NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/09) + 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:  March 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:

The Armory Show (Mar.7-10)
Piers 90, 92, 94 / 12-8PM, $52
“The Armory Show is a top international art fair devoted to the most important artworks of the 20th and 21st centuries. The show combines a selection of the world’s leading galleries—more than 200 of them from 30 countries around the world—with an unsurpassed program of art events and exhibitions at the fair venue and throughout New York City.” (nycgo.com)

“For three days or so at the beginning of each March, Armory Week—the closest thing the New York art world has to Fashion Week—brings a stampede of collectors, curators, artists and dealers (including, of course, those from Chelsea, Uptown and Lower East Side galleries) to the city. Thousands of them from all over the world rush in for a confluence of art fairs featuring modern and contemporary art of all stripes. For the general public, Armory Week—which takes its name from The Armory Show—offers the perfect opportunity to discover the latest trends in art. There’s tons to see, and taking it all in can be exhausting, but there’s a fair for everyone’s taste. To help you find one that suits yours, we offer this handy guide of the best things to do during Armory Week.” (TONY)

Celebrate 25 years of the Armory Show.
“Break out the comfy kicks, art lovers (and according our critic Jerry Saltz, pack snacks and breath mints), it’s Armory Show week. The behemoth itself is now on Piers 90, 92 ,and 94 (with a shuttle running in between), but all the major players are still there, including this year’s “Focus” section, curated by Lauren Haynes of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. When you’re done with all that head to the satellite fairs: cutting-edge works at the Independent on Varick Street; exhibits with the theme “fact and fiction” at Spring/Break, this year at the U.N. Plaza; 60 international exhibitors at Scope, at the Metropolitan Pavilion; and the self-explanatory Art on Paper at Pier 36. Buy tickets ahead of time to avoid lines.” (grubstreet)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> BALLET FLAMENCO SARA BARAS
>> Renee Rosnes Quartet

>> Nellie McKay
>> NYC Winter Wine Festival
>> Pastryland Bake Sale
>> Sebastian Junger + Dr. Hector A. Garcia: Sex, Power, and Partisanship
>> New York International Antiquarian Book Fair

Continuing Events
>> Suzanne Vega.
>> The Orchid Show
>> Hubbard Street
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BALLET FLAMENCO SARA BARAS (March 7-10)
at New York City Center / 8 p.m.; $35+
“La Farruca is a style of flamenco characterized by fast, intense footwork, quick spins and dramatic poses. Historically it has been performed by men, but women are increasingly claiming it for themselves. Baras, a flamenco dancer from Spain celebrated for her power and precision, has long been associated with the style. That dismantling of gender roles informs her show “Shadows,” which was created in honor of the 20th anniversary of her company and which will be performed to a score by the guitarist Keko Baldomero.” (NYT- Brian Schaefer)

Renee Rosnes Quartet (Mar.7-10)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $35-$45
“One of the premier pianists and composers of her generation, Renee Rosnes has toured and recorded with legendary musicians James Moody, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, JJ Johnson, Bobby Hutcherson, the SFJAZZ Collective, and her husband, pianist Bill Charlap. A New York City staple for years, every member of Rosnes’ group has an extremely impressive résumé and brings their absolute best to this group. If her recent sold-out appearances at Dizzy’s Club are any indication, audiences should expect to hear some of Rosnes’ award-winning original compositions and perhaps a few choice selections by such artists as Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, and Billy Strayhorn. Extraordinarily gifted as a pianist, composer, and bandleader, Rosnes leads one of the most consistently excellent groups in town.”

Nellie McKay (LAST CHANCE)
Birdland / 7PM, $30-$40
“Fearless singer-songwriter and deceptively feather-light song stylist McKay is always guaranteed to flabber your gast with her witty, unwieldy and beguiling performances. In this Birdland run, she toasts the release of her seventh album, Sister Orchid, which includes versions of standards including “My Romance,” “The Nearness of You” and “Georgia on My Mind.” (TONY)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

NYC Winter Wine Festival
Sip and sample at a midtown wine festival
“Returning for a 10th year, the NYC Winter Wine Festival takes place not in a vineyard or cellar but within the spacious confines of the PlayStation Theater in Times Square. Guests can eat hors d’oeuvres while sampling vintages from around the Empire State plus live music by jazz musician Alex Bugnon.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 3 to 6 p.m. and 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday, March 9; 1515 Broadway, Manhattan
INFO $69 to $89; 877-571-6690, newyorkwineevents.com

Pastryland Bake Sale
The Ultimate Bake Sale
The Studio at 28 Crosby / 1:45, 2:30, 3:15PM
“Taste exclusive creations from New York City’s top pastry talent at Pastryland, a charity bake sale benefiting Hot Bread Kitchen! An afternoon for the ultimate sweet tooth, Pastryland celebrates the talents and imaginations of pastry chefs through delicious, one-of-a-kind desserts you won’t find anywhere else. Featuring unique treats from the chefs of Union Square Café, Per Se, Café Boulud, Marc Forgione, Bâtard, Patisserie Chanson and many more, experience the world of sweets like you’ve never tasted before.

All tickets receive tokens. Each token can be exchanged for a beverage or prepared food item. Additional tokens can be purchased on-site (Debit/Credit only — NO CASH) as:
ONE token $5
TWO tokens $9
FIVE tokens $20”

Sebastian Junger + Dr. Hector A. Garcia: Sex, Power, and Partisanship
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St./ 3PM, $28
“We are a tribal species. Will it prove fatal? Clinical psychologist Dr. Hector A. Garcia (Sex, Power, and Partisanship: How Evolutionary Science Makes Sense of Our Political Divide) speaks about our legacy of violent male competition and its impact on issues like climate change and equality. He’ll be joined by Sebastian Junger, author of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.” (ThoughtGallery)

New York International Antiquarian Book Fair
Park Avenue Armory /
“Calling all bibliophiles! Find something told to love at the Antiquarian Book Fair, happening through Sunday at the Park Avenue Armory. Learn to drink like our forefathers from the 1895 edition of The Mixicologist or How to Mix all Kinds of Fancy Drinks, which includes early on a recipe for a “morning cocktail” with absinthe, brandy, and whiskey. (Fun fact, 1895 was also the the first time the word brunch came into use.) Then take a gander at treasures like an inscribed first U.S. edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (going for $195,000), a first edition of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock with its original dust jacket ($115,000), and an architectural archive featuring Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel’s sketches for the Statue of Liberty. On Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., you can also bring your own rare works, Antique Roadshow–style, for experts to appraise for free.” (grubstreet)

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Continuing Events

Suzanne Vega (through March 16)
at Café Carlyle
This New York-based singer-songwriter has been composing and performing folk-inspired acoustic tunes since she was a Barnard student in the early 1980s. The venerable cabaret Café Carlyle might be considerably more upscale than Tom’s Restaurant — the Upper West Side student haunt that inspired Vega’s enduring and influential single “Tom’s Diner” — but both offer a glimpse of a bygone New York. A product of the bohemian Greenwich Village folk scene, which has all but disappeared, Vega herself presents an evening of time travel to a completely different period in the city’s history.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Hubbard Street (thru Mar.17)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the country’s most prominent contemporary-dance ensembles, returns to New York after a four-year absence. Each half of the two-week run is devoted to a single choreographer: the Tel Aviv-based Ohad Naharin first, followed by the Canada-born Crystal Pite. “Decadance/Chicago” is an updated version of Naharin’s popular 2000 work, a series of surrealistic vignettes that concludes with a section in which audience members slow-dance with the cast onstage. The Pite evening, in contrast, is made up of three works—“A Picture of You Falling,” “The Other You,” and “Grace Engine”—executed in Pite’s highly articulated, sinuous movement style.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

The Orchid Show (Until Apr 28 2019)
New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY
“Now in its 17th year, this mesmerizing show displays thousands of orchids in geometric, illuminated sculptural presentations. This year’s exhibit pays tribute to Singapore, showcasing the country’s achievements in orchid cultivation, research and conservation (look out for nods to Singapore’s dazzling Supertrees). Catch special Orchid Evenings for dancing, music and cocktails among the flowers.”

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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:

This trend-spotting group show, which is more than the sum of its uneven parts, registers a seismic shift from abstraction to representation among ambitious painters. It pertains to a mode, if not merely a mood, of handling images—be they realist, imagined, or appropriated—with some ratio of self-conscious deliberateness (not Expressionist) and shoot-the-works feeling (irony-free). The notion extends a magnetic field from a nocturnal cityscape by the chronically underrated poetic realist Lois Dodd, ninety-one years old, to a dreamily blurred floral still-life by the mid-career German Michael Krebber and a lividly harsh self-portrait by a tyro Italian, Giangiacomo Rossetti. Elizabeth Peyton shines with an agitated portrait, and so does Gillian Carnegie, with one that is uncannily calm. All the show’s artists impress as experimentally sincere.” (

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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 03/07 and 03/05.

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