NYC Events,”Only the Best” (01/26) + 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.”


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

The New York Times Travel Show (Jan.26-27)
Plan your next getaway
Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St.,/ 10AM-6PM, $20, free under 18
“Indulge your wanderlust at the New York Times Travel Show and start daydreaming about your next vacation. The year’s largest industry show about all things travel brings more than 550 exhibitors representing 170 destinations, plus expert panels, cultural performances and family activities.”(METRO)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Cookers

>> Kacey Musgraves
>> Ann Hampton Callaway

>> Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival
>> Animation First
>> New York Boat Show

Continuing Events
Restaurant Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours


Music, Dance, Performing Arts

The Cookers (Jan.24-27)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 6:30PM, 8:30PM, $25+
“Jazz veterans, colleagues, and kindred spirits Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Billy Hart, and David Weiss forge a world-class union. Taking their group name from a 1965 Freddie Hubbard album, The Night of the Cookers: Live at Club La Marchal, this exciting all-star sextet summons an aggressive mid-1960s spirit. Their repertoire includes a potent collection of expansive post-bop originals, marked by the requisite killer instincts and pyrotechnic playing expected of the scene’s heaviest hitters.

Trumpeter and bandleader Weiss says of the group: “They came up at a time when this music was at its most vital and exciting and was part of something epic and historic, yet they are still going strong, playing with the same freedom, passion, and intensity that encompassed this great music.” The depth and power of their music speaks of the seasoned track record of its members, who, combined, have over 250 years of experience in the jazz world and have been a part of over 1,000 recordings.”

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)

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.”

Kacey Musgraves (Jan.24-26)
Beacon Theatre, Broadway at 74th St./ 8PM, $113+
“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)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events

Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival
Pig out and drink up
The Tunnel, 608 W. 28th St.,/ 5:30-9:30PM, $99
“Sample southern delights at the ninth annual Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival. The early (noon-4pm) session is sold out online, but you may still be able to nab a ticket on site for bites of alligator, lamb, bison, and “exotic smoked meats.” You can still score advance tickets to round two (5:30-9:30pm) to pig out on pulled pork, ribs, briskets, and, naturally, plenty of sauce. Each sesh includes unlimited beer and bourbon sips.” (

Animation First
See French animated films
“Animation First, a festival dedicated to French animation, includes features, shorts and selections from the renowned Annecy International Animation Film Festival. Be aware that some programs may contain adult content.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Friday through Sunday, Jan. 25 to 27, at French Institute Alliance Francaise, 22 E. 60th St., Manhattan
INFO Tickets $10 to $25, passes $40 to $120;

New York Boat Show (Jan.23-27)
Javits Center / 10AM-9PM, $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)


Continuing Events

Restaurant Week (January 21 to February 10)
“Some of New York’s best known “deal holidays,” including NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Broadway Week, are joining forces this winter to create, wait for it… NYC Winter Outing.

From January 21 to February 10, NYC Broadway Week, NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Must-See Week will all be running simultaneously offering full nights out for drastically reduced rates. During this time, a selection of Broadway shows, museums, attractions and tours will be available at two-for-one prices and almost 400 restaurants across the city will be offering prix-fixe menus. As in previous years, that means $26 prix-fix lunches and $42, three-course dinners.

For more information on Restaurant Week, including our recommendations for the best deals to take advantage of this season, check out our NYC Restaurant Week page.” (TONY)

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)

♦ 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.


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:

“God Made My Face”  (Through Feb. 16)

“This beautifully calibrated group exhibition, organized by Hilton Als, a staff writer at this magazine, is subtitled “A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin.” The thesis of the stirring visual essay is that Baldwin has become a stock character—a civil-rights prophet—and that this, however powerful, is a diminishment of the man. Als fleshes out his portrait with a daringly eclectic assortment of art works and documents, which shift in tone from rapturous (paintings by Beauford Delaney and Alice Neel) to harrowing (a fever-dream animation about the antebellum South by Kara Walker). Portraits of the writer by his lifelong friend Richard Avedon hang on the walls, along with a stark one of Michael Jackson dwarfed by his shadow, shot by Anthony Barboza—a prescient portrait of a black man subsumed by his legacy. Photographs of buildings in Belle Époque Paris, by Eugene Atget, establish Baldwin the boulevardier; photographs of the piers in Manhattan, taken by Alvin Baltrop during the pre-AIDS heyday of gay liberation, convey carnal desire. Each choice by Als eloquently amplifies the polyphony of Baldwin’s voice.” (

Zwirner, 533 W. 19th St.


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 01/24 and 01/22.

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