NYC Events,”Only the Best” (06/10) + 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, check the tab above: NYC Events-JUNE”
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:

at the McKittrick Hotel / 4 p.m., $45
“New Orleans might be best known for brass bands, but live in New York long enough and you’ll see one — entertaining tourists in a subway station, if nowhere else. That’s the inspiration for the debut edition of this festival, which is designed to pay tribute to the diverse array of brass bands that perform regularly within the city limits. Performances will include Balkan funk from Slavic Soul Party, Mexican banda from La Parrandera Banda la Platera, hip-hop-inspired grooves from the subway-busking alums Drumadics Beat-n-Brass Band and a second line parade through the High Line to celebrate New Orleans’s tricentennial.” (NYT-NATALIE WEINER)

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Los Lobos
>> Strawberry Fields
>> Betty Buckley: Hope
>> Popsugar’s Play/Ground
>> Fairway Market Food Festival
>> Domino Park opening
>> West Chelsea Artist Open Studios
Continuing Events
>> Othello
>> OutdoorFest

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Elsewhere, but Los Lobos is always worth the detour.
Los Lobos
Prospect Park Bandshell / 3PM, FREE
“The celebrated Mexican-American rock band Los Lobos will bring “La Bamba,” the first Spanish-language song to reach No. 1 on the U.S. charts in 1987, to Prospect Park for a family-friendly concert. Following their chart-topping cover of Ritchie Valens’s hit song, the Los Angeles–based group toured the world, opening for the likes of Bob Dylan, U2, and the Grateful Dead; they’ve been together for nearly 45 years. At this BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! show, rock out to songs off La Pistola y El Corazón, their popular collection of traditional Mexican music and original songs, while the kids enjoy favorites from 2009’s Los Lobos Goes Disney.” (Nicole DeMarco, Village Voice)

Strawberry Fields
The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St./ 1PM, $30,
Brunch with the Beatles this Sunday when the Cutting Room hosts Strawberry Fields, a tribute band that performs in full costume while you drink and dine. The groovy band will be adding new songs to their lineup while putting their own spin on the classics — plus, it’s hosted by original assistant recording engineer Richard Langham, who worked with the Beatles’ longtime producer Sir George Martin. He’s joined by Q104.2 radio’s Maria Milito.” (metro)

at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m., $40
“Since the early 1960s, the bassist Buster Williams has positioned himself comfortably along the divide between swinging hard bop and ecumenical fusion. He performed and recorded with countless jazz greats — from Grant Green to Herbie Hancock to Nancy Wilson — and by now he’s reached the level of a luminary himself. This weekend he celebrates the release of a lovely, sneakily inventive album, his first in 10 years. “Audacity” features six originals from Williams, and one composition each from the other members of his longtime quartet: the saxophonist Steve Wilson, the pianist George Colligan and the drummer Lenny White.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


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

Popsugar’s Play/Ground
Pier 94, 711 12th Ave., / 11AM-7PM, $80+
Get inspired by some of your favorite tastemakers in fitness, business and entertainment while exploring the trends that matter most to you at POPSUGAR’s Play/Ground, a two-day festival at Pier 94. Master the basics of adulting with makeup demos and fitness sessions (led by Kayla Itsines) or enrich your creative spirit with art installations and music by AlunaGeorge. There are also panels with actresses Mindy Kaling, Kate Hudson and Tiffany Haddish, as well as influencers Arianna Huffington, Gabby Bernstein and Huda Kattan.” (Metro)

Fairway Market Food Festival
Armory Track Area, 216 Fort Washington Ave./ 10AM-5PM, $5
Need some summer ideas for your next cookout, or just looking for ways to freshen up your weekday routine? Fairway is hosting its first-ever food-themed gathering this Sunday, and it’s just $5 to attend with over 100 booths offering samples from coffee and tea to artisanal bread and cheeses. Chat with experts about food trends and shop for new ingredients and instruments that will allow you to transform your kitchen to embrace your new culinary IQ. One highlight will be the Fairway Cheesemonger demonstrating how to make fresh mozzarella, which you’re then invited to try of course.” (Metro)

Not Manhattan’s WestSide, but it sure is Brooklyn’s WestSide. Lovely day for a stroll in the park, and you do not want to miss STREB, they are fantastic:

Domino Park opening
enter at Kent Ave and Grand St, South 3rd St, or South 5th St / 12PM-4PM, FREE
“Domino Park, the first public component of the multimillion-dollar redevelopment of the Domino Sugar Refinery, will open June 10. The six-acre park will be complete with turf fields, a state of the art playground, a food court and an elevated walkway with views of the East Side. Starting at noon, Brooklyn’s top food, music, and cultural institutions will join together to showcase the area’s diversity and creative spirit. Take part in a free Sky Ting waterfront yoga class at noon, taste food from Danny Meyer’s newest creation Tacocina (a permanent addition to the park), as well as bites from Fornino, Mekelburg’s, Yankee Doodle, and ice cream from Van Leeuwen. There will also be National Sawdust live acoustic performances at 2 p.m., Pop Action acrobatic workshops with STREB and more. “ (amNY)

West Chelsea Artist Open Studios (June 9-10)
West Chelsea Arts Building, 526 W. 26th St./ Noon-6 p.m., FREE
“This weekend, step inside the mind of an artist with the unique chance to tour in-progress studio spaces across 13 sites while meeting the creatives who work there and asking them questions about their processes and the works they have on display. The West Chelsea Artist Open Studios brings together over 45 multimedia artists open their doors to the public, for free, and even offer some pieces for sale, without the markup fees associated with a gallery or handler.” (Metro)


Continuing Events

Othello (May28-Jun24)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Jitney) directs the first offering of the Public Theater’s 2018 season of Shakespeare in the Park: an account of the Bard’s fast-paced tragedy of jealousy and misplaced trust, in which a villain preys on the insecurities of a Moorish war hero married to a white woman. The cast is headed by Chukwudi Iwuji as Othello, Corey Stoll as Iago and Heather Lind as Desdemona.”
*tickets are free (two per person) and may be picked up after noon on the day of performance (be prepared for long lines.) Some tickets are also distributed via online lottery.
See TONY’s complete guide to Shakespeare in the Park tickets for details.

OutdoorFest (LAST DAY)
multiple times and events, prices vary,
“You can love the city and still maintain your love of the outdoors — or fall in love with it for the first time. Embrace the spirit of adventure and beauty of nature during OutdoorFest with 10 days of events, starting this Friday. Activities take place across all five boroughs, starting with a campout on Staten Island. There’s also night fishing, oyster preservation, kayaking around Governors Island, canoeing the Gowanus Canal and surfing, yoga or shoreline cleanup at the Rockaways.”

‘THE LET GO’ (June 7-July 1)
at the Park Avenue Armory
“This large-scale, site-specific multiweek event is masterminded by the interdisciplinary artist Nick Cave, who transforms the armory into a vivid dance landscape in which spectators are invited to do just what the title says they should: let go. Within this dance hall environment are performances, an installation in the form of a Mylar sculpture, dance-based encounters and music provided by D.J.s. For some programs, Mr. Cave works with the choreographer Francesca Harper; for others, there will be dancing by community groups. On June 26, as part of “An Evening of Artistic Responses: The Let Go,” the musician Nona Hendryx, the vocalist and artist Helga Davis, Ms. Harper and Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray and his company, D.R.E.A.M. Ring, respond to the installation, which references issues of social justice, with site-specific performances.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

♦ 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.

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)

‘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)

‘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)

‘HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION’  (through Oct. 8). “Let us pray. After last year’s stark exhibition of Rei Kawakubo’s irregular apparel, the Met Costume Institute is back in blockbuster mode with this three-part blowout on the influence of Catholicism on haute couture of the last century. The trinity of fashion begins downstairs at the Met with the exceptional loans of vestments from the Vatican; upstairs are gowns fit for angels in heaven (by Lanvin, Thierry Mugler, Rodarte) or angels fallen to earth (such as slinky Versace sheaths garlanded with crosses). The scenography at the Met is willfully operatic — spotlights, choir music — which militates against serious thinking about fashion and religion, but up at the Cloisters, by far the strongest third of the show, you can commune more peacefully with an immaculate Balenciaga wedding gown or a divine Valentino gown embroidered with Cranac’s Adam and Eve.” (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 06/08 and 06/06.

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