NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/17) + 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.

For future NYC Events better check the tab above: “NYC Events-January”
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.

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

Carl Bernstein & John Avlon: A Conversation and Screening of All the President’s Men
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway / 7:30PM, $25
“Join renowned journalist Carl Bernstein and The Daily Beast Editor John Avlon for a conversation and screening of All the President’s Men on Tuesday, January 17th at 7:30PM. Bernstein, whose brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation with Bob Woodward smashed the Watergate scandal wide open and helped bring about the resignation of President Nixon, will discuss his work, the movie, and the state of politics then and now.

Few journalists in American history have had as significant an impact on their era as Carl Bernstein. From All the President’s Men (1974) to A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton (2007), Bernstein has revealed the inner-workings of government and the hidden stories of Washington and its leaders.”


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Astana Ballet Theater
>> Tom Harrell
>>Deerhoof + Wadada Leo Smith
>> Keyon Harrold and Friends
>>Malpaso Dance Company
>> Why? What Makes Us Curious—Mario Livio with Aatish Bhatia
>> The Square and the Tower: Niall Ferguson with Gillian Tett

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Astana Ballet Theater
Alice Tully Hall, 7PM, FREE
“Kazakhstan’s national ballet company, last seen here two years ago, offers a free concert (tickets distributed starting at six on performance night: first-come, first-served), as part of a new initiative, “Modern Kazakhstan Culture in the Global World.” Contrasting scenes of popular ballets and cultural divertissements include three main works, Heritage of the Great Steppe (shot through with folk traditions), Love Fear Loss (set to Edith Piaf songs, inspired by her life, and choreographed by Ricardo Amarante), and A Fuego Lento (a steamy exploration of the force of first love, also choreographed by Amarante, to music by Lalo Shifrin, Astor Piazzola, and Carlos Gardel). The troupe has toured widely, and has also been invited to perform at the “Stars of the White Nights” festival in St. Petersburg.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Vilage Voice)

Tom Harrell (Jan. 16-23)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Parsing the components of the trumpeter Harrell’s stylistic identity is the easy part—bebop, post-bop, Latin, and classical influences clearly run through his playing. But understanding just how this admired veteran absorbed it all and emerged with a thoroughly integrated and distinctive musical approach is more difficult. His robust quintet finds room for the saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and the pianist Danny Grissett.” (NewYorker)

Deerhoof + Wadada Leo Smith
Le Poisson Rouge / 8PM, $25–$30
“Nine years after their first, and only, performance together, the impressively enduring and ever-changing Bay Area art-rock quartet Deerhoof will again improvise alongside late-game “it” trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. Incited by singer-bassist Satomi Matsuzaki and drummer Greg Saunier, Deerhoof race through fifteen nearly melodic miniatures on their most recent album, Mountain Moves. Seventy-six-year-old Smith, meanwhile, has been on a remarkable creative tear the past few years with an album of solo trumpet meditations on Thelonious Monk; an album of long-form, guitar-centric homages to John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Billie Holiday; and a Pulitzer-nominated suite inspired by America’s national parks. While the closing event of this year’s NYC Winter Jazzfest will likely emanate from creative spontaneity, the tributaries informing the rockers and the trumpeter are deep, wide, and varied.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

Keyon Harrold and Friends (Jan. 15-18)
The Blue Note / 8PM, 10:30PM, $20–$35
In the fall Mr. Harrold released a bold, expansive album, “The Mugician.” It finds his trumpet coaxing an electrified ensemble into all sorts of approaches — slow-jam, vague Caribbean groove, contemporary jazz balladry — then tearing into them with animated, inventive soloing. He will draw on that material here, likely with special guests. (The album features a long list of guest vocalists, and when he played the Blue Note last January, Mr. Harrold brought along the rapper Big K.R.I.T. and the vocalist Bilal.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Malpaso Dance Company
Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $41+
“The Joyce has taken this ten-member, five-year-old Cuban contemporary dance troupe, whose name means something like misstep, under its wing, which has led to the commissioning of new works by several North American choreographers. Malpaso’s winter season includes the New York premiere of Aszure Barton’s Indomitable Waltz, to music by Alexander Balanescu, Michael Nyman, and Nils Frahm, as well as Face the Torrent, a new dance by Emmy nominee Sonya Tayeh, and a 2013 piece, Ocaso, by the troupe’s artistic director and resident choreographer, Osnel Delgado.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

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

Why? What Makes Us Curious—Mario Livio with Aatish Bhatia
New York Public Library—Mid-Manhattan Library, 476 Fifth Ave. (42nd St. Entrance) / 6:30PM, FREE
“Astrophysicist and author Mario Livio investigates the science behind human curiosity.
From Netflix dramas to neuroscience, curiosity lies at the heart of most human endeavors. Despite this, the scientific community has not come to a consensus about human curiosity. Why are human beings so curious? And why have scientists been unable to pinpoint what happens in the brain when someone acts curiously?

These mysteries led Mario Livio to write his new book Why? What Makes Us Curious, asking: What drives us to ask questions about the world and our role in it? Through interviews with scientists, as well as investigations into the lives of “curious geniuses” Leonardo da Vinci and Richard Feynman, he explores the sources and mechanisms of human curiosity.

Princeton University scientist and writer Aatish Bhatia joins Livio to discuss recent findings in the science of curiosity and how curiosity can be harnessed for creative and scientific gains. The discussion will be followed by Q&A.”

The Square and the Tower: Niall Ferguson with Gillian Tett
New York Public Library—Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 476 Fifth Ave./ 6:30PM, FREE, this one should be good, but looks like you may need to standby.
“Renowned historian Niall Ferguson is joined by Gillian Tett, U.S. Managing Editor of The Financial Times, as they discuss the power of networks, from ancient Roman cults to Freemasonry to Facebook.” (


Broadway Week began yesterday! Get two-for-one tickets to your favorite shows, from Chicago to Wicked

AND “NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week will overlap this winter, creating the perfect storm of events where you can sit down indoors.

NYC Broadway Week begins first with two-for-one tickets to the best shows from January 16 through February 4. NYC Restaurant Week joins in on January 22, and it runs through February 9, offering lunches for $29 and dinner for $42.”

See TONY magazine:  Your guide to combining NYC Broadway Week and NYC Restaurant Week


Continuing Events

NYC Winter Jazzfest  (LAST DAY)
Various times and venues, Prices vary
“More than 130 acts perform in twelve venues over eight days during the annual stamina-testing NYC Winter Jazzfest, which kicks off Wednesday, January 10, with emerging British jazz acts The Comet Is Coming, saxophonist Nubya Garcia, and trumpeter Yazz Ahmed. Coming up, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane pays tribute to his mother, Alice; drummer Teri Lyne Carrington hosts an all-star celebration of the late pianist Geri Allen; and flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell explores a sci-fi musical utopia. The core of the festival, of course, is the weekend marathon. Bundle up Friday night to hear saxophonist Rudresh Mahathappa’s rhythmically elliptical Indo-Pak Coalition, drummer Ches Smith’s Haiti-centric We All Break, and experimental Brooklyn duo Sonnymoon at various locations. And explore the free-jazz outskirts at the New School on Saturday with power trio Harriet Tubman and the Sun Ra Arkestra’s live score to the Ra-written 1974 Afrofuturist film Space Is the Place.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

The New York Jewish Film Festival  (Jan.10-23)
Watch the screenings at Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center
at various times; $15
“A wide variety of documentaries, narrative films and retrospectives awaits you at this packed festival. Catch Italian comedy Let Yourself Go (January 13, January 14), West Bank doc West of the Jordan River (January 23) a restored screening of 1937 Yiddish film The Dybbuk (January 14, January 17), among many others.” (TONY)>mm


The Cousin, Directed by Tzahi Grad – 6:00pm

The Dead Nation, Directed by Radu Jude – 1:45pm

The Dybbuk, Directed by Michał Waszyński – 8:45pm

The Mission of Raoul Wallenberg, Directed by Alexander Rodnyanskiy – 3:45pm


Let there be light!
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.

Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
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:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — / 212-864-6662

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 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):


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)

Frick Collection

‘MURILLO: THE SELF-PORTRAITS’ (through Feb. 4, 2018). “Two flawlessly executed selfies by one of the leading painters of the Spanish Golden Age are united for the first time in centuries in this revealing, somewhat melancholy exhibition on mastery and aging. Around 1650, the thirtysomething Bartolomé Esteban Murillo painted himself as an ambitious young painter with pursed lips and arched eyebrows, staring out incongruously from a block of ancient marble. The young painter was already imagining himself as a man for the ages, but success seems to have worn down Murillo in the later self-portrait, from about 1670. His hair has grown thinner, he’s developed a double chin, and he extends his hand as if desperate to connect to us.” (Farago)

 Neue Galerie

‘WIENER WERKSTÄTTE, 1903-1932: THE LUXURY OF BEAUTY,’ (through Jan. 29).”Fruit bowls, umbrella stands, swanky wallpapers, lavish curtains: The only thing the Wiener Werkstätte couldn’t make is a profit. This substantial exhibition on the most important design firm in early-20th-century Vienna brings together more than 400 works of Modernist applied arts, designed in a new kind of studio that united artists and artisans in a single enterprise. Their rational, rectilinear creations, made of silver or pricey oak, won a following among imperial Vienna’s bourgeoisie, but perpetual cost overruns and the coming of war pushed the Wiener Werkstätte into decline. The 1920s were the last gasp for the firm, under the blingier designer Dagobert Peche, whose mirrors and cruets were as florid as his predecessors’ were straitlaced.” (Farago)

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today.” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish)

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER,’ (through Feb. 12).”A monument to a monument. With 133 drawings by the beyond-famous artist on loan from some 50 front-rank collections, this show is a curatorial coup and an art historical tour de force: a panoptic view of a titanic career as recorded in the most fragile of media: paper, chalk and ink. And it demands that you be fully present. Drawing is more than a graphic experience; it’s a textural one, about the pressure of crayon and pen on a page; the subliminal fade and focus of lines; the weave and shadow-creating swells of surfaces. These are effects that can’t be captured by a smartphone.” (Cotter)

‘JAPANESE BAMBOO ART: THE ABBEY COLLECTION’  (through Feb. 4, 2018). “This fabulous show celebrates Diane and Arthur Abbey’s gift of some 70 bamboo baskets and sculptures, which nearly doubles the Met’s already outstanding holdings in this genre and brings them into the 20th and 21st centuries. The curator has embedded this trove within what is essentially a second exhibition that traces bamboo’s presence through folding screens, ink paintings, porcelain, netsuke, kimonos and more.” (NYT-Roberta Smith) 212-535-7710,

DAVID HOCKNEY (through Feb.25, 2018) “For nearly 60 years, David Hockney (British, born 1937) has pursued a singular career with a love for painting and its intrinsic challenges. This major retrospective—the exhibition’s only North American venue—honors the artist in his 80th year by presenting his most iconic works and key moments of his career from 1960 to the present.

Working in a wide range of media with equal measures of wit and intelligence, Hockney has examined, probed, and questioned how to capture the perceived world of movement, space, and time in two dimensions. The exhibition offers a grand overview of the artist’s achievements across all media, including painting, drawing, photography, and video. From his early experiments with modernist abstraction and mid-career experiments with illusion and realism, to his most recent, jewel-toned landscapes, Hockney has consistently explored the nature of perception and representation with both intellectual rigor and sheer delight in the act of looking.” (Metropolitan Museum)

“Give it up for David Hockney, one of painting’s elder statesmen, and for his crystalline retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which proceeds in a string of perfectly curated mini-exhibitions. Check at the door the usual caveats and tsk-tsks regarding this wildly popular Anglo-Californian — that he’s a lightweight; that his “moment” was the ’60s; that he’s obvious. Suspend at least briefly the belief that a tragic vision, or abstraction, is essential for entry into art history’s pantheon.

No, Mr. Hockney, at 80, is not Jasper Johns or Gerhard Richter. But he has his own greatness, which flows from openly following his own desires — including his attraction to other men — while rigorously exploring the ways art and life feed each other, visually and emotionally. Full disclosure, forthright joy and forward motion are the dynamos of his art, which in my book at least, gives him an edge over Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon.” (NYT)

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) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) 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 01/15 and 01/13.

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