NYC Events,”Only the Best” (09/13) + 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 better check the tab above: “Notable NYC Events-September”
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 through the month.

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

Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau
@ Town Hall / 8PM, $40+
“Pianist Brad Mehldau and mandolinist (and A Prairie Home Companion host) Chris Thile released a collaborative album earlier this year, featuring a mix of originals and covers.

As New York Times jazz critic Nate Chinen put it after a 2013 concert, “Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau come from different worlds but the same species, and whatever feels unlikely about their pairing is eclipsed by what feels perfectly natural. Mr. Thile, the mandolinist and singer with Punch Brothers, is a progressive-bluegrass pacesetter; Mr. Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years.”

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)

>>James Blake
>>Norbert Leo Butz: Memory and Mayhem
>>Bill Charlap Trio 
>>Affordable Art Fair
>>Photoville
>>Jane Campion’s Own Stories
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

James Blake (solo piano)
@ The Appel Room (Jazz at Lincoln Center) / 10:30PM, $100
“Though James Blake is often known as an electronic artist, he shines as a piano-pop singer/songwriter too, and he’ll show off that side at these two intimate shows at one of the most spectacular venue settings in NYC.” (BrooklynVegan)

“James Blake climaxed the world tour in support of his award winning second record, Overgrown, to successive standing ovations over two nights at The Sydney Opera House. ‘Just mind-blowing, the kind of thing you dream of,’ he says. ‘Every night ended with just me and piano’. Following the 2016 release of his third suite The Colour In Anything, James embarks on a new challenge, stripping back his headline stage show to perform a special solo improvised set of his signature piano vocal songs.”

Norbert Leo Butz: Memory and Mayhem
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $55+
“Two-time Tony winner Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can) has leapt to Broadway stardom based largely on his unlikely but winning combination of everyday guyness and star magnetism. He’s one of the rare bona fide male stars of the modern Broadway musical, but he also knows how to command a smaller stage. In his latest nightclub run, he updates his mnemonically themed 2012 cabaret debut.” (TONY)

Bill Charlap Trio (sept 12-17)
Village Vanguard / 8:30PM, 10:30PM, $30
“This year marks the twentieth anniversary of pianist Bill Charlap’s acclaimed trio, rounded out by Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums, who since 1997 have been keeping the flame of Ellingtonian elegance eternally lit on the New York City jazz scene. The combo’s excellent new album, Uptown Downtown, is a continued love letter to Charlap’s hometown metropolis, following up on last year’s Notes From New York with another collection of quaint and compelling versions of favorite compositions from both Broadway’s theater district and Lower Manhattan’s nightclub circuit. For the first two weeks of September, the Charlap Trio will be celebrating the record’s release at the hallowed Village Vanguard, giving these classic tunes from the likes of Gerry Mulligan, Richard Rodgers, Jim Hall, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Duke himself a fresh breath of 21st-century air. As the Director of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University, Charlap certainly knows the importance of jazz music on young minds, and this lengthy residence is a perfect opportunity for students to experience an education on the art in real-time.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

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

Elsewhere, but this one is sure worth the detour:
Photoville  (sept. 13-17; 21-24)
Brooklyn Bridge Park / 4pm; FREE
“Your insta is about to get meta. NYC hosts a bounty of beautiful photography exhibitions, but only Photoville can claim to be as pretty as the photographs it showcases. Held in and around giant shipping containers in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the massive celebration of pictures features more than 500 artists, 75 exhibitions, talks, screenings and a beer garden.” (TONY)

Not just Photos – Smorgasburg Beer Garden and food vendors will return, alongside nighttime events and this is one gem of a park – no better view of the Manhattan skyline.

Affordable Art Fair (sept. 13-17)
Metropolitan Pavilion / 6pm; $18–$80
“The price-conscious art fair returns for its 24th edition in NYC. For an $18 advance ticket, you can shop original paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures from 67 local, national and international galleries. With price tags ranging from $100 to $10,000, you can fix up your apartment without breaking the bank.” (TONY)

Jane Campion’s Own Stories   (sept 08-17)
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
various times, FREE–$14
“Since her first feature, the peculiar family drama Sweetie (1989), Jane Campion has been one of the defining feminist voices of world cinema. Her work is imbued with a radically female sensibility that challenges viewers to reconsider their presumptive views of both society’s ills and the possibilities of film form. This month, the Film Society of Lincoln Center celebrates Campion with a retrospective timed around the U.S. premiere of the second season of her acclaimed crime show, Top of the Lake. The series spans her entire career, from her earliest short films to her most recent feature, the underrated Bright Star (2009). Other highlights include an adaptation of Henry James’s classic novel The Portrait of a Lady (1996), starring Nicole Kidman, and The Piano (1993), which remains the only film directed by a woman to have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The first season of Top of the Lake (2013) will be shown in its entirety for free, and Campion will participate in a public conversation on the retro’s opening night.” (Morgan Leigh Davies, VillageVoice)

Continuing Events

EXHIBIT ‘TO QUENCH THE THIRST OF NEW YORKERS: THE CROTON AQUEDUCT AT 175’   (thru Dec 31)
“Many New Yorkers today take for granted the appearance of clean water in the city’s taps. This exhibit focuses on the history of the Croton Aqueduct, an engineering feat that brought fresh water from the Croton River upstate to fountains in the middle of the city when it was completed in the 1840s.” (STAV ZIV, Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE Opens Saturday, Sept. 2 at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave.
INFO $18; 212­534­1672, mcny.org.

Learn all about the High Bridge, which carried the Croton Aqueduct across the Harlem River. This magnificent civic structure was modeled on the old Roman Aqueduct bridges, and is New York City’s oldest and best bridge. I know, because I lived nearby in the far west Bronx neighborhood of Highbridge, and have strolled across it many times.

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Madison Square Eats  (thru sept 29)
Worth Square, 11AM, FREE
“The fall version of this twice-a-year event from UrbanSpace and the Madison Square Park Conservancy runs daily from September 2–29, and it’s your chance to try food from two dozen vendors who converge on the park from all corners of the city. It’ll be hard to go wrong with any of it, but we recommend the po’boys from the Gumbo Brothers and whatever sweet concoction that Renegade Lemonade, Ice & Vice, and Macaron Parlour have teamed up to create. (Hint: It’s called “Renegade Vice Parlour.”) Or, if you look at a plate of chicken and waffles and think, “Wish I didn’t have to sit at a table and bother with utensils to enjoy this,” Chick’nCone is your food trend du jour.” (Mary Bakija, Village Voice)

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Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:

Greenwich Village:
(5 are underground, classic jazz joints. all 6 are within walking distance of each other):
Village Vanguard – UG, 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave. mezzrow.com,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St. smallslive.com, 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — jazz.org/dizzys / 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — birdlandjazz.com / 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — smokejazz.com / 212-864-6662

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

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♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017.  Quality shows draw crowds.
Try to reserve seats for these top NYC events in advance, even if just on day of performance.
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)

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)

Guggenheim Museum
‘MYSTICAL SYMBOLISM: THE SALON DE LA ROSE+CROIX IN PARIS, 1892-1897’ (through Oct. 4). This brilliantly tasteless exhibition, complete with carmine walls and blue velvet settees, plunges viewers into a spiritualist — and, let’s say it, tawdry — Parisian collective of the last decade of the 19th century. Around the time Cézanne and van Gogh were down in Provence analyzing apples and mountains, the artists of the Salon de la Rose+Croix painted lovesick Orpheuses, busty femmes fatales and virginal shepherdesses, all in the service of the salon’s dubious mystic founder, Joséphin Péladan, an author with a taste for high drama and white robes. Most of the artists here are little exhibited today. Much of their work is sordid; some is simply gross. But it’s all weirdly compelling, and a reminder of the hunger even we alleged moderns still nurse for worlds beyond this one. (Jason Farago-NYT)

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

at the very least you will want to see these three:

‘CRISTÓBAL DE VILLALPANDO: MEXICAN PAINTER OF THE BAROQUE’  (through Oct. 15). “In 1683, the leading painter of colonial Mexico painted a stupefying altarpiece for the cathedral of Puebla: a 26-foot showstopper that merged a radiant vision of Jesus’ transfiguration into light with a grimmer narrative of Israelites attacked by snakes. Now, for the first time ever, Villalpando’s altarpiece has left Mexico and stands alone in the Robert Lehman Collection wing of the Met, where you could spend days gaping at its churning collision of saints and mortals, and puzzling over the strange confluence of Old and New Testament visions. Compared with Baroque painting in Italy or Flanders, the Mexican version was lighter and less rigid, making use of bright color and free ornamentation. Ten other paintings by Villalpando, all but one lent from Mexican collections, round out the presentation, but it’s the altarpiece that matters, and it’s here for your veneration into the fall.” (NYT-Farago) 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘TALKING PICTURES: CAMERA-PHONE CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN ARTISTS’  (through Dec. 17). “One of the wisest, savviest museum exhibitions of the summer may not have much actual art in it, but it circles the subject like a satellite around a planet. Using prints, slide shows, books and iPads, it presents image-only camera-phone exchanges between 12 pairs of artists and is full of flashes of wit, poetry, even genius. Observers will find occasional momentous events, both personal and presidential.” (NYT – Roberta Smith) 212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘JAPANESE BAMBOO ART: THE ABBEY COLLECTION’  (through Feb. 4). “This fabulous show celebrates Diane and Arthur Abbey’s gift of some 70 bamboo baskets and sculptures, which nearly doubles the Met’s already outstanding holdings in this genre and brings them into the 20th and 21st centuries. The curator has embedded this trove within what is essentially a second exhibition that traces bamboo’s presence through folding screens, ink paintings, porcelain, netsuke, kimonos and more.” (NYT-Roberta Smith)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

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Museum Mile is a section of Fifth Avenue which contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. Eight museums can be found along this section of Fifth Avenue:
• 105th Street – El Museo del Barrio (closed Sun-Mon)*
• 103rd Street – Museum of the City of New York (open 7 days /week)
•  92nd Street – The Jewish Museum (closed Wed) (Sat FREE) (Thu 5-8 PWYW)
•  91st Street  –  Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (open 7 days /week)
•  89th Street –  National Academy Museum (closed Mon-Tue)
•  88th Street –  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (closed Thu) (Sat 6-8 PWYW)
•  86th Street –  Neue Galerie New York (closed Tue-Wed) (Fri 6-8 FREE)
Last, but certainly not least, America’s premier museum
•  82nd Street – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (open 7 days /week)*
*always Pay What You Wish (PWYW)

Although technically not part of the Museum Mile, the Frick Collection (closed Mon) (SUN 11am-1pm PWYW) on the corner of 70th St. and Fifth Avenue and the The Morgan Library & Museum (closed Mon) (Fri 7-9 FREE) on Madison Ave and 37th St are also located near Fifth Ave.
Now plan your own museum crawl (info on hours & admission updated June 2, 2015).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 09/11 and 08/28.
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