Selected Events (07/28) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s Elite 8 > TUESDAY / JULY 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)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival (Tuesdays through Aug 25)
> David Wax Museum w/ Dan Mills
City Winery Courtyard, 155 Varick St. / 5:30PM, FREE
“David Wax and Suz Slezak front the David Wax Museum, and together with their band they fuse traditional Mexican folk with indie rock and American roots to create a Mexo-Americana aesthetic.”

> Minimus 3D Arkestra (through Thursday)
13th Street Repertory Theater, 50 West 13th St. / 8PM, $18
“This innovative performance combines 3-D film making and live music. Audience members wear stereoscopic glasses as they watch a live duet (with music by the jazz saxophonist and composer Hayes Greenfield) paired with a silent film by Ikuo Nakamura.” (NYT)

> “Cymbeline” / Shakespeare in the Park (through August 23)
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
a fairytale tucked within a tragedy. Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe in the Bard’s romance where cross-dressing and fake deaths move the plot. this is one tough ticket
– if you qualify, try the new line for seniors 65-plus at the Delacorte Theater.
– take your chances with the online ticket lottery (click here to learn how)
– or try the new ticket lottery at the Public Theater near Astor Place (instructions here).
(seniorplanet.org)

> Momix (through Aug 1)
Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave at West 19th St. / 7:30PM, $10+
“Moses Pendleton’s whimsical troupe, a hybrid of modern dance, circus and visual spectacle, celebrates its 35th anniversary with a nearly monthlong run of the new work “Alchemia.”

> George Ezra
Terminal 5, 610 West 56th St./ 8PM, $30
“It’s easy to overlook Mr. Ezra amid the recent stream of guitar-wielding pop-soul troubadours hailing from Britain (recently, Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard). But on his debut album, “Wanted on Voyage,” Mr. Ezra proved to be a cut above the fray with straight-shooting, elegant folk-blues songwriting and a mercurial baritone that suggests sinister edges yet to be fully explored. With Dylan LeBlanc.” (NYT-Anderson)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Enjoy the summer edition of Restaurant Week (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

ELSEWHERE, but for photography buffs this looks worth the detour:
> “The Fence” in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Begin at Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge Park / FREE
a 1,250-foot outdoor photo installation, this exhibit features work from 40 professional photographers from around the world. a unique site-specific exhibition aimed at fostering conversations and exploring new thematic directions in photography. best of all, it is in Brooklyn Bridge Park, NYCity’s newest park and a small gem of an oasis.

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Swing a Song of Sinatra – Jazz in July (through July 30)
92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, Lexington Avenue at 92nd St / 8PM, $66
“No one sang like Sinatra, and no one sings Sinatra like Kurt Elling.
Celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes’ centenary with a superstar vocalist who serenades on a par with the master himself—and a glittering band that boasts Benny Goodman veteran Warren Vaché on cornet. Here’s to you, Frank.” (website)

“Whenever you come across the 92Y’s Jazz in July series touted in print, you’re likely to see the word “exquisite” attached. Artistic director Bill Charlap sculpts his programs and performer lists to stress the kind of grace that he himself brings to the stage when leading his piano trio.

As usual, this year he peppers the repertory-slanted schedule with vocalists: Ernie Andrews gives Duke a smooch, Ann Hampton Callaway glides through Sondheim, and the mighty Kurt Elling embraces Frank Sinatra. Each will be bolstered by some of the city’s sagest improvisers. Vets Dick Hyman, Houston Person, and Bucky Pizzarelli are part of an ever-changing cast that includes skilled boomers Matt Wilson, Ken Peplowski, and Marcus Roberts.

Mainstream jazz is full of finesse, and as the week-long fest puts its personal spin on history and unpacks the kind of splendor that tickles the button-down crowd, a distinct p.o.v. will emerge. You bet it’s exquisite.” (Jim Macnie-VillageVoice)

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.

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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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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:

Roger Brown: ‘Political Paintings’ (through July 31)
“Brown (1941 – 1997) was one of the best of the Chicago Imagists who emerged in the 1960s. The paintings here address topics like money, war and terrorism with comical skepticism. “Gulf War” (1991) is a diptych pairing mock-heroic portraits of former President George H. W. Bush and Saddam Hussein. The men loom gigantically over desert landscapes with helicopters buzzing around their heads. It suggests that as makers of war, theses leaders were kindred spirits. DC Moore Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, dcmooregallery.com, 212-247-2111.” (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).

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 07/26 and 07/24.

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Selected Events (07/27) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square/ Theater District)

Today’s Elite 8 > MONDAY / JULY 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)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Captain Black Big Band – Conducted by Orrin Evans
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway (btw 105/106 St.) / 7PM, + 9PM, $9
a big band (a very big band) with attitude. plays funky blues, avant-garde, even swing.

> “Cymbeline” / Shakespeare in the Park (through August 23)
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
a fairytale tucked within a tragedy. Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe in the Bard’s romance where cross-dressing and fake deaths move the plot. this is one tough ticket
– if you qualify, try the new line for seniors 65-plus at the Delacorte Theater.
– take your chances with the online ticket lottery (click here to learn how)
– or try the new ticket lottery at the Public Theater near Astor Place (instructions here).
(seniorplanet.org)

71-atlg> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party (Cabaret)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. (btw 8/9 ave) / 9:30PM, $25
the witty host attracts broadway stars on their night off, along with up and comers.

> Whiplash
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 307 W 26th St. / 11PM, FREE
popular show is known for always featuring the city’s best up-and-coming comedians.
surprise special guests—Chris Rock, Louis C.K. and David Cross—keep audiences hooked. (tonight’s show is sold out, listed here to remind you to try for this event earlier next week)

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

dylan-goes-electric_0> ‘Dylan Goes Electric! From New York to Newport’
Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Avenue at 103rd St. / 6:30PM, $16
three critics focus on the transition in Dylan’s work, around the time of the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

> Three Choices for America’s Role in the World:
A Conversation with Ian Bremmer and Dana Perino
Rosenthal Pavilion, NYU Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South / 7PM, FREE, resv. required
three versions of American superpower and which might be most effective in the 21st Century. Bremmer is a regular on Charly Rose and one very interesting guy.

> Jim J’s Jukebox: The Great American Songbook from Vaudeville to Tin Pan Alley, from Broadway to Hollywood
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza / 6PM, FREE
anecdotes and recordings played by a big fan of the American Songbook and selection committee chair for the Traditional Pop category of the Grammys.

> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Enjoy the summer edition of Restaurant Week (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

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

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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 (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.
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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.
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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.
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◊ 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 (07/26) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

Today’s Elite 8 > SUNDAY / JULY 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
> Heads of State
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, (btw 105th/106th Sts.) / 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“this coöperative ensemble unites four players of a certain age—the saxophonist Gary Bartz, the pianist Larry Willis, the bassist Buster Williams, and the drummer Al Foster. The assurance they’ve gained from their experience is evident in their collective spirit” (NewYorker)

Summergarden: New Music for New York
> Jazz Concert II: Ulysses Owens Jr. and Friends
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W53rd St. (btw 5/6 ave) / 8PM, FREE
“titled New Music for New York, the series comprises four evenings of adventurous contemporary music, with premieres each night.”
the exhibition galleries are closed during Summergarden. entrance to Summergarden is through the Sculpture Garden gate on West 54 Street between 5/6 avenues.

> Bryant Park Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet  (July17-Aug02)
Bryant Park Stage, 42nd St. (btw 5/6 ave) / today 2PM, FREE
presented by The Drilling Company with performances on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 – 8:30pm. and Sundays from 2:00 – 4:00pm.
“In The Drilling Company’s production for Bryant Park Shakespeare the play will be set in a modern city which is divided by wealth and class. Directed by David Marantz, it aims to send a clear message about the violence that can result from social division and corporate greed.” (BroadwayWorld)

> Jenny Scheinman
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM+10:30PM, $30
“violinist Scheinman returns to her downtown roots as an instrumental improviser, finding pathos in a hybridized style drawing from Appalachian fiddle, klezmer, and the avant-garde that has helped redefine the role of the violin in the jazz diaspora.” (VillageVoice)

> “Cymbeline” / Shakespeare in the Park (through August 23)
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
a fairytale tucked within a tragedy. Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe in the Bard’s romance where cross-dressing and fake deaths move the plot. this is one tough ticket
– if you qualify, try the new line for seniors 65-plus at the Delacorte Theater.
– take your chances with the online ticket lottery (click here to learn how)
– or try the new ticket lottery at the Public Theater near Astor Place (instructions here).
(seniorplanet.org)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> New York City Poetry Festival
Governor’s Island / 11AM-6PM, FREE
their motto: “250 poets. 5 boroughs. 2 days. ONE CITY.”
“Now in its fifth year, the free weekend-long New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island continues to grow — organizers are expecting 4,000 people this year — and gathers a book fair, food trucks, around 50 vendors and a children’s festival on Colonels’ Row.
Drawing on the variety of poetry groups from all five boroughs, readings at the event can be academic or high-minded, musical or theatrical — which will be the case for Kiss Punch Poem, a group that uses poetry readings as a foundation for improv.” (NYT)

> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Enjoy the summer edition of Restaurant Week (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> An Evening with Judy Collins – Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center / 7PM, FREE
“she epitomizes the ‘60s convergence of folk ethos, progressive politics, and popular song. Whether performing her own work, reinvigorating traditional pieces, or transforming the songs of masters like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Stephen Sondheim, the trailblazer continues to keep listeners riveted with her instantly recognizable crystal clear voice.”

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)

‘Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklanski Photographs’ (through Aug. 16)
A small but succinct survey of the multimedia bad-boy artist’s polymorphous relationship to photography shows him constantly changing scale, film and printing methods while exploring the medium’s ability to startle, seduce and become generic. He appropriates, imitates and pays homage as he goes, regularly invoking his Polish roots. Don’t miss the large photo-banners in the museum’s Great Hall or the massive fiber-sculpture monument to the eye and to insatiable looking. 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 07/20 and 07/18.
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Selected Events (07/25) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

Today’s Elite 8+ > SATURDAY / JULY 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)

Music, Dance, Performing Arts
> Bryant Park Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet  (July17-Aug02)
Bryant Park Stage, 42nd St. (btw 5/6 ave) / today 6:30PM, FREE
presented by The Drilling Company with performances on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 – 8:30pm. and Sundays from 2:00 – 4:00pm.
“In The Drilling Company’s production for Bryant Park Shakespeare the play will be set in a modern city which is divided by wealth and class. Directed by David Marantz, it aims to send a clear message about the violence that can result from social division and corporate greed.” (BroadwayWorld)

> Randy Newman, Wycliffe Gordon, & Lil Buck – Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center / 7PM, FREE
imgres“with songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical, plus a host of unforgettable film scores, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Randy Newman has created musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences. and he is joined by master trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and his jet-setting band who will bring their signature sound to a set of New Orleans tunes.”

> Jenny Scheinman (through July 26)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM+10:30PM, $30
“violinist Scheinman returns to her downtown roots as an instrumental improviser, finding pathos in a hybridized style drawing from Appalachian fiddle, klezmer, and the avant-garde that has helped redefine the role of the violin in the jazz diaspora.” (VillageVoice)

> “Cymbeline” / Shakespeare in the Park (through August 23)
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
a fairytale tucked within a tragedy. Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe in the Bard’s romance where cross-dressing and fake deaths move the plot. this is one tough ticket
– if you qualify, try the new line for seniors 65-plus at the Delacorte Theater.
– take your chances with the online ticket lottery (click here to learn how)
– or try the new ticket lottery at the Public Theater near Astor Place (instructions here).
(seniorplanet.org)

> Stacey Kent (last day of a 5 day engagement)
Birdland, 315 West 44th St. / 8:30PM +11PM, $
“An American-born jazz singer whose life and career have taken root in Europe, Ms. Kent has a delicate-but-determined style, girded by her multilingual poise. She appears, as usual, with her husband, the saxophonist Jim Tomlinson. They will draw from an appealing recent bossa nova album, “The Changing Lights.”(Chinen-NYT)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> New York City Poetry Festival (also Sunday)
Governor’s Island / 11AM-6PM, FREE
their motto: “250 poets. 5 boroughs. 2 days. ONE CITY.”
“Now in its fifth year, the free weekend-long New York City Poetry Festival on Governors Island continues to grow — organizers are expecting 4,000 people this year — and gathers a book fair, food trucks, around 50 vendors and a children’s festival on Colonels’ Row.
Drawing on the variety of poetry groups from all five boroughs, readings at the event can be academic or high-minded, musical or theatrical — which will be the case for Kiss Punch Poem, a group that uses poetry readings as a foundation for improv.” (NYT)

> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Enjoy the summer edition of Restaurant Week (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

ELSEWHERE, but this looks worth the detour on a fine day like this:
> “The Fence” in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Begin at Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge Park / FREE
a 1,250-foot outdoor photo installation, this exhibit features work from 40 professional photographers from around the world. a unique site-specific exhibition aimed at fostering conversations and exploring new thematic directions in photography. best of all, it is in Bklyn Bridge Park, NYCity’s newest park and a small gem.

Have time for only one event today? Do this:
High Bridge Festival
Well, maybe this is mostly for us folks who grew up in Highbridge, and who have a special place in our hearts for the grand old bridge.

1024px-High_Bridge,_New_York_City,_1900NYCity’s oldest standing bridge is the High Bridge in the Bronx, an engineering marvel when it was completed as part of the Croton Aqueduct system in 1848. Closed for decades, it recently reopened after a $62M restoration as a pedestrian connector.

High Bridge is a classic example of how an ancient system of water technology can play a major role in the expansion of a metropolis. Without sufficient clean water, Manhattan could never have grown into the world’s premier city that it is today.
So let’s celebrate, I’ll be there wearing my “Made in the Bronx” shirt.

High Bridge Festival
“Where: Bronx and Manhattan Sides of the High Bridge, the Bronx
The High Bridge, originally an aqueduct, was re-opened earlier this summer after it was transformed into a pedestrian walkway linking Washington Heights and the Bronx. The festival will feature live performances and activities, including walking tours of the High Bridge and rowing instruction.
The festival runs from noon to 4 p.m.” (DNAinfo.com)
For a detailed list of festival events see the NYCity Parks Dept “High Bridge Festival” site

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.

===========================================================================================
“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.

================================================================================
“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 (07/24) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

Today’s Elite 8+ > FRIDAY / JULY 24, 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
> ‘Tribute to Portishead’
Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St, near Thompson St. / 8PM, $
“The English trip-hop band Portishead’s entrancing, organic dark grooves are still the gold standard of elegant dance music. In this third annual tribute to the group, a full crop of vocalists parry through Portisheads’s sinuous tunes” (NYT)

> Bryant Park Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet (July17-Aug02)
Bryant Park Stage, 42nd St. (btw 5/6 ave) / today 6:30PM, FREE
presented by The Drilling Company with performances on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 – 8:30pm. and Sundays from 2:00 – 4:00pm.
“In The Drilling Company’s production for Bryant Park Shakespeare the play will be set in a modern city which is divided by wealth and class. Directed by David Marantz, it aims to send a clear message about the violence that can result from social division and corporate greed.” (BroadwayWorld)

> Dorrance Dance – Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“The innovative tap group Dorrance Dance performs “The Blues Project Revisited,” its soul-stirring collaboration with the astonishing folk/blues musician Toshi Reagon and her band, BIGLovely.” (TONY)

> Jenny Scheinman (through July 26)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM+10:30PM, $30
“violinist Scheinman returns to her downtown roots as an instrumental improviser, finding pathos in a hybridized style drawing from Appalachian fiddle, klezmer, and the avant-garde that has helped redefine the role of the violin in the jazz diaspora.” (VillageVoice)

> “Cymbeline” / Shakespeare in the Park (through August 23)
Central Park, Delacorte Theater / 8PM, FREE
a fairytale tucked within a tragedy. Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe in the Bard’s romance where cross-dressing and fake deaths move the plot. this is one tough ticket
– if you qualify, try the new line for seniors 65-plus at the Delacorte Theater.
– take your chances with the online ticket lottery (click here to learn how)
– or try the new ticket lottery at the Public Theater near Astor Place (instructions here).
(seniorplanet.org)

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

> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Today marks the start of the summer edition of the “week” (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

ELSEWHERE, but this looks worth the detour:
> “The Fence” in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Begin at Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge Park / FREE
a 1,250-foot outdoor photo installation, this exhibit features work from 40 professional photographers from around the world. a unique site-specific exhibition aimed at fostering conversations and exploring new thematic directions in photography. best of all, it is in Bklyn Bridge Park, NYCity’s newest park and a small gem.

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Dancenoise (through Sunday)
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street, at Washington Street,
“This audacious duo, also known as Annie Iobst and Lucy Sexton, rose to downtown fame in the 1980s with their smart, wild, routinely gruesome brew of dance, comedy and performance art. The Whitney Museum of American Art, which is currently hosting the exhibition “Dancenoise: Don’t Look Back,” is a far cry from the East Village nightclubs where the two women started out, but they’re taking measures to recreate that scene. The exhibition includes a retrospective installation (Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.); a new performance (Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m.); and a film screening (Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.). 212-570-3600, whitney.org.”
(Siobhan Burke- NYT)

“Unruly East Village performance art of the nineteen-eighties and early nineties comes to the Whitney Museum in the form of DANCENOISE, the comic duo of Anne Iobst and Lucy Sexton. Their series, titled “Don’t Look Back,” begins on July 22, with a variety show like the ones Iobst and Sexton used to host at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut. The rest of the week mixes films and re-creations of earlier DANCENOISE shows, with their helter-skelter pandemonium and pop-culture commentary, at once violent and friendly, and some new material, too.” (NewYorker)

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.

Whitney Museum of American Art:
‘America Is Hard to See’ (through Sept. 27)
“With high ceilings, soft pine-plank floors and light-flooded windows and terraces, the galleries of the new Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum in the meatpacking district are as airy as 19th-century sailmakers’ lofts. Art feels at home in them, and the work in the museum’s top-to-bottom inaugural exhibition is homegrown. Culled from the permanent collection, it mixes bookmarked favorites by Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Jasper Johns with objects and artists that the Whitney had all but forgotten or just brought in. As a vision of a larger America, the show is far from comprehensive; as a musing on the history of a particular New York institution over nearly a century, it is very fine, smartly detailed and superbly presented. 99 Gansevoort Street, at Washington Street, 212-570-3600, whitney.org.” (Cotter)

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

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 07/22 and 07/20.

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Selected Events (07/23) + Today’s Featured Pub (Tribeca)

Today’s Elite 8+ > THURSDAY / JULY 23, 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

> Broadway in Bryant Park (weekly through Aug 13)
Bryant Park, 6th ave at 40th St. / 12:30PM, FREE
The best of musicals on and off By roadway showcase their hits.
today is a special treat: “Kinky Boots,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Sayonara.”
No better way to spend your lunch hour.

> River and Blues: Henry Butler and Friends
Robert F Wagner Jr. Park, 20 Battery Place / 7PM, FREE
Jazz musician Henry Butler has been described as the greatest proponent of the classic New Orleans piano tradition.
Enjoy a summer evening listening to the blues while the sun sets over the Hudson River.

> “Piano Icons: From Jelly Roll to Oscar” / Jazz in July (through July 30)
92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, Lexington Avenue at 92nd St / 8PM, $62
“Jelly Roll Morton claimed he “invented” jazz. True?
Well, he and other keyboard giants—from ragtime pioneer Scott Joplin to swinging virtuoso Oscar Peterson to elegant master Marian McPartland—enriched the form like nobody else. Hear their syncopated stylings come alive in the lightning hands of modern-day piano greats Bill Charlap, Marcus Roberts and Jeb Patton.”

> MoMA Nights with Jon Batiste & Stay Human
Museum of Modern Art, 53rd St.(btw 5/6ave)
Set begins at 6:30PM. Regular Museum admission applies.
Now is your chance to check out Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human before they become uber-famous when they join the Late Show with Stephen Colbert later this year.
Performances take place in the Sculpture Garden

> Jenny Scheinman (through July 26)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM+10:30PM, $30
“violinist Scheinman returns to her downtown roots as an instrumental improviser, finding pathos in a hybridized style drawing from Appalachian fiddle, klezmer, and the avant-garde that has helped redefine the role of the violin in the jazz diaspora.” (VillageVoice)

Elsewhere, but almost any event in this gloriously restored theater is worth the detour:
> Jill Scott (also Thursday)
Kings Theatre,1027 Flatbush Ave, near Tilden Avenue, Brooklyn / 8PM, $43
“Jill Scott’s music is generous and contains multitudes: scorching brushfires of soul tracks with the Roots and (in her best spot this decade) Eve, plus fifteen years’ worth of post-r&b flecked with spoken word and inhabited by one of the genre’s warmest voices.” (Katherine St Asaph, VillageVoice)

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

> Space and Science Festival (through July 26)
Pier 86, 46th Street and 12th Avenue,
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum hosts four days of talks, activities and screenings to celebrate exploration and innovation. It begins Thursday with a flight deck screening of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” introduced by Steve Howell from NASA’s Ames Research Center. The showing is free and begins at sunset; doors open at 7:30 p.m. (NYT) The festival’s schedule and tickets are at: intrepidmuseum.org/SpaceScienceFestival2015.aspx.

> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Today marks the start of the summer edition of the “week” (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Live Sculpting with Michael Evert: Anna Sui
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 fashion designer Anna Sui on Thursday night.

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)

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 8/9ave), 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 / Tribeca

B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))

b_flat4There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.

But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.

It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.

There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.

Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.

It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.

This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music iot may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.

Website: http://http://www.bflat.info/index.html
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat

===========================================================================================
“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 (07/22) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

Today’s Elite 8+ – WEDNESDAY / JULY 22, 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
> Duchess
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th St and Broadway / 7:30PM +9:30PM, $30
a jazz vocal trio, who channel the Andrews and the Boswell sisters, these ladies know how to harmonize and have loads of fun together on stage. you don’t want to miss the Hillary Gardner solos.

> KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar in “Another Hundred People,”
Laurie Beechman Theater, 407 W42nd St./ 7PM, $30
the sequel to “Our Time,” their witty popular evening of Stephen Sondheim songs.

> The Muscle Shoals All-Stars – Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
This much anticipated annual summer series returns with a performance by Muscle Shoals All-Star Band making a rare trip outside the studio.

> Howard Fishman
Joes Pub, 425 Lafayette St / 7PM, $20
“Husky-voiced local singer-guitarist Howard Fishman has won a devoted following through work that touches on vintage swing, folk and blues while retaining an air of hip, good-natured sophistication.” (TONY)

> Jenny Scheinman (through July 26)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, at 11th St. / 8:30PM+10:30PM, $30
“violinist Scheinman returns to her downtown roots as an instrumental improviser, finding pathos in a hybridized style drawing from Appalachian fiddle, klezmer, and the avant-garde that has helped redefine the role of the violin in the jazz diaspora.” (VillageVoice)

> ¡Arriba!: Latin Dance Party With Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans
The High Line, 10th Ave at 16th St., Chelsea Market Passage / 7PM, FREE
“Salsa the night away with latin jazz music influenced by Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music from Annette A. Aquilar & StringBeans that’s impossible not to tap your toes to.”

Elsewhere, but almost any event in this gloriously restored theater is worth the detour:
> Jill Scott (also Thursday)
Kings Theatre,1027 Flatbush Ave, near Tilden Avenue, Brooklyn / 8PM, $43
“Jill Scott’s music is generous and contains multitudes: scorching brushfires of soul tracks with the Roots and (in her best spot this decade) Eve, plus fifteen years’ worth of post-r&b flecked with spoken word and inhabited by one of the genre’s warmest voices.” (Katherine St Asaph, VillageVoice)

Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
> NYC Restaurant Week Summer 2015 (through Aug 14)
Various locations and times; $25 for lunch, $38 for dinner
Today marks the start of the summer edition of the “week” (actually three weeks) of prix-fixe three course meals at many of the city’s best restaurants. Mangia!

Have time for only one event today? Do this:

> Jazz in July – Duke Ellington: Drop Me Off in Harlem
92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, Lexington Avenue at 92nd St / 8PM, $62
“It Don’t Mean a Thing,” “Prelude to a Kiss,” “Sophisticated Lady”—Edward Kennedy Ellington was American music royalty.

Now another member of the jazz aristocracy, legendary vocalist Ernie Andrews, makes a rare appearance to put his stamp on these timeless tunes. Add the soulful sounds of Houston Person’s tenor sax, plus vibes virtuoso Steve Nelson, and you’ve got pure jazz heaven.”

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.

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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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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:

Roger Brown: ‘Political Paintings’ (through July 31)
“Brown (1941 – 1997) was one of the best of the Chicago Imagists who emerged in the 1960s. The paintings here address topics like money, war and terrorism with comical skepticism. “Gulf War” (1991) is a diptych pairing mock-heroic portraits of former President George H. W. Bush and Saddam Hussein. The men loom gigantically over desert landscapes with helicopters buzzing around their heads. It suggests that as makers of war, theses leaders were kindred spirits. DC Moore Gallery, 535 West 22nd Street, dcmooregallery.com, 212-247-2111.” (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).

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 07/20 and 07/18.

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