NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/24) + 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, 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:

Kacey Musgraves (Jan.24-25)
Beacon Theatre, Broadway at 74th St./ 8PM, $135+
“The history of music and psychedelics is as vast as it is colorful. Last year, Kacey Musgraves added a remarkable chapter with her chromatic country-pop (and Grammy-nominated) album “Golden Hour.” Only two of the songs are said to be the souvenirs of a trip, but one of them, the serenely crawling “Slow Burn,” became the record’s opening track and set the tone for what has become the singer-songwriter’s shining moment. A sense of euphoria blankets the entire project, bestowing both kiss-off ballads and breezy anthems with a Zen-like calm—breaking up has never sounded as gorgeously hopeful as it does on “Space Cowboy.” Jan. 25-26, Musgraves plays Beacon Theatre, where the lines between happy and sad (to borrow her lyric) will blur until they disappear altogether.” (Briana Younger, NewYorker)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> ‘IOLANTA’ AND ‘BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE’ 
>> INGRID JENSEN QUINTET
>> Vijay Iyer
>> Donny McCaslin
>> Ann Hampton Callaway

>> New York Boat Show

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

‘IOLANTA’ AND ‘BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE’   (next Jan.28, 7:30PM)
at the Metropolitan Opera / 8PM, $30+
“Marius Trelinski’s dark, fascinating juxtaposition of these one-act operas by Tchaikovsky and Bartok is one of the most bracing examples of directorial entrepreneurship to have reached the Met’s stage in recent years, and here it makes its first return since its debut in 2015. The cast is excellent: Sonya Yoncheva takes on the title role in “Iolanta,” with Matthew Polenzani as Vaudémont; in the Bartok, Gerald Finley is Bluebeard and Angela Denoke is Judith. Henrik Nanasi conducts.” (NYT-David Allen)

INGRID JENSEN QUINTET (Jan. 23-26)
at the Birdland Theater / 7 and 9:45 p.m.; $30
“A trumpeter who’s as versatile as she is vigorous, Jensen released a standout album last year with the tenor saxophonist Steve Treseler. Titled “Invisible Sounds,” it pays tribute to Kenny Wheeler, an influential trumpeter and composer who died in 2014. Jensen and Treseler reinterpret nine of Wheeler’s compositions, which tend to be lyrical and songlike, whether moving at a quick clip or drifting as slowly as cloud cover. Though Jensen is the nominal bandleader for the gigs on Wednesday and Jan. 24, Treseler will also be there; they’ll be joined by Christine Tobin on vocals, Gary Versace on piano, Martin Wind on bass and Jon Wikan on drums. On Jan. 25 and 26, Jensen will revisit the material from her 2003 disc, “Project O,” with the pianist Gary Versace, the bassist Richie Goods and the drummer Jon Wikan. (The tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm will sit in on Jan. 25 only.) (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Vijay Iyer (Jan.22-27)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“With a Whitmanesque musical presence, the pianist, composer, bandleader, and 2013 MacArthur Fellow Vijay Iyer contains multitudes: his of-the-moment playing and writing can be strikingly baroque or emotively spare, with plenty of compelling stops at points in between. His six-night run here offers a nice taste of his multifarious nature; it includes three performances with his acclaimed sextet, two with his trio of the bassist Linda May Han Oh and the drummer Tyshawn Sorey, and one with the Ritual Ensemble, which integrates Indian classical music, propelled by the percussive mridanga.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Donny McCaslin (Jan. 22-27)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“The qualities that drew David Bowie to Donny McCaslin—the passionate saxophonist and his band are the core unit on the rock icon’s final album, “Blackstar”—are still firmly in place. In particular, McCaslin maintains a willingness to explore the increasingly porous boundaries between jazz and other contemporary genres. His rip-roaring quartet includes the keyboardist Jason Lindner and the drummer Mark Guiliana, who is an influential instrumentalist in his own right.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Ann Hampton Callaway (Jan.23-26)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $30-$40
“Tony nominee Ann Hampton Callaway, one of the leading pop/jazz singers of our time, has created an exciting night of songs and stories in celebration of one of America’s most beloved artists, Linda Ronstadt!

This show celebrates the many faces of love in Ronstadt’s iconic songs from her Stone Poney Days like “Different Drum” and “Long Long Time” to pop/rock classics like “You’re No Good,” and “Desperado” to unforgettable classics from her three Nelson Riddle albums like “What’s New” and “Am I Blue,” to her iconic duets which Callaway will perform with her brilliant MD, Billy Stritch.”

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events

New York Boat Show (Jan.23-27)
Javits Center / 12PM, $16
“If your life, your love and your lady is the sea, then you’ll be more than satisfied by this five-day nautical convention, which features a vast variety of yachts, sailboats and more. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to sharpen your boating skills with interactive workshops. Little ones can build their own miniature wooden vessels at the Create-a-Boat station. And for the first time, the Icon A5 Aircraft (a sports plane with wings that fold back) makes its NY Boat Show review.” (TONY)

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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 events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

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 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
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.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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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)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future (thru 02/03/19)

“Convinced that the world was not ready for her artistry in 1906, particularly as an underrepresented female in her field, af Klint of Sweden kept her work private. Her paintings anticipated by years “breakthroughs” by Kandinsky, Mondrian and others and were unseen before 1986. The Guggenheim rediscovers her.”

“Recognized as one of the art world’s earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.” (Newsday)

See our art critic’s top pick of the year.
“Luckily, the number-one pick in Jerry Saltz’s best art shows of 2018 is still running. Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum examines the work of the unacknowledged Swedish visionary and makes a case for her being the first modernist abstract painter. Saltz is especially enamored with the first gallery, so make sure you spend some time there.” (NYMagazine)

GD: Definitely worth a visit. af Klint was like the original Kandinsky and it’s interesting to see both of their works in the same museum, even if not side-by-side.

‘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

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 for NewYorkers)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

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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) for NewYorkers

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 01/16 and 01/14.
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