Greetings and Happy 2018! After holiday parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations and arctic temperatures to test even the most tried-and-true New Yorkers, January is officially in full swing. We’ll keep it (mostly) indoors for this month’s events guide, starting with two music festivals with a conscience that kick off on Sunday, 1/14. First, ‘The ‘60s: The Years that Changed America’ at Carnegie Hall, which explores the overlap of music, protest and social change and features David Crosby and the Philip Glass ensemble, to name a few. It runs through March. Second, a one-day only event GlobalFEST 2018, is a tribute to world music that showcases 12 international artists on three stages (B.B. King’s, Lucille’s and Liberty Theater) for a powerful day devoted to cross-cultural harmony and cooperation. Also on 1/14, check out Stam-Pede at Symphony Space, which presents percussive dance quite literally in an exciting light (think ‘Riverdance’ and ‘Stomp’ with colorful effects).
Monday 1/15 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and there is no better place to honor MLK’s legacy than The 32nd Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Brooklyn Academy of Music. This all-day event is free, open to the public and begins at 10:30am with musical performances, a film screening and special talks by leading activists and intellectuals.
Monday 1/15 also marks the final performance of Winter Jazzfest, with a tribute to jazz great Geri Allen, who passed shortly after her 60th birthday in June of last year. Esperanza Spalding and more will be honoring Allen, the pianist-composer and educator who left a major mark on the world of jazz and social change, with all proceeds going to the Geri Allen Estate. From music to film (and from Manhattan to Queens) catch the final day of screenings that comprise the First Look Festival at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, including documentary style, award-winning shorts from emerging filmmakers.
Another January highlight for film buffs is The New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center in full swing by Wednesday 1/17 with The Mission of Raoul Wallenberg, a documentary about the Swedish diplomat who saved 100,000 Hungarian Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary, but whose mysterious disappearance and death remains a mystery to be solved. First released in 1990, this bold telling by Russian filmmaker Alexander Rodnyanskiy was recently restored and is one of many to see before the festival closes on January 23rd.
And if all this inside fun makes you crave some fresh, wintry city air, you may wish to venture to Lower Manhattan on Tuesday 1/16 for Winter Bird Walk at The Battery with NYC Audubon. The tour meets at the Netherland Monument on Battery Place and State Street, which at this time of year is not heavily trafficked (score one for you and the geese). Got kids? Another outdoor option is the Junior Knicks B-Ball 101 Clinic on Wednesday 1/17 with two sessions (morning and evening) for children ages 5-10 inside Alfred E. Smith Park Playground on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. While in the area, stop by The Sweet Life, a candy shop on Hester and Ludlow (walking distance from the park) that has been around since the 1980s and serves amazing chocolate. (Yum and yes, a Valentine’s Day teaser.)
On Thursday 1/18, catch the first day of The Outsider Art Fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion, which has nothing to do with being out of doors but everything to do with artists being outside the norms and influences of the art world or society itself. A descendant of art brut (Raw Art), Outsider Art is a special genre with a fascinating history and revolutionary spirit extending back to individuals with mental illness, mystical powers (or both) and more recently, those who demonstrate raw creativity and defy convention.
Also on Thursday 1/18 and in high anticipation of the historic, groundbreaking 2017 Women’s March’s first anniversary, catch Nasty Women – A Night of Female Resistance Comedy at the 14th St Y in partnership with BETCHES – THE ‘SUP. Performers include Jena Friedman (‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’), Aparna Nancherla (‘Inside Amy Schumer’), Michelle Buteau (‘Key & Peele’), and Emmy Blotnick (‘The President’s Show’), so yeah, we’re excited!
Moving into the weekend with accessible, highbrow culture on Friday 1/19, we love pay-what-you-can at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Meatpacking and suggest you catch LA-based painter Laura Owens’s exhibition before her exhibit closes on Feb. 4th. Then check out “Lyrics & Lyricists: The Bobby Darin Story” which runs Saturday 1/20 through Monday 1/22 at the 92nd St Y and features Broadway star Jonathan Groff performing songs made famous by the legend himself. Who is Bobby Darin, you might ask? A New York City native who soared to popularity in the late 1950s/early 60s as a pop/jazz singing sensation before his tragic death at 37. Credit him for ‘Splish Splash,’ ‘Mack the Knife’ (primary source material for the McDonald’s jingle) and quite possibly inspiration for Mariah Carey, because before she sang ‘Dreamlover’ there was Darin’s ‘Dream Lover.’
Not feeling the mid-20th century music vibes? Dial back to the present with Jersey native rapper/singer Fetty Wap, whose hit ‘Trap Queen’ has more than half a billion views on YouTube. He will be rocking out at Irving Plaza on 1/20-1/21.
BUT FIRST. Saturday 1/20 will mark the return of pink pussy hats, epic poster slogans and you know, all unity the country sorely needed following…welp, has it really been a year (gets lump in throat)…Here is ELLE’s guide to everything you need to know about the 2018 WOMEN’S MARCH and launch of #PowertothePolls, which kicks off Sunday 1/21 in Las Vegas.
Speaking of kick-offs, Monday 1/22 is the start of NYC Restaurant Week with approximately 375 restaurants offering deals and discounts for your culinary pleasure. Text your friends, bring them out of hibernation, and make your reservations through Open Table for 3-course lunches and dinners at $29 and $42, respectively. We recommend The Writing Room on the Upper East Side and Mr. Chow in Tribeca, both for elegance and good food.
Fresh off a winter weekend binge of Netflix’s GLOW? Us too, which brings us to Monday night wrestling and The 25th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw on Monday 1/22 at the Grand Ballroom in Manhattan Center, site of the first episode of Raw back in 1993. The night will feature WWE’s gorgeous men, including such legends as The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash.
From bodyslams to Broadway, be sure to take advantage of NYC Broadway Week, which runs longer than a week (1/16-2/4) and offers 2-for-1 ticket discounts. Among the participating snows are ‘Hello, Dolly,’ now starring Bernadette Peters, and ‘Once On This Island,’ a must-see to make you forget it’s winter for a few hours. On Wednesday 1/24 and for one night only, catch an artist we predict will be on Broadway someday, empowerment pop/rock songstress Demi Lovato at New York City Center…and before you do, check out her recent, coming-of-age documentary on life lessons learned from stardom and drug/alcohol/eating disorder recovery, ‘Simply Complicated’ or for summer bod inspo, her instagram.
We love winter conventions at The Javits Center, especially when they remind us of warmer times. So on 1/24 -1/28, check out The New York Boat Show for all things boats and maritime related as well as The New York Times Travel Show, which will welcome over 30,000 travel professionals and consumer travelers from around the world for industry networking and trip ideas. Bonus: you can buy your pass on GroupOn!
Now that the Rockettes have hung up their sparkles after another successful season, Radio City Music Hall welcomes rising star Khalid for a concert that builds on the success of his 2017 American Teen tour. After seeing him at Summer Stage, all I can say is GO HE IS SO GOOD. Or, if you’re still feeling remnants of the holiday spirit, enjoy a night of Free Ice Skating at Bryant Park (with $20 skate rental, oof) part of Bryant Park’s Winter Carnival that runs 1/26-2/4.
All this talk of music means we’re getting close to The 60th Annual Grammy Awards, which returns to New York City on Sunday 1/28 at Madison Square Garden. If like most of us you’re not attending the live event, there is an alternative two days later on Tuesday, 1/30. Catch with Elton John – I’m Still Standing: A GRAMMY Salute feat. Miley Cyrus, Kesha, Miranda Lambert and John Legend, and throw it back to a day when ‘Rocket Man’ was simply a song you liked to sing at karaoke.
This brings us to the close of January 2018! How are you doing with Resolutions? Goals? Dreams? Manifestations? Or, perhaps you’re not really interested in making the first month of the year about a massive self-help overhaul. No worries. The last day of the month Wednesday 1/31 is also a Super Blue Moon eclipse, a lunar event that besides being awesome for reasons related to science, is also a stellar time to put a few refreshed, 2018 intentions out into the Universe. With February coming, we’ll send one out for more love. See you next month!