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.

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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.

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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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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.”

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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).

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