NYC Events,”Only the Best” (02/13) + 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.”


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

ANITA BAKER (Feb.13-14)
at Radio City Music Hall / 8 p.m.; $100+
“At 61, this R&B legend concluded what was billed as her farewell tour in 2018 with a star-studded finale in September that included appearances by Stevie Wonder, Lalah Hathaway and Kelly Rowland. Thankfully for fans, she’s back with this two-night run at Radio City. The “Giving You the Best That I Got” singer’s roster of hits may have helped define the quiet storm era, which started in the 1970s, but at recent live shows, she has sounded as vital and captivating as ever.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
>> Brian Charette: Music for Organ Sextette
>> Don Giovanni
>>Inside Chamber Music with Bruce Adolphe
>>Thundercat / Kamasi Washington
>> Selected Shorts: Dynamic Duos
Continuing Events 
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
>> Magic After Hours

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
(Le) Poisson Rouge / 8PM, $25+
“Seductive, nuanced, and in-your-face powerful.” – Latina
Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana brings the pride, power and passion of flamenco to (Le) Poisson Rouge with a dynamic cast of world-renowned artists. Experience this uniquely expressive art form in its most authentic setting as dancers and musicians come together in highly improvisational and virtuosic solos and duets in an intimate tablao (cafe-style) setting.”

Brian Charette: Music for Organ Sextette
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“The Brian Charette Organ Sextette is a funky take on the jazz organ band. Charette’s emphasis on creating music “more compositional, less soloistic, even though there are lots of solos” makes for a fast-paced performance, with a healthy balance of compositional intricacies and short, energetic solos. The Grammy Award–nominated Charette has worked with artists from Chaka Khan to Joni Mitchell, and he says this instrumental, woodwind-heavy sextet is “more informed by rock and hip hop than jazz.” Combined with Charette’s distinct and textural use of the organ, the Sextette has a tight, accessible, and highly danceable sound, while maintaining the subtlety and sophistication expected of jazz musicians.”

Don Giovanni (next Feb.16, 1PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $20+
“Baritone Peter Mattei and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni star as opera’s most notorious seducer in Mozart’s masterpiece of dark comedy. Cornelius Meister makes his Met debut conducting performances that also include sopranos Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Guanqun Yu as Donna Anna, sopranos Federica Lombardi and Susanna Phillips as Donna Elvira, and basses Ildar Abdrazakov and Adam Plachetka as Leporello.”

VICKY CHOW (Feb.12-16)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“An extraordinary new-music pianist appears in a five-concert residency, which includes a concert on Tuesday that features new works by Felipe Lara and Caroline Shaw, among others. On Wednesday Chow is joined by the composers Andy Akiho and Ian David Rosenbaum to play their pieces. And perhaps most enticingly of all, Philip Glass’s Études are spread over two nights on Thursday and Feb. 15.” (NYT-David Allen)

Inside Chamber Music with Bruce Adolphe
at Rose Studio / 6:30 PM, $25
“Join distinguished composer and radio personality Bruce Adolphe for investigations and insights into masterworks performed during the Alice Tully Hall season. Inside Chamber Music lectures are beloved by regulars and a revelation to first-timers for their depth, accessibility, and brilliance. Each lecture is supported by excerpts from the featured piece, performed live by CMS artists.”
Beethoven Sonata in G major for Violin and Piano, Op. 96 (1812)

Thundercat / Kamasi Washington (Feb.12-17)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“In 2015, Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed album “To Pimp a Butterfly” flung open a portal to new jazz for audiences previously unaware of or uninterested in the genre’s offerings. But the bassist and vocalist Thundercat and the saxophonist Kamasi Washington, both of whom appeared on that record, had already long been mainstays of L.A.’s bustling modern-jazz scene and members of the influential collective West Coast Get Down. On the 2017 album “Drunk,” Thundercat injects his sharp and freewheeling musicianship with whimsical flourishes, while “Heaven and Earth,” Washington’s ambitious double release from last year, is a transcendent meditation on jazz music’s past and present. This pair of Brainfeeder labelmates—each brilliant in his own right—are leaders of a charge that is reshaping the genre and triumphantly returning it to mainstream consciousness. Thundercat embarks on a six-night, fourteen-show residency at the Blue Note on Feb. 12.” (Briana Younger, NewYorker)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Selected Shorts: Dynamic Duos
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (at Symphony Space) / 7:30PM, $32+
“The popular public radio show and podcast returns to the Upper West Side for another evening of top-notch short fiction. At this edition, Joan Allen, Kyle MacLachlan, Lilli Cooper, Ethan Slater and others read tales featuring two characters.” (TONY)

“Lennon & McCartney, Laverne & Shirley, Thelma & Louise: some pairs were just meant to be. Join Selected Shorts as we celebrate great stories with a few of the best and brightest partnerships we know. Mutual admirers Joan Allen (Room, The Waverly Gallery) & Kyle MacLachlan (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks), SpongeBob SquarePants stars Lilli Cooper & Ethan Slater, and Tootsie stars Santino Fontana & Julie Halston perform compelling yarns featuring two characters. Married couple and comedic duo Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show, The Opposition with Jordan Klepper) & Laura Grey (RePlay, Rough Night) co-host and read a story. “


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)

♦ 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 02/11 and 02/09.

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