NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/20) + 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:  January NYC Events”
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.
To make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

Ute Lemper: Rendezvous with Marlene
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 7PM, $30
“Whether attracting or repelling her audiences, international chanteuse Lemper is never less than magnetic. Her style is perversely polymorphic: One moment she might tear into a song with predatory hunger, then she might purr out a dreamy croon or toss back her head for a brassy squeal of jazz. Her newest set is inspired by a long conversation she shared with languid legend Marlene Dietrich in 1988.” (TONY)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Al Foster’s Birthday Bash
>> The Crossing Tour – Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio
>> EMMET COHEN TRIO WITH RON CARTER
>> Eddie Palmieri
>> Zlatne Uste Golden Festival

>> Al Foster’s Birthday Bash
>> Unsung Champions of Civil Rights from MLK to Today

Continuing Events
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Al Foster’s Birthday Bash (Jan.18-20.)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7, 9, 10:30; $40
“The indefatigable drummer Al Foster celebrates his seventy-fifth birthday by manning an appropriately kinetic quintet that includes the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and the saxophonist Dayna Stephens. Foster, who has stirred up rhythms for the likes of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and McCoy Tyner, among a wide swath of other luminaries, remains a powerhouse percussionist with a poet’s touch.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

The Crossing Tour – Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio
City Winery / 8PM, $35-$45
“Crossing borders, jumping barriers, taking risks, betting it all: that’s the path Alejandro Escovedo has been taking in his lifelong search for the heart of rock and roll.

Aleandro’s new album, The Crossing is about that journey: searching, but not necessarily finding, eyes and ears open all the way. The Crossing tells the tale of two boys, one from Mexico, one from Italy, who meet in Texas to chase their American rock and roll dreams. They discover a not-so-welcoming, very different place from the Promised Land they imagined, with cameos from the likes of Wayne Kramer of the MC5, Joe Ely and James Williamson of the Stooges to show the boys the way.”

EMMET COHEN TRIO WITH RON CARTER (Jan. 15-20)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
“Cohen is a young piano virtuoso with a delicate touch and an assured, swaggering swing feel; he has endeared himself to some of the most imposing figures in straight-ahead jazz, and plays in bands led by the bassist Christian McBride and the drummer Herlin Riley. But there may be no living jazz musician with more cachet than Ron Carter, the 81-year-old bassist and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master — and technically Cohen counts him as a side musician. On the album that Cohen, Carter and the drummer Evan Sherman released in 2018, Carter’s slippery bass and Cohen’s debonair flow are all sorts of simpatico.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Eddie Palmieri (Jan.15-20)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
Eddie Palmieri’s new album, “Mi Luz Mayor,” is dedicated to his late wife, Iraida, and includes songs they would dance to; judging from the propulsive performances that this giant of Latin music elicits from his crack orchestra, the couple must have cut quite a rug. Fusing idiomatic sounds from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and other Latin-American locales with modern jazz, Palmieri’s music defines multicultural New York as indelibly as any sound that has arisen from its streets.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Elsewhere, but Balkan brass bands are always worth the detour:
Zlatne Uste Golden Festival (Jan.18-20)
Good times the Balkan way
Grand Prospect Hall, 263 Prospect Ave., Brooklyn/ $30-$45
“Who doesn’t love some brassy, foot-tapping Balkan music — especially live, thundering through a giant hall with beer on tap? The Zlatne Uste Golden Festival brings two days of rousing dance music from over 60 artists to Grand Prospect Hall. Stay fueled with authentic regional cuisine and browse the Balkan Market upstairs, where they sell music, art, jewelry, textiles and more.” (Metro)

Al Foster’s Birthday Bash (Jan.18-20.)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“The indefatigable drummer Al Foster celebrates his seventy-fifth birthday by manning an appropriately kinetic quintet that includes the trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and the saxophonist Dayna Stephens. Foster, who has stirred up rhythms for the likes of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and McCoy Tyner, among a wide swath of other luminaries, remains a powerhouse percussionist with a poet’s touch.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

Unsung Champions of Civil Rights from MLK to Today
The Apollo Theater / 3 PM, FREE, RSVP required
“WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning host Brian Lehrer and Jami Floyd, local host of All Things Considered, will moderate meaningful conversations examining Dr. King’s legacy and its impact on modern social justice movements.

Through a lively mix of one-on-one interviews and panels featuring notable guests, we will commemorate the legacy of Dr. King. Unsung Champions of Civil Rights from MLK to Today will also place special emphasis on some of the lesser-known names who, nevertheless, were crucial in making both the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and today’s social issue movements successful.”

The Outsider Art Fair (Jan.18-20)
See accessible art
Metropolitan Pavilion / $24-$53
“The Outsider Art Fair, which spotlights art brut and self-taught artists, returns to NYC at the Metropolitan Pavilion this weekend. You’ll see displays by 67 exhibitors from 37 cities and seven countries. Curations include a tribute to the late art dealer Phyllis Kind, and Good Kids: Underground Comics from China, a collection of non-conformist zines and original drawings.” (Thrillist)

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Continuing Events

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


Magic After Hours
Tannen’s Magic, Midtown West (Until Dec 31 2019)

“Twice a week, after closing time, 20 people crowd into the city’s oldest magic shop, Tannen’s, for a cozy evening of prestidigitation by the young and engaging Noah Levine. The shelves are crammed with quirky devices; there’s a file cabinet behind the counter, a mock elephant in the corner and bins of individual trick instructions in plastic covers, like comic books or sheet music. The charm of Levine’s show is in how well it fits the environment of this magic-geek chamber of secrets. As he maneuvers cards, eggs, cups and balls with aplomb, he talks shop, larding his patter with tributes to routines like the Stencel Aces and the Vernon Boat Trick—heirlooms of his trade that he gently polishes and displays for our amazement.” (TONY)

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♦ 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 65 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.

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

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. 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 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.
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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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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:

MM

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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 (nycgo.com) 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.) “

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 01/18 and 01/16.

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