NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/13) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square / Theater District)

“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 better check the tab above: “NYC Events-December”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Big Band Holidays (Dec.14-16 8pm, Dec.17 2pm)
Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7PM, $27.50+
“Continuing a beloved New York tradition, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis warms up the House of Swing with soulful renditions of holiday classics. With fresh arrangements, playful improvisation, and entertaining storytelling, they bring out the magic in such classics as Count Basie’s “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and Billie Holiday’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.”

Jazz royalty Catherine Russell joins as special guest vocalist for the second year, continuing a spirited partnership that has spread Yuletide cheer in dozens of cities across the country. This year she’ll be joined by another Jazz at Lincoln Center favorite, fellow vocalist Kenny Washington, who recently brought his Home for the Holidays program to delighted audiences at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>Christine Ebersole: After the Ball
>>Trisha Brown Dance Company
>>Eva Noblezada: Girl No More
>>ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER
>>YO LA TENGO
>>Stacey Kent
>>Cartoon County: Cullen Murphy
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Christine Ebersole: After the Ball
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“ Multiple Tony Award-winner Christine Ebersole returns to Feinstein’s /54 Below with a special engagement of her brand new concert After The Ball… just after starring on Broadway in the premiere of the new musical War Paint!

Join us for an elegant evening with Christine, featuring such classics as “The Way You Look Tonight” and “S’Wonderful” as well as a gorgeous “Lazy Afternoon.” Theatermania exclaimed “…it’s a masterful performance…Ebersole is a Broadway broad at the top of her game and nothing will convince me otherwise, certainly not after this incredible night of story and song.” The New York Times agreed, calling it, “Christine Ebersole’s wonderful new show… Her gorgeous, searching renditions of “Autumn Leaves” and “(Have I Stayed) Too Long at the Fair” rang with personal poignancy.” This new engagement of After The Ball will feature a few new songs and surprises.”

Trisha Brown Dance Company (Dec. 12-17)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $51+
“Even before Brown died, in March, after a slow retirement forced by illness, the future of her company, and the top-shelf choreography it preserves, appeared precarious. But the troupe seems to be bouncing back, touring busily and presenting more than the greatest hits. This program focusses on a less celebrated period in Brown’s work, from 2000 to 2009. The music is disparate: the Latin-tinged jazz of Dave Douglas in “Groove and Countermove,” the Baroque opera of Rameau in “L’Amour au Théâtre.” What’s consistent is Brown’s wit and invention.” (NewYorker)

Eva Noblezada: Girl No More
The Green Room 42, 570 10th Ave./ 7:30PM, $35
“The Tony-nominated star of Broadway’s Miss Saigon shows off her range in a concert that includes favorites made famous by Amy Winehouse and Frank Sinatra.” (TONY)

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER (through Dec. 31).
at New York City Center / 8PM, $29+
“Ailey’s monthlong winter season continues with a batch of premieres. Joining the repertory on Friday is the John Coltrane-inspired “Members Don’t Get Weary,” the first work for the company by one of its most captivating dancers, Jamar Roberts. On Tuesday, the troupe welcomes back “Shelter,” a 1992 work by the esteemed choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar examining the effects of homelessness. On Wednesday, Talley Beatty’s ode to disco-era Los Angeles, “Stack-Up,” returns to the stage. And, of course, more “Revelations,” the company’s staple, created by Ailey in 1960 to a playlist of spirituals, gospel and blues.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

Stacey Kent (Dec.12-16)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
Critically acclaimed, GRAMMY® nominated singer, Stacey Kent, sings from the soul, telling her stories with faultless phrasing and a lucid, enchanting voice. Stacey and her quartet return to Birdland to celebrate the launch of her new album, “I KNOW I DREAM: The Orchestral Sessions.” (SONY)

“I Know I Dream” is Stacey’s first orchestral album and her most ambitious to date. The rich musical tapestry contrasts with her previous intimate collaboration with Brazilian music master Roberto Menescal, “Tenderly,” (2015 SONY) and the exuberant, ”Marcos Valle & Stacey Kent Live,” (2013 SONY).”

YO LA TENGO (Dec. 12-19, but sold out Dec.16-19)
at the Bowery Ballroom / 8:30PM, $40
“Throughout the 2000s, indie-rock fans looked forward each winter to Yo La Tengo’s eight-night Hanukkah residency at Maxwell’s, a club in its native Hoboken, N.J. Maxwell’s closed in 2013, and so ended the band’s yearly tradition — but like the oil in the legend, Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah shows are burning bright once again this month, at a new location. All eight nights are sold out, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the resale market for miracles.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

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

Cartoon County: Cullen Murphy
NYPL, Schwarzman Building , 476 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE
“The Vanity Fair editor-at-large reconstructs the poignant history of the cartoonists and illustrators from the Connecticut School.

For a period of about fifty years, right in the middle of the American Century, many of the the nation’s top comic-strip cartoonists, gag cartoonists, and magazine illustrators lived within a stone’s throw of one another in the southwestern corner of Connecticut—a bit of bohemia in the middle of those men in their gray flannel suits.

Cullen Murphy’s father, John Cullen Murphy, drew the wildly popular comic strips Prince Valiant and Big Ben Bolt, and was at the heart of this artistic milieu. Cartoonists and their art were a pop-cultural force in a way that few today remember. Anarchic and deeply creative, they were independent spirits whose artistic talents had mainly been forged during service in World War II. Cartoon County brings the postwar American era alive, told through the relationship of a son to his father.”

Continuing Holiday Events

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park (6th Ave. & 42nd St.)
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Enjoy Bryant Park through the winter with the Holiday Shops food and gift boutiques (thru Jan.02), Danny Meyer’s pop-up rinkside eatery Public Fare (thru Mar.04), and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 28, 2017 – March 4, 2018
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting)
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New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 31)
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / various times and prices
“As a young dancer in St. Petersburg in the nineteen-tens, George Balanchine performed the lead in the Harlequins’ “Hoop Dance” in the Mariinsky Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” By all accounts, he was rather proud of his performance, and in 1954, when he created his own “Nutcracker” for the New York City Ballet, he included the dance verbatim in the second act, and renamed it “Candy Cane.” With its double hoop jumps, it is still one of the most beloved sections of the ballet, performed by one adult dancer and eight children from the school. This merging of past and present, adult prowess and youthful flair, has helped insure this production’s enduring appeal for more than sixty years. It returns for a monthlong run.” (NewYorker)

“George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” continues performances throughout the month. It never disappoints, from its onstage snowstorm to the one-ton Christmas tree that grows from 12 to 40 feet. And there’s also, of course, Balanchine’s remarkable choreography, which brings the Tchaikovsky score to dancing life. This week, many of the principal dancers get a shot at Sugar Plum — Sara Mearns, Megan Fairchild and Lauren Lovette, among them — but not to be overlooked is the soloist Indiana Woodward, who is scheduled to do the honors on Dec. 7 opposite Chase Finlay as her Cavalier. She’s a delight.” (NYT 12/01-Gia Kourlas)

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(11/10/17-1/1/18) The NYC perennial holiday favorite Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes® returns. Fan favorites include “New York at Christmas,” where the Rockettes® board a real double-decker bus, and the high-energy tap number “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Of course, beloved classics like “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and “The Living Nativity” will also be back. rockettes.com/christmas

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Let there be light!
Luminaries installation at Brookfield Place in the Winter Garden, a stunning holiday arrangement, comprising 650 LED lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Make sure to pack your skates and enjoy ice-skating next door, along the waterfront.
AND
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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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, almost all 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 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  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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A PremierPub

Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest,” Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox, with a great selection of  40s& 50s R&B and soul. On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
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Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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