NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/18) + 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.

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

BILL FRISELL (through March 25)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30PM, $35
On Friday, the guitarist, an eminence on New York’s greater improvised music scene, released “Music Is,” his first solo album in almost 20 years. Mr. Frisell has exerted his influence gently, funneling inspiration from 1960s folk rock and 1970s free jazz into a sound that’s hearthlike and imperturbable, whether spinning through reverb-drenched runs or caressing its way through a slow, major-chord progression. This weekend he’s at the Village Vanguard with his trio, featuring the bassist Thomas Morgan and the drummer Rudy Royston. He takes a break on Monday, then returns for six more nights with the violist Eyvind Kang joining the group.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>HAROLD MABERN QUARTET
>> Roy Haynes
>>Jimmy Greene’s Love in Action
>>In the News with Jeff Greenfield: Katy Tur
>> Kilung Rinpoche + Gyorgy Buzsaki: Is Reincarnation a Buddhist Time Machine?
Continuing Events
>>STREB EXTREME ACTION
>>Whiteout
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Roy Haynes (March 15-18.)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $30-$45
“If there’s another living jazz musician who can claim to have played with both Lester Young and Pat Metheny, let him come forward. If not, the brilliant drummer Haynes (who can also count associations with Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan, and Chick Corea) bears the sole distinction. Celebrating his ninety-third birthday, Haynes will be fêted by special guests throughout this engagement.” (NewYorker)

Jimmy Greene’s Love in Action
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“The stirring music that this saxophonist produces has never been more immediate—Greene devotes his heartfelt “Beautiful Life” project to the memory of his daughter, a victim of the Sandy Hook massacre. Joining his quintet are the pianist Renee Rosnes and the bassist John Patitucci.” (NewYorker)

HAROLD MABERN QUARTET (LAST DAY)
at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30PM, $40
“With a crisp, harmonically rich attack, Mr. Mabern carries the mantle of a piano tradition that runs through Ahmad Jamal and Phineas Newborn Jr. From time to time, Mr. Mabern holds court for a weekend at Smoke, presenting his grooving, varnished brand of hard bop with a small group. This weekend is of particular note, as it is Mr. Mabern’s 82nd birthday celebration. He performs here with Eric Alexander on tenor saxophone, John Webber on bass and Louis Hayes on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

In the News with Jeff Greenfield: Katy Tur
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7:30PM, $35
“An award-winning TV journalist, Jeff Greenfield has served as a senior political correspondent for CBS, a senior analyst for CNN and a political and media analyst for ABC News.

His acclaimed books include If Kennedy Lived. Any interview he does is fun, stimulating and often buzzworthy. Don’t wait for an edited clip to show up — be there when the news happens and ask your own questions. Katy Tur, the NBC journalist who covered — and took fire from — Donald Trump on the campaign trail offers an inside look at the most shocking presidential election in American history.

Join them as they discuss the latest hot button issues: bipartisan debate, the economy, health care and the future of the press.”

Kilung Rinpoche + Gyorgy Buzsaki: Is Reincarnation a Buddhist Time Machine?
Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St./ 3PM, $20
“How does the Buddhist concept of reincarnation counter Western concepts of time? Does enlightenment bring clarity to merge past, present, and future? Reincarnate lama Kilung Rinpoche explores time’s many meanings in Buddhism with neuroscientist György Buzsáki. Together, they will discuss the brain’s interpretation of time through their varied lenses.”

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Vodka and Pickles Festival
Grand Prospect Hall , Brooklyn; noon, +3pm, $50–$75
“Get lit at Grand Prospect Hall with unlimited tastings of choice vodka, paired with creative chasers like crunchy pickles, pineapples and watermelons, all in keeping with Russian drinking etiquette. Between toasts with new friends, you can peruse modern art on sale and hit the legendary ballroom floor.” (TONY)

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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  8.5 million, had a record 63 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.
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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.

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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. 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.

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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)

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)

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, thejewishmuseum.org

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)
212-535-7710, metmuseum.org

‘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)

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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) (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 03/16 and 03/08.
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