NYC Events,”Only the Best” (04/29) + 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-April”
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:

Marilyn Maye: 90 at Last!
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“Back by popular demand! In 90 At Last! marvelous Marilyn Maye returns to her home away from home to celebrate her (latest) milestone birthday with her favorite audiences. Every performance will feature a special 90th birthday celebration for this very beloved lady of cabaret. As always, Marilyn carries the torch from her peers who originated tunes of the Great American Songbook to the singers who perform these songs today and will carry them on to future generations.”

“A phenomenal demonstration of one woman’s stamina and musical intelligence! This ageless dynamo has earned a singular place in New York’s cabaret world.” (NYT)

Remember, this lady is 90, See her while you can. She puts on a wonderful show.

8 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Buddy Guy
>> Allan Harris “The Genius of Eddie Jefferson”
>>Chucho Valdes
>> Houston Person Quartet
>> All Japan Ramen Contest
>> Sakura Matsuri / Cherry Blossom Festival
>> The World’s Fare
Continuing Events
>> Tribeca Film Festival
Queens Taste 2018

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Buddy Guy
BB King’s / 6PM, $150+
“At the end of the week, Times Square loses another iconic club in BB King’s, the latest victim of vulture developers who’ve forever altered the landscape of the New York City concert stage circuit. In marking the shuttering of this beloved forum for blues guitarists, r&b singers, and hip-hop acts alike, there isn’t really anyone alive and kicking better suited for the job than a man so close to the heart of the venue’s namesake: Mr. Buddy Guy.

We can only hope that Buddy will nod to the fiftieth anniversary of his classic second album, A Man and the Blues, at some point during this Irish wake for the midtown nightspot. But regardless of what surprises Buddy has in store, his presence at the farewell is not to be missed. He’s played BB King’s countless times during its years of operation, and has also shared the stage with Riley himself on some of the greatest blues jams in modern history, from a 1993 performance at the Apollo alongside Albert Collins, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck to, of course, that unforgettable jam with Obama. There isn’t a better way to close out BB’s than a surefire classic performance from the last of the great Chicago bluesmen.” (Ron Hart,Village Voice)

Allan Harris “The Genius of Eddie Jefferson” (April 27-29)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $40
“Vocalese, the art of applying original lyrics to the contours of previously recorded jazz improvisations, was perfected by the vocalist Eddie Jefferson, an irrepressible performer who was killed at age sixty, in 1979. Harris pays tribute to this pioneering singer, bringing his own lustre to such touchstones as “Moody’s Mood for Love,” a Jefferson concoction that’s been interpreted by everyone from Aretha Franklin to Amy Winehouse.” (NewYorker)

Chucho Valdes (April 24-29)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8:00PM, +10:30PM, $55-$75
“Irakere, co-founded by the virtuosic pianist Chucho Valdes, was a pioneering Cuban band that first gained prominence, in the nineteen-seventies, for its tangy blend of Caribbean influences and jazz. Valdes, a volcano of a stylist, will assemble a version of the outfit to celebrate the forty-fifth anniversary of the Grammy-winning ensemble’s inception.” (NewYorker)

Houston Person Quartet (April 26-29)
Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St./ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $30
“83 years young, the tenor titan Houston Person can still blow with the best of ’em. With over 75 albums to his repertoire and counting (the essential Rain or Shine came out last year), the South Carolinian owns one of the deepest catalogs in jazz as a leader. If you haven’t already, it’s highly suggested you start picking up any of his great work on Prestige or Muse or HighNote; maybe begin with the butter-smooth goodness of The Nearness of You, which turns forty this year and features Person backed by a killer band (Melvin Sparks on guitar, Charles Earland on organ, Grady Tate on drums, and others). As a producer as well as a performer, Houston has always known the secret to constructing a quality combo, and he returns to the Standard this weekend with his current quartet: Lafayette Harris on piano, Matthew Parrish on bass, and drummer Vince Ector, all of whom played on Rain or Shine. Houston is among the last of the tenor giants working the clubs on the regular, one who has been so important to the evolution of the offshoot known as soul jazz. Get out and see him.” (Ron Hart, VillageVoice)

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 3).
NYS Theater, Lincoln Center /2PM, + 8PM, $
“Most of the coming week features classic works by City Ballet’s patriarch George Balanchine — such as “Apollo,” “Agon” and “The Four Temperaments” — and recent choreography by Alexei Ratmansky and the company members Justin Peck and Peter Walker. For the spring gala on May 3, the attention switches to City Ballet’s other artistic forefather, Jerome Robbins, who was born a century ago and died in 1998. The program includes several of Robbins’s works, a new tribute by Mr. Peck and a sampler of Robbins’s beloved Broadway dances staged by the choreographer Warren Carlyle.” (NYT-BRIAN SCHAEFER)
The meat of the season begins on May 3 with Robbins 100, a celebration honoring the centennial of Jerome Robbins’s birth. As part of it, the choreographer and director Warren Carlyle presents a work featuring a cast of 30 and music and choreography from eight Broadway musicals associated with Robbins, including “On the Town” & “The King and I.” (NYT-GIA KOURLAS)


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

These are elsewhere, but worth the detours:

All Japan Ramen Contest (April 28-29)
“The next star of New York City’s ramen scene is likely to come from overseas, with Ichiran, Menya Jiro and E.A.K. Ramen. This weekend, you can taste seven exclusive bowls of ramen (and other Japanese goodies) by chefs flying in front Japan for a two-day contest of soup supremacy spanning two boroughs. The All Japan Ramen Contest is part of an annual block party called Japan Fes with performers, snacks and vendors. On April 28, the action is in Manhattan on Eighth Avenue between 15-16th streets in Chelsea, and on April 29 head to Queens on Steinway Street between Broadway and 34th Avenue in Astoria.
Both events go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., admission is FREE, bowls are $10 each.”

Sakura Matsuri / Cherry Blossom Festival (April 28-29)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden / 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $30
“There’s no better place in the city to experience cherry blossom season than Brooklyn Botanic Garden, where over 200 trees line its Cherry Esplanade and dot the gorgeous landscape of its Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Head there this weekend for peak blooms and the Japanese cultural extravaganza that is Sakura Matsuri, with tons of costumed flower fans, martial arts and live music, manga workshops, tea ceremonies and tons of activities for kids.”(MetroNY)

The World’s Fare (April 28-29)
Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Queens / $29+
“Promoting equality and diversity in the food industry, as well as international cuisines, the World’s Fare is a two-day event taking place at Citi Field with over 100 vendors. Your ticket gets you in (food is pay-as-you-go); upgrade for entry to the international Beer Garden featuring 80 brews. There will be live world music, art installations, pizza-making classes and even sumo wrestling demos by champion Yama.” (MetroNY)

Queens Taste 2018
New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadows Corona Park/ Tuesday May 1 – 6PM to 9PM Not exactly Manhattan’s WestSide, but my mouth waters just thinking about this.

Are you a Queens foodie? Sample the many flavors of the borough at Queens Taste 2018.
More than 60 restaurants, beverage companies, dessert makers, and specialty food purveyors will offer samples of their products — everything from crunchy to creamy, fiery to flaky, and sweet to savory. The cuisines to be on display include BBQ, Chinese, Colombian, French, Guyanese, Indian, Italian, Jamaican, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Mexican, Peruvian, and Thai.

Plus, regional wine experts, local spirits stores, and borough-based breweries will pour their products, and clients of the Entrepreneur Space, a food-and-business incubator that QEDC operates in Long Island City, will be on hand with their artisan specialties.

It’s an all-you-can-sample world and it’s for a good cause.

Tickets cost $125 each or two for $200. They are available at
Proceeds support QEDC’s ongoing efforts to attract, create, and maintain jobs in the borough. (As QEDC is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, proceeds are tax deductible as permitted by law.

♦ 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  8.6 million, had a record 63 million visitors last year and was TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2018 – 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

Tribeca Film Festival (last day)
“It’s all happening downtown.
NYC’s lovable giant mongrel film fest is back for its 17th year, with a slew of features and docs and panels and Big Events like the Schindler’s List reunion with Spielberg, Neeson, and others. Among the highlights are the Rachel Weisz lesbian drama Disobedience, the stand-up teenage-girl-comedian drama Jellyfish, and about 100 other films.” (D.E., NY Magazine)

“The Tribeca Film Festival is much more than just movies.

With virtual reality and interactive installations in Tribeca Immersive, live music events, the Tribeca ESPN Sports Film Festival, the various Tribeca Talks, and free panels for working and aspiring filmmakers, you could be quite entertained without entering a theater… not that we recommend that.

The director, cast, and crew are often on hand for a Q & A after the screenings. The films, chosen from over thousands of submissions every year, are from every corner of the globe and offer almost as many perspectives as New Yorkers have opinions. Almost every film is a North American, international, or even world premiere, so you could be among the first to see the next big hit!”

Bonus NYC events– Jazz Clubs:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. My favorite Jazz Clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide, feature top talent every night of the week.
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)

Neue Galerie

‘BEFORE THE FALL: GERMAN AND AUSTRIAN ART OF THE 1930S’  (through May 28). “An exhibition in the form of a chokehold, the third of the Neue Galerie’s recent shows on art and German politics pushes into the years of dictatorship, with paintings, drawings and photographs by artists deemed “degenerate” by the Nazis — as well as by those who joined the party or who thought they could shut out the catastrophe. (You will know the dissidents, like Max Beckmann and Oskar Kokoschka; the fascists and sellouts are less known.) Gazing at ornery still lifes of dolls and dead flowers, or dreamy landscapes in imitation of an earlier German Romanticism, you may ask to what degree artists are responsible for the times in which they work. But then you see “Self-Portrait in the Camp,” by the Jewish German painter Felix Nussbaum — made between his escape from a French internment camp and his deportation to Auschwitz — and you know that there can be no pardon. (NYT -Farago)

‘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,

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)

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 for NewYorkers)

‘THOMAS COLE’S JOURNEY: ATLANTIC CROSSING’ (through May 13). “The Met’s exhibition of the nation’s first major landscape artist and progenitor of what would be called the Hudson River School is gorgeous, politically right for right now and a lesson in the mutability of art history. Politically, Cole’s art is conservative, but it’s also work that challenges and complicates that term. And this show is precisely about complication. Just as Cole is most realistically and revealingly seen and judged against the background of his time, so is the exhibition, coming as it does in this confounding MAGA moment.” (Holland Cotter)

‘DIAMOND MOUNTAINS: TRAVEL AND NOSTALGIA IN KOREAN ART’ (through May 20). “Mount Kumgang, or the “Diamond Mountain,” lies about 90 miles from Pyeongchang’s Olympic Stadium, but it’s a world away: The august, multipeaked range lies in North Korea and has been impossible to visit for most of the past seven decades. Featuring stunning loans from the National Museum of Korea and other institutions in Seoul, South Korea, this melancholy beauty of a show assembles three centuries’ worth of paintings of the Diamond Mountain range, and explores how landscapes intermingle nostalgia, nationalism, legend and regret. The unmissable prizes here are the painstaking paintings of Jeong Seon, the 18th-century artist who is perhaps the greatest of all Korean painters. And later impressions of the mountains, including a blotchy vision from the Paris-based modernist Lee Ungno, give a deeper historical weight to very live geopolitics.” (NYT – Farago)

‘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) for NewYorkers

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 04/27 and 04/25.

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