Selected Events (08/31) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s Sweet 6 > MONDAY / AUGUST 31, 2015

“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.
(click on links for complete event info.)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
>Victoria Shaw “Under the Covers”, with Special Guest Pam Tillis
Birdland, 315 W44th St / 7PM, $30
“The Broadway at Birdland concert series with country superstar Pam Tillis. Hosted by award winning songwriter Victoria Shaw, “Under The Covers” has become a favorite recurring highlight at Birdland, featuring a wide variety of top-selling songwriters and musical acts from across the pop, rock and country worlds, and offering intimate acoustic performances of huge hit songs – along with the little-known stories behind them.”

>Mario Pavone: ‘Blue Dialect’
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St. / 8:30PM, $10
“The rock-solid yet deeply exploratory bassist Mario Pavone has an excellent new album, “Blue Dialect,” featuring his trio with Matt Mitchell on piano and Tyshawn Sorey on drums.” (Chinen-NYT)

>Aaron Neville
City Winery, 155 Varick St. nr. Spring St / 8PM, $70-$80
“Built like a linebacker but with a nimble, angelic and aching tenor that could climb into a falsetto, Aaron Neville’s first major single from 1967, “Tell It Like It Is,” became a standard… In 2013, he signed to Blue Note Records and released “My True Story,” which explored the era of doo-wop and vocal pop that preceded his own career, featuring renditions of classics like “Under the Boardwalk” and “Goodnight My Love.” (Andy Beta-WSJ)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Summer HD Festival (through Sept. 7)
Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Ave and W63rd St / 7:45PM, FREE
tonight: LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN
“Star tenor Vittorio Grigolo is the poet-adventurer whose string of failed romances are the subject of Offenbach’s sparkling operetta.”

“For 11 nights the Metropolitan Opera will take over Lincoln Center Plaza to bring some of the company’s most memorable recent performances to the masses. The series features 10 screenings of previously recorded operas. Seating is first come first served. At various times, 212-721-6500, metopera.org” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (through Sept 27)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
“It’s finally here! The new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)

TODAY’S TOP EVENT
Elsewhere, but absolutely worth the detour:

U.S. TENNIS OPEN (Day 1)
IMG_0212The U.S. Open begins play today (11AM) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens (about 45 min. from Times Square) and runs through Sept. 13. This is the fourth and final tennis tournament which culminates the Grand Slam each year.
subway: #1-2-3 to Times Square; transfer to #7 to Willets Point.

Matches to watch today in Louis Armstrong stadium (LA) & the outside field courts:
(prediction per Matt Cronin (USOpen.org)

(LA) KEI NISHIKORI (4) VS. BENOIT PAIRE
“Paire will play ambitiously and make sure that Nishikori will have to run around a lot, but in the end, Nishikori, the 2014 US Open finalist, will get through in four sets.”
(LA) COCO VANDEWEGHE VS. SLOANE STEPHENS (29)
(LA) GAEL MONFILS (16) VS ILLYA MARCHENKO
I never miss the chance to watch the entertaining Monfils.

For those of you (like me) hoping to see Maria Sharapova play today in Louis Armstrong stadium, “there is no joy in Mudville.” Maria scratched due to a leg injury.

Forget the Big House (Arthur Ashe Stadium). Get a grounds pass and once inside check out one of the electronic scoreboards listing matches in progress. Find a match or players that interest you. Head over to their court for some great tennis, because in this tournament even the qualifiers are great players.There is no other major sporting event where you can get so close to world class athletes as at the U.S. Open – on the outer field courts, the Grandstand court, or even Louis Armstrong stadium. Courts where you can get a real sense of the pace of the game.

Today’s tip: arrive early. Security screening seemed to have been ratcheted up last week during qualifying which may cause delays to enter. The best, most comprehensive review of the tournament and the current state of tennis can be found at the NYTimes/Sports.

Bonus – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite 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
Metropolitan Room – 34 W22nd St. / metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. / lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St. / beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237 W42nd St. / bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==================================================================================

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

Metropolitan Museum of Art:
‘Reimagining Modernism: 1900-1950’ (continuing)
One of the greatest encyclopedic museums in the world fulfills its mission a little more with an ambitious reinstallation of works of early European modernism with their American counterparts for the first time in nearly 30 years. Objects of design and paintings by a few self-taught artists further the integration. It is quite a sight, with interesting rotations and fine-tunings to come. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Smith)

‘Warriors and Mothers: Epic Mbembe Art’ (through Sept. 16)
If a dozen masterpiece Renaissance sculptures, done in an unknown and wildly unorthodox style, suddenly turned up in the Italian countryside, the find would make the news. You’ll encounter the equivalent of such a discovery in this show of spectacular weatherworn, wood-carved figures, some dating to before the 17th century, that were made by the Mbembe in southeastern Nigeria and taken to Paris by an African dealer in the early 1970s. They caused a sensation among collectors and scholars at the time, and you can see why. But the effort to find more of them proved fruitless. The examples at the Met, which include the original dozen, represent all the fully intact stand-alone Mbembe figures known to exist. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Cotter)

‘Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River’ (through Sept. 20)
This moving tribute to the 19th-century painter who depicted the hardscrabble life along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as spacious idylls of serenity and even timelessness, presents 16 of his 17 river paintings known to exist, among nearly all the exacting studies of men at rest that preceded them. The human dimension of the figures is joined to the golden light and space of the setting by the geometric solidity of the boats and their wonderful details. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Smith)

‘Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met’ (through Sept. 27) Highlighting contributions to the Met’s Japanese art holdings by American collectors from the 1880s to the present, this gorgeous show presents more than 200 superb paintings, drawings, prints, scrolls, folding screens, ceramics, lacquer ware and works in other mediums and genres, mostly dating from the fourth century to the late 19th. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Johnson)

Neue Galerie:
‘Egon Schiele: Portraits’ (through Sept. 07)
zakovsek_1“Of the approximately 125 items in this terrific show, there are only 11 oil paintings, which is a good thing. Except for a large picture of his wife, Edith, in a colorful striped dress, Schiele’s works on canvas are dark and turgid. But his drawings are nimble and nuanced. Working on paper with pencil, charcoal, ink, gouache, watercolor and crayons, he portrayed himself and others with infectious avidity. There’s hardly a single sheet here that doesn’t warrant close looking for its virtuoso draftsmanship and psychological acuity. 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street, 212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org. “(Johnson)

Guggenheim Museum:
Kandinsky Gallery (through spring 2016)
“A pioneer of abstract art and eminent aesthetic theorist, Vasily Kandinsky (b. 1866, Moscow; d. 1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) broke new ground in painting during the first decades of the twentieth century. His seminal treatise Über das Geistige in der Kunst (On the Spiritual in Art), published in Munich in December 1911, lays out his program for developing an art independent from observations of the external world. In this and other texts, as well as his work, Kandinsky advanced abstraction’s potential to be free from nature, a quality of music that he admired. The development of a new subject matter based solely on the artist’s “inner necessity” would occupy him for the rest of his life.”

The Guggenheim collection now contains more than 150 works by this single artist, making it the largest collection of Kandinsky works in the United States.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (continuing):
rendering-3The stately doors of the 1902 Andrew Carnegie mansion, home to the Cooper Hewitt, are open again after an overhaul and expansion of the premises. Historic house and modern museum have always made an awkward fit, a standoff between preservation and innovation, and the problem remains, but the renovation has brought a wide-open new gallery space, a cafe and a raft of be-your-own-designer digital enhancements. Best of all, more of the museum’s vast permanent collection is now on view, including an Op Art weaving, miniature spiral staircases, ballistic face masks and a dainty enameled 18th-century version of a Swiss knife. Like design itself, this institution is built on tumult and friction, and you feel it. 2 East 91st Street, at Fifth Avenue, 212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org. (Cotter)

==================================================

Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:

• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015). ========================================================

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/29 and 08/27.

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Selected Events (08/30) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite 8 > SUNDAY / AUGUST 30, 2015

“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.
(click on links for complete event info)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

>Aaron Neville (also Monday)
City Winery, 155 Varick St. nr. Spring St / 8PM, $70-$80
aaronnevill_banner_3“Built like a linebacker but with a nimble, angelic and aching tenor that could climb into a falsetto, Aaron Neville’s first major single from 1967, “Tell It Like It Is,” became a standard. Ten years on, he enjoyed moderate success as part of the Neville Brothers, didn’t find the top of the charts again until 22 years later, when he performed with Linda Ronstadt. In 2013, he signed to Blue Note Records and released “My True Story,” which explored the era of doo-wop and vocal pop that preceded his own career, featuring renditions of classics like “Under the Boardwalk” and “Goodnight My Love.” (WSJ)

“The Grammy Award-winning soul and R&B singer Aaron Neville yearned to make a doo-wop album for 30 years, yet he was turned down by record labels despite his celebrated career. He finally released the passion project, titled “My True Story,” in 2013. Don Was and Keith Richards helped produce the pleasant, unhurried outing.“
(Anderson-NYT)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

>Birdland Jazz Party, Hosted by Carole Bufford
Birdland, 315W44th St./ 6PM, $30
“Birdland’s very own jazz quartet hits the stage every Sunday to wrap up the weekend with jazz classics featuring jazz vocalist Carole J. Bufford, one of the most sought after young performers in the New York cabaret & jazz scene.”

>Trio da Paz and Friends (LAST DAY)
Dizzy’s Club, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $40
“Effervescence comes easily to Trio da Paz, a samba-jazz cooperative consisting of Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums. This engagement, a celebration of bossa nova standards, will augment the band with familiar reinforcements: the trumpeter Claudio Roditi, the saxophonist Harry Allen and the vocalist Maucha Adnet.“ (NYT-Chinen)

>Gerald Clayton Quintet (LAST DAY)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“While there are certainly more daringly original pianists on the scene, Clayton has an unapologetic vivacity that’s hard to resist. Where trios were once his ensemble of choice, Clayton is now thinking like a commanding small-group leader: his sharp quintet includes the saxophonists Ben Wendel and Logan Richardson.” (NewYorker)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

>Summer HD Festival (through Sept. 7)
Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Ave and W63rd St / 7:45PM, FREE
tonight: Anna Netrebko in Verdi’s “Macbeth.”
“For 11 nights the Metropolitan Opera will take over Lincoln Center Plaza to bring some of the company’s most memorable recent performances to the masses. The series features 10 screenings of previously recorded operas, including Anna Netrebko in Verdi’s “Macbeth” (8 p.m. Sunday) and Vittorio Grigolo in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (7:45 p.m. Monday ). Seating is first come first served. At various times, 212-721-6500, metopera.org” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Elsewhere, but these look worth the detours:
>Waku Waku +NYC fest (also Sunday)
Various Locations and Times / $45
latest-campaign-tuckerangerExperience the overlap between Japanese and Brooklyn culture this weekend. The celebration looks at anime and manga, with forays into food, film and fashion, at venues around Greenpoint and Williamsburg. There are several talks in the mix, kicking off Saturday morning with Abby Denson on “Discovering Cool Japan.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

>Commemoration of the Battle of Brooklyn
Green-Wood Cemetery, 5th Avenue and 25th St., Bklyn / FREE
Activities honoring this early-Revolutionary War battle are being held on grounds where some its fighting took place — Green-Wood Cemetery. Historical re-enactments begin at 12:30 p.m.; a parade led by the Regimental Band of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at 1:30 p.m.; and a commemorative ceremony at 2 p.m.

Bonus – Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th ave. South, — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave. South — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9 ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway, nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==================================================================================

A PremierPub and 3 Good Eating Places – Greenwich Village

Caffe Vivaldi / 32 Jones Street (btw. Bleecker St./W4th St.)

Café Vivaldi is a classic, intimate club located in Greenwich Village on Jones Street, the street featured on the cover of Bob Dylan’s second album, “Freewheelin’. ”

maxresdefaultEach night Ishrat, the long time proprietor and impresario, carefully curates and schedules an eclectic series of musicians. You can often see him at his table in the corner, hard at work reviewing music videos and listening to cd demos on his laptop, scouting out future bookings. Musicians come from all over to play and sing in a club in Greenwich Village. Some are local New Yorkers, others are just passing through, in town for a few days.

There is a small bar, seating maybe 10. It’s close to the stage and I find it’s a perfect spot to sip a glass of red wine while listening to the music. The room itself has the performance area at one end and a cozy fireplace at the other. The performance area here is small, dominated by a large black Yamaha Grand piano. Tables are bunched together and most people at the tables are eating lite meals or sampling the wonderful desserts.

There is also a good selection of fairly priced wines,  but you are here because of the music. You can never be quite sure what you’re going to find, and that’s half the charm of this place. It’s not a home run every night, but many nights it’s pretty special.

I remember the night I saw the most talented bossa nova group, just in from San Paulo. As I listened, I wondered if there was any better music playing anywhere else in New York City that night. And at Caffé Vivaldi there is never a cover charge. Their recently redesigned web site does give you a better idea of the type of music playing each night.

At one time Greenwich Village was filled with clubs just like this, but times change. Real estate interests have impacted the village, and not for the better. Even Caffé Vivaldi had a rough time recently, when a new landlord raised the rent exorbitantly. Fortunately, Ishrat has built a loyal following over the years, and a fund raiser and slightly more reasonable rent has kept Café Vivaldi in business.

When Woody Allen and Al Pacino wanted to make movies featuring the timeless quality of Greenwich Village they came to Vivaldi. It’s important that we keep this special place alive, for if we lose Cafe Vivaldi, NYCity will have lost a piece of it’s soul.

Website: http://caffevivaldi.com/
Phone #: (212) 691-7538
Hours: Music generally 7:30PM – 11PM, but varies
Lunch/Dinner 11AM-on
Subway: #1 to Christopher St.
Walk 1 blk S. on 7th ave S. to Bleecker St., 1 blk left on Bleecker to Jones St., 50 yards left on Jones St. to Caffe V.

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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
==================================================================================

3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult to find a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Fish280 Bleecker St. (just a bit S. of 7th ave South)
This was an easy pick – the best raw bar special in town. $9 gets you 6 of the freshest oysters or clams + a glass of wine or beer. Don’t know how they can do it, but I tell everyone I know about this place. And it’s located right in the heart of some of the best no cover music in town.

Bleecker Street Pizza – 69 7th ave S. (corner of Bleecker St.)
The place is tiny and not much to look at, but this is one good slice. They like to brag that they have been voted “Best pizza in NY” 3 years in a row by the Food Network. I believe them. I would have voted for them.

Num Pang – 21 E 12th St. (btw. University Place/5th ave.)
This is a Cambodian banh mi sandwich shop that kept me well fed while I was in class nearby recently. It’s cramped, even for NYCity, but usually there is room up the spiral staircase to sit down and eat. In good weather carry your sandwich a few blocks to Union Square park. You may have to wait a few minutes, because everything is freshly made, but it’s worth it. Can you believe – an unheard of 26 food rating by Zagat.

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“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
This covers a wide range of food – the traditional pizza, burgers, & hot dogs; but also food trucks & carts, soup & sandwiches, picnic fixins’, raw bars & lobster rolls, bbq, vegetarian, falafel, ramen, chopped salad & salad bars. No reservations needed. ===========================================================================

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Fall 2015).
◊ Order before Oct. 31, 2015 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Selected Events (08/29) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s Elite 8 > SATURDAY / AUGUST 29, 2015

“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.
(click on links for complete event info)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (through Sept 27)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
images“It’s finally here! The new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)

Tonight Special Gallery Program @ 8PM:
99 OBJECTS: LOREN CONNORS ON FOUR DARKS IN RED BY MARK ROTHKO
Analyze Mark Rothko’s breakthrough work Four Darks in Red along with guitarist/composer Loren Connors, whose music (on albums like Blues: The “Dark Paintings” of Mark Rothko) has been called the aural equivalent of the Abstract Expressionist’s painting.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

>Trio da Paz and Friends (through Aug. 30)
Dizzy’s Club, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $40
“Effervescence comes easily to Trio da Paz, a samba-jazz cooperative consisting of Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums. This engagement, a celebration of bossa nova standards, will augment the band with familiar reinforcements: the trumpeter Claudio Roditi, the saxophonist Harry Allen and the vocalist Maucha Adnet.“ (NYT-Chinen)

>Gerald Clayton Quintet (through Aug. 30)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“While there are certainly more daringly original pianists on the scene, Clayton has an unapologetic vivacity that’s hard to resist. Where trios were once his ensemble of choice, Clayton is now thinking like a commanding small-group leader: his sharp quintet includes the saxophonists Ben Wendel and Logan Richardson.” (NewYorker)

>Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration Sextet (through Aug. 29)
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 8:30PM +11PM, $40
two prominent alto saxophonists, Greg Osby and Vincent Herring, in an all star tribute to the music of the “Birdman.”

>New York International Fringe Festival (through Aug 30)
Various Locations and Times
“Catch more than 200 shows from emerging theater troupes and dance companies from around the world when FringeNYC returns this weekend. Productions range in topics and genres, including drama, comedy and satire. It’s $18 per ticket, with discount passes for multiple shows.” (dnainfo.com)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

>Summer HD Festival (through Sept. 7)
Lincoln Center Plaza, Columbus Ave and W63rd St / 7:45PM, FREE
tonight: “Carmen” features Elina Garanca and Roberto Alagna.
“For 11 nights the Metropolitan Opera will take over Lincoln Center Plaza to bring some of the company’s most memorable recent performances to the masses. The series features 10 screenings of previously recorded operas, including Anna Netrebko in Verdi’s “Macbeth” (8 p.m. Sunday) and Vittorio Grigolo in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (7:45 p.m. Monday ). Seating is first come first served. At various times, 212-721-6500, metopera.org” (NYT-SpareTimes)

>‘Casablanca’
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W53rd St. / 4:30PM, $12
“Ingrid Bergman’s 1942 performance as lsa Lund became her most enduring role. Hear from two of Bergman’s daughters ahead of a screening of Casablanca as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s ongoing “Ingrid Bergman: A Centennial Celebration.”

Elsewhere, but this looks uniquely worth the detour:
>Waku Waku +NYC fest (also Sunday)
Various Locations and Times / $45
latest-campaign-tuckerangerExperience the overlap between Japanese and Brooklyn culture this weekend. The celebration looks at anime and manga, with forays into food, film and fashion, at venues around Greenpoint and Williamsburg. There are several talks in the mix, kicking off Saturday morning with Abby Denson on “Discovering Cool Japan.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Bonus – Music Picks:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite 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
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd dSt. bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==================================================================================

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 these exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:
‘One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North’ (through Sept. 7)
imgres“In the early 20th century, tens of thousands of African Americans left the rural South for the industrial North in search of jobs, homes and respect. Officially, this MoMA show is meant to mark the centennial of that immense population shift, though it also marks another anniversary: the first time in two decades that all 60 paintings in Jacob Lawrence’s great “Migration Series,” now divided between New York and Washington, D.C., have been shown together at the museum. Here they are surrounded by period photographs, books and fabulous music in a display as stimulating to the mind and the ear as it is to the eye. 212-708-9400, moma.org.” (Cotter)

Museum of Arts and Design:
‘Richard Estes: Painting New York City’ (through Sept. 20)
images-1“The core of this show is a selection of vivid, Photorealist paintings of urban subjects like glass and chrome storefronts, movie theater marquees, cars and trucks, subways, the Brooklyn Bridge, views from the Staten Island Ferry and idyllic images of Central Park made between 1965 and 2015. The exhibition also includes didactic sections about the craft and technique that go into Mr. Estes painting and prints, but that aspect doesn’t fully deliver what it promises. 2 Columbus Circle, Manhattan, 212-299-7777,madmuseum.org.”(Johnson).
I LOVE THIS ONE.

=======================================================

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/27 and 08/25.

 

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Selected Events (08/28) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

Today’s Elite 8 > FRIDAY / AUGUST 28, 2015

“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.
(click on links for complete event info)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Accordion Band Festival
Bryant Park, 6th Ave (btw 42nd/40th St.) / 4:30-10PM, FREE
if you like accordion music, don’t miss this one – six groups presenting musical styles from around the world. Balkan funk of Slavic Soul Party, Niall O’Leary Irish Band’s traditional folk, Argentine tango from Los Chantas and more. Bryant Park is a small gem, a perfect spot for a picnic this warm evening, accompanied by the accordions – only in NYCity.

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

>Trio da Paz and Friends (through Aug. 30)
Dizzy’s Club, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $40
“Effervescence comes easily to Trio da Paz, a samba-jazz cooperative consisting of Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums. This engagement, a celebration of bossa nova standards, will augment the band with familiar reinforcements: the trumpeter Claudio Roditi, the saxophonist Harry Allen and the vocalist Maucha Adnet.“ (NYT-Chinen)

>Gerald Clayton Quintet (through Aug. 30)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“While there are certainly more daringly original pianists on the scene, Clayton has an unapologetic vivacity that’s hard to resist. Where trios were once his ensemble of choice, Clayton is now thinking like a commanding small-group leader: his sharp quintet includes the saxophonists Ben Wendel and Logan Richardson.” (NewYorker)

>Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration Sextet (through Aug. 29)
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 8:30PM +11PM, $40
two prominent alto saxophonists, Greg Osby and Vincent Herring, in an all star tribute to the music of the “Birdman.”

>New York International Fringe Festival (through Aug 30)
Various Locations and Times
“Catch more than 200 shows from emerging theater troupes and dance companies from around the world when FringeNYC returns this weekend. Productions range in topics and genres, including drama, comedy and satire. It’s $18 per ticket, with discount passes for multiple shows.” (dnainfo.com)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Life’s a Picnic in Grand Central (LAST DAY)
Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, FREE
“This pop-up picnic space returns for a second year, with live entertainment, food to purchase and chef demonstrations from Grand Central’s vendors. Performances include selections from Joe’s Pub, Big Apple Circus and Broadway shows like “Wicked,” “Something Rotten!” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” The schedule is at grandcentralterminal.com/events.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

>Summer HD Festival (through Sept. 7)
Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center / 8PM, FREE
tonight: “West Side Story” right where it was filmed!
“For 11 nights the Metropolitan Opera will take over Lincoln Center Plaza to bring some of the company’s most memorable recent performances to the masses. The series features 10 screenings of previously recorded operas, beginning with Elina Garanca and Roberto Alagna in Bizet’s “Carmen” (7:45 p.m. Saturday), Anna Netrebko in Verdi’s “Macbeth” (8 p.m. Sunday) and Vittorio Grigolo in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” (7:45 p.m. Monday ). The festival begins on Friday with the 1961 movie “West Side Story,” which features a score by Leonard Bernstein. Seating is first come first served. At various times, 212-721-6500, metopera.org” (NYT-SpareTimes)

>Astronomy on Deck
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86 / 6:45-10PM, FREE
but registration is required.
“Astrophysicist Maryam Modjaz is the Philip Marlowe of stellar death. She’ll discuss gamma-ray bursts and supernovas that explode with the light of a billion suns at a special Astronomy on Deck night.” (ThoughtGallery.org)

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (through Sept 27)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
“It’s finally here! The new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)

Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St., nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St., nr 7th ave.S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9 ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway, nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
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 enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==================================================================================

A PremierPub / Midtown West.

Russian Vodka Room / 265 W 52nd St (btw 7th/8th ave)

Sure, you could travel to Minsk or even Brighton Beach, for an authentic Russian experience, but why bother. On those days when you feel you must wash down your dish of kasha with a few glasses of icy, cold vodka, the Russian Vodka Room will definitely satisfy your urge.

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.

lThose in the know enter a secret hideaway, a dimly lit front room with soft jazz playing – a perfect spot for an illicit late-night rendezvous, or maybe a meet-up with your Russian spy handler, but that’s later in the evening. Early in the evening the large U-shaped bar fills with the after work happy hour crowd, a group made very happy by the much reduced prices.

Their website says: “Welcome Comrades”. Of course, this welcome focuses on dozens of different vodkas, including their own special infusions, which marinate in giant, clear glass jugs visible around the room. The large vodka martinis ensure that you won’t confuse this place with your mother’s Russian Tea Room.

But man does not live by vodka alone. Eat some food, especially the tapa like appetizers. Be decadent and try the cheese blintzes with chocolate, or try a main dish like beef stroganoff with kasha.

Your best bet is to go on a night when the piano man is playing. This guy, who looks like he has eaten a lot of those cheese blintzes, plays five nights a week from 7 to 12 (no Mondays and Thursdays). When the piano man is playing American pop tunes, and you are at the crowded, dimly lit bar testing the horseradish infused vodka, that’s when the RVR shines.

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).

========================================================

Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a sax player with a younger, trimmer piano man. “tiny” we miss you.

==================================================================================
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selected Events (08/27) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s Elite 8 > THURSDAY / AUGUST 27, 2015

“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.
(click on links for complete event info)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Live Sculpting with Michael Evert: Margaret Russell
Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle / 6PM
FREE with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission
Sculptor Michael Evert will be bringing models to life in a real-time demonstration in the studio of the Museum of Arts and Design exhibition Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin. Catch him as he live-sculpts Margaret Russell, Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest.

Stop by the re-created studio in the exhibition Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin for free demonstrations in sculpting from live models. Revealing his process of using traditional sculpting methods to create unique and forward-thinking mannequins, Michael Evert, Pucci’s sculptor, will sculpt new busts onsite. Working from a variety of models, ranging from Pucci collaborators to MAD members, Evert demonstrates firsthand what goes into making a mannequin for Ralph Pucci—a manufacturer who still engages in creating mannequin figures by hand. (ThoughtGallery.org)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
>Gerald Clayton Quintet (through Aug. 30)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“While there are certainly more daringly original pianists on the scene, Clayton has an unapologetic vivacity that’s hard to resist. Where trios were once his ensemble of choice, Clayton is now thinking like a commanding small-group leader: his sharp quintet includes the saxophonists Ben Wendel and Logan Richardson.” (NewYorker)

>Native Sounds from North Carolina
National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green / 6PM, FREE
hear award-winning, North Carolina band Dark Water Rising perform their soulful music. the band’s members are part of the Lumbee and Tuscarora Nations.

>Listening Party – Great South African Vocalists
Jazz at Lincoln Center, Frederick P. Rose Hall, 5th fl. Broadway and 60th St. / 7PM, FREE
Vocalist Vuyo Sotashe joins Seton Hawkins for a night of South African Jazz, in which they explore the music of great South African vocalists!

Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration Sextet (through Aug. 29)
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 8:30PM +11PM, $40
two prominent alto saxophonists, Greg Osby and Vincent Herring, in an all star tribute to the music of the “Birdman.”

Misty Copeland: ‘On the Town (through Sept. 6)
Lyric Theatre, 213 W42nd St./ 7PM, $62.50-$157.50
“Broadway’s dance-heavy musical revival about sailors making the most of shore leave in NYC is closing its doors after Sept. 6. But audiences catching the show before then are in for a treat, as American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland — recently named the world’s first African-American principal ballerina — takes on the role of Ivy Smith for the final 12 performances, starting Aug. 25. It’s Copeland’s Broadway debut, fittingly in the show that boasted one of the first-ever racially integrated casts in 1944.” (Metro)

>New York International Fringe Festival (through Aug 30)
Various Locations and Times
“Catch more than 200 shows from emerging theater troupes and dance companies from around the world when FringeNYC returns this weekend. Productions range in topics and genres, including drama, comedy and satire. It’s $18 per ticket, with discount passes for multiple shows.” (dnainfo.com)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

>Life’s a Picnic in Grand Central (through Friday)
Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, FREE
“This pop-up picnic space returns for a second year, with live entertainment, food to purchase and chef demonstrations from Grand Central’s vendors. Performances include selections from Joe’s Pub, Big Apple Circus and Broadway shows like “Wicked,” “Something Rotten!” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” The schedule is at grandcentralterminal.com/events.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (through Sept 27)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
“It’s finally here! The new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)

Bonus – Music Picks:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite 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
Metropolitan Room – 34W22ndSt., metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237W42nd dSt. bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 enjoyment and discovery.

==================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
==================================================================================

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.

This is a current exhibitions that the NYT recommends:

Elmer Bischoff: ‘Figurative Paintings’ (through Sept 12, BUT closed Aug 15-31)
a7806ce62f0062695f6a5c2546b49c14“During the heyday of Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s, a number of painters in San Francisco turned away from abstraction and back to representational painting, thereby founding what came to be known as Bay Area Figuration. Elmer Bischoff (1916-1991) was one of the leaders of the movement. This show reveals a visionary, unabashedly romantic painter working under the influences of Edward Hopper and Albert Pinkham Ryder. He created images of poetic nostalgia and spiritual yearning grounded in robustly applied, richly sensuous paint. George Adams Gallery, 525-531 West 26th Street, Chelsea, 212-564-8480, georgeadamsgallery.com.” (Johnson)

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 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).

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/25 and 08/23.

 

 

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Selected Events (08/26) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District)

Today’s Elite 8 > WEDNESDAY / AUGUST 26, 2015

“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.
(click on links for complete event info)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
>Gerald Clayton Quintet (through Aug. 30)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“While there are certainly more daringly original pianists on the scene, Clayton has an unapologetic vivacity that’s hard to resist. Where trios were once his ensemble of choice, Clayton is now thinking like a commanding small-group leader: his sharp quintet includes the saxophonists Ben Wendel and Logan Richardson.” (NewYorker)

>Trio da Paz and Friends (through Aug. 30)
Dizzy’s Club, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $40
“Effervescence comes easily to Trio da Paz, a samba-jazz cooperative consisting of Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums. This engagement, a celebration of bossa nova standards, will augment the band with familiar reinforcements: the trumpeter Claudio Roditi, the saxophonist Harry Allen and the vocalist Maucha Adnet.“ (NYT-Chinen)

Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration Sextet (through Aug. 29)
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 8:30PM +11PM, $40
two prominent alto saxophonists, Greg Osby and Vincent Herring, in an all star tribute to the music of the “Birdman.”

Misty Copeland: ‘On the Town (through Sept. 6)
Lyric Theatre, 213 W42nd St./ 7PM, $62.50-$157.50
“Broadway’s dance-heavy musical revival about sailors making the most of shore leave in NYC is closing its doors after Sept. 6. But audiences catching the show before then are in for a treat, as American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland — recently named the world’s first African-American principal ballerina — takes on the role of Ivy Smith for the final 12 performances, starting Aug. 25. It’s Copeland’s Broadway debut, fittingly in the show that boasted one of the first-ever racially integrated casts in 1944.” (Metro)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

>Life’s a Picnic in Grand Central (through Friday)
Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, FREE
“This pop-up picnic space returns for a second year, with live entertainment, food to purchase and chef demonstrations from Grand Central’s vendors. Performances include selections from Joe’s Pub, Big Apple Circus and Broadway shows like “Wicked,” “Something Rotten!” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” The schedule is at grandcentralterminal.com/events.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

The Cause of All Nations:
>An International History of the American Civil War
Bryant Park Reading Room / 7PM, FREE
“Abraham Lincoln knew that the Civil War dividing the nation would have consequences that would stretch far beyond the borders of the young republic. From Europe to Latin America, all eyes were on the United States as it confronted the threat of its own demise—a critical crossroads for democracy’s fortitude. Distinguished historian Don H. Doyle surveys the Civil War’s impact on both sides of the Atlantic, as the Union and Confederacy competed for the sympathies of the international community.”

Inaugural Exhibition: AMERICA IS HARD TO SEE (through Sept 27)
Whitney Museum, 99 Gansevoort St. / 10:30AM-6PM, $22.
“It’s finally here! The new improved Whitney home in MePa that’s supposed to finally put to rest the museum’s rep as the also-ran of New York’s major art institutions. The Whitney inaugurates its new home with this massive permanent-collection survey spanning eight decades. Covering four floors in roughly chronological order, the show relays overlapping histories about the Whitney itself, the development of modernism in America and the country’s transition from cultural backwater to overweening superpower.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
>The Awesome Oyster
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1 Entrance / 6:30PM, $10
Tours will start next to Lizzmonade stand.
learn the history of the awesome eastern oyster and spend a lovely evening in Brooklyn Bridge Park, one of NYCity’s newest parks and a small gem of an oasis.

“While investigating the oyster gardens at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, examine the various critters that live in the East River and the history of New York Harbor’s keystone species: the eastern oyster with Isa Del Bello, Education Manager for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.”

Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Greenwich Village:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South — villagevanguard.com / 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St., nr 6th ave. — bluenotejazz.com / 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St., nr 7th ave. S. — 55bar.com / 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway, nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662
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 enjoyment and discovery.

===================================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
===================================================================================

A PremierPub + 3 Good Eating places

Jimmy’s Corner / 140 W 44th St (btw B’way & 7th ave)

IMG_2083Jimmy’s Corner is right in the heart of Times Square, but you won’t find it on the corner, it’s mid-block. Enter this long narrow bar and you are struck by the walls covered with mostly black-and-white boxing photographs, and memorabilia. Soon enough you learn that “Corner” refers to proprietor Jimmy Glenn’s long career as a corner man for some of boxing greats – Liston, Tyson, even “the greatest”, Ali.

Jimmy’s is a sort of time machine, taking you back to a time and place that no longer exists. All around you Times Square has cleaned up, grown up, assumed a new identity. Jimmy’s probably hasn’t changed a bit since it first opened in 1971. Certainly the bar itself looks original and the prices haven’t changed much either. When I brought a friend, who owns her own bar, she was surprised when she got the small tab for a round of drinks. Figured there must be a mistake, that maybe they forgot to charge for all the drinks.

Times Square today is filled with neon glitz and wandering tourists from Dubuque, but not Jimmy’s. You’ll likely find some old timer’s at the bar nursing their drinks, some younger locals at tables in the back, and maybe a few adventuresome tourists clutching their trusty guidebooks. There’s no food served here because this is just a bar, and sometimes that’s all you need.

On nights when no local team is playing, it’s a fine place to sip some drafts and listen to a great old time jukebox (40s, 50s, R&B, and soul). On sports nights this very narrow bar can get a bit claustrophobic, filled with excited fans watching their team on the TVs. Either way, Jimmy’s is the place to be if you are looking for an old time bar in the new Times Square.
————————————————————————————————————————
Website: are you kidding !
(although there is a facebook page with lots of photos –
facebook.com/jimmyscornernyc)
Phone #: 212-221-9510
Hours: 11am – 4 am, except Sunday they open 12 noon
Happy Hour: not necessary, low prices all day, every day
Subway: #1,2,3 to TimesSquare 42nd st
walk 2 blks N on 7th ave to 44th st; ½ blk E to Jimmy’s

===========================================================================================
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
===========================================================================================

3 Good Eating places

It’s not difficult finding a place to eat in Manhattan.
Finding a good, inexpensive place to eat is a bit harder.
Here are a few of my faves in this neighborhood:

Patzeria Perfect Pizza – 231 W46 St. (Btw 7th/8th ave)
Perfect name for a pizza joint. On a street filled with Broadway theaters, this is a real hole in the wall, but don’t let the dive look scare you away. You can never go wrong with a slice of NYCity pizza, and this one is a classic thin crust. Only a few seats here, but pizza was made to eat standing up.

Shake Shack – 691 8th Ave. (Btw 43rd/44th st)
Danny Meyer has revolutionized the high quality burger in this town. Now he has a branch on the West Side that was desperately needed, with a bit less of the insane lines that you find at the Madison Sq. Park location. Worth the wait.

Xi’an Famous Foods – 24 W45th St. (Btw 5th/6th ave)
Try to avoid long lunch lines. Order lamb hand ripped noodles and warm your insides at one of the tables in the back. You’ll return, just remember that even mild is pretty spicy.
==============================================================

“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
This covers a wide range of food – the traditional pizza, burgers, & hot dogs; but also food trucks & carts, soup & sandwiches, picnic fixins’, raw bars & lobster rolls, bbq, vegetarian / falafel, ramen, chopped salad & salad bars. No reservations needed.
================================================================================

◊ For all my picks of 54 Good Eating places, and essays on my favorite 18 PremierPubs in 9 Neighborhoods on Manhattan’s WestSide, order a copy of my e-book:
“Eating and Drinking on NYCity’s WestSide” ($4.99, available Fall 2015).
◊ Order before Oct. 31, 2015 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.
=========================================================

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Selected Events (08/25) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s Elite 8 > TUESDAY / AUGUST 25, 2015

“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.
(click on links for complete event info)

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

Misty Copeland: ‘On the Town (through Sept. 6)
Lyric Theatre, 213 W42nd St./ 7PM, $62.50-$157.50
“Broadway’s dance-heavy musical revival about sailors making the most of shore leave in NYC is closing its doors after Sept. 6. But audiences catching the show before then are in for a treat, as American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland — recently named the world’s first African-American principal ballerina — takes on the role of Ivy Smith for the final 12 performances, starting Aug. 25. It’s Copeland’s Broadway debut, fittingly in the show that boasted one of the first-ever racially integrated casts in 1944.” (Metro)

Today’s Other Featured Events:

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
>New York International Fringe Festival (through Aug 30)
Various Locations and Times
“Catch more than 200 shows from emerging theater troupes and dance companies from around the world when FringeNYC returns this weekend. Productions range in topics and genres, including drama, comedy and satire. It’s $18 per ticket, with discount passes for multiple shows.” (dnainfo.com)

Kamasi Washington
Blue Note, 131 West Third St./ 8PM +10:30PM, $
“One of the breakout stories of this year in music is Mr. Washington, a tenor saxophonist from Los Angeles with a burly, beseeching sound.
(NYT-Chinen)

>Gerald Clayton Quintet (through Aug. 30)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM +10:30PM, $30
“While there are certainly more daringly original pianists on the scene, Clayton has an unapologetic vivacity that’s hard to resist. Where trios were once his ensemble of choice, Clayton is now thinking like a commanding small-group leader: his sharp quintet includes the saxophonists Ben Wendel and Logan Richardson.” (NewYorker)

>Trio da Paz and Friends (through Aug. 30)
Dizzy’s Club, 60th St. and Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $40
“Effervescence comes easily to Trio da Paz, a samba-jazz cooperative consisting of Romero Lubambo on guitar, Nilson Matta on bass and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums. This engagement, a celebration of bossa nova standards, will augment the band with familiar reinforcements: the trumpeter Claudio Roditi, the saxophonist Harry Allen and the vocalist Maucha Adnet.“ (NYT-Chinen)

>Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration Sextet (through Aug. 29)
Birdland, 315 W44th St. / 8:30PM +11PM, $40
two prominent alto saxophonists, Greg Osby and Vincent Herring, in an all star tribute to the music of the “Birdman.”

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

>Life’s a Picnic in Grand Central (through Friday)
Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, FREE
“This pop-up picnic space returns for a second year, with live entertainment, food to purchase and chef demonstrations from Grand Central’s vendors. Performances include selections from Joe’s Pub, Big Apple Circus and Broadway shows like “Wicked,” “Something Rotten!” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” The schedule is at grandcentralterminal.com/events.” (NYT-SpareTimes)

>Roots of South African Jazz
Jazz At Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th St, 5th Fl. / 7PM, FREE
in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, educator Seton Hawkins takes music lovers on a tour of the country’s history of jazz.

Bonus – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are a few of my favorite 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
Metropolitan Room – 34 W22nd St. / metropolitan room.com, 212-206-0440
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St. / lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St. / beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
B.B. King’s Blues Bar – 237 W42nd St. / bbkingblues.com, 212-997-2144
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 enjoyment and discovery.

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015.  Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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WHAT’S ON VIEW
My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museum exhibitions,
and also see the expanded reviews of these exhibitions)

Metropolitan Museum of Art:
‘Reimagining Modernism: 1900-1950’ (continuing)
One of the greatest encyclopedic museums in the world fulfills its mission a little more with an ambitious reinstallation of works of early European modernism with their American counterparts for the first time in nearly 30 years. Objects of design and paintings by a few self-taught artists further the integration. It is quite a sight, with interesting rotations and fine-tunings to come. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org.” (Smith)

‘Warriors and Mothers: Epic Mbembe Art’ (through Sept. 16)
If a dozen masterpiece Renaissance sculptures, done in an unknown and wildly unorthodox style, suddenly turned up in the Italian countryside, the find would make the news. You’ll encounter the equivalent of such a discovery in this show of spectacular weatherworn, wood-carved figures, some dating to before the 17th century, that were made by the Mbembe in southeastern Nigeria and taken to Paris by an African dealer in the early 1970s. They caused a sensation among collectors and scholars at the time, and you can see why. But the effort to find more of them proved fruitless. The examples at the Met, which include the original dozen, represent all the fully intact stand-alone Mbembe figures known to exist. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Cotter)

‘Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River’ (through Sept. 20)
This moving tribute to the 19th-century painter who depicted the hardscrabble life along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers as spacious idylls of serenity and even timelessness, presents 16 of his 17 river paintings known to exist, among nearly all the exacting studies of men at rest that preceded them. The human dimension of the figures is joined to the golden light and space of the setting by the geometric solidity of the boats and their wonderful details. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Smith)

‘Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met’ (through Sept. 27) Highlighting contributions to the Met’s Japanese art holdings by American collectors from the 1880s to the present, this gorgeous show presents more than 200 superb paintings, drawings, prints, scrolls, folding screens, ceramics, lacquer ware and works in other mediums and genres, mostly dating from the fourth century to the late 19th. 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org. (Johnson)

Neue Galerie:
‘Egon Schiele: Portraits’ (through Sept. 07)
zakovsek_1“Of the approximately 125 items in this terrific show, there are only 11 oil paintings, which is a good thing. Except for a large picture of his wife, Edith, in a colorful striped dress, Schiele’s works on canvas are dark and turgid. But his drawings are nimble and nuanced. Working on paper with pencil, charcoal, ink, gouache, watercolor and crayons, he portrayed himself and others with infectious avidity. There’s hardly a single sheet here that doesn’t warrant close looking for its virtuoso draftsmanship and psychological acuity. 1048 Fifth Avenue, at 86th Street, 212-628-6200, neuegalerie.org. “(Johnson)

Guggenheim Museum:
Kandinsky Gallery (through spring 2016)
“A pioneer of abstract art and eminent aesthetic theorist, Vasily Kandinsky (b. 1866, Moscow; d. 1944, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France) broke new ground in painting during the first decades of the twentieth century. His seminal treatise Über das Geistige in der Kunst (On the Spiritual in Art), published in Munich in December 1911, lays out his program for developing an art independent from observations of the external world. In this and other texts, as well as his work, Kandinsky advanced abstraction’s potential to be free from nature, a quality of music that he admired. The development of a new subject matter based solely on the artist’s “inner necessity” would occupy him for the rest of his life.”

The Guggenheim collection now contains more than 150 works by this single artist, making it the largest collection of Kandinsky works in the United States.

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (continuing):
rendering-3The stately doors of the 1902 Andrew Carnegie mansion, home to the Cooper Hewitt, are open again after an overhaul and expansion of the premises. Historic house and modern museum have always made an awkward fit, a standoff between preservation and innovation, and the problem remains, but the renovation has brought a wide-open new gallery space, a cafe and a raft of be-your-own-designer digital enhancements. Best of all, more of the museum’s vast permanent collection is now on view, including an Op Art weaving, miniature spiral staircases, ballistic face masks and a dainty enameled 18th-century version of a Swiss knife. Like design itself, this institution is built on tumult and friction, and you feel it. 2 East 91st Street, at Fifth Avenue, 212-849-8400, cooperhewitt.org. (Cotter)

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:

• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015). ========================================================

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/23 and 08/21.

 

 

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