NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/16) + 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: NYC Events-August”
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.

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

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

Roy Hargrove (LAST DAY)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Cuba has long held a special place in the musical soul of the trumpeter Hargrove, who first professed his passion on the 1997 recording “Habana.” Here he hooks up with a fellow-virtuoso, the saxophonist and clarinet player Paquito D’Rivera, who firmly established his Stateside reputation after defecting from Cuba, in 1981.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> BIG HEART MACHINE
>> Jorge Glem
>> SARASOTA BALLET
>> JULIAN LAGE
>> BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>> Kurt Rosenwinkel
>> Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano,
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>> Candytopia
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BIG HEART MACHINE
at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30PM and 9:30PM, $15-$20
“Led by the versatile reedist Brian Krock and conducted by Miho Hazama, this 18-piece ensemble works by stealth and swarm and accrual. The suspenseful, layered music can sound like migration in motion or a wisp of twisting smoke. And if you’re looking for musical-historical references, there are plenty — from progressive metal to Carnatic music to late-20th-century Western classical. At this show, Big Heart Machine celebrates the release of a self-titled debut album, which was produced by the esteemed big-band leader Darcy James Argue.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Jorge Glem
Atrium at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, FREE
“Using unconventional techniques, Grammy-nominated cuatro player, mandolinist, producer, and composer Jorge Glem draws a seemingly limitless array of sounds from the cuatro, a four-stringed Venezuelan folk instrument. Glem, who has shared the stage with artists like Paquito D’Rivera, Jordan Rudess, Rubén Blades, Carlos Vives, and Calle 13, is an unwavering champion of the instrument both on stage and through his #4CuatroMusic movement on social media. Experience the full power of Glem’s cuatro revolution at this free show.”

SARASOTA BALLET (Aug. 16-17, 8 p.m.)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $45+
“Under the artistic direction of Iain Webb, this respected company returns to the Joyce with two programs highlighting ballets by Christopher Wheeldon, Ricardo Graziano — the group’s resident choreographer and one of its principal dancers — and Frederick Ashton, the great British choreographer, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of his death. The season includes a guest performance by Marcelo Gomes, who recently resigned from American Ballet Theater after an allegation of sexual misconduct. In the final pas de deux from Ashton’s “The Two Pigeons,” Mr. Gomes partners with another Sarasota principal dancer, Victoria Hulland.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

JULIAN LAGE (Aug. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m., $20
“Mr. Lage seeks communion freely and easily; his playing is elegant and refined, but he’s also happy in the company of rougher improvisers. He starts a five-night run at the Stone on Tuesday, in duet with the spiky guitarist Mary Halvorson. On Wednesday he is joined by the vocalist Margaret Glaspy; on Thursday he appears with Jorge Roeder on bass and Dave King on drums; on Aug. 17, the saxophonist and Stone proprietor John Zorn joins that trio; then on Aug. 18, Mr. Lage closes with a trio featuring Mr. King on drums and Kris Davis on piano.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL (Aug. 12-17)
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“With a breathtaking backdrop of the New York Harbor, this festival returns to Battery Park City (the closing event on Aug. 18 will be at the Schimmel Center) with eclectic programming by the artistic director of Battery Dance, Jonathan Hollander. Along with his company, participants include Ariel Rivka Dance and Douglas Dunn & Dancers, as well as out-of-town groups like Damir Tasmagambetov (Kazakhstan), Skopje Dance Theater (Macedonia) and Mophato Dance Theater (Botswana). The breeze is nice, too.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Kurt Rosenwinkel (Aug. 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Last week, the adroit guitarist Rosenwinkel kept the setting sparse, appearing with just a bassist and a drummer for support; this week, he adds harmonic muscle and an interactive jolt to his ensemble in the form of the acclaimed pianist Aaron Parks. Shakeups in the rhythm section include Eric Revis on bass and Allan Mednard on drums.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano, #1 (Aug.15-18)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $80+
“Bebe Neuwirth lives on deadpan: In her best roles—including her Tony-winning turns in Chicago and Sweet Charity, and her Emmy-winning stretch as Lilith Sternin on Cheers—she has presented herself as a kind of human icicle, pale and stiff and dripping with wit. Tonight she slices her distinctive contralto into story songs by Kander and Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, Edith Piaf and Tom Waits.” (TONY)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More smart stuff coming soon.

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

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

Candytopia (thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 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.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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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 50th 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 $6.75, 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 2 blk W. on 13th St. to 8th Ave.; 1 blk S. on 8th Ave. to Jane St.
Update:
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“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/15) + 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: NYC Events-August”
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.

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

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

Bebe Neuwirth: Stories with Piano, #1 (Aug.15-18)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $80+
“Bebe Neuwirth lives on deadpan: In her best roles—including her Tony-winning turns in Chicago and Sweet Charity, and her Emmy-winning stretch as Lilith Sternin on Cheers—she has presented herself as a kind of human icicle, pale and stiff and dripping with wit. Tonight she slices her distinctive contralto into story songs by Kander and Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, Edith Piaf and Tom Waits.” (TONY)

=========================================================
8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> URI CAINE, MARK HELIAS AND CLARENCE PENN
>> Kurt Rosenwinkel
>> SARASOTA BALLET
>> JULIAN LAGE
>> BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>> Roy Hargrove
>> Candytopia
>> Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

URI CAINE, MARK HELIAS AND CLARENCE PENN
at Mezzrow / 8PM, +9:30PM, $
“Here’s the upside of the August slump: Some artists who might otherwise be busily touring abroad or gigging as side musicians have a bit of time to kill at home in New York. This week you can chase your late-summer luck down to Mezzrow, a tight Greenwich Village basement, where the pianist Mr. Caine, the bassist Mr. Helias and the drummer Mr. Penn will be playing together. They recorded a strong album in 2016, “Calibrated Thickness,” but don’t reunite often enough. All three are improvisers with a stony command and a silvery spill of constant new ideas; they’re well suited to one another but never seem to get too comfortable.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Kurt Rosenwinkel (Aug. 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Last week, the adroit guitarist Rosenwinkel kept the setting sparse, appearing with just a bassist and a drummer for support; this week, he adds harmonic muscle and an interactive jolt to his ensemble in the form of the acclaimed pianist Aaron Parks. Shakeups in the rhythm section include Eric Revis on bass and Allan Mednard on drums.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

SARASOTA BALLET (Aug. 14-15, 7:30 p.m.) (Aug. 16-17, 8 p.m.)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $45+
“Under the artistic direction of Iain Webb, this respected company returns to the Joyce with two programs highlighting ballets by Christopher Wheeldon, Ricardo Graziano — the group’s resident choreographer and one of its principal dancers — and Frederick Ashton, the great British choreographer, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of his death. The season includes a guest performance by Marcelo Gomes, who recently resigned from American Ballet Theater after an allegation of sexual misconduct. In the final pas de deux from Ashton’s “The Two Pigeons,” Mr. Gomes partners with another Sarasota principal dancer, Victoria Hulland.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

JULIAN LAGE (Aug. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m., $20
“Mr. Lage seeks communion freely and easily; his playing is elegant and refined, but he’s also happy in the company of rougher improvisers. He starts a five-night run at the Stone on Tuesday, in duet with the spiky guitarist Mary Halvorson. On Wednesday he is joined by the vocalist Margaret Glaspy; on Thursday he appears with Jorge Roeder on bass and Dave King on drums; on Aug. 17, the saxophonist and Stone proprietor John Zorn joins that trio; then on Aug. 18, Mr. Lage closes with a trio featuring Mr. King on drums and Kris Davis on piano.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL (Aug. 12-17)
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“With a breathtaking backdrop of the New York Harbor, this festival returns to Battery Park City (the closing event on Aug. 18 will be at the Schimmel Center) with eclectic programming by the artistic director of Battery Dance, Jonathan Hollander. Along with his company, participants include Ariel Rivka Dance and Douglas Dunn & Dancers, as well as out-of-town groups like Damir Tasmagambetov (Kazakhstan), Skopje Dance Theater (Macedonia) and Mophato Dance Theater (Botswana). The breeze is nice, too.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Roy Hargrove (Aug. 13-16.)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Cuba has long held a special place in the musical soul of the trumpeter Hargrove, who first professed his passion on the 1997 recording “Habana.” Here he hooks up with a fellow-virtuoso, the saxophonist and clarinet player Paquito D’Rivera, who firmly established his Stateside reputation after defecting from Cuba, in 1981.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Candytopia (opens Aug.15 – thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)

Author Readings:
Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times
Bryant Park, Sixth Ave. and 42nd St., Reading Room/ 7PM, FREE
“Author Joel Richard Paul presents the remarkable story of John Marshall who, as chief justice, statesman, and diplomat, played a pivotal role in the founding of the United States.”
Produced in partnership with the New-York Historical Society.

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

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 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:
(5 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)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

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)

Special Mention:
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 surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s 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.

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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)

‘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 FACE OF DYNASTY: ROYAL CRESTS FROM WESTERN CAMEROON’ (through Sept. 3). “Upstairs, the Michelangelos continue to knock ‘em dead; downstairs, in the African wing, a show of just four commanding wooden crowns constitutes a blockbuster of its own. These massive wooden crests — in the form of stylized human faces with vast vertical brows — served as markers of royal power among the Bamileke peoples of the Cameroonian grasslands, and the Met’s recent acquisition of an 18th-century specimen is joined here by three later examples, each featuring sharply protruding cheeks, broadly smiling mouths, and brows incised with involute geometric patterns. Ritual objects like these were decisive for the development of western modernist painting, and a Cameroonian crest was even shown at MoMA in the 1930s, as a “sculpture” divorced from ethnography. But these crests had legal and diplomatic significance as well as aesthetic appeal, and their anonymous African creators had a political understanding of art not so far from our own.” (Farago)

‘HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION’  (through Oct. 8). “Let us pray. After last year’s stark exhibition of Rei Kawakubo’s irregular apparel, the Met Costume Institute is back in blockbuster mode with this three-part blowout on the influence of Catholicism on haute couture of the last century. The trinity of fashion begins downstairs at the Met with the exceptional loans of vestments from the Vatican; upstairs are gowns fit for angels in heaven (by Lanvin, Thierry Mugler, Rodarte) or angels fallen to earth (such as slinky Versace sheaths garlanded with crosses). The scenography at the Met is willfully operatic — spotlights, choir music — which militates against serious thinking about fashion and religion, but up at the Cloisters, by far the strongest third of the show, you can commune more peacefully with an immaculate Balenciaga wedding gown or a divine Valentino gown embroidered with Cranac’s Adam and Eve.” (Farago)

===========================================================
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 08/13 and 08/11.
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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/14) + 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: NYC Events-August”
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.

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

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

SHEILA JORDAN
at the Birdland Theater / 7pm and 9:45 p.m., $40
“This theater opened quietly over the summer, a spare but elegant downstairs performance space directly underneath the historic Birdland jazz club. A grand opening hasn’t been announced, but the theater is already hosting concerts nearly every night. At this show, Ms. Jordan — the lively, undiminished 89-year-old vocalist and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master — performs with Alan Broadbent on piano and Harvie S on bass.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

=========================================================
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Kurt Rosenwinkel
>> SARASOTA BALLET
>> JULIAN LAGE
>> Benjamin Eakeley:
>> Me The People
>> BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>> Roy Hargrove
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Kurt Rosenwinkel (Aug. 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“Last week, the adroit guitarist Rosenwinkel kept the setting sparse, appearing with just a bassist and a drummer for support; this week, he adds harmonic muscle and an interactive jolt to his ensemble in the form of the acclaimed pianist Aaron Parks. Shakeups in the rhythm section include Eric Revis on bass and Allan Mednard on drums.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

SARASOTA BALLET (Aug. 14-15, 7:30 p.m.) (Aug. 16-17, 8 p.m.)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30PM, $45+
“Under the artistic direction of Iain Webb, this respected company returns to the Joyce with two programs highlighting ballets by Christopher Wheeldon, Ricardo Graziano — the group’s resident choreographer and one of its principal dancers — and Frederick Ashton, the great British choreographer, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of his death. The season includes a guest performance by Marcelo Gomes, who recently resigned from American Ballet Theater after an allegation of sexual misconduct. In the final pas de deux from Ashton’s “The Two Pigeons,” Mr. Gomes partners with another Sarasota principal dancer, Victoria Hulland.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

JULIAN LAGE (Aug. 14-18)
at the Stone / 8:30 p.m., $20
“Mr. Lage seeks communion freely and easily; his playing is elegant and refined, but he’s also happy in the company of rougher improvisers. He starts a five-night run at the Stone on Tuesday, in duet with the spiky guitarist Mary Halvorson. On Wednesday he is joined by the vocalist Margaret Glaspy; on Thursday he appears with Jorge Roeder on bass and Dave King on drums; on Aug. 17, the saxophonist and Stone proprietor John Zorn joins that trio; then on Aug. 18, Mr. Lage closes with a trio featuring Mr. King on drums and Kris Davis on piano.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Benjamin Eakeley: Broadway Swinger, Volume 2
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $35
“A tall, cool drink of water who has appeared in the Broadway productions of Cabaret, She Loves Me and Sweeney Todd, Eakeley returns to 54 Below with a collection of songs from the 1930s, backed by a four-piece jazz band. Expect anti-Depression classics by the likes of George Gershwin, Cole Parter, Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern.” (TONY)

Me The People
Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe/ 7PM, $35
“After a Bush-whacking expedition in 2006’s Bush Wars, musical satirist Nancy Holson now takes aim at Donald Trump in a continually evolving comic revue performed by a quick-changing cast of four.” (TONY)

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL (Aug. 12-17)
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“With a breathtaking backdrop of the New York Harbor, this festival returns to Battery Park City (the closing event on Aug. 18 will be at the Schimmel Center) with eclectic programming by the artistic director of Battery Dance, Jonathan Hollander. Along with his company, participants include Ariel Rivka Dance and Douglas Dunn & Dancers, as well as out-of-town groups like Damir Tasmagambetov (Kazakhstan), Skopje Dance Theater (Macedonia) and Mophato Dance Theater (Botswana). The breeze is nice, too.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Roy Hargrove (Aug. 13-16.)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Cuba has long held a special place in the musical soul of the trumpeter Hargrove, who first professed his passion on the 1997 recording “Habana.” Here he hooks up with a fellow-virtuoso, the saxophonist and clarinet player Paquito D’Rivera, who firmly established his Stateside reputation after defecting from Cuba, in 1981.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More Smart Stuff coming soon.

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

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 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,

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.

See Below.
———————————————————————————————————-

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
=================================================================================

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,  JUNE 23 WAS THE FINAL NIGHT. VERY SAD.
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.
==============================================================
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge.

If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.
========================================================

3 Good Eating places

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

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.

========================================================
“3 Good Eating places” focuses on a quick bite, what I call “Fine Fast Food – NYCity Style”
No reservations needed.
========================================================
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 2018).
◊ Order before NOV.30, 2018 and receive a bonus – 27 of my favorite casual dining places with free Wi-Fi.

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

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/13) + 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: NYC Events-August”
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.

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

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

Roy Hargrove (Aug. 13-16.)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“Cuba has long held a special place in the musical soul of the trumpeter Hargrove, who first professed his passion on the 1997 recording “Habana.” Here he hooks up with a fellow-virtuoso, the saxophonist and clarinet player Paquito D’Rivera, who firmly established his Stateside reputation after defecting from Cuba, in 1981.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

=========================================================
6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Christina Bianco
>> Broadway Sings Unplugged: Whitney Houston
>> Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
>> BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>> Kevin Smith Kirkwood: Classic Whitney—Alive!
>> Books Beneath The Bridge: WORD
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Christina Bianco
Birdland / 7:30PM, $35
“Bianco is a comic firecracker with a pyrotechnic voice and a great gift for mimicry, which broke her out when a video of her performing “Total Eclipse of the Heart”—as sung by 19 different divas—went megaviral. In her return to Birdland, the petite performer takes on more of the biggest songs ever.” (TONY)

Broadway Sings Unplugged: Whitney Houston
The Green Room 42 / 9:30PM, $20+
“Broadway vocalists perform new arangements of Houston classics, back by an acoustic band led by arranger and piano man Joshua Stephen Kartes, in this spinoff of the Broadway Sings concert series. Performers include Kathryn Allison, Nick Rashad Burroughs, Ben Fankhauser, Amber Iman, Aisha Jackson, Corey Mach, Stephanie Torns and Raena White.” (TONY)

Jim Caruso’s Cast Party
Birdland, / 9:30PM, $30
Jim Caruso’s Cast Party is a wildly popular weekly soiree that brings a sprinkling of Broadway glitz and urbane wit to the legendary Birdland in New York City every Monday night. It’s a cool cabaret night-out enlivened by a hilariously impromptu variety show. Showbiz superstars, backed by Steve Doyle on bass, Billy Stritch on piano and Daniel Glass on drums, hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle.” (broadwayworld)

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL (Aug. 12-17)
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“With a breathtaking backdrop of the New York Harbor, this festival returns to Battery Park City (the closing event on Aug. 18 will be at the Schimmel Center) with eclectic programming by the artistic director of Battery Dance, Jonathan Hollander. Along with his company, participants include Ariel Rivka Dance and Douglas Dunn & Dancers, as well as out-of-town groups like Damir Tasmagambetov (Kazakhstan), Skopje Dance Theater (Macedonia) and Mophato Dance Theater (Botswana). The breeze is nice, too.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

Kevin Smith Kirkwood: Classic Whitney—Alive!
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30PM, $30
“On a night off from his ensemble role in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, Kirkwood takes center stage as Whitney Houston in a show that impressively re-creates the doomed diva’s performances and concert banter. This latest Joe’s Pub residency is divided into two separate sets: The Greastest Hits: Volume 1 (Aug 5, 13) and The Greastest Hits: Volume 2 (Aug 6, 12).” (TONY)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Elsewhere, not Manhattan’s WestSide but this sure is Brooklyn’s WestSide.
Worth the detour:
Books Beneath The Bridge: WORD
Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach, Brooklyn Heights / 7PM, FREE
“In this seasonal series, Brooklyn Bridge Park invites top-notch independent bookstores to program readings, Q&A’s and book signings, all set against the stunning city view from the park’s Granite Prospect steps. Local shop WORD hosts this evening’s literary adventure.” (TONY)

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

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 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.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

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:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TONY)

‘BODYS ISEK KINGELEZ: CITY DREAMS’ (through Jan. 1). “The first comprehensive survey of the Congolese artist is a euphoric exhibition as utopian wonderland featuring his fantasy architectural models and cities — works strong in color, eccentric in shape, loaded with enthralling details and futuristic aura. Mr. Kingelez (1948-2015) was convinced that the world had never seen a vision like his, and this beautifully designed show bears him out.” (NYT-Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

‘THE LONG RUN’ (through Nov. 4). “The museum upends its cherished Modern narrative of ceaseless progress by mostly young (white) men. Instead we see works by artists 45 and older who have just kept on keeping on, regardless of attention or reward, sometimes saving the best for last. Art here is an older person’s game, a pursuit of a deepening personal vision over innovation. Winding through 17 galleries, the installation is alternatively visually or thematically acute and altogether inspiring.” (NYT-Smith)
212-708-9400, moma.org

Rubin Museum of Art

Chitra Ganesh: The Scorpion Gesture (Through Jan. 7)
“The Brooklyn artist’s new animations ingeniously combine her own drawings and watercolors with historical imagery, peppering the journeys of bodhisattvas with contemporary pop-culture references. Five of these pieces are installed on the museum’s second and third floors amid its collection of Himalayan art, elements of which appear in her psychedelic sequences of spinning mandalas and falling lotus flowers. (Ganesh’s works are activated, as if by magic, when viewers approach.) In “Rainbow Body,” a cave, which also appears in a nearby painting of Mandarava, is filled with people in 3-D glasses, watching as the guru-deity attains enlightenment. “Silhouette in the Graveyard” is projected behind a glass case containing a small sculpture of Maitreya, from late-eighteenth-century Mongolia, for a cleverly dioramalike effect. Prophesied to arrive during an apocalyptic crisis, the bodhisattva is seen here against Ganesh’s montage, which includes footage of global catastrophes and political protests, from the Women’s March to Black Lives Matter.” (

New-York Historical Society 

“Celebrating Bill Cunningham (thru 9/9)
marks the New-York Historical Society‘s recent acquisition of objects, personal correspondence, ephemera, and photographs that reflect the life and work of Bill Cunningham. One of the late 20th century’s most influential trend-spotters and style authorities, the legendary New York Times journalist and photographer was frequently spied on the city’s streets, at fashion shows, and elegant soirées capturing images of New York’s fashion innovators and cultural glitterati. Among the highlights of Celebrating Bill Cunningham are a bicycle that he rode around the city; his first camera, an Olympus Pen-D, 35mm; signature blue jacket; personal photographs of Cunningham at home and with friends; correspondence, including a few of the hand-made Valentines he frequently sent to friends; and a New York City street sign, “Bill Cunningham Corner,” that was temporarily installed at 5th Avenue and 57th Street in his honor, following his death. Soon after he arrived in New York, Cunningham worked as a milliner, and items on view from his millinery line, William J., include an innovative beach hat, along with other hats and fascinators; and a press release written for the William J. spring 1960 millinery show. Also on display are selections from Cunningham’s Facades, his eight-year photographic project documenting New York City’s architectural and fashion history, which was shown at the museum in 2014.” (cityguideny.com)

Also now open at NY Historical SocietySummer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection. (thru Sept.16)

SPECIAL MENTION (not Manhattan’s WestSide, but let’s show some love to da Bronx)
at the New York (Bronx) Botanical Garden:

‘GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: VISIONS OF HAWAI‘I’ (through Oct. 28). “Finding out Georgia O’Keeffe had a Hawaiian period is kind of like finding out Brian Wilson had a desert period. But here it is: 17 eye-popping paradisal paintings, produced in a nine-week visit in 1939. The paintings, and their almost psychedelic palette, are as fleshlike and physical as O’Keeffe’s New Mexican work is stripped and metaphysical. The other star of the show, fittingly, is Hawaii, and the garden has mounted a living display of the subjects depicted in the artwork. As much as they might look like the products of an artist’s imagination, the plants and flowers in the Enid Haupt Conservatory are boastfully real. On Aloha Nights every Saturday in June and every other Saturday in July and August, the garden is staging a cultural complement of activities, including lei making, hula lessons and ukulele performances.” (NYT – William L. Hamilton)
718-817-8700, nybg.org / easy 20 minute ride from Grand Central on Metro North.

==============================================================
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/11 and 08/09.
============================================================

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

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/12) + Today’s Featured Pub (Midtown West)

“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: NYC Events-August”
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.

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

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

Margo Price & Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
Annual Roots of American Music Weekend: Americanafest NYC
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center / 7PM, FREE
“With her infectious blend of Nashville country, Memphis soul, and Texas twang, Margo Price is “one of the most compelling country talents to come out of Nashville in recent memory” (Vulture). She brings unflinching honesty and vivid songcraft to nuanced portraits of men and women just trying to get by, evoking everyone from Waylon and Willie to Loretta and Dolly along the way. Price splits the night with singer-songwriter Lukas Nelson (Willie’s son) and his band. On tour with Neil Young in recent years, they’ve built a devoted following for their distinctive brand of cosmic country soul.”

=========================================================
7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL
>> ALICIA OLATUJA
>> Kevin Smith Kirkwood: Classic Whitney—Alive!
>> Mark Morris Dance Group
>> Momix
>> “Curator’s Choice: Bernstein”
>> Play NYC
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>>
Brasil Summerfest 
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL (Aug. 12-17)
at Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park / 7 p.m., FREE
“With a breathtaking backdrop of the New York Harbor, this festival returns to Battery Park City (the closing event on Aug. 18 will be at the Schimmel Center) with eclectic programming by the artistic director of Battery Dance, Jonathan Hollander. Along with his company, participants include Ariel Rivka Dance and Douglas Dunn & Dancers, as well as out-of-town groups like Damir Tasmagambetov (Kazakhstan), Skopje Dance Theater (Macedonia) and Mophato Dance Theater (Botswana). The breeze is nice, too.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

ALICIA OLATUJA
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $30
“Ms. Olatuja has a big and clear voice, and she usually seems to be aiming squarely at you. An auspicious young talent, she comes to jazz via the church and performed for years in the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. That history is always evident, whether she’s collaborating with her Nigerian-born husband, Michael, in the Olatuja Project, or guesting with the storied organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. At Jazz Standard, Ms. Olatuja appears as the lone headliner, fronting a band that includes Schadrack Pierre and Rasul A-Salaam on backup vocals, Sullivan Fortner on piano, David Rosenthal on guitar, Richie Goods on bass and Ulysses Owens Jr. on drums.” (NYT- GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Kevin Smith Kirkwood: Classic Whitney—Alive! (also Aug.13)
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater / 9:30PM, $30
“On a night off from his ensemble role in Broadway’s Kinky Boots, Kirkwood takes center stage as Whitney Houston in a show that impressively re-creates the doomed diva’s performances and concert banter. This latest Joe’s Pub residency is divided into two separate sets: The Greastest Hits: Volume 1 (Aug 5, 13) and The Greastest Hits: Volume 2 (Aug 6, 12).” (TONY)

Mark Morris Dance Group (LAST DAY)
Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $75+
“The redoubtable choreographer Mark Morris displays his precious resources at Lincoln Center this summer, including an expensive showing during August’s Mostly Mozart festival. From August 9 to 12, make your way to the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where the Mark Morris Dance Group performs a program including Morris’s Love Song Waltzes and the world premiere of The Trout, to the Schubert quintet played live by the Ariel Quartet, joined by pianist Inon Barnatan. Tickets for this are scarce already, so don’t dally.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Momix (LAST DAY)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $45+
The troupe of acrobatic illusionists returns with another of its prop-laden greatest-hits samplers. As usual, though the performers’ physical skill impresses and many of the images beguile, the thinness of the ideas grows ever clearer and the tasteless music grates. Three local premières stick to the group’s formula: cartoon cowboys with limbs of strange length, costumes made of paper or equipped with pulsing rods of light.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

“Curator’s Choice: Bernstein”
Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd St./
“Eleven months into the yearlong celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s hundredth birthday, there are no more gems still to polish or curios left to unearth in his œuvre. The Paley Center, though, is devoting every Sunday in August to a hitherto underexamined aspect of his legacy: his famous television appearances. The second weekend highlights his warmth and elegance as a music educator with screenings of three CBS specials, in which he discussed everything from Bach to the Beatles and introduced Glenn Gould and Igor Stravinsky in their U.S. television débuts.” (Oussama Zahr, Village Voice)
12:15 pm
Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic: The Creative Performer
1:15 pm
CBS News Special: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution
2:10 pm
New York Philharmonic Young People’s Concerts: Bach Transmogrified

Play NYC  (Aug.11-12)
Manhattan Center / $33 on Saturday, $28 on Sunday, with two separate sessions held each day (10AM & 3PM)
Game on, New York.
Play NYC, an interactive games convention for both players and creators, returns for the second year in midtown this weekend. Organized by Playcrafting, which touts itself as “the largest network of game developers in New York,” games of all types are playable at the con.

“We launched Play NYC last year to really give New York its own full-scale, all-games convention, and we delivered on it,” said Dan Butchko, founder and CEO of Playcrafting.

Describing Play NYC as a “carnival of games” that’s welcoming to both hard-core gamers and families looking for a fun outing, Butchko said the Manhattan Center will assume hosting duties through 2020 after last year’s Terminal 5 debut. After attracting an estimated 5,000 people last year and selling out the first day, the event moved to the larger venue, which can handle up to 10,000 visitors. More than 300 developers, publishers and streamers will be running booths, all featuring playable games.” (amNY)

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

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

Brasil Summerfest  (last day)
Brazil’s beats and bites come to NYC
“Brasil Summerfest, the largest music and arts fest of its kind, returns this week with its biggest year yet and runs through Aug. 12. Starting off Sunday at the Hester Street Fair are DJs Gaspar Muniz and Greg Caz, as well as choro music by Regional de NY, samba by Manhattan Samba and drumming from Fogo Azul. Food will include traditional fare like churrasco, coxinhas, feijoada and more, plus beer and sparkling wine. It’s free for all ages.” (Metro)

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 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:
(5 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)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319 (6pm)

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)

Special Mention:
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 surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s 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.

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

NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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

A PremierPub / Midtown West

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

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

From the outside this place looks a bit drab, and with no windows, a bit mysterious. Midtown tourists walk right by on their way to see “Jersey Boys,” just down the block.
(Alas, no more. After 10 years, “Jersey Boys” finally closed, now it’s “Mean Girls.”)

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

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

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

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

It’s the kind of place where the noise gets louder and the crowd gets happier as the happy hour goes on. I’m generally a beer guy, but I like to come here with a group of friends. We find a table in the back room near the piano man; we eat, and we drink vodka ‘till it hurts (and it will hurt).
=====================================================
Website: http://www.russianvodkaroom.com/
Phone #: 212-307-5835
Hours: 4pm-2am; Fri-Sun closes 4am (that could be trouble)
Happy Hour: 4-7pm every day
$4 shots infused vodka (2oz), $5 cosmos; $4 czech draft beer
Music: FR-SU; TU-WE / 7pm-12am
Subway: #1 to 50th St.
Walk 2 blk N. on B’way to 52nd St.; 1 blk W. to RVR
Confusingly, the Russian Samovar is right across the street, on the S. side of 52nd St.
The RVR, your destination, is on the N. side of 52nd St.
Update: music now includes a younger, trimmer piano man. “Tiny” we miss you.
Update#2: Rumor that “Tiny” is back playing only on Friday nights – need to check it out.

==============================================================================
“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” (08/11) + 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: NYC Events-August”
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.

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

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

MAVIS STAPLES AND JOE HENRY
at Damrosch Park / 7:30 p.m., FREE
“Starting as the biggest voice in the legendary R&B and gospel group the Staples Singers, Ms. Staples has spent the past 60 years making songs that aren’t just musically spectacular but iconic for their unflinching yet optimistic assessment of racism in America. From 1965’s “Freedom Highway,” a much-covered tribute to that year’s march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. (her father and the group’s leader, Pops Staples, was close with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), up to her most recent album, 2017’s “If All I Was Was Black,” Ms. Staples has crafted soundtracks for liberation.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

=========================================================
8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> In the Name of the Earth
>> THE BREEDERS AND SPEEDY ORTIZ
>> Rachel Tucker
>> Mark Morris Dance Group
>> Nicole Mitchell
>> Momix
>> Summer Streets
>> Play NYC
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>>
Brasil Summerfest 
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

In the Name of the Earth
Central Park, South of Harlem Meer / 3PM, FREE
“Alaska composer John Luther Adams presents the world premiere of In the Name of the Earth, an “on-site” work for 800 singers who will invoke the Earth, the Waters, and the Holy Wind through a litany of names — Tahoma, Klickitat, Wy’east, Shasta, Mojave, Tumanguya — imbued with spiritual power. Luther, who describes his new work as “my musical map of North America,” writes music that is slow, sensual, and so sublime that it exists somehow beyond understanding and leaves us trembling. It’s a political work, too, a transcendent response to a planet upon which “too many of us … live so heavily.” Listeners, who are encouraged to stroll around the Harlem Meer (or “small sea”), will find themselves surrounded by the colossal choir. This Mostly Mozart Festival event will be moved to St. John the Divine in the event of rain.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
THE BREEDERS AND SPEEDY ORTIZ
at the Prospect Park Bandshell / 7:30 p.m., FREE
“Formed by the Pixies bassist Kim Deal and best known for the 1993 noise-pop single “Cannonball,” the Breeders returned in 2018 with “All Nerve,” their first album in a decade. It’s a testament to Ms. Deal’s endurance, as she continues to release scuzzy, captivating rock through years of reunions, hiatuses and changing band lineups with both the Pixies and the Breeders. Currently, her identical twin sister, Kelley, is the lead guitarist; Josephine Wiggs is the bassist; and Jim Macpherson is the drummer — the same lineup that was responsible for the group’s biggest hits. Speedy Ortiz, the Breeders’ musical heir apparent, opens.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

Rachel Tucker (Aug.10-11)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $45+
“Northern Irish singer-actor Tucker has played Elphaba to widespread plaudits on Broadway and in the West End., and was a standout as the female lead in Sting’s short-lived 2014 musical, The Last Ship. Now she reprises her 2017 New York solo cabaret debut.” (TONY)

Mark Morris Dance Group (Aug.09-12)
Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $75+
“The redoubtable choreographer Mark Morris displays his precious resources at Lincoln Center this summer, including an expensive showing during August’s Mostly Mozart festival. From August 9 to 12, make your way to the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where the Mark Morris Dance Group performs a program including Morris’s Love Song Waltzes and the world premiere of The Trout, to the Schubert quintet played live by the Ariel Quartet, joined by pianist Inon Barnatan. Tickets for this are scarce already, so don’t dally.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Nicole Mitchell  (Aug.7-11)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30PM, $20
“The jazz Afrofuturist and radical utopian Nicole Mitchell — whose 2017 albums Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds and Liberation Narratives raised her profile considerably — kicks off a five-night residency Tuesday alongside fellow flutist Robert Dick. The duo’s minimalism should sage the stage for the more elaborate collaborations that will follow. Wednesday, for example, she pursues “Rhythmic Liberation” alongside Haitian electronic musician Val-Inc and Chicago Underground drummer Chad Taylor. Following a palate-cleansing duet with cellist Okkyung Lee on August 9, and as part of a trio with Emma Dayhuff (bass) and Maria Grand (saxophone) the following evening, Mitchell will reprise her “Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler” on August 11 with a quintet featuring saxophonist Darius Jones and vocalist Fay Victor. Inspired by the “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy, Mitchell translates Butler’s thematic complexities into intense heroic abstractions.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)

Momix (Aug. 7 – 12)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $45+
The troupe of acrobatic illusionists returns with another of its prop-laden greatest-hits samplers. As usual, though the performers’ physical skill impresses and many of the images beguile, the thinness of the ideas grows ever clearer and the tasteless music grates. Three local premières stick to the group’s formula: cartoon cowboys with limbs of strange length, costumes made of paper or equipped with pulsing rods of light.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

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

Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

Summer Streets (3 Saturdays in August)
Park Avenue up to Central Park / 7am-1pm, FREE
“Enjoy 7 miles of car-free roadways. The route winds from the Brooklyn Bridge to the 72nd Street entrance to Central Park, spanning Centre Street, Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue and Park Avenue. There will be five “rest stops” with free activities, including a 165-feet-long zip line at Foley Square and an 8-feet-tall bouldering wall at Astor Place. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the open road with rented bicycles, roller skates or handcycles. The programming also includes cultural activities such as live music, kid-friendly art workshops and walking tours of Park Avenue architecture. There will also be water fountains and concession stands providing sustenance along the way.” (amNY)

Play NYC
Manhattan Center / $33 on Saturday, $28 on Sunday, with two separate sessions held each day (10AM & 3PM)
Game on, New York.
Play NYC, an interactive games convention for both players and creators, returns for the second year in midtown this weekend. Organized by Playcrafting, which touts itself as “the largest network of game developers in New York,” games of all types are playable at the con.

“We launched Play NYC last year to really give New York its own full-scale, all-games convention, and we delivered on it,” said Dan Butchko, founder and CEO of Playcrafting.

Describing Play NYC as a “carnival of games” that’s welcoming to both hard-core gamers and families looking for a fun outing, Butchko said the Manhattan Center will assume hosting duties through 2020 after last year’s Terminal 5 debut. After attracting an estimated 5,000 people last year and selling out the first day, the event moved to the larger venue, which can handle up to 10,000 visitors. More than 300 developers, publishers and streamers will be running booths, all featuring playable games.” (amNY)

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

Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

Brasil Summerfest  (thru Aug. 12)
Brazil’s beats and bites come to NYC
“Brasil Summerfest, the largest music and arts fest of its kind, returns this week with its biggest year yet and runs through Aug. 12. Starting off Sunday at the Hester Street Fair are DJs Gaspar Muniz and Greg Caz, as well as choro music by Regional de NY, samba by Manhattan Samba and drumming from Fogo Azul. Food will include traditional fare like churrasco, coxinhas, feijoada and more, plus beer and sparkling wine. It’s free for all ages.” (Metro)

==========================================================================
♦ 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 63 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,

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 are two exhibitions you may like:

Dime-Store Alchemy (Through Aug. 17)
“Drawing inspiration from the boxes of Joseph Cornell, this group show gathers artworks that array ordinary objects within cabinets or other types of containers. The theme is simple, but applied liberally and intelligently by the curator Jonathan Rider, it brims with reminders of the feats of transmutation that artists can perform.” (NYT-JILLIAN STEINHAUER)  Flag Art Foundation, 545 West 25th St.

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

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 08/09 and 08/07.

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

NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/10) + Today’s Featured Pub (Times Square / Theater District)

“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: NYC Events-August”
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.

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

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

West Side Story Reimagined
Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band
Poetry by La Bruja and Rich Villar
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center Out of Doors / 7:30 pm. FREE

“Leonard Bernstein’s score to West Side Story fused progressive big-band jazz, lyric opera, modern dance, and Latin rhythms into a groundbreaking masterpiece that revolutionized the Broadway musical. Celebrate Maestro Bernstein’s centennial year with the Grammy-nominated Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band. Just a few blocks from where the opening of the film was shot, they reimagine the timeless instrumental score using traditional Afro-Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Brazilian, Venezuelan, and Mexican rhythms, funk, rock, and jazz. Poets La Bruja and Rich Villar kick off the evening with an electrifying set of spoken word.”

=========================================================
6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Rachel Tucker
>> The Bartschland Follies
>> GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
>> Mark Morris Dance Group
>> Nicole Mitchell
>> Momix
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>>
Brasil Summerfest 
========================================================

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Rachel Tucker (Aug.10-11)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $45+
“Northern Irish singer-actor Tucker has played Elphaba to widespread plaudits on Broadway and in the West End., and was a standout as the female lead in Sting’s short-lived 2014 musical, The Last Ship. Now she reprises her 2017 New York solo cabaret debut.” (TONY)

The Bartschland Follies (also Aug.17)
McKittrick Hotel, 530W27th St. / 11PM, $35+
“When the clock strikes midnight at the McKittrick on Fridays, the club kids take over. Enter the sublime nightlife fantasy of downtown icon Susanne Bartsch at her weekly summer residency, at which she welcomes circus performers, drag divas, burlesque stars and beyond to unleash their most avant-garde creations onstage. She’s joined by a rotating cast that includes Dee Dee Luxe, Shequida, Aquaria, Joey Arias, Amanda Lepore, Sherry Vine, Fou York and Dirty Martini for this wild experiment.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR
at the Prospect Park Bandshell / 7:30 p.m.,FREE
In the beginning, this Montreal noise collective started small — with the nucleus of Efrim Menuck, Mike Moya and Mauro Pezzente — then within a short time tripled in size to add layers of rhythm, guitar and strings. (In 2010, returning from a seven-year hiatus, they even added a projectionist and video artist, Karl Lemieux, to their ranks.) Much of the music they have created over the past 20-plus years mirrors their origin story: A song will start with a single element — be it a smattering of background noise, a lone note or a snippet of rhythm — emerging slowly from silence, tickling your interest. As this element strengthens, it is bolstered by continually erupting peels of melody, harmony and percussion, building upon one another until the entirety is a dazzling behemoth that inundates you with its mellifluence or cacophony or both. Listen carefully to last year’s “Luciferian Towers” and a wordless message comes through — one of fear and longing and hope and glory. The Tunisian vocalist Emel Mathlouthi, who was absolutely mesmerizing at last year’s Basilica SoundScape, opens this free BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! show.” (NYT-DANIELLE DOWLING)

Mark Morris Dance Group (Aug.09-12)
Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $75+
“The redoubtable choreographer Mark Morris displays his precious resources at Lincoln Center this summer, including an expensive showing during August’s Mostly Mozart festival. From August 9 to 12, make your way to the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where the Mark Morris Dance Group performs a program including Morris’s Love Song Waltzes and the world premiere of The Trout, to the Schubert quintet played live by the Ariel Quartet, joined by pianist Inon Barnatan. Tickets for this are scarce already, so don’t dally.” (Elizabeth Zimmer, Village Voice)

Nicole Mitchell  (Aug.7-11)
The Stone at the New School, 55 W. 13th St./ 8:30PM, $20
“The jazz Afrofuturist and radical utopian Nicole Mitchell — whose 2017 albums Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds and Liberation Narratives raised her profile considerably — kicks off a five-night residency Tuesday alongside fellow flutist Robert Dick. The duo’s minimalism should sage the stage for the more elaborate collaborations that will follow. Wednesday, for example, she pursues “Rhythmic Liberation” alongside Haitian electronic musician Val-Inc and Chicago Underground drummer Chad Taylor. Following a palate-cleansing duet with cellist Okkyung Lee on August 9, and as part of a trio with Emma Dayhuff (bass) and Maria Grand (saxophone) the following evening, Mitchell will reprise her “Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler” on August 11 with a quintet featuring saxophonist Darius Jones and vocalist Fay Victor. Inspired by the “Lilith’s Brood” trilogy, Mitchell translates Butler’s thematic complexities into intense heroic abstractions.” (Richard Gehr, VillageVoice)

Momix (Aug. 7 – 12)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 7:30PM, $45+
The troupe of acrobatic illusionists returns with another of its prop-laden greatest-hits samplers. As usual, though the performers’ physical skill impresses and many of the images beguile, the thinness of the ideas grows ever clearer and the tasteless music grates. Three local premières stick to the group’s formula: cartoon cowboys with limbs of strange length, costumes made of paper or equipped with pulsing rods of light.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC Events
(Lectures/Discussions, Book Talks, Film, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)

More Smart Stuff coming soon.

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Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

Brasil Summerfest  (thru Aug. 12)
Brazil’s beats and bites come to NYC
“Brasil Summerfest, the largest music and arts fest of its kind, returns this week with its biggest year yet and runs through Aug. 12. Starting off Sunday at the Hester Street Fair are DJs Gaspar Muniz and Greg Caz, as well as choro music by Regional de NY, samba by Manhattan Samba and drumming from Fogo Azul. Food will include traditional fare like churrasco, coxinhas, feijoada and more, plus beer and sparkling wine. It’s free for all ages.” (Metro)

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♦ 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 63 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.

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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A PremierPub

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

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

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

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

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

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