NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/06) + 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: “NYC Events-March”
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:

Bernie Williams
Café Carlyle / 8:45PM, $80
“…. But no other professional baseball player in the sport’s history has perhaps enjoyed a cooler post-MLB career outside of Moe Berg than Bernie Williams, who followed up his tenure on the winningest Yankees team in history by diving deep into the art of Latin jazz guitar, which he had begun in his final years with the club. His solo debut from 2003, The Journey Within, was an out-of-left-field surprise featuring an all-star band comprised of such names as Leland Sklar on bass, E-Street Band keyboardist David Sancious, and the great Kenny Aronoff on drums, among others. His 2009 follow-up, Moving Forward, scored cameos from Mike Stern, Bruce Springsteen, and the late NBA star–turned–jazz bassist Wayman Tisdale.

Now, Williams makes his return to jazz since retiring from baseball in 2015, with a week-long stint at the Café Carlyle, where no confirmed set list is promised (“elements of improv jazz” are foretold). Are we going to see Bernie the guitar player go full Joe Pass in the house that Bobby Short built? For fans of both jazz and baseball who are lucky enough to land a ticket to this special homecoming for one of the most beloved guys to ever don the pinstripes, we can only hope.” (Ron Hart, Village Voice)

5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Semiramide
>>Panel Discussion on Science Fiction with Samuel R. Delany
>> Brewshop 101: Home Brewing Essentials
Continuing Events

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

at Harlem Stage (one of my fave venues) / 7:30PM, $20
“The great singer, dancer, actress and activist Lena Horne would have turned 100 this past June (she died in 2010), and in honor of that anniversary, the vocalist Candice Hoyes and the tap dancer Dormeshia Sumbrey-Edwards have teamed up to pay tribute. Ms. Hoyes follows Horne’s decades-long career through music, while Ms. Sumbrey-Edwards, long one of tap’s modern masters, celebrates Horne’s work on Broadway and in film, and especially her early years as a dancer at the Cotton Club.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30PM, $
“These three expert musicians all boast a lightness of touch and a keen sense of suspenseful development. Mr. Hersch, a pianist, has played separately with the bassist Mr. Gress and the drummer Mr. Hart, but they haven’t performed as a trio in more than a decade. This week provides a chance to hear three elder musicians whose creative drive remains undiminished, exploring a fresh scenario.” (NYT – GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Semiramide (next performance Mar.10, 1PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $27+
“This masterpiece of dazzling vocal fireworks makes a rare Met appearance—its first in nearly 25 years—with Maurizio Benini on the podium. The all-star bel canto cast features Angela Meade in the title role of the murderous Queen of Babylon, who squares off in breathtaking duets with Arsace, a trouser role sung by Elizabeth DeShong. Javier Camarena, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Ryan Speedo Green complete the stellar cast.”


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

Panel Discussion on Science Fiction with Samuel R. Delany
Grolier Club, 47 E. 60th St./ 6PM, FREE
“Samuel R. Delany is just one of the big-name authors you’ll find at a Grolier Club panel discussion in tandem with the club’s current second-floor gallery show, “A Conversation Larger Than the Universe”: Science Fiction and the Literature of the Fantastic from the Collection of Henry Wessells.” (

Elsewhere, but if you like beer this sure looks worth the detour:

Brewshop 101: Home Brewing Essentials
Bitter and Esters, 700 Washington ave. Bklyn / 6:30PM, $55
“Bitter and Esters is to beer nerds what Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory was to Charlie Bucket. Geek out over all the bubblers, kettles and other brewing gadgets, then sign up for one of the shop’s DIY brewing classes to learn how to make your favorite beer at home. The expert instructor will give you the lowdown on extract brewing, malts, grains and yeasts, then tell you how to spot common problems during the brewing process.” (TONY)

♦ 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  8.5 million, had a record 60 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2017 – 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.
Continuing Events

This is not Manhattan’s WestSide, but it is Brooklyn’s WestSide. If you have never seen these crazy, fearless performers, they are well worth the detour:

STREB EXTREME ACTION (March 2-25 at various times)
at SLAM, 51 N 1st St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
“Elizabeth Streb’s cavernous Brooklyn space is known as SLAM (Streb Lab for Action Mechanics), which is also a frequent move that occurs at one of her shows. For the month of March, her fearless team of action heroes, as they’re called, will navigate intimidating industrial contraptions and fling themselves from unnatural heights, seemingly defying physics with the pep of cheerleaders. The hourlong show, “S.E.A.” (“Singular Extreme Actions”), encapsulates all the thrill, humor and energizing fun that makes this company so singular.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)

Let there be light!
Erwin Redl’s Whiteout, a newly commissioned public art project, will light up in Madison Square Park. It consists of hundreds of transparent white spheres, each embedded with a white LED light, and suspended from a square grid of steel poles. The swaying sequence of light will be on display until April 2018.

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. 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.,, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St., 212-989-9319 (6pm)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — 212-864-6662 (7pm)

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. — / 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.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


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.” (NYCity Guide)

Frick Collection

Veronese in Murano: Two Venetian Renaissance Masterpieces Restored (thru Mar.25)

“In between jobs for doges and popes, the sixteenth-century Italian painter, who was born Paolo Caliari in Verona, completed two large paintings for a chapel in a convent graveyard on the Venetian island of Murano. One portrayed St. Jerome during his stint as a hermit in the Syrian desert; the other showed St. Agatha, imprisoned by a Roman consul for resisting his advances. Recently restored and leaving Italy for the first time, the canvases are remarkable for the subtlety of their color. Under matte and powdery surfaces, Jerome’s cardinal-red loincloth shimmers like real silk, the dark-green leaves of an overhead laurel branch look waxy, and a line of clouds at the bottom of the sky are simultaneously pink and orange. Agatha, sharing her cell with an apparition of St. Peter and a small blond angel, is perfectly distinct in every detail while still chromatically at home in a dim prison. Equally remarkable is Veronese’s understated insight into the ambivalent humanity of his saintly characters. Jerome has stopped mortifying his flesh with a rock to gaze up at a crucifix, but the way he holds his arm suggests that he might suddenly toss the stone at his distant Saviour instead. Agatha turns her head only halfway, as if unwilling to withdraw full attention from her own suffering merely on the strength of St. Peter’s promises.” (NewYorker)

Zurbarán’s Jacob and His Twelve Sons: Paintings from Auckland Castle (thru April 22)

Francisco de Zurbarán was the second-best painter in seventeenth-century Spain—no disgrace when the champion, his Seville-born near-exact contemporary, happened to be Diego Velázquez, who arguably remains better than anybody, ever. In this room-filling show, thirteen life-size imagined portraits, painted by Zurbarán circa 1640-45, constitute a terrific feat of Baroque storytelling: the movies of their day. Each character has a distinct personality, uniquely posed, costumed, and accessorized, and towering against a bright, clouded sky. All appear in the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis, in which the dying Jacob prophesies the fates of the founders-to-be of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. After nearly four centuries, the canvases sorely need cleaning. The brilliance of their colors has dimmed, notably in passages of brocade and other sumptuous fabrics—a forte of Zurbarán, whose father was a haberdasher. But most of the pictures retain power aplenty. Spend time with them, half an hour minimum. Their glories bloom slowly, as you register the formal decisions that practically spring the figures from their surfaces into the room with you, and as you ponder, if you will, the stories that they plumb. (NewYorker)

Jewish Museum

‘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,

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)

‘BIRDS OF A FEATHER: JOSEPH CORNELL’S HOMAGE TO JUAN GRIS’ (through April 15). “This small, hyper-specialized, stunning exhibition brings together a grand total of only 13 works — a dozen shadow boxes by Joseph Cornell, the Queens-based assemblage artist, and a Cubist masterwork that he cited as their direct inspiration. Gris’s “Man at the Café” (1914) might seem like a surprising obsession for Cornell, who was not a painter nor a Frenchman. He and Gris never met. But Cornell was deeply moved by Gris, the overlooked, tagalong third in the Cubist movement that also included Picasso and Braque, and the show succeeds in tracking the fluttery ways of artistic inspiration.”
(Deborah Solomon)

‘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)

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) (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).
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 03/04 and 03/02.

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