NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/15) + 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 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.


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

Open House New York
various locations, FREE
Happens only once a year, makes this my fave weekend.
“Historic residential and commercial buildings will be opened to the public during this annual series of architecture tours and talks. Attendees will enjoy access to more than two hundred and seventy-five sites across the city, along with lectures from designers and developers. Highlights include the African Burial Ground National Monument, in Tribeca; the restored Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, in the financial district; the rooftop farms of Brooklyn Grange; a trip to the top of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine; the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, in the Bronx; the Met Breuer, on the Upper East Side; and the Kings County Distillery, the city’s oldest operating whiskey distiller.” (NewYorker)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Lou Reed: A Life
>> Betty Buckley: Story Songs #2 
>> Carl Allen
>> Pickle Day – Hug a Pickle, Eat a Pickle
>> Buddha, Mara, and the Question of Evil with Stephen Batchelor
>> Occult Humanities Conference

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Lou Reed: A Life
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $40
“Beginning with his genre-shattering work with the Velvet Underground and extending through a long, provocative solo career, Lou Reed has earned a place as one of the most significant artists and songwriters in the history of rock ’n’ roll.

Now renowned music writer Anthony DeCurtis shares insights from his new book, Lou Reed: A Life, a riveting, comprehensive biography of a man whose life was every bit as harrowing and experimental as his greatest work. Musicians Richard Barone, Jeff Ross, and Suzanne Vega will perform his indelible music, and join DeCurtis for a riveting discussion about Reed’s lasting impact near the fourth anniversary of his death.”

at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30PM, $25
“Thelonious Monk’s influence is an impossible thing to bottle or comprehend, so the Jazz Standard’s approach seems apt: It is commemorating what would have been the pianist’s 100th birthday with a three-week-long kitchen-sink celebration. This show is among the many that you especially shouldn’t miss. Mr. Virelles, a pianist, has Monk’s love for corrosive locomotion, but his playing displays a cleaner grace. When he works with Mr. Cyrille, a drummer and luminary of the jazz avant-garde, it’s the percussion that provides a lot of the engine grease. They have played with Mr. Street, a formidable bassist, since at least 2012, when they all collaborated on Mr. Virelles’s stellar album “Continuum.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Betty Buckley: Story Songs #2
Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater7PM, +9:30PM, $25+
Buckley is a genuinely eccentric, eccentrically genuine Broadway diva, with a persona that shifts between fragility and imperiousness. In recent years, she’s moved away from the big belting of shows like Cats and Sunset Boulevard, favoring more monologue-like songs and arrangements. Her new Joe’s Pub set focuses on storytelling, and includes work by musical theater composers (Stephen Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown) as well as singer-songwriters (Joni Mitchell, Lisa Loeb).” (TONY)

Carl Allen 
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10;30PM, $38
“My ultimate goal is to get to a level like Art Blakey, Art Taylor, Elvin Jones, and Billy Higgins,” Carl Allen has stated, “who every time they sit down behind a set of drums it’s swinging.” Olympian as his vision may be, Allen, undaunted, has built a long and sturdy career providing uplifting rhythm for any number of illustrious jazz artists. Leading his own quintet, Allen pays tribute to two of his guiding lights: Blakey and Jones.” (NewYorker)

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

Pickle Day – Hug a Pickle, Eat a Pickle
Orchard Street / 12PM-5PM
“Bring on the brine — Pickle Day returns to the Lower East Side on Sunday.
So what’s the dill?
The Lower East Side, once heavily populated by immigrants and dotted with pushcarts of their goods, was home to several pickle shops serving many who had come from Eastern Europe.

One of those vendors, Izzy Guss — a Russian émigré who established his pickle business there (first on Hester Street, then on Essex Street) in the early 20th century — is the name behind the famous Guss’s Pickles. The shop later became the focus of a long pickle war between several families arguing over the store’s legacy.

You can head down to “the center of all things pickled” on Sunday to whet your appetite. Orchard Street will be packed, not only with picklers but also with carnival games, goods from local boutiques and eateries, and more.” (NYT-Today)

Buddha, Mara, and the Question of Evil with Stephen Batchelor
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St./ 4PM,
Price: Talk + one performance of Mara: $50. Mara performance only: $25.
“Prominent Buddhist thinker Stephen Batchelor talks about the philosophy and psychology of good and evil through the figure of Mara, the Buddhist equivalent of the Devil. Having overcome Mara in his struggle for awakening, Gotama (Siddhartha Gautama) nonetheless continues to engage with him until the very end of his life.

Mara symbolizes the obstacles in the way of our becoming wholly human and fully alive. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from early Buddhist discourses to the poetry of Dante and Baudelaire, Batchelor will explore the complexity of this archetype and its continuing relevance across cultures.” (
Please note:
Batchelor’s libretto MARA: A Chamber Opera, will have the first full concert performance held at the Rubin Museum on both Wednesday, October 18 and Friday, October 20.” Every ticket to the talk program requires you to also select an accompanying opera performance. If you’re only interested in the performance, opera tickets can be purchased separately.

The New York Coffee Festival
Metropolitan Pavillion / various times, $30
“This weekend-long fest features tastings, interactive workshops and barista demonstrations from more than 100 coffee-industry insiders.”

“Beanheads rejoice! The third annual New York Coffee Festival grinds into the Metropolitam Pavilion for three days of brewed fun with over 100 innovative exhibitors. There will be unlimited free coffee, workshops and talks, street food, a barista competition, live music inspired by New York from The Coffee Music Project, an art gallery through the Coffee Art Project, giveaways, and much more. So wake up and smell the coffee at this three-day fest.” (TONY)

Occult Humanities Conference (LAST DAY)
NYU Steinhardt, 34 Stuyvesant St./ 8PM, $110

*PLEASE NOTE: The conference is SOLD OUT. However the exhibition, vending area, Saturday night performance, and Sunday night closing reception are all free and open to the public.
Better pay attention next year, and get your tickets early, because this conference on Contemporary Art and Scholarship on the Esoteric Traditions is pretty darn unique.

“Do you believe in magic? Rick Santorum’s fundamentalist fears about satanic forces at work in academia will be justified, if only for one weekend at one university, during the Occult Humanities Conference. Art enchants scholarship when Serinity Young discusses women who fly, Karsten Krejcarek chronicles encounters with mystical traditions in Latin America, Sara Hannant illuminates the history of magic and photography, Jason Baumann summons up the “espiritismo” in Nuyorican poetry, and conference co-organizer Pam Grossman, of the marvelous Phantasmaphile blog, leads a panel discussion about the cresting “Witch Wave” in contemporary culture. Musical performances by harpist Ellena Phillips and the Alunaré collective will enhance the esoterica, and works by Toronto’s mysterious Tin Can Forest art crew are on display.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

Continuing Events

The 55th New York Film Festival (LAST DAY)
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.”(

“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)

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 Tab in the Header: “Notable Events October”  and scroll all the long way to the bottom. This event makes America, or at least NYCity, great again.

The 10th Annual Imagine Science Film Festival (Oct.13-20)
“Produced by Imagine Science Films — the nonprofit behind science film festivals in New York, Paris, Abu Dhabi and satellite events worldwide – Imagine Science Film Festival showcases new and experimental works that bridge the worlds of science and film in an artful, entertaining, and meaningful way.

All of the events are low cost or FREE. The festival includes short and feature-length films, live cinema performances, discussions, interactive demonstrations and more taking place at museums, universities and cultural institutions across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Several of the films will be making their U.S. debuts at the festival.

Notable programming includes:
North American premiere of Honey, Rain and Dust at the American Museum of Natural History (Friday, Oct 20 @ 4 pm) – A unique ethnographic and ecological look into an unseen corner of the Arabian Gulf: beekeeping traditions in the northwestern mountains of the United Arab Emirates.” (

For the complete program, visit:
Tickets: FREE – $18

Bonus NYC events– Jazz Venues:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who 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,, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319

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

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

♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of  8.5 million, had a record 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):


Chelsea Art Gallery District*

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

Here is one exhibition that the New Yorker likes:

Jordan Casteel (thru Oct.28)
Casey Kaplan Gallery, 121 W27th St.

“In one of the most buzzed-about débuts of the fall season, Casteel shows large figurative canvases that combine the candid immediacy of the digital snapshots on which they’re based with the restraint and humanity of an Alice Neel portrait. The young Colorado-born phenom worked almost entirely from pictures she took in Harlem of men, at night. Casteel’s subjects, like the artist herself, are black, and her work tackles the representation of race in general, while revelling, as painters will, in the specific details. In “Q,” a man sits on a stoop next to a sketched-in green railing, earnestly consulting his iPhone, and wearing a sweatshirt with an image of Biggie Smalls in wraparound shades, a gold chain, and a Coogi sweater. In “MegaStarBrand’s Louie and A-Thug,” two well-turned-out young men sprawl with authority in folding chairs on the sidewalk, gazing skeptically out of frame. One wears a shirt that says “REASON,” the other is in a T-shirt that reads “T.H.U.G.: THE HATE YOU GAVE US.” In her exhilarating, if uneven, show, Casteel gives nothing but love.” (NewYorker)

Here is one exhibition that the New York Times likes:

Magdalena Suarez Frimkess (through Oct. 21)
Kaufmann Repetto, 535 West 22nd Street,

“Untitled,” from 2009, is among the nearly 55 works by the ceramic artist Magdalena Suarez Frimkess at Kaufmann Repetto. Credit Adam Kremer
Magdalena Suarez Frimkess is some kind of genius. Her medium is glazed ceramic, with special emphasis on the glazes, expertly drawn and painted in numerous styles and indebted to popular art, folk art and an astounding array of other historical references. In Ms. Suarez Frimkess’s survey of nearly 55 works at Kaufmann Repetto, Minnie Mouse, Popeye and Krazy Kat keep company with Maya warrior gods. There are frequent forays into blue-and-white ware, which can depict Chinese-looking landscapes, mischievous kids on bicycles and more. Other decorations include village scenes that recall South American folk painting. (Ms. Suarez Frimkess, who has lived in this country since 1963, was born in Venezuela in 1929 and started her artistic career in Chile.)

“Untitled,” from 2014, by Magdalena Suarez Frimkess. Credit Dawn Blackman
Over the years she has often collaborated with her husband, Michael Frimkess, glazing vessels that he threw on a wheel. (They made a point of not consulting each other.) There are some of their collaborations here, with Mr. Frimkess’s contributions distinguished by their relative symmetry and finish. But Ms. Suarez Frimkess is at her best when glazing her own small hand-built vessels — plates, bowls, tiles, Japanese-influenced boxes, teacups and teapots — as well as small figurines. Marvelously irregular and sometimes almost as thin as leaves, they have a delicate looseness well-matched with glazes that often leave the clay body showing through. Their spontaneity can evoke Peter Voulkos’s towering, more Expressionistic forms, but on a small scale that is at once worldly, exquisite and laced with humor. They suggest an artist in love with her medium and buzzing with ideas.

Ms. Suarez Frimkess is fairly well known in her hometown, Los Angeles, but this is only her second solo show in New York, following her 2014 debut at White Columns. With works dating back to 1970, this selection is the first in these parts to delve into her past. It proves that she has been a genius for a while.” (ROBERTA SMITH, NYT)


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 ( 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 the 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 10/13 and 10/11.

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