s photography has been marked by a focus on surface as metaphor for the photograph itself, with his work achieving a poetical stillness as a result. The photos here, for example, include his color series “Broken Mirror/Evening Sky,” in which the setting sun is seen reflected within the cracks of a shattered mirror, scattering the oranges and violets of dusk to an almost stained-glass effect.
Paula Cooper Gallery 521 W 21st St, (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves)
Tue-Sat 10am-6pm
212-255-1105 /

Richard Serra, “New Sculpture” (until Sat. Jan. 25, 2014)
Gagosian’s double dose of Richard Serra presents dueling sides of the sculptor: the popular artist name checked in a Vampire Weekend song, and the confrontational figure familiar from his earlier career.

The gallery’s West 21st Street location presents the former in fine form, with a single massive work. Curling ribbons of steel, set on edge and towering to ceiling height, nestle together to create Serra’s signature bowing and curving of space. They swallow viewers up in a phenomenological ecstasy one usually associates with, say, walking along a narrow canyon. The metal’s russet color only adds to the sensation of experiencing something more natural than man-made.

The tone, if not the scale, of the work shifts on West 24th Street, with a group of sculptures and nary a bend in sight. Hard-edged steel plates, patinated a carceral gray, get in your way like barricades around a government building. A set of enormous blocks serves as a memorial to the recently deceased sculptor Walter De Maria, a friend of Serra’s. Experiential warmth gives way to cold truths as Serra employs his legendary toughness to challenge not only gravity, but death itself.—(Howard Halle/TONY mag)
Gagosian Gallery, 522 W 21st St, btw 10th/11th Aves
Tue–Sat 10am–6pm
212-741-1717 /

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 (

Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.


For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in the right Sidebar: “Selected Events + Special Exhibitions : Manhattan’s WestSide” dated (12/23) and (12/21).
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