NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/18) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Don Giovanni (LAST PERFORMANCE)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $30+
“Tall, impetuous, and charged with sexuality” (New York Times), baritone Peter Mattei headlines Mozart’s timeless dark comedy. Tony Award–winning director Michael Grandage’s earthy production features a dynamic young cast, conducted by Cornelius Meister.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Youth America Grand Prix
>> Castalian String Quartet
>> Xylouris White
>> Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets
>> Monty Alexander Trio
>> Merce Cunningham Celebration

>> Forever Chinatown: A Forgotten Film with Danielle Seid

Continuing Events
>>more coming soon
>> STREB

COMING SOON (WFUV)
4/18-19 Nick Mason, Beacon Theatre
4/19 Toro Y Moi, Good Room BKLYN
4/19 Over The Rhine, City Winery
4/21 Los Amigos Invisibles & Aterciopelados, Sony Hall
4/22 The National, Beacon Theatre
4/22 Los Amigos Invisibles & Aterciopelados, Brooklyn Bowl
4/23 Bailen, Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/24 Girlpool, Hatchie, Music Hall of Williamsburg

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Youth America Grand Prix (Apr.17-20)
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7PM, $
The “Stars of Today Meet Stars of Tomorrow” gala performances of this prestigious ballet-scholarship competition, now in its twentieth year, juxtapose the current finalists with ballet stars, many of whom were themselves finalists once upon a time: Calvin Royal III, Hee Seo, Taylor Stanley, Indiana Woodward, and more. But the biggest celebrity draw is a short and fun new piece by the American Ballet Theatre dancer Melanie Hamrick, inspired by the music and dancing style of her boyfriend, Mick Jagger, who helped arrange Rolling Stones tracks for the score. There’s a little Jagger swagger and a lot of ballet bravura.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

Lincoln Center’s Great Performers
Castalian String Quartet
Atrium @ Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Third Prize winner at the 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the German-trained, U.K.-based Castalian Quartet performs a free, hour-long concert featuring Britten’s intensive, inventive String Quartet No. 2 and Schubert’s wistful “Rosamunde” quartet.”
“Truly remarkable.” – Calgary Herald

Xylouris White (Apr.18-19)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 7PM, $20 (4/19 9;30PM)
“When the duo Xylouris White opened for Jonathan Richman in 2017, the headliner stood stageside, fixing the audience with a gobsmacked grin: get a load of this! His reaction was apt. The pairing of the Australian drummer Jim White and George Xylouris, a lute virtuoso from an acclaimed musical family in Crete, is a knockout. Though it is Xylouris whose fingers fly and whose voice wails, the act is a genuine duet, with White—for years a go-to drummer in indie rock’s artier enclaves—coloring every margin with elegant ferocity.” (Jay Ruttenberg, NewYorker)

Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets (Apr.18-19)
@ Beacon Theatre / 7:30PM, $59+
Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s band Saucerful of Secrets perform material from the classic Syd Barett period (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets), and though Roger Waters and David Gilmour’s shows may be bigger spectacles, this tour — which is the band’s first in North America — is your best chance to see a show dedicated to that era. Mason’s band includes Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, Lee Harris of Ian Dury & the Blockheads, composer Dom Beken (who frequently collaborated with Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright) and Guy Pratt, who became Floyd’s bass player in the post-Waters era.” (brooklyn vegan)

Monty Alexander Trio (Apr.18-21)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, 9:30PM, $35-$45
“In a career spanning six decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation by exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare. Combining classic, swinging jazz with the rhythms and vibrations of Jamaica, Alexander always makes good on his promise to “get everybody moving below the waist.”

Merce Cunningham Celebration (Apr.17-21)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 8PM, $85+ (may be a tough ticket, try other performances, esp. Sat 2PM, or secondary market.)
“One of the sorrows of the closure of the Merce Cunningham company, in 2011, was the loss of a beloved seasonal marker. Every spring, like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the Cunningham troupe opened its New York season, and your brain suddenly felt young and clean again. This year, in tribute to the centennial of the choreographer’s birth, the ritual will be reënacted, at the Joyce, April 17-21, in a program of revivals by three companies. Ballet West, from Salt Lake City, will perform the tranquil “Summerspace” (1958), with its famous dappled costumes. (Robert Rauschenberg, the company’s art director, stood the dancers up in front of him and sprayed Day-Glo dots on them.) The Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, from Angers, France, will do the very classical “Suite for Five” (1956), and Washington Ballet will close the show with the bang-up “Duets” (1980), for six couples, to recordings of traditional Irish drumming.” (Joan Acocella, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Forever Chinatown: A Forgotten Film with Danielle Seid
Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St./ 6:30PM, $15
“Join us as professor Danielle Seid introduces and provide crucial context surrounding the “orphan” documentary film Forever Chinatown (1960) produced and directed by her grandparents. She will also share exciting discoveries uncovered in her research on the film such as the film’s surprising intersections with Hollywood and the Hong Kong New Wave. The presentation will include short film clips containing rare footage of NYC’s Chinatown and Chinese American life at mid-century.” (ThoughtGallery)

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Continuing Events


More coming soon.

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STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are 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)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future (thru 04/23/19)

“Convinced that the world was not ready for her artistry in 1906, particularly as an underrepresented female in her field, af Klint of Sweden kept her work private. Her paintings anticipated by years “breakthroughs” by Kandinsky, Mondrian and others and were unseen before 1986. The Guggenheim rediscovers her.”

“Recognized as one of the art world’s earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.” (Newsday)

See our art critic’s top pick of the year.
“Luckily, the number-one pick in Jerry Saltz’s best art shows of 2018 is still running. Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum examines the work of the unacknowledged Swedish visionary and makes a case for her being the first modernist abstract painter. Saltz is especially enamored with the first gallery, so make sure you spend some time there.” (NYMagazine)

GD: Definitely worth a visit. af Klint was like the original Kandinsky and it’s interesting to see both of their works in the same museum, even if not side-by-side.

New-York Historical Society

‘BETYE SAAR: KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN’  (through May 27).

“Saar has been making important and influential work for nearly 60 years. Yet no big New York museum has given her a full retrospective, or even a significant one-person show, since a 1975 solo at the Whitney Museum of American Art. As this exhibition demonstrates, the institutional oversight is baffling, as her primary themes — racial justice and feminism (her 1972 breakthrough piece, “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” merges the two by transforming the racist stereotype of the smiling black mammy into an armed freedom fighter) — are exactly attuned to the present.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

Morgan Library & Museum

‘TOLKIEN: MAKER OF MIDDLE-EARTH’ (through May 12).

“J. R. R. Tolkien did more than write books like “The Hobbit” and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy; he invented an alternate reality, complete with its own geography, languages, religion and an era-spanning history. This exhibition of his artwork, letters, drafts and other material reminds visitors that the stories Tolkien wrote, however impressive, represent only a fraction of his efforts, and it highlights his unparalleled ability to create an immersive experience using only words and pictures. After a visit you, too, may find yourself believing in Middle-earth and the hobbits, elves, dwarves, orcs and wizards that live there. (NYT-Peter Libbey)
212-685-0008, themorgan.org

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’

“After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish for NewYorkers)

‘THE WORLD BETWEEN EMPIRES: ART AND IDENTITY IN THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST’ (through June 23).

“The Met excels at epic-scale archaeological exhibitions, and this is a prime example. It brings together work made between 100 B.C. and A.D. 250 in what we now know as Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. In the ancient world, all were in the sphere of two competing superpowers — Rome to the west and Parthia to the east — and though imperial influence was strong, it was far from all-determining. Each of the subject territories selectively grafted it onto local traditions to create distinctive new grass-roots cultural blends. Equally important, the show addresses the fate of art from the past in a politically fraught present.” (NYT-Cotter)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

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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) for NewYorkers

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) 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).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 04/16 and 04/14.
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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/17) + Today’s Featured Pub (Greenwich Village)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

MIHO HAZAMA AND M_UNIT
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“The crossbreeding of classical and jazz has a long history, stretching back to the Third Stream movement of the 1960s. And new approaches to this amalgam have been thick on the ground of late: Just try to count how many young jazz musicians are writing for string quartet these days. One of the boldest thinkers and most delightful composers in this vein is Hazama, who studied Western classical music in Japan before making the jump to jazz. Her chamber orchestra, m_unit, blends strings and horns and mallet percussion in service of her resplendent, highly singable compositions. At the Standard, the group will be playing selections from the recently released “Dancer in Nowhere.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> La Traviata
>> Merce Cunningham Celebration
>> NATALIE PRASS
>> Wednesdays at One: Music for Brass
>> Sylvie Courvoisier
>>Todd Rundgren The Individualist Tour

>> Person Place Thing Live Podcast Recording
Continuing Events
>>more coming soon
>> STREB

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

La Traviata (next Apr.20, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $139+
“Michael Mayer’s “dazzling” (Vanity Fair) new production returns, with Romanian soprano Anita Hartig as the opera’s tragic heroine. Plácido Domingo reprises his portrayal of the stern Germont, alongside tenor Stephen Costello as Alfredo. Nicola Luisotti conducts.”

Merce Cunningham Celebration (Apr.17-21)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $85+ may be a tough ticket, try other nights or secondary market.
“One of the sorrows of the closure of the Merce Cunningham company, in 2011, was the loss of a beloved seasonal marker. Every spring, like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the Cunningham troupe opened its New York season, and your brain suddenly felt young and clean again. This year, in tribute to the centennial of the choreographer’s birth, the ritual will be reënacted, at the Joyce, April 17-21, in a program of revivals by three companies. Ballet West, from Salt Lake City, will perform the tranquil “Summerspace” (1958), with its famous dappled costumes. (Robert Rauschenberg, the company’s art director, stood the dancers up in front of him and sprayed Day-Glo dots on them.) The Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, from Angers, France, will do the very classical “Suite for Five” (1956), and Washington Ballet will close the show with the bang-up “Duets” (1980), for six couples, to recordings of traditional Irish drumming.” (Joan Acocella, NewYorker)

NATALIE PRASS
at Bowery Ballroom / 8 p.m.; $20
“As this singer-songwriter from Richmond, Va., knows, creating art with a political point of view can be risky. Her second album, last year’s “The Future and the Past,” was written largely in response to the 2016 presidential election; finding a label willing to release it took her longer than she had hoped. In the past year, Prass has toured the album tirelessly, as both a headliner and a supporting artist on Kacey Musgraves’s “Oh, What a World” Tour. On this stop, she’ll perform funk-flavored pop songs like “Oh My” and “Short Court Style,” as well as more orchestral holdovers from her 2015 debut.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

Wednesdays at One: Music for Brass
Alice Tully Hall, The Juilliard School / 1PM, FREE
“Juilliard artists share their talent with the community in these free, hour-long lunchtime concerts on Wednesday afternoons throughout the season.”

Sylvie Courvoisier (April 16-20)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30PM, $20
Since arriving from Switzerland, in 1998, when New York’s downtown music scene was still in high gear, the pianist and composer Sylvie Courvoisier has remained a catalytic participant in new improvisatory music circles. This residency finds her playing with familiar faces, including the percussionist Ikue Mori, the bassist Drew Gress, and Courvoisier’s husband and frequent musical partner, the violinist Mark Feldman.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Todd Rundgren The Individualist Tour
Town Hall / 8PM, $35+
“A true iconoclast, Todd Rundgren has just released his memoir The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams, and Dissertations and is currently on what he’s calling “the world’s first hybrid concert/book tour.” He’ll play songs from the ’60s through the mid-90s and will tell lots of stories as well.” (brooklynvegan)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Person Place Thing Live Podcast Recording
Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl St./ 6:30PM, $20
Hosted by Randy Cohen with Special Guest Russell Shorto
“At this recording of Person Place Thing, host Randy Cohen chats with bestselling author Russell Shorto. Person Place Thing is an interview show based on this idea: that people are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves, but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result: surprising stories from great speakers. This recording is also accompanied by a live musical performance.”

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Continuing Events


More coming soon.

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STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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

Bonus NYC Events – Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Hit the Hot Link and check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St. (btw 6/7), thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
Sony Hall – 235 W 46th St. (btw 7/8), sonyhall.com, 212-997-5123
and one more, not exactly WestSide:
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening discovery and enjoyment.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.

See Below.
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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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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.

CAFFE VIVALDI HAS CLOSED, VERY SAD.
I HAVE LEFT THIS REVIEW ON MY SITE AS A KIND OF MEMORIAL.
As reported in the “Gothamist”:
“Caffe Vivaldi, one of the last bohemian bastions of the West Village, is set to close this weekend. During its 35 years on Jones Street, the casual cafe won the hearts of locals and celebs alike, including Oscar Isaac, Bette Midler, and Al Pacino.

Despite that friendly communal atmosphere, the owners ultimately struggled to survive under their notorious vulture landlord Steve Croman, who they say waged a harassment campaign against the restaurant, and eventually tripled their rent.”

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.
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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:

Fish – 280 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”
No reservations needed.
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NYCity is the most diverse and interesting place to find a meal anywhere in the world. With more than 24,000 eating establishments you might welcome some advice.

◊ 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 2019).
◊ Order before NOV. 30, 2019 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/16) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Todd Rundgren The Individualist Tour
Town Hall / 8PM, $35+
“A true iconoclast, Todd Rundgren has just released his memoir The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams, and Dissertations and is currently on what he’s calling “the world’s first hybrid concert/book tour.” He’ll play songs from the ’60s through the mid-90s and will tell lots of stories as well.” (brooklynvegan)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> EMMET COHEN TRIO
>> Sylvie Courvoisier
>> Juilliard Jazz Duke Ellington Ensemble
>> Trixie Whitley (In The Round)
>> Promises and Perils of Neuroprediction | Seminars in Society and Neuroscience
>> Nature and New York: Victorians “Greening” Their Homes and Cities

Continuing Events
>>more coming soon
>> STREB

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

EMMET COHEN TRIO
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $35
“Cohen, 28, has a breezy, phlegmatic command at the keyboard, and a deep well of historical jazz references at his fingertips. He has worked as a side musician for such luminaries as Christian McBride and Herlin Riley, and has recorded with the elder statesmen Ron Carter and Jimmy Cobb. If he wasn’t already an obvious heir apparent to the neo-traditional jazz mantle, his win at last weekend’s 2019 American Pianists Awards ought to make it official. At Dizzy’s, he will be joined by the bassist Philip Norris and the drummer Kyle Poole. They will draw some of the night’s material from Cohen’s recent trio album, “Dirty in Detroit.”

Sylvie Courvoisier (April 16-20)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30PM, $20
Since arriving from Switzerland, in 1998, when New York’s downtown music scene was still in high gear, the pianist and composer Sylvie Courvoisier has remained a catalytic participant in new improvisatory music circles. This residency finds her playing with familiar faces, including the percussionist Ikue Mori, the bassist Drew Gress, and Courvoisier’s husband and frequent musical partner, the violinist Mark Feldman.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Juilliard Jazz Duke Ellington Ensemble
Paul Recital Hall, The Juilliard School / 7:30PM, $20
The Ambassadors: Armstrong, Goodman, Ellington, Brubeck, and Gillespie
“Juilliard Jazz’s most advanced group opens their season with a sampler from Jazz legends around the world that span the Jazz continuum.”

Trixie Whitley (In The Round)
​Le Poisson Rouge / 8PM, $22
“Trixie Whitley has never been one to follow traditional paths or conform herself to the expectations of others – both in life and in music. Blessed with a creative spirit as remarkable as her transatlantic upbringing, she thrives when challenged to push her boundaries and reinvent herself. And that’s exactly what Run The Jewels producer Little Shalimar went for on her new album ‘Lacuna’.

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Kate Ascher and Thomas Mellins on New York Rising
Book Culture, 536 W. 112th St./ 7PM, FREE
“New York Rising is an illustrated history of real estate development in Manhattan, a story of speculation and innovation–of the big ideas, big personalities, and big risks that collectively shaped a city like no other.

From the first European settlement in the seventeenth century through the skyscrapers and large-scale urban planning schemes of the late twentieth century, this book presents a broad historical survey, illustrated with images drawn largely from the rich archival resources of the Durst Collection at Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.”

Promises and Perils of Neuroprediction | Seminars in Society and Neuroscience
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway / 4PM, FREE
“As with so many fever dreams of science fiction, the predictive policing of Minority Report will soon be reality. Along with it will naturally follow abuse, as liberties fall to pretexts of public safety. (How legit the field will even be, based on the limits of the science, is also a very unsettled question.) Catch a Seminars in Society and Neuroscience panel that brings together experts in neuroscience, law, and philosophy to discuss the field’s latest discoveries, the ethical conundrums, and how prediction is measuring up with actual behavior.” (ThoughtGallery)

Nature and New York: Victorians “Greening” Their Homes and Cities
New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West / 6;30PM, $48
“We moderns assume the Victorians had dark, claustrophobic homes, but the 19th century sought to bring nature into both home and city. Public spaces like Central and Riverside Parks brought rural environments and greened riverfronts to city dwellers, and innovations in home design brought light and views into even the densest city blocks. Discover how the Victorians “let the sun shine in” both in city greenbelts and private home designs along the Hudson River.

Barry Lewis is an architectural historian who specializes in European and American architecture from the 18th to 20th centuries.”

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Continuing Events


More coming soon.

——————————————————————————————–

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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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 exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art

“The Value of Good Design”  (through June 15)

“The simple flask of the Chemex coffeemaker, the austere fan of aluminum tines on a garden rake, and the airtight allure of first-generation Tupperware exemplify the democratic promise of the Good Design movement in this edifying survey, which highlights (although not exclusively) the museum’s role in its history. Also on view—and among the winners of MOMA’s first design competition, held in 1940-41—is a molded plywood chair by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen; it’s a classic design, but, owing to technological limitations in its day, it wasn’t mass-produced until 2006. Starting in 1938, MOMA mounted an annual exhibition called “Useful Objects,” which championed the inexpensive and doubled as recommendations for holiday gifts. No item had a value of more than five dollars the first year; a decade later, the limit was a hundred dollars. By the fifties, the museum had established partnerships with national retailers for the exhibited products, from textiles to appliances, and, in the eighties, it opened its own design store. In the current show, the most compelling items are the everyday gems: Timo Sarpaneva’s cast-iron and teak casserole, from 1959; the original Slinky, from 1945; and a collapsible wire basket, from 1953, as graceful as a Ruth Asawa sculpture.” (

“Joan Miró”  (through June 15)

“This enchanting show draws on the museum’s immense holdings of Miró’s work, along with a few loans. Its star attraction is “The Birth of the World,” painted in 1925, while the artist was under the spell of the Surrealist circle of André Breton. It presents drifting pictographic elements—a black triangle, a red disk, a white disk, an odd black hook shape, and some skittery lines—on an amorphous ground of thinned grayish paint that soaks here and there into the unevenly primed canvas. It’s large—more than eight feet high by more than six feet wide—but feels larger: cosmic. There had never been anything quite like it in painting, and it stood far apart from the formally conservative, lurid fantasizing of the other Surrealist painters. Today, we are ever less apt to base valuations on precedence—who did what first. Art of the past seems not so much a parade as a convocation, subject to case-by-case assessments. Never unsettling in the ways of, say, Matisse or, for heaven’s sake, Picasso, Miró is a modernist for everybody. He earns and will keep his place in our hearts.” (

American Museum of Natural History

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’  (through Aug. 9, 2020).
“Everyone’s favorite 18,000-pound prehistoric killer gets the star treatment in this eye-opening exhibition, which presents the latest scientific research on T. rex and also introduces many other tyrannosaurs, some discovered only this century in China and Mongolia. T. rex evolved mainly during the Cretaceous Period to have keen eyes, spindly arms and massive conical teeth, which could bear down on prey with the force of a U-Haul truck; the dinosaur could even swallow whole bones, as affirmed here by a kid-friendly display of fossilized excrement. The show mixes 66-million-year-old teeth with the latest 3-D prints of dino bones, and also presents new models of T. rex as a baby, a juvenile and a full-grown annihilator. Turns out this most savage beast was covered with — believe it! — a soft coat of beige or white feathers.” (Farago-NYT)

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 04/14 and 04/12.
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NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/15) + Today’s Featured Pub (Upper West Side)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Don Giovanni (next Apr.18, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $30+
“Baritone Peter Mattei and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni star as opera’s most notorious seducer in Mozart’s masterpiece of dark comedy. Cornelius Meister makes his Met debut conducting performances that also include sopranos Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Guanqun Yu as Donna Anna, sopranos Federica Lombardi and Susanna Phillips as Donna Elvira, and basses Ildar Abdrazakov and Adam Plachetka as Leporello.”

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Los Lonely Boys w/ The Gary Douglas Band
>> Bach Plus One Concert
>> Monday Nights with WBGO: Yale Jazz Ensemble featuring Randy Brecker and Wayne Escoffery
>> London Philharmonic Orchestra
>> David Brooks—A More Perfect Union: A Roadmap
>> Jazz and the Neuroscience of Decision Making: A Celebration of Mind and Soul
>> 2019 Lasker Public Lecture with Cell Biologist Elaine Fuchs

Continuing Events
>>more coming soon
>> STREB

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

Music, Dance, Performing Art

Los Lonely Boys w/ The Gary Douglas Band
City Winery / 8PM, $35-$50
“Lots of musicians compare their careers to roller-coaster rides, but Los Lonely Boys have had so many close-your-eyes-and-hang-on moments in the 14 years since they recorded their self-titled debut, they should buy an amusement park.

The story of how the Garza brothers – vocalist/guitarist Henry, bassist/vocalist and drummer/ vocalist Ringo – rode their bluesy “Texican rock” sound from San Angelo, Texas, to worldwide fame is one of rock’s great Cinderella tales.”

Bach Plus One Concert
St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton St./ 1PM, FREE
“The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra; Julian Wachner, conductor.
“This season, Bach at One evolves into Bach + One: featuring one Bach cantata each week paired with a complementary work from composers early to modern. Trinity’s presentation of Bach’s entire monumental output of vocal sacred music has been praised by The New York Times for its “dramatic vigor.”

Monday Nights with WBGO: Yale Jazz Ensemble featuring Randy Brecker and Wayne Escoffery
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40
“The Yale Jazz Ensemble (YJE) is a 17-piece big band that performs a wide variety of music, from Yale’s Benny Goodman archive to the newest and most progressive jazz compositions. The ensemble has performed extensively throughout the United States and internationally, and tonight they make their anticipated debut at Dizzy’s Club. This evening’s program, celebrating 80 years of Blue Note Records, will feature two modern giants of jazz: trumpeter Randy Brecker and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, adding to the list of elite jazz musicians with whom this impressive student ensemble has played.”

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
James Ehnes, violin
Philharmonic Hall, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $
“Edward Gardner brings his “gripping sense of theater” (Star Tribune) to a program filled with bold heroics, stormy outbursts, and the full power of the London Philharmonic Orchestra unleashed. This evening program begins with Beethoven’s galvanizing Egmont Overture, followed by the lush virtuosity of Sibelius’s Violin Concerto with James Ehnes as soloist. The drama peaks in the final work of the evening: Mahler’s towering First Symphony, aptly subtitled “Titan.”

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

David Brooks—A More Perfect Union: A Roadmap
92nd Street Y, Kaufman Concert Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave. / 7PM, $45, All tickets include a copy of the book.
“How can we bring our country back together?
Bitter divisions along class, cultural, geographic, racial, religious, and political lines have grown so fast and so deep that America’s founding fathers’ vision of “a more perfect union” seems almost risible. New York Times op-ed columnist David Brooks has spent the past year exploring how local communities have sought to—and succeeded in—building bridges across divides. Join him for a crucial conversation about what’s working, what’s not, whether there’s cause for optimism, and his ideas for finding personal fulfillment in a fractured world.”

Jazz and the Neuroscience of Decision Making: A Celebration of Mind and Soul
Columbia University, 116th St. & Broadway / 6:30PM, FREE
“What do jazz improvisation and the neuroscience of thought have in common? The answers involve prediction, anticipation, exploration, and freedom.

In this discussion, Michael Shadlen, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and principal investigator at the Zuckerman Institute, Chris Washburne, PhD, Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program, and Helen Sung, pianist, composer, and Zuckerman Institute’s first jazz artist-in-residence, will discuss emerging concepts in neuroscience which begin to expose the biology of deliberation, decision-making, and timing. They will demonstrate recordings from brain cells and live music in an interactive dialogue about jazz and neuroscience.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

2019 Lasker Public Lecture with Cell Biologist Elaine Fuchs
Presented by the Secret Science Club and the Lasker Foundation
The Bell House, 149 7th St., Brooklyn / 8PM, FREE
“The skin’s ability to self-renew has long fascinated cell biologist Elaine Fuchs. At the next Secret Science Club, she’ll explore stem cells, how they work, and their role in regenerative medicine.” (ThoughtGallery)

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Continuing Events


More coming soon.

——————————————————————————————–

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

===========================================================
Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

 

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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A PremierPub / Upper West Side

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que 700 W125th St. @ 12th ave.

Walk only five minutes from the 125th St. station on the #1 line to find this authentic honky-tonk barbecue joint. Some folks think Dinosaur is just a place to eat ribs. Au contraire. With 24 carefully selected taps, this is a place to drink beer, and eat ribs.

HarlHostStandNo food goes better with American craft ales than American barbecue. Dinosaur may be the best combo of good beer drinking and hearty eating in town, which makes the trip uptown to West Harlem totally worthwhile.

This second incarnation of Dinosaur in Harlem is in a two story, old brick warehouse near the Hudson River. Don’t let that run down exterior fool you. Inside it’s a large space with huge, rough wooden columns and unfinished wooden floors and brick walls – just right for a bbq joint. As soon as you open the front door you are hit with that tantalizing aroma of barbecue coming from the large open kitchen. Reminds me of those great rib joints I frequented when stationed in North Carolina all those years ago. If your stomach wasn’t grumbling before, it is now.

Head to the bar, sit down and try to decide on a beer. It’s not an easy decision – a good problem to have. This is a pretty damn good beer list to choose from, one that most beer bars should be jealous of. I love that they feature NY craft beers. You may want to try the four beer sampler, which is always fun, and in this place may be necessary.

The blues music playing in the background will get you in the mood for their North Carolina style barbecue, and even when it’s a full house your order shouldn’t take too long (assuming you snagged a table). The food is all slow smoked, so it’s already mostly done and ready to go. I always start with an order of their giant, spice rubbed wings, so good they may make you give up Buffalo wings.

Unfortunately, a place this good does not fly under the radar. There can be some long waits for a table at dinnertime. So you need a strategy – avoid prime time, and try not to arrive with your entire posse, which will limit your seating options.

A seat at the bar, a small table in the bar area, or in the summer, an outside table underneath what’s left of the elevated West Side Highway, all may open before a table inside the main dining room. Otherwise, try Dinosaur for lunch, or come very late for dinner, maybe after a show at the nearby Cotton Club nightclub.

Website: http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/
Phone #: 212-694-1777
Hours: Mo-Th 11:30am-11:00pm; Fr-Sa 11:30am-12:00am;
Su 12:00pm-10:00pm
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day; $1 off all drinks
Music: Fri / Sat 10:30pm
Subway: #1 to 125th St.
Walk 2 blk W on 125th St. to Dinosaur Bar-B-Q,
just past the elevated highway.
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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. 
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/14) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
at the Joyce Theater / 2PM, +7:30PM, $45+
“A century ago, the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was submitted to the states for ratification. In honor of that anniversary, the Graham company presents the EVE Project, a robust collection of work from several generations of female choreographers, spread over a half-dozen programs. There are Graham classics, like “Herodiade,” “Errand Into the Maze” and “Chronicle,” as well as pieces by Annie-B Parson and Lucinda Childs. Two new works will be introduced, too: one by Pam Tanowitz and one by Maxine Doyle and Bobbi Jene Smith.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Arturo Sandoval
>> “Stonewall 50” Tour of Greenwich Village
>> Slurp noodles at the NY Ramen Contest
>> Greenwich Village Historic District 50th Anniversary Celebration and Open House Weekend
>> The Brooklyn Meatball Takedown
>> NYC Hot Sauce Expo
>> Watch the GoT premiere

Continuing Events
>> SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
>> STREB

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

Arturo Sandoval (Apr.11-14)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM; $30-$45
“A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve, but it didn’t take him long to catch the excitement of the jazz world. He has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer.

He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, and has been seen by millions at the Oscars, at the Grammy Awards, and the Billboard Awards.”

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

“Stonewall 50” Tour of Greenwich Village
The Municipal Art Society of New York / 2PM, $30
“In celebration of “Stonewall 50” — a year-long commemoration of the landmark 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn — join MAS and Ken Lustbader and Amanda Davis of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project on a walking tour of Greenwich Village. Learn about key places and people of the pre- and post-Stonewall LGBT civil rights movement and their lasting impact on American culture. The tour will also highlight the importance of these sites to a marginalized community that oftentimes had nowhere else to go to fully be themselves. Stops will include places connected to such groups as the Mattachine Society, Gay Liberation Front, and Salsa Soul Sisters, and to LGBT activists, artists, and business owners who found refuge in the Village.”

Slurp noodles at the NY Ramen Contest
“Proving that the ramen noodle goes way, way beyond the cheap stuff you buy in the store, the NY Ramen Contest brings together eight ramen shops from Japan (and one homegrown entry, Manhattan’s Shinka Ramen restaurant) at two street-tasting scrums — first day, Manhattan and second day, Queens. One will be chosen the Ultimate Street Ramen Champion. Other competitors hail from Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Miyagi Prefecture.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 13 in Manhattan at Broadway and 8th to 9th streets. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 14 in Astoria, Steinway and Broadway-34th Avenue.
INFO Free; japanfes.com

Greenwich Village Historic District 50th Anniversary Celebration and Open House Weekend (10AM-7:30PM)
“A celebration of a neighborhood famous for its bohemian culture and significance in LGBTQ history, with free events including walking tours; a special tour of Edward Hopper’s studio; a chance to explore Chumley’s with the restaurant’s archivist; tap performances; a visit to the Cherry Lane Theatre; tours of the Jefferson Market Garden, and much more, including an opening celebration in Washington Square Park with speakers, music, family events, and open houses to wander through. Check the website for the schedule as well as for a list of discounts available at places like Wilfie & Nell and Li-Lac Chocolates.” (grubstreet)

Elsewhere, but these look too hot to miss:

The Brooklyn Meatball Takedown
Make the most of all-you-can-eat meatballs
Lot 45 lounge / 2-4PM; $25
“Two words: homemade meatballs. Intrigued? Four more words: all you can eat. Drooling yet? Try meatballs from over a dozen home chefs at The Brooklyn Meatball Takedown at Lot 45 lounge. Cast a ballot for the best once you’ve tried them all; the amateur with the most votes will walk away with brand new cookware.”

Watch the GoT premiere on a 180” screen
Dekalb Market Hall, Bklyn / 8:30-11PM
“Game of Thrones is making its long-awaited return, and the new stage at Dekalb Market Hall is one of the best places to celebrate. The watch party runs from 8:30-11pm, but arrive early and grab grub from around the hall before the crowd rolls in. If you’re feeling really spirited, head to the Fletcher’s BBQ stall for GoT-inspired dishes.”
Cost: The screening is free, but bring Silver Stags for food and drinks

NYC Hot Sauce Expo (Apr.13-14)
Get lost in the sauce
Brooklyn Expo Center / 10AM (Saturday look sold out, better jump on Sunday now)
“Put that **** on everything. Sample hot sauce from 50-plus purveyors from around the world at the 7th Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo. You’ll also see cocktail demos, and heat tolerance challenges on the “stage of DOOM” both days. The Carolina Reaper pepper (named the world’s hottest by Guinness World Records) eating contest is Sunday only.
Cost: $10 general admission; $50 for four craft beer tokens and a BBQ platter.” (thrillist)

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

Continuing Events


SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
at the Shed
(April 9, 8:30 p.m.; through April 14).
“For its opening, this flashy new interdisciplinary arts space — a cultural counterweight to the surrounding commercial development in Hudson Yards — will host five nights of concerts honoring the influence of African-American musicians. Developed by the filmmaker Steve McQueen, the series aims to explore the story of black music in America from early spirituals to today’s diverse forms. To that end, the performances in the coming week feature artists such as the jazz pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste, the rappers Smino and Rapsody, the avant-pop cellist Kelsey Lu and the R&B singer Emily King.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

——————————————————————————————–

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

============================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

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

Bonus NYC Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening discovery and enjoyment.

Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
===========================================================

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here is one exhibition the New Yorker likes:

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

For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try this NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

=======================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 04/10 and 04/12.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/13) + Today’s Featured Pub (WestVillage)

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Food Truck Fest
Eat your way around NYC
“You won’t have to look far for some takeout grub at this annual affair. Fifteen food trucks will be parked and serving their specialties on Saturday. The entry fee is slated to benefit four local public schools, while the trucks and 30 vendors present are pledging a share of their earnings to the cause.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13; Grand Bazaar NYC, 100 W. 77th St., Manhattan
INFO $3 in advance to enter ($5 at the door, kids 10 and younger free); food and vendor prices vary; 212-239-3025, grandbazaarnyc.org

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

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM
>> Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant
>> Slurp noodles at the NY Ramen Contest
>> Greenwich Village Historic District 50th Anniversary Celebration and Open House Weekend
>> Record Store Day.
>> NYC Hot Sauce Expo
>> EarthFest at the Natural History Museum

Continuing Events
>> SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
>> STREB

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

Music, Dance, Performing Art

DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM (Apr.12-13)
at City Center / 8p.m.; $35+
“The ballet company celebrates its 50th anniversary season with an opening night honoring Arthur Mitchell, who along with Karel Shook formed the group in 1969. Now led by Virginia Johnson, its artistic director, and Anna Glass, its executive director, Dance Theater will present four works, either in their entirety or in excerpts, that Mitchell created or contributed to: “The Greatest,” “Creole Giselle,” “Bach Passacaglia” (performed by students of Dance Theater’s school) and “Tones II,” a piece from 1971 reimagined for 14 dancers. The season also includes Robert Garland’s “Return” and “Nyman String Quartet No. 2,” and Geoffrey Holder’s “Dougla.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant (April12-13)
Minetta Lane Theatre / 8PM, $73+
“The bright-eyed, bouncy-kneed Scottish stage-and-screen actor plays fast and louche with the cabaret format, sprinkling naughty words into long comic stories and putting a completely fresh interpretive spin on familiar songs. He became an American citizen in 2008, a decade after taking New York by storm in Cabaret, and his latest set explores his immigrant experience.” (TONY)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Slurp noodles at the NY Ramen Contest
“Proving that the ramen noodle goes way, way beyond the cheap stuff you buy in the store, the NY Ramen Contest brings together eight ramen shops from Japan (and one homegrown entry, Manhattan’s Shinka Ramen restaurant) at two street-tasting scrums — first day, Manhattan and second day, Queens. One will be chosen the Ultimate Street Ramen Champion. Other competitors hail from Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka and Miyagi Prefecture.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 13 in Manhattan at Broadway and 8th to 9th streets. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 14 in Astoria, Steinway and Broadway-34th Avenue.
INFO Free; japanfes.com

Greenwich Village Historic District 50th Anniversary Celebration and Open House Weekend (10AM-7:30PM)
“A celebration of a neighborhood famous for its bohemian culture and significance in LGBTQ history, with free events including walking tours; a special tour of Edward Hopper’s studio; a chance to explore Chumley’s with the restaurant’s archivist; tap performances; a visit to the Cherry Lane Theatre; tours of the Jefferson Market Garden, and much more, including an opening celebration in Washington Square Park with speakers, music, family events, and open houses to wander through. Check the website for the schedule as well as for a list of discounts available at places like Wilfie & Nell and Li-Lac Chocolates.” (grubstreet)

Record Store Day.
“If you’re the type to collect records, it may not be your world the way it used to, but you’ll always have Record Store Day. This Saturday stop by your favorite independent record store for exclusive releases from the B-52s, Dr. Dre, the Foo Fighters, U2, and the White Stripes, as well as a 2105 remastered version of David Bowie’s Pin Ups, and much more. Plus free performances, like Mike Peters from the Alarm at Generation Records, and a full lineup at Rough Trade including Steve Gunn, TEEN, Cochemea from the Dap-Kings, and signings with Wayne Coyne and T Bone Burnett.” (grubstreet)

Elsewhere, but this one looks too hot to miss:

NYC Hot Sauce Expo (Apr.13-14)
Get lost in the sauce
Brooklyn Expo Center / 10AM (Saturday look sold out, better jump on Sunday now)
“Put that **** on everything. Sample hot sauce from 50-plus purveyors from around the world at the 7th Annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo. You’ll also see cocktail demos, and heat tolerance challenges on the “stage of DOOM” both days. The Carolina Reaper pepper (named the world’s hottest by Guinness World Records) eating contest is Sunday only.
Cost: $10 general admission; $50 for four craft beer tokens and a BBQ platter.” (thrillist)

EarthFest at the Natural History Museum
“In honor of Earth Day, the American Museum of Natural History is hosting EarthFest, a program that includes not only the usual exhibits at the institution, but also interactive activities and live performances from such music legends as Patti Smith, and Michael Stipe of R.E.M.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13; Central Park West and 79th St., Manhattan
INFO EarthFest events included with general admission: $23; ages 2 to 12: $13; Earthfest events subject to limited capacity;

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

Continuing Events


SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
at the Shed  (through April 14).
“For its opening, this flashy new interdisciplinary arts space — a cultural counterweight to the surrounding commercial development in Hudson Yards — will host five nights of concerts honoring the influence of African-American musicians. Developed by the filmmaker Steve McQueen, the series aims to explore the story of black music in America from early spirituals to today’s diverse forms. To that end, the performances in the coming week feature artists such as the jazz pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste, the rappers Smino and Rapsody, the avant-pop cellist Kelsey Lu and the R&B singer Emily King.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

——————————————————————————————–

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

=====================================================
Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

A PremierPub / West Village

Corner Bistro 331 W. 4th St.

Sometimes you just need a beer and a burger. If so, Corner Bistro is the place you want. Located just outside the hip Meatpacking district, this corner bar and grill is decidedly unhip, but it’s not uncrowded, especially at night. Seems that everyone knows this place has one of the better burgers in town.

kac_120405_phude_corner_bistro_bar_1000-600x450In the maze of streets known as the West Village, where West 4th intersects with West 12th (and West 11th, and West 10th, go figure), you will eventually find Corner Bistro on the corner of West 4th and Jane Street. An unassuming neighborhood tavern, it looks just like dozens of other taverns around town.

The bartender tells me that the Corner Bistro celebrated it’s 55th anniversary last year. The well worn interior tells me that the place itself is much older.

Corner Bistro has outlasted many of those other taverns around town because they know how to keep it simple — just good burgers and beer, fairly priced. The classic bistro Burger is only $9.75, and should be ordered medium rare, which will be plenty rare for most folks. Actually, it will be a juicy, messy delight – make sure you have extra napkins. I like to pull up a stool and sit by the large front window in the afternoon, where I can rest my burger and beer on the shelf, and watch the Villagers walk by.

Corner Bistro seems to attract very different groups of patrons depending on time of day. While it’s crowded with locals in the evening, in the afternoon you hear different foreign languages, and watch groups of euro tourists wander in, led by their guidebooks and smartphones.

For the classic Bistro experience, order your burger with a McSorley’s draft, the dark preferably. This is the same beer that you can get over at the original McSorley’s in the East Village, the pub that claims to be the oldest continually operating bar in NYCity. The only difference is that this McSorley’s ale is served with a smile by the bartenders here. Or you can get a Sierra Nevada, Stella, or Hoegaarden on tap if you want to go upscale a bit. Either way this is a simple, but quality burger and beer experience that is just too rare these days (sorry for the pun).
=========================================================
Website: cornerbistrony.com
Phone #: 212-242-9502
Hours: 11:30am-4am Mon-Sat; 12pm-4am Sun
Happy Hour: NO
Music: Juke Box
Subway: #1/2/3 to 14th St. (S end of platform)
Walk: 1 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:
==============================================================
“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

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/12) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s 5th Avenue

“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.

For future NYC Events, check the tab above:  “APRIL NYC Events”
It’s the most comprehensive list of top events this month that you will find anywhere.
Carefully curated from “Only the Best” NYC event info on the the web, it’s a simply superb resource that will help you plan your NYC visit all over town, all through the month.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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

Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

Alan Cumming: Legal Immigrant (April12-13)
Minetta Lane Theatre / 8PM, $73+
“The bright-eyed, bouncy-kneed Scottish stage-and-screen actor plays fast and louche with the cabaret format, sprinkling naughty words into long comic stories and putting a completely fresh interpretive spin on familiar songs. He became an American citizen in 2008, a decade after taking New York by storm in Cabaret, and his latest set explores his immigrant experience.” (TONY)

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

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Alex Ferreira
>> DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM
>> Steve Davis
>> Don Giovanni
>> Stephen Petronio Company
>> Arturo Sandoval
>> From Migration to Music: The Scotch-Irish Contributions to America Symposium

Continuing Events
>> SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
>> STREB

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

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Alex Ferreira
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St./ 9:30PM, $50
Whether he’s cradling a ukulele or crouching over a synth machine, the Dominican singer-songwriter Alex Ferreira takes his cues from the kind of old-school Latin balladry that allows for a generous outpouring of feelings. Even though he’s a classic romantic at heart, he delights in his own hyperactive need to experiment, which has allowed him to build a wildly eclectic catalogue. His solo albums and collaborative projects feature songs that dabble in the assorted dance rhythms of bachata, merengue, electro-pop, and folk.” (Julyssa Lopez, NewYorker)

DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM (Apr.12-13)
at City Center / 8p.m.; $35+
“The ballet company celebrates its 50th anniversary season with an opening night honoring Arthur Mitchell, who along with Karel Shook formed the group in 1969. Now led by Virginia Johnson, its artistic director, and Anna Glass, its executive director, Dance Theater will present four works, either in their entirety or in excerpts, that Mitchell created or contributed to: “The Greatest,” “Creole Giselle,” “Bach Passacaglia” (performed by students of Dance Theater’s school) and “Tones II,” a piece from 1971 reimagined for 14 dancers. The season also includes Robert Garland’s “Return” and “Nyman String Quartet No. 2,” and Geoffrey Holder’s “Dougla.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Steve Davis (April 12-13)
Mezzrow, 163 W. 10th St./ 7:30PM, +9PM, $25
“Hard-bop corpuscles have been circulating through the blood of the trombonist Steve Davis since his time as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Those heady days may be gone, but Davis, an industrial-strength swinger, keeps the torch lit. Here, with the pianist Larry Willis and the bassist Peter Washington, the calm of a drummerless trio may temper his outsized grit.”(Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Don Giovanni (next Apr.15, 8PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $30+
“Baritone Peter Mattei and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni star as opera’s most notorious seducer in Mozart’s masterpiece of dark comedy. Cornelius Meister makes his Met debut conducting performances that also include sopranos Rachel Willis-Sørensen and Guanqun Yu as Donna Anna, sopranos Federica Lombardi and Susanna Phillips as Donna Elvira, and basses Ildar Abdrazakov and Adam Plachetka as Leporello.”

Stephen Petronio Company (Apr.11-13)
N.Y.U. Skirball, 566 LaGuardia Pl./
“Of late, modern and postmodern dance companies have been thinking about ways to preserve the legacy of American twentieth-century dance. Petronio, a former Trisha Brown dancer who founded his own company in the eighties, has joined this trend with his project “Bloodlines.” His dancers will perform Merce Cunningham’s “Tread” (1970), a lighthearted piece with a set of whirring fans designed by Bruce Nauman, and “Coverage” (1970), a solo by Rudy Perez, an experimental choreographer associated with the Judson Dance Theatre movement. Petronio’s new piece “American Landscapes” is a large-scale meditation on the American experience, with projected images by Robert Longo, set to a score developed by the composer Jozef Van Wissem in collaboration with Jim Jarmusch.’ (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

Arturo Sandoval (Apr.11-14)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM; $30-$45
“A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve, but it didn’t take him long to catch the excitement of the jazz world. He has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer.

He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, and has been seen by millions at the Oscars, at the Grammy Awards, and the Billboard Awards.”

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

From Migration to Music: The Scotch-Irish Contributions to America Symposium
Glucksman Ireland House / 12-8PM, must register
“The Scotch-Irish were part of the colonization of America before the country gained its independence from Britain. This two-day symposium, organzied by the Scotch-Irish Society of the USA, will explore the themes and topic that shaped the early experiences of the Scotch-Irish.”

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

Continuing Events


SOUNDTRACK OF AMERICA
at the Shed  (through April 14).
“For its opening, this flashy new interdisciplinary arts space — a cultural counterweight to the surrounding commercial development in Hudson Yards — will host five nights of concerts honoring the influence of African-American musicians. Developed by the filmmaker Steve McQueen, the series aims to explore the story of black music in America from early spirituals to today’s diverse forms. To that end, the performances in the coming week feature artists such as the jazz pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste, the rappers Smino and Rapsody, the avant-pop cellist Kelsey Lu and the R&B singer Emily King.” (NYT-OLIVIA HORN)

——————————————————————————————–

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.

==========================================================================
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, plus dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.6 million, had a record 65 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – awesome! BUT quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just earlier on the day of performance.

===========================================================
Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
Hit the Hot Link and check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(4 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. So., villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com/ 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — caffevivaldi.com / 212-691-7538 (1st 7pm)
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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WHAT’S ON VIEW
These are 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)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future (thru 04/23/19)

“Convinced that the world was not ready for her artistry in 1906, particularly as an underrepresented female in her field, af Klint of Sweden kept her work private. Her paintings anticipated by years “breakthroughs” by Kandinsky, Mondrian and others and were unseen before 1986. The Guggenheim rediscovers her.”

“Recognized as one of the art world’s earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.” (Newsday)

See our art critic’s top pick of the year.
“Luckily, the number-one pick in Jerry Saltz’s best art shows of 2018 is still running. Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum examines the work of the unacknowledged Swedish visionary and makes a case for her being the first modernist abstract painter. Saltz is especially enamored with the first gallery, so make sure you spend some time there.” (NYMagazine)

GD: Definitely worth a visit. af Klint was like the original Kandinsky and it’s interesting to see both of their works in the same museum, even if not side-by-side.

New-York Historical Society

‘BETYE SAAR: KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN’  (through May 27).

“Saar has been making important and influential work for nearly 60 years. Yet no big New York museum has given her a full retrospective, or even a significant one-person show, since a 1975 solo at the Whitney Museum of American Art. As this exhibition demonstrates, the institutional oversight is baffling, as her primary themes — racial justice and feminism (her 1972 breakthrough piece, “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” merges the two by transforming the racist stereotype of the smiling black mammy into an armed freedom fighter) — are exactly attuned to the present.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

‘SCENES FROM THE COLLECTION’  “After a surgical renovation to its grand pile on Fifth Avenue, the Jewish Museum has reopened its third-floor galleries with a rethought and refreshed display of its permanent collection, which intermingles modern and contemporary art, by Jews and gentiles alike — Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, and the excellent young Nigerian draftswoman Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze — with 4,000 years of Judaica. The works are shown in a nimble, non-chronological suite of galleries, and some of its century-spanning juxtapositions are bracing; others feel reductive, even dilletantish. But always, the Jewish Museum conceives of art and religion as interlocking elements of a story of civilization, commendably open to new influences and new interpretations.” (Farago) 212-423-3200, thejewishmuseum.org

Museum of the City of New York

NY AT ITS CORE (ongoing)
“Ten years in the making, New York at Its Core tells the compelling story of New York’s rise from a striving Dutch village to today’s “Capital of the World.” The exhibition captures the human energy that drove New York to become a city like no other and a subject of fascination the world over. Entertaining, inspiring, important, and at times bemusing, New York City “big personalities,” including Alexander Hamilton, Walt Whitman, Boss Tweed, Emma Goldman, JP Morgan, Fiorello La Guardia, Jane Jacobs, Jay-Z, and dozens more, parade through the exhibition. Visitors will also learn the stories of lesser-known New York personalities, like Lenape chieftain Penhawitz and Italian immigrant Susie Rocco. Even animals like the horse, the pig, the beaver, and the oyster, which played pivotal roles in the economy and daily life of New York, get their moment in the historical spotlight. Occupying the entire first floor in three interactive galleries (Port City, 1609-1898, World City, 1898-2012, and Future City Lab) New York at Its Core is shaped by four themes: money, density, diversity, and creativity. Together, they provide a lens for examining the character of the city, and underlie the modern global metropolis we know today. mcny.org” (NYCity Guide)

and you should be sure to check out these special exhibitions at that little museum on Fifth Ave., The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(open 7 days /week, AND always Pay What You Wish for NewYorkers)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

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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) for NewYorkers

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (Wed 2-6pm PWYW; First Friday each month (exc Jan+Sep) 6-9pm FREE) 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).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 04/10 and 04/08.
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