Selected NYC Events (01/04) + 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.

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

Metropolitan Opera, / 7:30PM, $85+
romeo-met “One of opera’s hottest partnerships hits the stage in Gounod’s classic, as Diana Damrau sings Juliette and Vittorio Grigolo takes on Roméo. Bartlett Sher, seemingly the Met’s go-to guy for new stagings, directs a production that has already been to Salzburg and La Scala, and which is conducted here by the reliably fiery Gianandrea Noseda. Virginie Verrez is Stéphano, Elliot Madore is Mercutio and the titanic bass Mikhail Petrenko adds weight as Frère Laurent. Do note that the production returns in March with another cast; if you’re choosing, this is the one to hear.” (DavidAllen, NYT)


Fred Hersch Trio
SciCafe: Modifying Mosquitos with CRISPR
The Long and Fascinating History of Toilets


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Fred Hersch Trio
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30, +10:30PM, $30
“This prime pianist’s instrumental touch only strengthens his acute composing and band-leading skills. See all three forces in play at this six-night stand, where Hersch expands his invaluable trio—with the bassist John Hebert and the drummer Eric McPherson—to include the trumpeter Mike Rodriguez and the saxophonist Dayna Stephens.” (NewYorker)

Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave./ 7:30PM, $36
“This showcase of stylistically disparate domestic dance companies returns to the Joyce for a second year. Program A (Jan. 3 and 8 at 7:30 p.m.) features the New York-based Dusan Tynek Dance Theater and Company E of Washington. In Program B (Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 8 at 2 p.m.), RAWdance, a contemporary troupe from San Francisco, meets Contra-Tiempo from Los Angeles, which blends salsa, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop and modern dance. Program C (Jan. 5 and 7 at 8 p.m.) features Davalois Fearon Dance and the mother-daughter Bharatanatyam artists Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy.”

St. Paul’s Chapel / Trinity Wall Street / 1PM, FREE
“Julian Wachner’s Time’s Arrow festival (Jan. 1-12) at Trinity Wall Street this year celebrates the 250th anniversary of St. Paul’s Chapel. All of the programming is worthwhile, but this performance of Bach’s frequently overlooked “Christmas Oratorio,” spread out with two of six parts per lunchtime performance, ought to be especially interesting. Mr. Wachner, never less than intriguing in any repertoire, conducts the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street.’ (NYT)

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

SciCafe: Modifying Mosquitos with CRISPR
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St./ 7PM, FREE
“Using CRISPR gene editing, we can change the DNA of mosquitoes. Even to the point of eradicating them. Rockefeller University professor Leslie Vosshall comes to SciCafe at the American Museum of Natural History to look at what we can do now, or at least soon, and what kind of blowback we might expect.” (

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

The Long and Fascinating History of Toilets
Prospect Heights Brainery, 190 Underhill Ave./ 6:30PM, $10-Uh oh, get on the wait list
“Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Crapper did not invent the toilet. But who did? Better yet, when did people first start using toilets? And were they anything like the toilets we know today?

This class will explore the long and fascinating history of toilets, from ancient Mesopotamia to today. We will walk through the not-so-short history and learn things like: why we should be grateful for Queen Elizabeth I, why NYC was #2 to Philadelphia, why the toilet is one of the most important human inventions, and the best reasons to visit Japan and Malaysia.

We will also learn about how even in current times, toilets are not so common as we often think they are, why that is is, and what is being done about it – from Cambodia to San Francisco. Of course, we will also tastefully touch on how you can better your toilet experience in your own home and on the road. The class will be partly interactive, so bring all of your most curious questions and taboo tales.”

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues, almost all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St.,, 212-608-0555
Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W54th St.,, 646-476-3551
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan, 212-206-0440
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St.,, 212-997-6661
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd St.,, 212-997-2144
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.,
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St., 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.

♦ 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 60 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):


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)

‘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, (Cotter)

“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,” (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:
“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,” (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,” (Cotter)

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).
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 01/02 and 12/31.

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