Selected NYC Events (12/13) + 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 Music Events see tab above: NYC Holiday Shows+

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

MARIAH CAREY
“It just wouldn’t feel like the holidays without the Greenlawn, L.I. native’s annual “All I Want for Christmas” concerts. Join Carey as she performs holiday classics, including her own hits “Christmas (Please Come Home),” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and, of course, the show’s title tune.” (DANIEL BUBBEO, Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Wednesday, Dec. 7, Thursday Dec. 8, Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday Dec. 11; also Dec. 13-14 and 16-17 at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway
INFO $60.50-$256; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Chris Botti 12th Annual Holiday Residency
Bon Iver
Feeding Gotham: The History and Future of Food Policy in New York City
How Immigrant Cooks Shape American Food
bonus pick: METROPOLITAN OPERA

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
City Center, 131 W55th St./ 8PM, $25+
“In the second week of the season, the major premières are unveiled. First up is the full version of Kyle Abraham’s “Untitled America,” a three-part piece about mass incarceration that the company has been revealing in short installments. The first two sections, evocative but treading water, embodied the pain of separation; will the completed work add up to more? Also new is “r-Evolution, Dream” by the company member Hope Boykin, an inspirational effort with a jazz score by Ali Jackson and speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr., recorded by Leslie Odom, Jr.” (NewYorker)

Chris Botti 12th Annual Holiday Residency (thru Jan.08)
Blue Note, / 8PM, +10:30PM, $50 Bar; $95 Table
“Botti’s trumpet skills are actually as good as his telegenic looks, even if he rarely puts them to use playing the kind of bop he cut his teeth on. A consummate showman, Botti presents his blend of smooth jazz-funk, glossily Miles-ian ballads and assorted pop and classical chestnuts at the Blue Note for his 12th annual holiday residency.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Bon Iver
Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Bklyn/ 8PM, $
“The sheepish singer Justin Vernon surfaces in New York for ten nights, performing songs from his new album, “22, A Million.” As Bon Iver, he specializes in ambling, dramatic scores that blend Bruce Hornsby’s wide gaze with Kanye West’s towering gall, and the disparate elements gel well across this record, to the delight of diehard fans. In 2007, Vernon’s style of woodland soul took off with the release of “For Emma, Forever Ago,” which featured strolling guitar riffs under his distinct falsetto. The cagey, world-weary songwriter dragged in more ambitious arrangements this time, somehow still conjuring quiet.” (NewYorker)

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

Feeding Gotham: The History and Future of Food Policy in New York City
with Mark Bittman
Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave./ 7PM, FREE
“Anyone looking at a rush hour subway or a midtown street corner has to have wondered at some point, “How do all these people stay fed?” Get some answers from Mark Bittman, who’ll lead a Graduate Center panel looking at four centuries of food economics and the future of New York food policy.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

How Immigrant Cooks Shape American Food
Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St./ 7PM, $10
“In celebration of the release of her new book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine, historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman looks at the lesser-known stories of immigrant recipes that have profoundly affected American cuisine. Tastings included!”

Plus, for all you Opera fans, this week looks special:

METROPOLITAN OPERA (all week)
Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center
“Switching from tenor to baritone roles has allowed Plácido Domingo, one of the most enduringly popular singers of our time, to build a career of extraordinary longevity. This week he adds the title role in Verdi’s “Nabucco” to his repertory, in a revived production by Elijah Moshinsky that is conducted by James Levine with a powerhouse cast including Jamie Barton and Liudmyla Monastyrska. Strauss’s unsettling psychodrama “Salome” continues its run in Jürgen Flimm’s production, conducted by Johannes Debus, with Patricia Racette in the demanding title role alongside Zeljko Lucic as Jochanaan and Gerhard Siegel as Herod. Also on offer is Kaija Saariaho’s ethereal “L’Amour de Loin,” one of the most popular contemporary operas of recent years, in a production directed by Robert Lepage and conducted by Susanna Malkki that features Susanna Phillips and Eric Owens in the lead roles. And Saturday offers one last chance to catch the fired-up tenor Marcelo Álvarez as Des Grieux in Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” as he vies for the affections of the capricious title character, sung by Kristine Opolais, in Richard Eyre’s staging, which transports the action to occupied France. Marco Armiliato conducts.” (Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim-NYT)

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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 12/11 and 12/09.
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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)

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