NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/05) + GallerySpecialExhibits: Chelsea

“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-August”
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:

Yoruba Remixed!
A Sonic Journey Through the Sounds & Vibes of the African Diaspora
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center Out of Doors Fest / 7PM, FREE
“Join the Caribbean Cultural Center as they celebrate the legacy of its founder Marta Moreno Vega with music and dance inspired by West African Yoruba traditions. Dance performances by the Something Positive Dance Company open and close this evening that also features live music from Puerto Rican percussion ensemble Yuba Iré, Afro-house vocalist Nina Rodriguez, and two celebrated Miami bands—Philbert Armenteros y Los Herederos and PALO! In between, world-renowned DJs keep the vibe going with sets of remixed Yoruba songs.

“Afro-Cuban Funk is Cuban music for the new generation. And the leader of the sound is the Miami based band PALO!” – New York Post

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5 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>>BAIANASYSTEM, HAMILTON DE HOLANDA AND XÊNIA FRANÇA
>> INSITU SITE-SPECIFIC DANCE FESTIVAL
>> JANIS CLAXTON DANCE
>> GERALD CLAYTON QUINTET
>> “Curator’s Choice: Bernstein”
Continuing Events
>>
NYC Restaurant Week 
>>
Twelfth Night
>>
Brasil Summerfest 
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

BAIANASYSTEM, HAMILTON DE HOLANDA AND XÊNIA FRANÇA
at Rumsey Playfield / 3 p.m. FREE
“The big-footed, dub-influenced dance music of BaianaSystem comes from the eastern coast of Brazil, a home of Afro-Brazilian culture and music. So does the vocalist, composer and percussion experimentalist Xênia França, whose 2017 album, “Xenia,” sifts often through different rhythms and emotional registers. Also on the bill is Hamilton de Holanda, a practitioner of the bandolim, a Portuguese mandolin. The startlingly talented Mr. de Holanda unites jazz and folk influences with choro, the predominant genre of improvised music in Brazil. This concert is presented as part of Brasil Summerfest.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:
INSITU SITE-SPECIFIC DANCE FESTIVAL
at various Queens locations (1-8 p.m.).
“One highlight of the summer dance season in New York is the opportunity to see so much of it outdoors. First introduced last year, this two-day festival returns with a robust lineup of 22 local and international dance artists who will perform at either Hunters Point South Park, Gantry Plaza State Park, Queensbridge Park or Socrates Sculpture Park. From the postmodern pioneering choreographer Douglas Dunn to the vogueing prowess of the venerable House of Ninja, each location will feature a 75-minute set comprising four or five troupes that will repeat throughout the day so you can park-hop around Long Island City, Queens, to see every performance.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

JANIS CLAXTON DANCE (last day)
at Lincoln Center Plaza / at various times, FREE
“In “Pop-Up Duets (Fragments of Love),” this Scotland-based choreographer presents a series that explores romantic interludes as part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors. At select times in Hearst Plaza and Josie Robertson Plaza, pairs of dancers will part from the crowd to converge in seemingly spontaneous duets that explore different facets of love. The dancers are Joanne Pirrie, Albert Garcia, Amy Hollinshead and Valerio Di Giovanni.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

GERALD CLAYTON QUINTET (last day)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m., $35
“Mr. Clayton plays mainline jazz piano with surging energy and a miniaturist’s attention to detail. Thinking of him as a sculptor, he’s more of a Hellenist than an Impressionist: He likes beauty and structure and logic, not messy displacement. Two of his big piano influences are Kenny Barron and Oscar Peterson, but the neat power of his playing — if not his harmonic choices — brings Chick Corea to mind. He appears here with four longtime associates: Logan Richardson on alto saxophone, Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone, Joe Sanders on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

“Curator’s Choice: Bernstein”
Paley Center for Media, 25 W. 52nd St./ 12PM-5PM, $
“Eleven months into the yearlong celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s hundredth birthday, there are no more gems still to polish or curios left to unearth in his œuvre. The Paley Center, though, is devoting every Sunday in August to a hitherto underexamined aspect of his legacy: his famous television appearances. The first weekend includes telecasts of his stage works “Trouble in Tahiti” and “Wonderful Town.” The second highlights his warmth and elegance as a music educator with screenings of three CBS specials, in which he discussed everything from Bach to the Beatles and introduced Glenn Gould and Igor Stravinsky in their U.S. television débuts.” (Oussama Zahr, New Yorker)

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Continuing Events

NYC Restaurant Week  (July 23-August 17)
“The summer edition of NYC Restaurant Week has arrived. You can make reservations now for deals at 386 participating restaurants through August 17th. How can a ravenous New Yorker whittle down the choices? Depends on what you like. Among this year’s offerings are nearly a hundred American Traditional spots, followed by 86 Italian restaurants, dozens of steakhouses and French bistros and brasseries, nearly as many Mexican joints, a smattering of Chinese, Greek, Indian, seafood, soul food, vegetarian, and Vietnamese options, and two places with the nerve to identify as “eclectic.”

Weekday lunch specials are down a few dollars and a few calories. Twenty-six bucks now buys a two-course midday meal — nobody has time for dessert on a work day, anyway. Three-course dinners still run $42. These four weeks in the throes of summer are like a culinary leap year — free celestial time to be bold, take a risk and try something new. Realistically though, you’ve maybe got the time and money to try, what, like five of these places? And remember the bi-annual NYC Restaurant Week refrain: tax, tip, and drinks not included.’ (Thrillist)
Here are the best of the best.

Twelfth Night (July 17 – August 19)
Shakespeare Delacorte Theater, Central Park / 8PM, FREE* (the Bard is off on Mondays)
“This musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy began in 2016 as a one-weekend run under the auspices of the Public’s civically ambitious Public Works program, which collaborates with NYC communities to create large-scale theater. Director Kwame Kwei-Armah is joined by Public honcho Oskar Eustis to helm the production’s return engagement; Shuler Hensley and  Ato Blankson-Wood joins original cast members Nikki M. James, Andrew Kober and Shaina Taub—who also wrote the songs—alongside less seasoned actors and local residents.” (TONY)

*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.

Brasil Summerfest  (thru Aug. 12)
Brazil’s beats and bites come to NYC
“Brasil Summerfest, the largest music and arts fest of its kind, returns this week with its biggest year yet and runs through Aug. 12. Starting off Sunday at the Hester Street Fair are DJs Gaspar Muniz and Greg Caz, as well as choro music by Regional de NY, samba by Manhattan Samba and drumming from Fogo Azul. Food will include traditional fare like churrasco, coxinhas, feijoada and more, plus beer and sparkling wine. It’s free for all ages.” (Metro)

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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  8.6 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.

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Bonus NYC Music Venues:
So much fine live music every night in this town. These are my favorite non jazz music venues on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who’s playing tonight:

City Winery – 155 Varick St., citywinery.com, 212-608-0555
Joe’s Pub @ Public Theater – 425 Lafayette St., joespub.com, 212-967-7555
Beacon Theatre – 2124 Broadway @ 74th St., beacontheatre.com, 212-465-6500
Town Hall – 123 W43rd St., thetownhall.org, 212-997-6661
Le Poisson Rouge – 158 Bleecker St., lepoissonrouge.com, 212-505-3474
and one more, not quite WestSide
Bowery Ballroom – 6 Delancey St. boweryballroom.com,

Special Mention:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
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 discovery and enjoyment.

Alas, Caffe V is no more, another victim of a rapacious NYC landlord. Owner Ishrat fought the good fight and Caffe V will be sorely missed.
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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

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Chelsea Art Gallery District*

Chelsea is the heart of the NYCity contemporary art scene. Home to more than 300 art galleries, the Rubin Museum, the Joyce Theater and The Kitchen performance spaces, there is no place like it anywhere in the world. Come here to browse free exhibitions by world-renowned artists and those unknowns waiting to be discovered in an art district that is concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues. Afterwards stop in the Chelsea Market, stroll on the High Line, or rest up at one of the many cafes and bars and discuss the fine art.

Here are two exhibitions you may like:

Dime-Store Alchemy (Through Aug. 17)
“Drawing inspiration from the boxes of Joseph Cornell, this group show gathers artworks that array ordinary objects within cabinets or other types of containers. The theme is simple, but applied liberally and intelligently by the curator Jonathan Rider, it brims with reminders of the feats of transmutation that artists can perform.” (NYT-JILLIAN STEINHAUER)  Flag Art Foundation, 545 West 25th St.

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For a listing of 25 essential galleries in the Chelsea Art Gallery District, organized by street, which enables you to create your own Chelsea Art Gallery crawl, see the Chelsea Gallery Guide (nycgo.com) Or check out TONY magazine’s list of the “Best Chelsea Galleries” and click through to see what’s on view.

*Now plan your own gallery crawl, but better to plan your visits for Tuesday through Saturday; most galleries are closed Sunday and Monday.

TIP: After your gallery tour, stop in Ovest at 513W27th St. for Aperitivo Italiano (Happy Hour on steroids). Discuss all the great art you have viewed over a drink and a very tasty selection of FREE appetizers (M-F, 5-8pm). OR try this NYT recommendation: “When you’re done, adjourn to the newly renovated Bottino , the Chelsea art world’s unofficial canteen on 10th Avenue (btw 24/25 St.) “

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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 08/03 and 08/01.

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