NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/07) + 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-OCTOBER”
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:

Norma
Metropolitan Opera House / 1PM, $32+
“Ponselle, Milanov, Sutherland, Callas … after last night, Radvanovsky can add her name to the list,” declared the Huffington Post when Sondra Radvanovsky made her Met role debut as Norma in 2013. The 2017–18 season opens with a new production of Bellini’s masterpiece, starring Radvanovsky as the Druid priestess and Joyce DiDonato as her archrival, Adalgisa—a casting coup for bel canto fans. Tenor Joseph Calleja is Pollione, Norma’s unfaithful lover, and Carlo Rizzi conducts. Sir David McVicar’s evocative production sets the action deep in a Druid forest where nature and ancient ritual rule.”

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8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Daniel Johnston & Friends
>> PETER APFELBAUM’S SONG OF THE MYSTIC THREAD
>> Hudson
>> New York City Ballet
>> Répons
>> Ron Carter’s Great Big Band
>> Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – In Concert
>> Target First Saturdays
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Daniel Johnston & Friends
The Town Hall, 8PM, $35-$45
“There’s a little Daniel Johnston in every songwriter. The talented, troubled 56-year-old Texas troubadour is undertaking what is being billed as his final tour— although he has disputed such finality in recent interviews. While Jeff Tweedy will back him in Chicago and Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch in the Pacific Northwest, unspecified members of Beirut, Cibo Mato, Gang Gang Dance, “and more TBA” are promised for this likely rehearsal-free show that could go in any number of directions. Johnston, who has famously struggled with depression and schizophrenia as well as diabetes and hydrocephalus, has continued to create drawings and songs through it all. Their confessional intimacy and naiveté may have been more appealing when performed by others (notably Kathy McCarty), but for those who need another glimpse into the abyss, here it is.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

PETER APFELBAUM’S SONG OF THE MYSTIC THREAD
Greenwich House Music School / 8PM, $20
“Mr. Apfelbaum, a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist, draws influences from around the globe, typically in service of a sound that’s big and sanguine and whorled — full of incisive funk and frothy improvising. He plays here with a new group, Song of the Mystic Thread, featuring two practitioners of the gyil, a Ghanaian xylophone — the master Alfred Kpebesaane and his protégé, Brittany Anjou — as well as Charlie Burnham on violin and vocals, Mali Obomsawin on bass, and April Centrone on drums and riqq, a Middle Eastern variant of the tambourine.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Hudson
Rose Theatre, 60th St. at Broadway / 8PM, $17.50+
“The guitarist John Scofield, the drummer Jack DeJohnette, the keyboardist John Medeski, and the bassist Larry Grenadier, heavy hitters all, mosey a bit into classic-rock mode in their guise as the collective Hudson ensemble. Spinning its own meditations on such boomer fare as “Lay Lady Lay,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” and “Woodstock”—as well as apposite originals—this fabulous foursome extracts inspiration from an unlikely repertoire without pandering to cozy nostalgia.” (NewYorker)

New York City Ballet (through Oct. 15, at various times).
NYS/DHK Theater, Lincoln Center / tonight 8PM, $30+
20TH CENTURY VIOLIN CONCERTOS
“An instrument of marvelous versatility, the violin has stimulated choreographers for centuries, including NYCB’s three artistic leaders who contribute their interpretations of three world-famous violin concertos to this program. Inspired by the instrument’s immense range, these works convey moments of reflection, poignancy, and brilliance.”

Répons (Oct.6-7)
Pierre Boulez, Composer, Andrew Gerzso, IRCAM Computer Music Design
Ensemble intercontemporain
Park Avenue Armory, / 8PM, $40+
“The total-immersion work by the composer, conductor, and provocateur Pierre Boulez, who died last year at 90, can be stunning, disorienting, and thrilling. Vast in scale and dizzying in detail, it’s a kind of Gothic cathedral in sound, surrounding the audience with a swirl of musical mystery. The Ensemble Intercontemporain (which Boulez founded) performs the work twice in a row, allowing listeners to change places.” (J.D., NY magazine)

Ron Carter’s Great Big Band
A Celebration of Ron Carter, October 3-21
Birdland, 315 West 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
“Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific and influential bassists in jazz with more than 2,000 albums to his credit. Beginning his career in the 1960s with Jaki Byard and Eric Dolphy, Cannonball Adderley, and a five year stint with the Miles Davis’ Quintet, Ron also performed and recorded with notables including Bill Evans, B.B. King, and Dexter Gordon. Ron Carter’s various ensembles, big band to trio, feature a who’s who of the finest players on the NYC scene with, “an absolute commitment to musical sublimity [that] exudes refined elegance and sonic power.” (amazon.com)”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – In Concert
David Geffen Hall (at Lincoln Center) / 7:30pm; $65­–$175 (maybe tough tkt)
“New York Philharmonic takes on John Williams’s scores for the most iconic film franchise in history with screenings of A New Hope (September 15, 16), The Empire Strikes Back (September 26–28), Return of the Jedi (October 4, 5) and The Force Awakens (October 6, 7), all backed by conductor David Newman and an 85-person orchestra. Maybe we’ll get the prequels in 2018?” (TONY)

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

Elsewhere, but this is always worth the detour.

Target First Saturdays
Brooklyn Museum 200 Eastern Pkwy / 1-9PM, FREE
“Head to Brooklyn Museum for a free day of talks, tours and performances. Learn about how to defend immigrant rights with activist group Movimiento Cosecha, catch a screening of The Holy Mountain, and get down to reggaetón and salsa at shows by Batalá New York and Balmir Latin Dance Company.” (TONY)

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know (Oct.5-7)
Joe’s Pub, / 6:30PM, +9:30PM, $25
“News you can use.
Leave with answers to questions you didn’t even know you had when the hit podcast–game show helmed by Freakonomics Radio’s Stephen J. Dubner tapes six live shows at Joe’s Pub, with co-hosts including Top Chef’s Gail Simmons.” (NewYork magazine)

Continuing Events

The 55th New York Film Festival (9/28-10/15)
at The Film Society of Lincoln Center,
The 18-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring 25 works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent from around the globe.

“The 55th New York Film Festival’s Main Slate showcases films honored at Cannes, including Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or–winner The Square; Robin Campillo’s BPM, awarded the Cannes Critics’ Prize; and Agnès Varda & JR’s Faces Places, which took home the Golden Eye. From Berlin, Aki Kaurismäki’s Silver Bear–winner The Other Side of Hope and Agnieszka Holland’s Alfred Bauer Prize–winner Spoor mark the returns of two New York Film Festival veterans, while Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed Call Me by Your Name will be his NYFF debut.”(cityguideny.com)

“The main slate nabs the headlines, but this festival’s sidebars nearly constitute a festival of their own. In the Spotlight on Documentary program, Travis Wilkerson’s riveting “Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?” (Friday and Sunday) grapples with a family legend: that Mr. Wilkerson’s white great-grandfather almost certainly got away with murdering a black man in Alabama in the 1940s. The main retrospective of the festival (which runs through Oct. 15) celebrates Robert Mitchum’s centennial. “His Kind of Woman” (Friday), with Mitchum (above, with Jane Russell) as a gambler lured to Mexico as a sap, and the auteur purée “Macao” (Thursday), on which Nicholas Ray took over for Josef von Sternberg, are enjoyably overstuffed Howard Hughes productions. William A. Wellman’s “Track of the Cat” (Monday); Otto Preminger’s “River of No Return” (Monday), with Marilyn Monroe; and Vincente Minnelli’s “Home From the Hill” (Thursday), all in CinemaScope, demand big-screen viewing.” (BEN KENIGSBERG, NYT)

Archtober
31 days, 100+ ways to celebrate design in NYC! The seventh-annual, month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions in New York City will take place October 1-31, 2017.  Archtober’s calendar features 200 architecture and design lectures, conferences, programs, and exhibitions at more than 70+ collaborating institutions across the city.

For more details go to my Section: “Notable Events October”  and scroll all the way, (a long way) to the bottom.

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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)

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)

‘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

‘STREAMS AND MOUNTAINS WITHOUT END: LANDSCAPE TRADITIONS OF CHINA’  (through Jan. 6). “If you’ve seen only ash-aired Beijing, or that architectural Oz Shanghai, you haven’t seen China. Most of the country is wide-open space, green and blue: hills, plains, water. And it was for an escape to that openness that some Chinese urbanites yearned in centuries past. Their dream: to sit in on a terrace halfway up a mountain, with tea steeping, an ink-brush at hand, a friend at the door, and a waterfall splashing nearby. Not just for vacation. Forever. One way they could live the dream was through images of the kind seen in this show. Technically, it’s a collection reinstallation spiced with a few loans. But the Met’s China holdings are so broad and deep that some of the pictures here are resurfacing for the first time in almost a decade; one is finally making its debut a century after it was acquired. And there’s more than just paintings on view: ceramics, textiles and scholar’s rocks fill out the panorama.” (NYT-Holland Cotter) 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 10/05 and 10/03.
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