NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/14) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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-JULY”
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:

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:

Kronos Quartet + Trio Da Kali
Prospect Park Bandshell / 7:30PM, FREE
“In an alternate universe, I long ago dropped everything I was doing and committed myself to following the Kronos Quartet around the world. Unfortunately, I don’t live in that universe, so I just try to see them any opportunity I can. Last year, the Malian griot supergroup Trio Da Kali collaborated with them on the transportingly sublime album Ladilikan, which brought together grand classical gestures with folk, blues, and gospel stylings. (The music of Mahalia Jackson was a key influence on the record.)

This joint concert will have the two ensembles performing “separately and together,” which means it should run a gamut of styles, genres, and periods. And something tells me that hearing the powerful voice of Trio Da Kali vocalist Hawa Diabaté rise above the Brooklyn night will bring shivers to thousands.”
(Bilge Ebiri, VillageVoice)

7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Jorge Drexler
>> Sonny Fortune
>> Django Reinhardt NY Festival:
>> Cassandra Wilson
>> Go Africa Harlem!
>> City of Water Day
>> Conversation: Daphne Brooks and Jack Halberstam
Continuing Events
>> French Restaurant Week
World Cup viewing parties

Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Jorge Drexler / Trending Tropics / ÌFÉ / DJ Raff
in association with LAMC (Latin Alternative Music Conference)
SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park / 3PM, FREE
“Jorge Drexler, the multiple Latin and Grammy-winning artist, isn’t just one of Uruguay’s preeminent songwriters. He’s perhaps one of the few musicians who’s also a licensed doctor. The prolific Drexler, who has released nearly two dozen albums, puts on spectacular shows in Latin America, and will do the same in New York.

Trending Tropics is the new group feat. Eduardo Cabra “El VIsitante” and Vicente Garcia plus numerous multi-instrument players from the Caribbean. They’re joined by ÌFÉ, a Puerto Rican group headed by Otura Mun that celebrates Afro-Caribbean lineage through grooves rooted in hip-hop and Ifá faith traditions.”

Sonny Fortune (July 13-15)
Smoke, 2751 Broadway, btw105th/106th Sts./ 7, 9, 10:30PM, $38
“Fortune may be best known as a participant on two of Miles Davis’s hairiest recordings of the seventies: “Agharta” and “Pangaea,” on which the saxophonist gamely found his own space within the congested sonic terrain of guitars and percussion. The air has cleared for him since then; this enduring player leads a straight-ahead quartet featuring the pianist Michael Cochrane.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

Django Reinhardt NY Festival: Django Allstars w Romero Lubambo, Edmar Castaneda and Veronica Swift (LAST DAY)
Birdland / 8:30PM, +11PM, $50
“After a fabulous concert at Carnegie Hall, May 1st, titled FOREVER DJANGO “Passing the Family Torch”, The Django Festival Allstars hit the road again with a cross-country tour starting at their US home, Birdland, where it all started led by Samson Schmitt on Guitar It’s the Django Reinhardt Festival’s 19thyear and going strong.”

Cassandra Wilson (July 12-15.)
Blue Note, 131 W. 3rd St./ 8PM, +10:30PM, $45-$65
“There may be other promising vocal talents nipping at her toes (Cecile McLorin Salvant, anyone?), but Wilson’s primacy as today’s female jazz singer par excellence remains a given. Wilson, who revelled in daring eclecticism before it became de rigueur, melds personality and chops with thrilling audacity. Don’t expect her to drift into the right lane anytime soon—recent projects have found her examining the Irish side of her ancestry.”
(Steve Futterman, NewYorker)


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

Go Africa Harlem!
Visit Africa in Harlem
116th Street btwn. 7th and 8th Aves./ 10AM-6PM, FREE
“Harlem hosts its annual street festival celebrating the best of Africa this Saturday with a day full of food, music and fashion. Go Africa Harlem! will feature eight grills with traditional tastes from across the continent, as well as two stages with performers including Sekouba Bolomba, Afrikan Kartel, Ashe Jam Band, Noli Spy Ypsilon and DJ Birane. The festival supports development among the African and Caribbean diaspora.” (Metro)

City of Water Day
No man is an island, but Manhattan is
Pier 17, South Street / 10 a.m.-4 p.m., FREE
“Learn about the ecosystems that literally keep Manhattan afloat with City of Water Day, which combines fun and educational activities for all ages entirely free, this Saturday, at the South Street Seaport. Spanning topics from health and wellness to conservation, activities include free boat tours on the East River, live music and stage performances, face-painting, food vendors, hands-on craft booths, fishing lessons and even a life-size cardboard kayak race.” (Metro)

Elsewhere but this is Bowie’s last weekend and looks worth the detour:

Conversation: Daphne Brooks and Jack Halberstam
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway (Washington Ave.)/ 2PM
$16 general Museum admission included
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor

“Join Daphne Brooks and Jack Halberstam for an interdisciplinary conversation on David Bowie’s legacy. As leading scholars working at the intersections of race, gender, and performance, Brooks and Halberstam explore the world of Bowie and his worldwide impact on popular culture.” (


Continuing Events

French Restaurant Week (July 02-15)
Various locations // $17.89-$178.90
“Mais oui, it’s the start of French Restaurant Week. Indulge in some of the city’s finest French bistros and brasseries offering prix fixe specials. Participating restaurants include La Sirene, Fig and Olive, and Bistrot Leo. French Restaurant Week actually runs longer than a week, ending on Bastille Day weekend, July 15th.” (Gothamist)

“What a weekend for Francophiles. This Saturday is Bastille Day, celebrating the birth of the modern French nation. Don your beret and stop by Le Coq Rico for $10 “Frenchie” wine-based cocktails between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., like the Harry Rico with passion fruit and thyme. The Citroen & Velosolex Club will also bring vintage French cars to the restaurant outside at noon for photo ops. Bar Boulud beckons passersby with can-can dancers and live music on their outside terrace from noon to 8 p.m., along with stations selling crêpes, Choux à la Crème (profiteroles with classic vanilla Chantilly) and wines.” (GrubStreet)

World Cup viewing parties (starting June 14 – thru July 15)
Championship Match Sunday July 15:
   France vs Croatia 11AM
Don’t miss the World Cup, which only comes every four years. Many bars and restaurants will be screening the games and offering food and drink specials across the city. Here are the best lists of where you can find them::
NYT – where to watch the World Cup in New York City.
Soccer Republic – best bars to watch the World Cup in NYC.
Thrillist – World Cup bars NYC
Remeczcla – the 10 Best Venues to Watch the World Cup in NYC
Metro – NYC’s best soccer bars to watch the FIFA World Cup 2018
NYCGO – Ways to Watch the World Cup in New York City
Daily News – The best bars in NYC to watch your favorite team

♦ 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: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):


My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

Museum of Modern Art:

A special pat on the back to MOMA, who is now displaying art from the seven countries affected by Trump’s travel ban.

“Trump’s ban against refugees from seven Muslim-majority nations has sparked acts of defiance in NYC, from demonstrations across town, to striking taxicab drivers at JFK to Middle Eastern bodega owners closing their shops in protest. Recently, the Museum Of Modern added its two cents by bringing out artworks it owns from the affected countries, and hanging them prominently within the galleries usually reserved for 19th- and 20th-century artworks from Europe and the United States. Paintings by Picasso and Matisse, for example, were removed to make way for pieces by Tala Madani (from Iran), Ibrahim El-Salahi (from Sudan) and architect Zaha Hadid (from Iraq). The rehanging, which was unannounced, aims to create a symbolic welcome that repudiates Trump by creating a visual dialog between the newly added works and the more familiar objects from MoMA’s permanent collection.” (TONY)

‘ADRIAN PIPER: A SYNTHESIS OF INTUITIONS, 1965-2016’ (through July 22). “A clarifying and complicating 50-year view of a major American artist’s career, this exhibition is also an image-altering event for MoMA itself. It makes the museum feel like a more life-engaged institution than the formally polished one we’re accustomed to. For the first time it has given over all of its sixth-floor special exhibition space to a single living female artist who is best known for her art about racism, and for good reason: It’s powerful work, brilliantly varied in form. She has also consistently used her own image in inventive, distanced, self-mocking ways, as in two well-known self-likenesses done several years apart: one, a pencil drawing titled “Self-Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features” (1981); the other, a crayon-enhanced photograph called “Self-Portrait as a Nice White Lady” (1995). In these images, as in all of her work, her aim is not to assert racial identity but to destabilize the very concept of it.” (NYT-Cotter)

‘BODYS ISEK KINGELEZ: CITY DREAMS’ (through Jan. 1). “The first comprehensive survey of the Congolese artist is a euphoric exhibition as utopian wonderland featuring his fantasy architectural models and cities — works strong in color, eccentric in shape, loaded with enthralling details and futuristic aura. Mr. Kingelez (1948-2015) was convinced that the world had never seen a vision like his, and this beautifully designed show bears him out.” (NYT-Smith)

‘THE LONG RUN’ (through Nov. 4). “The museum upends its cherished Modern narrative of ceaseless progress by mostly young (white) men. Instead we see works by artists 45 and older who have just kept on keeping on, regardless of attention or reward, sometimes saving the best for last. Art here is an older person’s game, a pursuit of a deepening personal vision over innovation. Winding through 17 galleries, the installation is alternatively visually or thematically acute and altogether inspiring.” (NYT-Smith)

Rubin Museum of Art

Chitra Ganesh: The Scorpion Gesture (Through Jan. 7)
“The Brooklyn artist’s new animations ingeniously combine her own drawings and watercolors with historical imagery, peppering the journeys of bodhisattvas with contemporary pop-culture references. Five of these pieces are installed on the museum’s second and third floors amid its collection of Himalayan art, elements of which appear in her psychedelic sequences of spinning mandalas and falling lotus flowers. (Ganesh’s works are activated, as if by magic, when viewers approach.) In “Rainbow Body,” a cave, which also appears in a nearby painting of Mandarava, is filled with people in 3-D glasses, watching as the guru-deity attains enlightenment. “Silhouette in the Graveyard” is projected behind a glass case containing a small sculpture of Maitreya, from late-eighteenth-century Mongolia, for a cleverly dioramalike effect. Prophesied to arrive during an apocalyptic crisis, the bodhisattva is seen here against Ganesh’s montage, which includes footage of global catastrophes and political protests, from the Women’s March to Black Lives Matter.” (

New-York Historical Society 

“Celebrating Bill Cunningham (thru 9/9)
marks the New-York Historical Society‘s recent acquisition of objects, personal correspondence, ephemera, and photographs that reflect the life and work of Bill Cunningham. One of the late 20th century’s most influential trend-spotters and style authorities, the legendary New York Times journalist and photographer was frequently spied on the city’s streets, at fashion shows, and elegant soirées capturing images of New York’s fashion innovators and cultural glitterati. Among the highlights of Celebrating Bill Cunningham are a bicycle that he rode around the city; his first camera, an Olympus Pen-D, 35mm; signature blue jacket; personal photographs of Cunningham at home and with friends; correspondence, including a few of the hand-made Valentines he frequently sent to friends; and a New York City street sign, “Bill Cunningham Corner,” that was temporarily installed at 5th Avenue and 57th Street in his honor, following his death. Soon after he arrived in New York, Cunningham worked as a milliner, and items on view from his millinery line, William J., include an innovative beach hat, along with other hats and fascinators; and a press release written for the William J. spring 1960 millinery show. Also on display are selections from Cunningham’s Facades, his eight-year photographic project documenting New York City’s architectural and fashion history, which was shown at the museum in 2014.” (

Also now open at NY Historical SocietySummer of Magic: Treasures from the David Copperfield Collection. (thru Sept.16)

SPECIAL MENTION (not Manhattan’s WestSide, but let’s show some love to da Bronx)
at the New York (Bronx) Botanical Garden:

‘GEORGIA O’KEEFFE: VISIONS OF HAWAI‘I’ (through Oct. 28). “Finding out Georgia O’Keeffe had a Hawaiian period is kind of like finding out Brian Wilson had a desert period. But here it is: 17 eye-popping paradisal paintings, produced in a nine-week visit in 1939. The paintings, and their almost psychedelic palette, are as fleshlike and physical as O’Keeffe’s New Mexican work is stripped and metaphysical. The other star of the show, fittingly, is Hawaii, and the garden has mounted a living display of the subjects depicted in the artwork. As much as they might look like the products of an artist’s imagination, the plants and flowers in the Enid Haupt Conservatory are boastfully real. On Aloha Nights every Saturday in June and every other Saturday in July and August, the garden is staging a cultural complement of activities, including lei making, hula lessons and ukulele performances.” (NYT – William L. Hamilton)
718-817-8700, / easy 20 minute ride from Grand Central on Metro North.

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 07/12 and 07/10.

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