NYC Events,”Only the Best” (12/09) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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, 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.


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

at the Joyce Theater / 2PM; $60+
“Tharp takes inspiration from just about anything fit for a stage — from ballet to the circus to baton twirling — so she can sometimes feel like a stylistic maximalist. But early in her career, she caught the minimalism bug sweeping through the arts at the time. This nearly four-week engagement, called “Minimalism and Me,” focuses on works she created between 1965 and 1971. Among them are the now-classic “Tank Dive,” “The History of Up and Down” and “Eight Jelly Rolls,” a richly layered romp to music by the ragtime master Jelly Roll Morton.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> 45th Annual Merry Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center
>> Ben Allison & Think Free
>> “Peter and the Wolf”
Continuing Events
>>Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>>New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker”
>> Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

45th Annual Merry Tuba Christmas at Rockefeller Center
Hear a big brass band play beneath the Rockefeller tree
30 Rockefeller Plaza / 3:30PM, FREE
“Watch hundreds of tenor and bass tuba-toting musicians of all ages and hometowns gather on the rink at Rockefeller Center to play Christmas classics (you’re welcome to carol along!). This year marks the 45th anniversary of the tradition. Chris Wilhjelm, conductor of the famous Goldman band, will lead this year’s performance.” (thrillist)

at the Beacon Theater / 8PM, $100+
“Of the 1990s neo-soul artists who made a mainstream impact, the Brooklyn-born crooner Maxwell might have been the most unlikely: His delicate, understated style was hardly irresistible radio fodder (though his work has long been a staple of adult R&B stations), and his deliberate, complex ballads seemed ill suited to court anyone beyond R&B purists. Despite this outlier status, not long after Maxwell returned from a seven-year hiatus, he found himself surrounded by artists who took his influence and ran with it, like Miguel, Frank Ocean and Daniel Caesar. Now, Maxwell’s sound seems ubiquitous.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

at Alice Tully Hall / 5PM, $75+
“The Chamber Music Society has long given performances of Bach’s “Brandenburg” Concertos during the holiday season, and now that’s expanded into a larger Baroque project. Here the instrumental players are joined by the soprano Joélle Harvey in vocal music from Handel and Bach, as well as further pieces by Quantz and Vivaldi.” (NYT- David Allen)

Ben Allison & Think Free
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35-$45
“Bassist Ben Allison is an adventurous and versatile composer known for his inspired arrangements, inventive grooves, and hummable melodies. Allison draws from jazz, rock, folk, 20th century classical, and various world music traditions, blending them into a cinematic, cohesive whole while also leaving plenty of room for spontaneous improvisation. His Think Free quartet focuses on melody, groove, and texture in equal measure, engaging in the kind of group interplay that has become one of Allison’s stylistic hallmarks. Each of their first three albums topped the jazz radio charts in the United States (often remaining in the top ten for months), and their latest, Layers of the City, has been met with overwhelming critical acclaim. Music fans looking for something totally unique yet readily accessible will find these sets particularly rewarding.”

at Carnegie Hall / 2PM, $
“Under the title “Day and Night,” the superstar soprano gives a recital that covers an immense amount of ground. With Malcolm Martineau at the piano, she sings Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Strauss and more. The mezzo Jennifer Johnson Cano and the violinist David Chan are on hand to help.” (NYT- David Allen)

“Peter and the Wolf”
Guggenheim, Fifth Ave. at 89th St. / 2:30PM, +4PM, $45
“Prokofiev’s wonderful children’s work for narrator and chamber ensemble is both a fable about a headstrong boy and, cleverly, an introduction to the instruments of the orchestra. The hero is the young Peter, who disobeys his grandfather and is forced to solve a rather sticky situation involving a duck, a bird, and a hungry wolf. (Each character is matched with a corresponding instrument and musical motif.) In this chamber production for “Works & Process,” which has become something of a holiday standard, the style guru Isaac Mizrahi narrates, his delivery alternately avuncular and sassy. The backup band is the excellent Ensemble Signal, and the action is played out in dance and pantomime by members of Dance Heginbotham.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

at New York City Center / 3PM, +7:30PM, $30+
“In 1958, a small group of African-American dancers performed at the 92Y, and now, six decades later, that company is one of the largest and most popular modern dance troupes in the country. Still to come this season are works by Ronald K. Brown, Jessica Lang and a new two-act creation by the hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris called “Lazarus,” inspired by Ailey’s life.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)
    See a Sugar Plum-free ballet
“Skip The Nutcracker and its derivatives and catch the premiere weekend of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Lazarus, instead. Hip-hop master Rennie Harris is the brains behind this two-act ballet, which addresses the racial inequality Ailey faced when he founded his dance company in 1958 — inequality that continues to plague America 60 years later.” (Thrillist)


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

More Smart Stuff coming soon.


Continuing Events

So much going on in this town over the holidays. Too many events & performances to list here. For a much fuller list, expanding every day, check out the tab above: “Holidays.”

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy the Holiday Shops, The Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Holiday Shops are open through January 2, 2019.

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 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)

New York City Ballet / “The Nutcracker” (Through Dec. 30)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / various times, $40

“New York City Ballet continues performances of its acclaimed 1954 production that would melt the Scroogiest of hearts. The elaborate staging includes a one-ton Christmas tree that grows from a 12 feet to 41 feet and an 85-pound, nine-feet wide Mother Ginger. The ballet highlights dozens of talented and adorable children from the School of American Ballet, but the star of the show isn’t just one dancer but a bevy of Snowflakes. Their waltz — full of beauty and daring — will take your breath away. ” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)


Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes  (Nov.09- Jan.01)
Radio City Music Hall / various times, $46+
“There’s more great precision dancing than ever in the show’s current edition, which was revamped in 2007 and tweaked again this year. Glamorously outfitted in a series of eye-popping costumes, the Rockettes perform on a double-decker bus, a sparkly staircase and a snowy forest and enact a lightning-fast version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Not to worry: They’re still doing the classic “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” number, too. Each scene is enhanced by video backdrops displayed on one of the world’s largest LED screens.”

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.


Bonus NYC 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.,, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St.,, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St.,, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St.,, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St.,, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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 discovery and enjoyment.

Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here is one exhibition the New Yorker likes:

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide ( Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try this NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 12/07 and 12/05.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s