Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to. We made it as easy as 1-2-3.
Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being. Stay Safe.
Earlier today we covered Top Ten NYC Corona Culture and selected event info. Now, how about some more useful NYC information.
New York magazine is biweekly these days and every issue has a wonderful section, “The Culture Pages,” which includes a “To Do” list – 25 things to see, hear, watch, and read. Here are my favorites from the current issue (Dec.9-23).
Sam Gilliam: Existed Existing
A first-tier innovator of painting.
Behold Sam Gilliam’s magisterial painterly and sculptural grandeur. Plywood objects conjure pyramids, and continental plates vie for greatness with huge flecked, layered paintings the size of barges. Gilliam is a master of his medium in total control of his art. —Jerry Saltz
Pace Gallery, 510 and 540 West 25th Street, through December 19.
Harmony Hammond: Crossings
Since the 1970s, Harmony Hammond has made the most psychically alive, roughly sensual, optically satisfying, and epistemologically adept paintings created anywhere. This powerful exhibition of new work finds the artist in top form, claiming a rightful place in the history of modernism with constructions that pack totemic presence and visual intelligence and make wonderfully aggressive demands on the graphic field. —J.S.
Alexander Gray Associates, 510 West 26th Street, through January 16.
The Long Goodbye Online Edition
I love a cup of tea and that.
Riz Ahmed’s concept album The Long Goodbye framed British Asians’ relationship with Old Blighty as a toxic love affair, one poisoned by colonialism, partition, and pernicious racism. The original plan was for Ahmed to take the album’s accompanying hybrid show — part theatrical storytelling, part music — around the world, but the pandemic canceled the tour. Now he’ll perform an in-real-time-only event, which will be streamed once via BAM’s digital broadcast. —Helen Shaw
bam.org, December 19.
A holiday show.
During the holiday season for the past four years, it was a special treat to go Café Carlyle and hear Isaac Mizrahi sing and do his own brand of stand-up, accompanied by the wonderful Ben Waltzer and his six-piece band. This year, of course, it’s different, but wonderful all the same, as we can look forward to a streamable concert series. In this four-show series, each mixes songs and storytelling and features a special guest. The first show will be released on December 4 and will then remain on-demand for 30 days, with additional shows on January 8, February 12, and March 19. Isaac says my favorite thing about the show, “It’s not exactly a holiday show … it’s not not a holiday show…” —Wendy Goodman
events.broadwayworld.com, through January 3, 2021.
The Hard Nut
Visions of sugarplums.
For vigor and variation, crack open excerpts from The Hard Nut, Mark Morris’s nearly 30-year-old comic “homage” to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. In Morris’s version, the E.T.A. Hoffmann story is reset in a kitschy ’60s suburbia, where party guests are more naughty than nice, Marie’s visions of militant rats speak to her own adolescent stirrings, and leaping Snowflakes throw fistfuls of snow into the air in little icy explosions. —Helen Shaw
markmorrisdancegroup.org/mmdg-holiday-special, December 12 to 18.
The Oratorio Society of New York
An abridged virtual performance.
In a normal year, professional singers would be earning a chunk of their annual income right now, dashing from Messiah to Messiah. The Oratorio Society, led by Kent Tritle, has done its best to preserve the tradition with a performance recorded outdoors, in a warmer month, rolled out in time for an at-home sing-along. —Justin Davidson
osny.org, from December 21.
Live from Columbia.
When experiencing live music meant organizing an expensive night out, a two-hour concert with intermission was intended to give audiences their money’s worth. Now that it means clicking a free link, sometimes you want only a restorative half-hour. Miller Theater’s pop-up concerts satisfy that craving, and Dinnerstein is just the right pianist to keep the experience brief but intense, meditative, and surprising. Here, she pairs a Philip Glass étude with a movement from Schubert’s B-flat Sonata, two exercises in taking your time. —J.D.
millertheater.com, December 15.
*This article appears in the November 23, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!
In the age of Covid-19 this info from City Guide is one of the best sources of info on What’s Happening, even if some are only available in your home, and not in your favorite venue.
The Metropolitan Opera is streaming operas FREE nightly.
The New York Public Library provides access to more than 300,000 FREE e-books and e-audio books.
The New York City Ballet presents a spring digital season.
Virtual programming will keep you connected to the York Theatre Company.
One World Observatory has made One World Explorer, the attraction’s Digital Skyline Guide, available for remote watching. Virtual helicopter tours of the city’s most iconic sites are available now.
The Top of the Rock launches a brief virtual tour on YouTube.
6 podcast series to help you understand New York.Discover the best of New York, from hidden gems to iconic landmarks, through The New York Landmarks Conservancy’s “Tourist in your own Town” Video Series.
You can take a virtual tour of the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room at the Rubin Museum of Art. (You can find two hours of meditative chanting as well, if you’re searching out some respite.) The Rubin has also, for the first time, launched a digital assemblage of more than 300 items from the museum’s collection.
VIRTUAL TALKS, LECTURES, AND EVENTS
Thought Gallery has hundreds of livestream talks, lectures, performances, and more. Check out sessions with celebs, live concerts, and opportunities to learn the latest on everything from science to philosophy to social justice
WFUV-FM 90.7 is my fave local radio station. Noncommercial, member-supported with a format of adult album alternative music, WFUV is doing it’s best to keep us connected to our music with a comprehensive, updated list of live music online.
WFUV Live Online (December 17 – December 23)
12/17 Mountain Man, “Live from the Garden”
12/17 Courtney Barnett, “From Where I’m Standing”
12/17 Lucinda Williams, “Lu’s Jukebox”
12/18 Hot Chip and Friends charity stream
12/18 Barenaked Ladies, “A Very Virtual Christmas”
12/18 Yo La Tengo “2020 Hanukkah One-Night Stand”
12/19 The Avalanches livestream
12/19 Bailen, “How the Grinch Stole 2020”
12/19 Dean & Britta holiday show
Rita Houston 1961-2020
It is with great sadness that WFUV shares the news thatProgram Director Rita Houston, the north star of the station’s sound and its public service, passed away on Tuesday, 12/15 after fighting cancer for six years
Rita Houston’s “Whole Wide World” Finale
Two weeks ago, Rita remotely recorded her final episode of “The Whole Wide World” with her longtime friend and colleague, Paul Cavalconte. That last show will air 12/18, beginning at 6pm EST. Paul describes it as “a frank, unvarnished, brave expression of who [Rita] is and how deeply this connection to music, and her audience, matters to her.