Selected Events (12/30) + Ice Skating in NYCity

Today’s “Fab 5″/ Selected NYCity Events – TUESDAY, DEC. 30, 2014.
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to. We make it as easy as 1-2-3.”

Basie / Ellington / Holiday:  — Jazz [FREE]

Christmas in Rome, The Eternal City — SpecialEvent/ Slide Lecture [FREE]

The Bad Plus – Jazz

Tom Rainey Trio — Jazz

Michael Daves’s All-Star Bluegrass Throwdown — Bluegrass

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


Basie Ellington Holiday:
A Tribute to Count, Duke, and Lady Day with JC Hopkins Biggish Band

JC-Hopkins-Biggish-Band-King-Solomon-HicksGet a jump on New Year’s Eve with a night celebrating the music of three of the most royal figures in jazz; Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday. Grammy-nominated JC Hopkins and his Biggish Band bring their exuberant, swingin’ sound and their own royalty, Queen Esther, Charles Turner, Jazzmeia Horn, and King Solomon Hicks to the Atrium to interpret the music of these pivotal figures. Don’t miss what promises to be a night to remember for dancers and listeners alike.
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 61 W 62 St
at 7:30* / Target FREE Thursdays (this week on Tuesday)
get there early, no later than 7PM, if you want to get in what is a small performance space.

Christmas in Rome, The Eternal City, with a Focus on the Vatican and Pope Francis,” with Michael T. Luongo, a New York City based freelance writer, editor, photographer and a lecturer of travel writing at New York University.

This photo lecture showcases Rome as the city pulses with holiday energy from December to early January’s Epiphany. Few places in the world match the sheer joy, beauty and religious fervor of Christmas in Rome, the Eternal City.
Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue @ 40th St.
6:30 p.m. / FREE

The Bad Plus (through Jan. 4)
imgres“For the past few years, this trio hasn’t had to fret over New Year’s plans; it’s found a holiday home at the venerable Village Vanguard. Now comfortable members of the jazz establishment, they recently released their tenth studio album, “Inevitable Western,” which retains an impish edge and populist charm. Here, with the rambunctious drummer Dave King on hand, no one has to worry about making too much celebratory noise.’ (NewYorker)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St.
212-255-4037 /
8:30 and 10:30 p.m./$30 cover, with a one-drink minimum.

Tom Rainey Trio
“Tom Rainey, a precisely off-kilter drummer, has broken into bandleading of late, often with the partners in this trio: Ingrid Laubrock, a tenor and soprano saxophonist of exploratory instincts, and Mary Halvorson, a guitarist with a sharp-splintered but flexible attack.” (Chinen-NYT)
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village, 212-989-9319,;
8:30PM / $10 cover, with $10 minimum.

Elsewhere, but for fans of bluegrass this is worth the detour:
Michael Daves’s All-Star Bluegrass Throwdown
10626418_10152935000943953_3031158787466592971_o“Brooklyn has long been an under-the-radar hotbed of bluegrass action. Last month, Georgia-born guitarist Michael Daves, whose most recent album is a Grammy-nominated 2011 collaboration with MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile, extravagantly exceeded his Kickstarter goal of funding a pair of “twin” albums — one a traditional acoustic bluegrass record, the other a wild-and-woolly electric set — containing the same tracks in the same order.

Tonight’s All-Star Bluegrass Throwdown features Daves’s talented acoustic sessioneers: Punch Brothers banjoist Noam Pikelny, who recently released a Bill Monroe tribute; the talented mandolinist Sarah Jarosz, 23, who has three albums of her own; Brittany Haas, of the chamber-bluegrass group Crooked Still; and Del McCoury Band bassist Mike Bub. The Lonesome Trio kick off a high-energy evening in Gowanus — where the grass often is blue.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)
The Bell House, 149 7th St./ warehouse turned music venue
F, G or R TRAIN: 9th Street & 4th Avenue stop. Walk down one block down to 3rd Avenue and turn right. Walk 2 blocks to 7th Street and turn left.
We are down the block on the right side.
8 p.m./ $15 – $45
(718) 643-6510

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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




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