NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/09) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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:

Elizabeth Streb + Dr. John W. Krakauer |
The Power of Practice and Learning to Fly
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St./ 3PM, $28
“Defy gravity at this conversation between neuroscientist John Krakauer and “action architect” Elizabeth Streb on whether humans can do anything with enough practice—even fly.” (ThoughtGallery)

Can practice allow you to master anything? Neuroscientist John Krakauer has been tracking long-term motor skill learning and its relation to higher cognitive processes such as decision-making. He believes humans can become amazingly good at almost anything—with practice. But what about something like flying?

Action architect Elizabeth Streb has been on a mission to achieve human flight for decades through her daring work that tests the potential of the human body. An invitation to perform at the one-hundredth anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk attests to her ambition to accomplish the impossible. What combination of functions in body and brain does it take to defy gravity?

Here is what the New York Times says about the members of Elizabeth Streb’s company, STREB EXTREME ACTION:

“her fearless team of action heroes, as they’re called, will navigate intimidating industrial contraptions and fling themselves from unnatural heights, seemingly defying physics with the pep of cheerleaders. The hourlong show, “S.E.A.” (“Singular Extreme Actions”), encapsulates all the thrill, humor and energizing fun that makes this company so singular.”

You have to see them to believe it.
Rehearsals – Free and Open to the Public
February 12 – 15, 11:30am – 3:30pm
February 26 – March 1, 11:30am – 3:30pm
March 5 – 8, 11:30am – 3:30pm

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Sharon Van Etten,
>> Declan O’Rourke: Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine
>>
The New Drum Battle
>> Victor Wooten
>> Freddy Cole Quintet: Songs for Lovers
>> Lunar New Year 2019
>> Brooklyn Wine Fest.

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

Sharon Van Etten,
Soothe yourself with music.
Beacon Theatre / 8PM, $55+
“Sharon Van Etten’s first LP in over four years, Remind Me Tomorrow, is as expansive as her life now — while writing it she also completed a psychology degree, had a baby, scored TV shows and film, and guest-starred on a Netflix show. Special guest Fred Armisen joins her in eschewing her former guitar-driven minimalism for a new pop style.” (grubstreet)

Declan O’Rourke: Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine  
Explore history through performance.
Irish Arts Center / $60
“Through Sunday, the Irish Arts Center presents singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke’s song cycle Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine, which won a 2018 RTÉ Radio One Folk Award, by combining true and fictional stories of history and O’Rourke’s life.” (grubstreet)

Victor Wooten
Iridium / 8PM, +10PM, $58+
“Best known as the longtime bassist of Bela Fleck’s Flecktones, Wooten’s turned up in various capacities in the city the past several years, including alongside Chick Corea for the keyboard pioneer’s 75th birthday celebration. No telling whether he’s helming his own funky ensemble here or blowing through fiery solo improvisations, but you can certainly expect to be awed.” (TONY)

The New Drum Battle
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, (btw105/106 St.) /
“Drum battles aren’t occasions for making nice; little blood is shed, but there’s always plenty of sweat and possibly even tears left on the bandstand. Kenny Washington and Joe Farnsworth, the two combatants at this now annual event, have the hard-bop ethos of competitive respect deep in their bones. The esteemed pianist Harold Mabern, a veteran player who has presumably experienced similar gladiatorial matches in his time, is in the accompanying ensemble.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Freddy Cole Quintet: Songs for Lovers (Feb.7-10)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $25-$45
“Freddy has an impeccable sense of swing… the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive.” – The New York Times

“Whatever the accompaniment, Cole extracts the maximum from each tune asserting his stature as our greatest living jazz singer.” – DownBeat

Referred to as a “national treasure” by the Huffington Post, jazz pianist and singer Freddy Cole is a prolific artist of undisputed pedigree. Building his career at the same time as his brother, the iconic Nat “King” Cole, it was never going to be easy for Cole to establish his own musical identity. However, with 20 albums released in just the last 25 years, three of which were nominated for Grammy Awards, Cole has carved out a reputation as an individual and prolific force in the jazz world. Amongst the greatest contemporary crooners, Cole’s sensitivity and effortlessly powerful delivery make him an enduring favorite in our most intimate venue and a perfect artist to enjoy this Valentine’s Day week.

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Lunar New Year 2019
Brookfield Place, Winter Garden/ 2PM,FREE
“Happy Year of the Pig! At Brookfield Place on Saturday, in partnership with the New York Chinese Cultural Center, they’re celebrating with traditional dances, a martial arts demonstration, and theatrical players.” (grubstreet)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
Brooklyn Wine Fest.
Turn your heartbroken tears into wine
Brooklyn Expo Center / $70, food available at additional cost
“Whether you’re a Chardonnay chick or live and breathe for Pinot Noir, you’ll have reason to keep your cup full at Brooklyn Wine Fest. Love yourself and drink up. The Brooklyn Expo Center extravaganza grants you access to a global selection of vino, as well as live music and games. Your ticket gets you a 5-ounce souvenir cup and unlimited wine samples and sips.” (Thrillist)

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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: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

Whitney Museum of American Art

‘ANDY WARHOL — FROM A TO B AND BACK AGAIN’  (through March 31) “Although this is the artist’s first full American retrospective in 31 years, he’s been so much with us — in museums, galleries, auctions — as to make him, like wallpaper, like the atmosphere, only half-noticed. The Whitney show restores him to a full, commanding view, but does so in a carefully shaped and edited way, with an emphasis on very early and late work. Despite the show’s monumentalizing size, supplemented by an off-site display of the enormous multipanel painting called “Shadows,” it’s a human-scale Warhol we see. Largely absent is the artist-entrepreneur who is taken as a prophet of our market-addled present. What we have instead is Warhol for whom art, whatever else it was, was an expression of personal hopes and fears.”  (Cotter)

Museum of Modern Art

‘BRUCE NAUMAN: DISAPPEARING ACTS’  (through Feb. 18)
“If art isn’t basically about life and death, and the emotions and ethics they inspire, what is it about? Style? Taste? Auction results? The most interesting artists go right for the big, uncool existential stuff, which is what Bruce Nauman does in a transfixing half-century retrospective that fills the entire sixth floor of the MoMA and much of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. The MoMA installation is tightly paced and high decibel; the one at PS1, which includes a trove of works on paper, is comparatively mellow and mournful. Each location offers a rough chronological overview of his career, but catching both parts of the show is imperative. Nauman has changed the way we define what art is and what is art, and made work prescient of the morally wrenching American moment we’re in. He deserves to be seen in full.” (Cotter)

‘CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI SCULPTURE: THE FILMS’ (through Feb. 18).
“This show is built around works by the Romanian modernist (1876-1957) that have been longtime highlights of the museum’s own collection. But in 2018, can Brancusi still release our inner poet? The answer may lie in paying less attention to the sculptures themselves and more to Brancusi’s little-known and quite amazing films, projected at the entrance to the gallery throughout the duration of the exhibition. MoMA borrowed the series of video clips from the Pompidou Center in Paris. They give the feeling that Brancusi was less interested in making fancy museum objects than in putting new kinds of almost-living things into the world, and convey the vital energy his sculptures were meant to capture.”(Blake Gopnik)

Museum of Art and Design

‘STERLING RUBY: CERAMICS’  (through March 17).
“Adept at most art mediums, this artist is at his best in ceramics, especially in the outsize, awkwardly hand-built, resplendently glazed baskets, ashtrays and plates and the objects that verge on sculpture in this show. These works actively incorporate accident and aspects of the ready-made, have precedents in the large-scale ceramics of Peter Voulkos and Viola Frey, but may be closest in spirit to the Neo-Expressionism of Julian Schnabel — rehabilitated, of course.” (Smith – NYT)

American Folk Art Museum

‘PAA JOE: GATES OF NO RETURN’  (through Feb. 24).

“Joseph Tetteh Ashong, better known as Paa Joe, is Ghana’s pre-eminent funerary carpenter, turning out thousands of brightly colored lions, soda bottles and automobiles for people to be buried in. Most of his exuberant pieces enjoy the light of day for only a few hours before they disappear into the ground. But in 2004, Paa Joe was commissioned by the art dealer and gallerist Claude Simard to make casket-size hardwood models of 13 former Gold Coast slave forts, and seven of them are now at AFAM. Thanks to Paa Joe’s gift for transmuting even the most complex and brutal material into a cheerful expression of his own artistic temperament, the works’ undeniable conceptual weight doesn’t hamper the overwhelming visual pleasure.” (Will Heinrich-NYT)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 02/07 and 02/05.
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