Selected NYC Events (11/23) + 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.”

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

Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Balloon Inflation
American Museum of Natural History area / 3PM, FREE
“This pre–Turkey Day ritual, held near the American Museum of Natural History, has become almost as crowded as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we prefer it to the main event. Why? We prefer to weave through the crowds, walking past the inflation stations to see SongeBob SquarePants at our own pace. Inflation takes place from 3 to 10pm. Arrive later in the evening, when the gigantic characters have taken shape; the crowds are at their peak, so you can also show off the famed New York sidewalk shuffle. Enter at W 79th St at Columbus Ave.” (TONY)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

CHUCHO VALDÉS-JOE LOVANO QUINTET
Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen
Dorrance Dance
JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON
bonus: Chick Corea 75th Birthday Celebration

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

CHUCHO VALDÉS-JOE LOVANO QUINTET (through Nov. 27)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“Mr. Valdés is a pianist from Havana who has contributed as much as anyone to modernist Afro-Cuban jazz. Mr. Lovano is a leading saxophonist in the postbop continuum, and one of the great small-group bandleaders of his time. They have been on tour for the last week with this rhythmically advanced band, featuring Gastón Joya on bass, Yaroldi Abreu Robles on percussion and Francesco Mela on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

Ben Vereen: Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen (thru Nov 26)
Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 W54th St./ 7PM, $55-$85
“Fosse muse, jazz cat and showbiz-blooded triple-threat entertainer Ben Vereen—of Pippin, Jesus Christ Superstar and All That Jazz fame—struts his still-slick stuff. His show is a potent mixture of sweat and veneer; the man has a firm place in Broadway legend.” (TONY)

“Mr. Vereen is a song and dance man who never lets up. He wins you over with his sheer energy, good will and showbiz know-how.” The New York Times

Dorrance Dance (through Nov. 27)
Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave. @ 19th St./ $
“Michelle Dorrance, the MacArthur award-winning tap choreographer, brings her tightly constructed, spirit-lifting 2013 show “The Blues Project” back to the Joyce. Driven by the raucous live music of Toshi Reagon and her band, BIGLovely, Dorrance’s crew of affable, expert hoofers—including the virtuosic co-choreographers Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards—entertain greatly while more subtly hinting at the racially mixed roots of tap and the pain within the joy.” (NewYorker)
Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m.(no performance on Thanksgiving Day)

JASON MORAN AND THE BANDWAGON (through Nov. 27)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Avenue South, at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“Mr. Moran, the pianist and composer, is coming to the close of another banner year — as a concert programmer, an interdisciplinary collaborator and the force behind his own label. The Bandwagon, his trio with the bassist Tarus Mateen and the drummer Nasheet Waits, still represents his baseline, and this engagement at the Vanguard has become a cherished staple of this time of year.” (Chinen-NYT)

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 Tuesday and Wednesday he’ll team up with a longtime collaborator, the vibraphonist Gary Burton, and the Harlem String Quartet.
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 11/21 and 11/19.
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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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