Selected Events (02/05) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

 Today’s SWEET 6 > FRIDAY / FEB. 05, 2016

“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.
(click on links for more complete event info.)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner: Unattached! (also Feb.6)
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $60-$80
“The original stars of the conjoined-twin musical Side Show reunite to perform their first show together in nearly a decade. Both have had substantial careers since their joint 1997 breakthrough, and it will be fascinating to see how Ripley’s edgy presence and rough-edged rock voice interplays with Skinner’s vivacious, Broadway-broad approach.” (TONY)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Dada Masilo (through Sunday)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave, at 19th St./ Friday 8PM, $
“Ms. Masilo’s “Swan Lake” is populated by a rowdy wedge of swans who have some fun with Tchaikovsky’s sacred score, which also integrates bits of Steve Reich, African drumming and call and response. Ms. Masilo trades docility and romance for brash political theater: She bravely and buoyantly uses this ballet classic to address gender and homophobia in her native South Africa, which has one of the highest rates of AIDS in the world.” (Schaefer-NYT)

Janis Ian
The Appel Room, 33 W6oth St./ 8:30PM, $75-$145
“A ’60s folk icon, Janis Ian has been in the biz since she was a kid, and remains best remembered for her 1975 hit, “At Seventeen,” from the brilliant Between the Lines LP. (She was a musical guest on the first episode of Saturday Night Live.) In this American Songbook series show, she looks back on a half century of singing, songwriting and social activism.” (TONY)

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: 50th Anniversary (through Feb. 8)
Village Vanguard,178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th Street, 8:30PM +10:30PM, $
“Almost exactly half a century ago, the trumpeter-composer-arranger Thad Jones and the drummer Mel Lewis began their Monday-night big band residency at the Village Vanguard, establishing what became a hallowed tradition. “All My Yesterdays,” an album due out next month, documents the band’s inaugural performance. Here, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, a direct outgrowth of the Jones-Lewis band, hunkers down for a weeklong engagement, playing music from across the historical spectrum.” (Chinen-NYT)

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

Winter Carnival (also Saturday) Timing is perfect!
Bryant Park, Avenue of the Americas, at 40th St./ 12PM-10PM
“The ice skating rink at the Winter Village in Bryant Park is around for just one more month. But before the weather warms up, this two-day event takes advantage of the rink for wintry festivities that include a skating showcase, curling lessons and a silent disco. The Warming Lodge and Outdoor Winter Brew House will be open for hot drinks and food. The schedule is at wintervillage.org/visit/wintercarnival.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Eat & Drink

NYC Restaurant Week Winter 2016 (LAST DAY)
Various locations and times; 3 courses – $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Enjoy the winter edition of Restaurant Week (actually almost three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Reservations are definitely recommended. Mangia!
OR
How about some hot chocolate?
City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival (thru Feb.28)
City Bakery, 3 W18th St./ opens 7:30AM, $
“Regress to childhood with skillfully concocted mugs of hot chocolate courtesy of this downtown canteen. Owner-mastermind Maury Rubin will serve a different flavor of his intoxicating cocoa every day during February.” (TONY)

Bonus – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite 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
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St., bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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This week’s fave and FREE NYCity AppS: 

Trip Advisor
An enormous base of NYCity user reviews (2.1 million) provides the widest coverage of hotels (468), restaurants (12,645) and things to do (yes, 3,246). Have a specific question? Then try one of Trip Advisor’s forums. Just remember that with all those reviews you have to try to find the consistency among the comments, and ignore the outliers.

OpenTable
Instantly locate restaurants near you with open reservations and then place a reservation right from your iOS device. A great interface and the ability to see a menu from the restaurant you’re interested in makes this my go to restaurant reservation app.

Subway Time 
Need to catch your #1,2,3 subway to attend an event? Use the Subway Time app from the MTA to find out when the next train arrives at your station. The MTA also has Bus Time info available on their mobile website.

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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.

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 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).

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 02/03 and 02/01.
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NEW Feature!
The 100 Books Every New Yorker Should Read
by Kristin Iversen, Brooklyn Magazine
today’s picks:

40. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
The story of New York—like the story of America—is the story of immigrants, and rarely has it been rendered as evocatively as by Hijuelos in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book about two Cuban brothers who come to New York to play music and build a life.

41. Brooklyn by Colm Toíbín
Toíbín’s novel (now a movie!) is a compelling depiction of the life and loves of a young Irish woman who keeps thinking she has found her place in a confusing world, until she finds out she hasn’t. Is it yet another book on this list that grapples with issues of place and identity and the struggle to find out where we really belong? Why, yes. Yes, it is. Welcome to New York. It’s been waiting for you.

43. Another Country by James Baldwin
Set in Greenwich Village in the 1950s, Baldwin vividly portrays issues that might be familiar today—fluid sexuality, interracial relationships—but that were totally taboo when the book was published. Oh, well. Times have changed, but it remains true that Baldwin’s ability to shock—both with his subject matter and his beautiful prose—continues today.

If your interests lead you to Brooklyn, then be sure to peruse Brooklyn Magazine. It’s a high quality, high info, smart monthly.

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