Selected NYC Events (12/15) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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:

Kenny Barron (thru Dec.25)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $30
“The dean of mainstream jazz piano gets to display two sides of his multidimensional musical personality during this two-week residency. First, he calls on Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Johnathan Blake, who complete the sleek trio that finally débuted with this year’s album “Book of Intuition.” He then beefs up the band with the saxophonist Dayna Stephens and the vibraphonist Steve Nelson, gaining hard-bop muscle in the process.“ (NewYorker)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre
Karrin Allyson
Chris Botti 12th Annual Holiday Residency
400 Years of History, Live from New York!
Roundtable: Who Shot Sports Photographers with Gail Buckland
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)

Karrin Allyson (thru Dec.17)
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Although Allyson brings customary charm to the beloved work of Rodgers and Hammerstein on her most recent release, “Many a New Day,” this valued singer will also surely dip into seasonal fare from her earlier “Yuletide Hideaway” project at this five-night engagement.” (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)

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

400 Years of History, Live from New York!
with The Bowery Boys and the Museum of the City of New York
The Greene Space, 44 Charlton St./ 7PM, $10
“Though they employ very different media, one aural, the other visual, The Bowery Boys and the Museum of the City of New York share the common goal of investigating the city’s rich past and making it relevant to today’s audiences. How do you work with older forms of media — a 1923 building, a physical exhibition mounted on four walls, or a radio podcast — to render and interpret key moments of history in digestible and interesting bursts? In our hyper-connected world of instant and ever-present communication, how do you stoke people’s interest in digging into the city’s past?

Join Greg Young and Tom Meyers of the acclaimed local history podcast The Bowery Boys, Sarah Henry, chief curator and deputy director of the Museum of the City of New York, and Steven Jaffe, one of the lead curators of New York at Its Core for a conversation that goes behind the scenes of the making of the museum’s new landmark permanent exhibition. Hosted by Andy Lanset, director of archives for New York Public Radio.”
This looks so good! I’ll be there (bundled up.)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Roundtable: Who Shot Sports Photographers with Gail Buckland
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway (Washington Ave.)/ 7PM, FREE
“World-renowned sports photographers Al Bello, Simon Bruty, John Huet, and Walter Iooss Jr. share their dynamic photos and stories from the front lines of capturing the most exciting moments in modern-day sports photography. Moderated by guest curator Gail Buckland. Live podcast by the Photo Brigade. Followed by a book signing with Buckland. Presented in conjuction with Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present.

Free as part of Thursday Nights hosted by Squarespace.
Entrance to the ticketed exhibition Who Shot Sports is discounted to $10 (regularly $16) on Thursday Nights.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

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 – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz 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
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 Vivaldi32 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
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:
‘FROM THE COLLECTION: 1960-1969’ (through March 12, 2017)
“MoMA shakes up its sanctum sanctorum, installing half of its permanent collection galleries with works chosen by 17 curators from a single decade: the tumultuous 1960s. The limited time frame is balanced by unprecedented breadth and variety. As never before, the presentation mixes together objects and artworks from all six of the museum’s curatorial departments. The blend is alternately stimulating and bewildering, revelatory and infuriating: yet another symptom of the museum’s limited curatorial mind-set. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Smith)
 ‘TONY OURSLER: IMPONDERABLE’ (through April 16, 2017)
“This small exhibition is centered on a 90-minute film in which episodes from the history of spiritualist frauds and hoaxes are re-enacted by people in fanciful costumes while mystic flames, smoke and ectoplasmic phenomena come and go. At certain moments during “Imponderable,” you feel breezes wafting over you and hear loud thumping under the theater’s risers. The crudeness of these effects is part of the generally comical spirit. It’s all about the confusion between illusion and reality to which human beings seem to be congenitally susceptible. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Johnson)

 Whitney Museum of American Art:
‘CARMEN HERRERA: LINES OF SIGHT’ (through Jan.02, 2017)
“At 101, the artist Carmen Herrera is finally getting the show the art world should have given her half a century ago: a solo exhibition at a major museum in New York, where she has lived and worked since 1954. This compact but ravishing exhibition of about 50 works focuses on the pivotal period of 1948-78 — years in which Ms. Herrera developed her signature geometric abstractions, pared-down paintings of just two colors but seemingly infinite spatial complications. Although it’s not the full retrospective Ms. Herrera deserves, the Whitney’s show presents her as an artist of formidable discipline, consistency and clarity of purpose, and a key player in postwar art history. 99 Gansevoort Street, at Washington Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Rosenberg)
‘HUMAN INTEREST: PORTRAITS FROM THE WHITNEY’S COLLECTION’ (through Feb.12, 2017)
“A year ago, the Whitney inaugurated its new downtown home with a permanent collection showcase called “America Is Hard to See.” Its even more immediately engaging successor, devoted entirely to portraiture, is now on view and might well have been subtitled “Americans Are Strange to Look At,” which, in the 250 images here, we sure are: funny-strange, beautiful-strange, crazy-strange, dangerous-strange, inscrutable-strange. The work is arranged by theme and spread over two floors. There are magnetic images everywhere. 99 Gansevoort Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Cotter)

“DREAMLANDS: IMMERSIVE CINEMA AND ART’, 1905-2016′ (thru Feb.05, 2017)
“The Whitney’s new exhibit offers visitors a chance to explore more than a century of experimentation in cinema, mostly by American artists. See works that question and play with elements such as color, touch, music, spectacle, light and darkness, animation and dimension. There will be a film series in addition to the 18,000 square feet of gallery space devoted to the show.” (Newsday)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right sidebar dated 12/13 and 12/11.
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Holiday Windows

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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