NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/04) + 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.

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

Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Birdland, 315 W44th St./ 9PM +11PM, $30
imgres “Grammy Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill — leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (NY Times) — was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He played piano in Carla Bley’s Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte.

The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is the resident large format ensemble of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) founded by Arturo O’Farrill in 2007 and dedicated to preserving the music and heritage of big band Latin jazz.”

Oh yeah, there is that football game, too. TONY magazine has it all covered.

Super Bowl Sunday Events in NYC at various locations and times; various prices
Craving beer and wings? You’ll find your favorite tailgating delicacies and more at these Super Bowl events. NYC offers many spots where you can celebrate the big game, which is convenient in case you live in a pint-size apartment without a TV. You don’t have to miss a single moment (including the best super bowl halftime shows) thanks to the best sports bars in NYC. Better yet, many of them are hosting Super Bowl celebrations with bar food and snacks, plus amazing drink specials so you can have a party without the clean-up.

Now all we need is for the Eagles to fly tonight.

Go Birds!

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>JOOLS HOLLAND
>> COMPAGNIE HERVÉ KOUBI
>> MARY HALVORSON
>> Jamison Ross
>>The State of America: Divisions, Decline or Renewal?
>> Judy Blumesday
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

JOOLS HOLLAND
at Blue Note / 8 pm and 10:30 pm, $40-$55
“If you’ve ever hummed along to “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” or another of the new-wave classics Squeeze released between 1978 and 1980, you’ve likely enjoyed Jools Holland’s genial piano and keyboard work. Mr. Holland, who left that band in 1981, is better known today as the host of a long-running BBC2 show, but he continues to record music that falls somewhere between supper-club jazz and smooth R&B. These twice-nightly engagements in the West Village are his first performances in the United States in well over a decade.” (NYT-SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON)

COMPAGNIE HERVÉ KOUBI
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM, $66 (only a few left)
“The French company unveils the highly physical “What the Day Owes to the Night,” a work for 12 French-Algerian and African dancers. Choreographed by Mr. Koubi, it is inspired by his father’s revelation that his family hailed not from France, but from Algeria. They learned the news at his deathbed. The resulting production, which features capoeira, martial arts and contemporary dance, is Mr. Koubi’s energetic exploration of his roots.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)

MARY HALVORSON (LAST DAY).
at the Stone / 8:30PM, $
“Ms. Halvorson — whose crinkly, caustic sound makes her one of the most distinctive guitarists in improvised music — will begin her weeklong residency at the Stone with aa triplicate of duets. She’ll play with the drummer Randy Peterson on Tuesday, the guitarist Liberty Ellman on Wednesday and the guitarist Ben Monder on Thursday. On Feb. 2, she expands to a trio (with John Hébert on bass and Ches Smith on drums); over weekend she plays with a different quartet each night.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Jamison Ross (LAST DAY)
The Jazz Standard / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $30
“The winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for the drums, Jamison Ross continues his graceful, gradual transition as a top-flight jazz singer on his excellent second full-length for Concord, All for One. The 29-year-old cites the 1964 Marvin Gaye LP When I’m Alone I Cry as a key influence here, but it’s his current home of New Orleans that ultimately proves to be the creative beacon for this collection of cool covers and poignant originals.

Renditions of Alan Toussaint’s 1966 hit for Lee Dorsey (“A Mellow Time”) and the 1993 Willie Tee single that serves as the title cut emit a sweet, soulful sentiment — something at the intersection of Donny Hathaway and the Neville Brothers. Nods to such early-twentieth-century greats as Kurt Weill (“My Ship”) and Fats Waller (“Let’s Sing Again”) add further credence to Ross’s growth as a singer and bandleader beyond the drumstand. If you’re a fan of the bold paths vocal jazz is taking in 2018, you should make a point to see Ross during his four-night stand at the Standard.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

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

The State of America: Divisions, Decline or Renewal?
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 5PM, $35
“After one year of Trump, are America’s divisions intractable and a sign of decline?

How are we coping with internal and external challenges? Is renewal and recovery possible? Can we remain number one?

Ralph Buultjens – For more than 15 years, 92Y audiences have relished the clarity and thoughtfulness Ralph Buultjens brings to discussions of foreign affairs.”

Judy Blumesday
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway/ 6PM, $26+
“In addition to her multitude of fans, Judy Blume has inspired a legion of writers throughout her decades-long career. Led by Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings), a team of talented authors and actors including Molly Ringwald (Riverdale), Samantha Bee (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee), Tavi Gevinson (Rookie), Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens), Jenna Ushkowitz (Glee), and Chloë Sevigny (American Horror Story) gather to share stories and perform selections from the tantalizing, naughty, and hilarious grown-up works that solidified Blume as a unique talent and often controversial literary figure. With a rare NYC appearance by Judy Blume herself, this evening is for adults only!

In celebration of Judy Blume’s 80th birthday, Symphony Space is paying tribute to this beloved author with Judy Blumesday, an afternoon and evening of readings and discussion with two unique events designed for Blume fans of all ages.”

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BONUS:
Last day to Try  a double header. “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

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Continuing Events

‘MICHELANGELO: DIVINE DRAFTSMAN AND DESIGNER’
Metropolitan Museum of Art (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-NYT)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

The art world has been agog about this exhibition for sometime. One critic after another exclaims that it is the “Exhibition of a lifetime!” The hype has been over the top. Usually that means you’ll be disappointed when you actually experience it, because it couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. Not this time.

This is a huge and marvelous exhibition that shows the evolution of Michelangelo from a young artist to a mature, divine genius. An exhibition that you will remember for sometime. Even the works of other artists that are included for contrast and context are amazing.

Here are a few reviews from the critics to give you a fuller flavor of this exhibition. They strongly encourage you to make the time to see this “once in a lifetime” exhibition. I also encourage you to see it.

Only 09 days left, because the exhibition closes February 12, and that last week it will probably be crazy packed.

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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.

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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, 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 – UG, 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 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.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
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’ (LAST DAY). “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)

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. mcny.org” (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)

‘JAPANESE BAMBOO ART: THE ABBEY COLLECTION’  (LAST DAY). “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, metmuseum.org

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)

‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER: JOSEPH CORNELL’S HOMAGE TO JUAN GRIS’ (through April 15). “This small, hyper-specialized, stunning exhibition brings together a grand total of only 13 works — a dozen shadow boxes by Joseph Cornell, the Queens-based assemblage artist, and a Cubist masterwork that he cited as their direct inspiration. Gris’s “Man at the Café” (1914) might seem like a surprising obsession for Cornell, who was not a painter nor a Frenchman. He and Gris never met. But Cornell was deeply moved by Gris, the overlooked, tagalong third in the Cubist movement that also included Picasso and Braque, and the show succeeds in tracking the fluttery ways of artistic inspiration.”
(Deborah Solomon)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘THE FACE OF DYNASTY: ROYAL CRESTS FROM WESTERN CAMEROON’ (through Sept. 3). “Upstairs, the Michelangelos continue to knock ‘em dead; downstairs, in the African wing, a show of just four commanding wooden crowns constitutes a blockbuster of its own. These massive wooden crests — in the form of stylized human faces with vast vertical brows — served as markers of royal power among the Bamileke peoples of the Cameroonian grasslands, and the Met’s recent acquisition of an 18th-century specimen is joined here by three later examples, each featuring sharply protruding cheeks, broadly smiling mouths, and brows incised with involute geometric patterns. Ritual objects like these were decisive for the development of western modernist painting, and a Cameroonian crest was even shown at MoMA in the 1930s, as a “sculpture” divorced from ethnography. But these crests had legal and diplomatic significance as well as aesthetic appeal, and their anonymous African creators had a political understanding of art not so far from our own.” (Farago)

Jewish Museum.

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’  “After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

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