NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/01) + 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:  February 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:

“Underworld” (1927) with Alloy Orchestra
Brookfield Place, Winter Garden, 230 Vesey St./ 7:30PM, FREE
“Credited as the first-ever gangster flick, “Underworld” follows the schemes of “Bull” Weed and his partner “Rolls-Royce” Wensel, who falls for Weed’s girlfriend, “Feathers” McCoy. Things get heated when Weed’s rival gangster “Buck” Mulligan tries to take over his territory.

Alloy Orchestra has been playing to silent films since 1991 and do it with peculiar objects, electronic synthesizers and other instruments. They’ve performed at film festivals, The Louvre, Lincoln Center and more.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> J. D. ALLEN QUARTET
>>
PEDRO GIRAUDO TANGO QUARTET AND SOFIA TOSELLO
>> HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE

>> Stravinsky & Balanchine
>>THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS
>> Songs of Freedom
Continuing Events
>> Restaurant Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

J. D. ALLEN QUARTET (Feb.1-2)
at Smoke, 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $38
“One of today’s premier tenor saxophonists, Allen spent the last decade working with a steady trio, developing a sturdy but flexible sound based around minor melodies and bristling postbop rhythms. But he recently assembled a new trio featuring a couple of younger musicians, the bassist Ian Kenselaar and the drummer Nic Cacioppo. The early returns are good: An appearance at Winter Jazzfest, where the new trio was joined by the tenor saxophone luminary David Murray, showed how ably the young players have adapted to Allen’s personal style. This weekend the group performs with another of Allen’s frequent collaborators: the crisply expressive guitarist Liberty Ellman.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

PEDRO GIRAUDO TANGO QUARTET AND SOFIA TOSELLO
at Joe’s Pub / 9:30 p.m.; $20
“Giraudo is an Argentine bassist and composer who reinforces his love for tango with a mastery of Western classical and jazz vocabulary. He sometimes performs with a full orchestra, but he’s just as dazzling with his quartet — the group that appears on his 2018 album, “Vigor Tanguero,” which won a Latin Grammy for best tango album. Also on the bill is Sofia Tosello, a vocalist whose last album, “Lluvia Fue” (“Chamber Tango”), presents its own distinctive take on the tango tradition, mixing old songs and new.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

HYPNOTIC BRASS ENSEMBLE (Jan.31-Feb.3)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $
“The brass-band tradition is naturally associated with New Orleans, but Hypnotic proudly espouses its Chicago roots. With less marching-band thunder and more hip-hop swagger than, say, New Orleans’s Dirty Dozen Brass Band, this eight-piece ensemble mixes the influence of hip-hop, soul and gospel into a coolly grooving sound. And Chicago’s deep legacy as a cradle of experimental, Afrocentric jazz is never far away: All but one of Hypnotic’s members is a son of Kelan Philip Cohran, a patriarch of Chicago’s creative black music scene, who died in 2017.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (thru March 3)
Stravinsky & Balanchine (next Feb.02, 2PM)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $35+
“The company shows off its many personalities with four distinct programs. Friday night and Saturday afternoon highlight the relationship between Balanchine and Stravinsky in works like “Apollo” and “Agon,” while Sunday’s matinee gives an encore to new or revived works by Justin Peck, Kyle Abraham and William Forsythe. On Saturday and Wednesday night, the Classic NYCB program presents works by Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon and Mauro Bigonzetti and also includes Peck’s popular 2017 sneaker ballet “The Times Are Racing.” On Tuesday and Thursday, the company focuses on one of its guiding spirits, Jerome Robbins, with a program featuring “Interplay,” “In the Night” and “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

THUNDERBIRD AMERICAN INDIAN DANCERS (FEB.1-3)
at Theater for the New City / mm
“For its 44th annual performance and powwow, this Native American dance company, formed in 1963, offers a program of dance, stories and traditional music from the Northeast, the Southwest and the Great Plains tribes, along with “Silent Echoes of Time,” a contemporary work by Michael Taylor-Dancing Wolf. Inspired by Vietnam veterans, it will be shown at select performances. Other highlights include storytelling by Matoaka Eagle, a hoop dance by Marie Ponce and a deer dance from the Yaqui tribes of southern Arizona. The company’s director, Louis Mofsie, will serve as the M.C.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Songs of Freedom (Jan.31-Feb. 3)
Dizzy’s Club / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
In this program, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, and Abbey Lincoln—three of the mightiest voices of their eras—are fêted by the drummer and bandleader Ulysses Owens, Jr. He brings with him a cadre of inspired singers, including René Marie, Theo Bleckmann, and Alicia Olatuja, all of whom are primed to deliver righteous messages of candor and nonconformity.” (Steve Futterman NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

More smart stuff coming soon.

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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)

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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:

“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.

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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 01/30 and 01/28.

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