NYC Events,”Only the Best” (08/21) + 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-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:

MICHAEL MCDONALD
at the Rooftop at Pier 17 / 8 p.m., $95
“To the uninitiated, this Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan alumnus might not seem like a hip-hop mainstay; yet, through his career as a soft rock and R&B innovator, he helped create the bedrock for tracks from Warren G’s classic “Regulate” to more recent songs by everyone from Meek Mill to Madlib. These citations have helped fuel something of a late-career renaissance for the singer, songwriter and keyboardist, who in 2017 released “Wide Open,” his first album of original music in 17 years. Last year, he performed at Coachella alongside the similarly virtuosic Thundercat, with whom he and Kenny Loggins collaborated on the single “Show You the Way.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Harold Mabern
>> BRANDEE YOUNGER QUINTET
>>  Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole:
>> Bill Frisell
>> The Lineup with Susie Mosher
>> GILAD HEKSELMAN TRIO
Continuing Events
>> 2018 U.S. Open Fan Week
>> Candytopia
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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

Harold Mabern (Aug. 21-26.)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S., at 11th St./ 8:30PM +10:30PM, $35
“This fluent and eminently soulful pianist is no stranger to New York clubs, but it’s always an event when he appears at this hallowed venue. A Memphis transplant who carried his deep blues roots up North with him in the early sixties, Mabern will be supported by two trusted associates: the bassist John Webber and the drummer Joe Farnsworth.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

BRANDEE YOUNGER QUINTET (Aug. 21-22)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., $
“Ms. Younger’s harp playing can be airy or imagistic, but it’s usually grounded in a groove. Over the past decade, she’s proven adept at bringing the instrument into contexts where it had rarely gone: jazz infused with neo-soul; springy post-bop; experiments alongside Afro-Cuban improvisers. On Night 1 of her brief run at Jazz Standard, the classically trained harpist will appear in an electrified quintet with some of her most accomplished contemporaries: Keyon Harrold on trumpet, Chelsea Baratz on tenor saxophone, Rashaan Carter on electric bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums. On Night 2, a different but equally impressive group joins her in an acoustic format: Mr. Harrold, as well as Anne Drummond on flute, Dezron Douglas on upright bass and E. J. Strickland on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

 Michael Feinstein and Christine Ebersole: Two For the Road (Aug.21-31, no Aug.27)
54 Below / 7PM, $85+
“Feinstein, the popular and polished standard-bearer of American song, returns to the club that bears his name for a long run that teams him with one of the best cabaret performers out there: Broadway leading lady Ebersole (Grey Gardens), who is equally skilled at comedy and sentiment and who moves with ease between her lustrous belt and legit soprano. Among the selections in their Great American Songbook–centered set are “Stormy Weather,” “Time After Time” and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.” (TONY)

Bill Frisell (Aug.21-25)
The Stone / 8:30PM, $20
“Guitarist Bill Frisell, the cowlick on the towhead of jazzy Americana, begins a five-night residency devoted to duets with drummers. It’s a smart move: His floating, twanging, looping, and harmonically allusive style provides the perfect background for percussive pageantry. Frisell begins Tuesday alongside Gerald Cleaver, a drummer rooted in Detroit’s hard-bop heritage who can go just about anywhere. Kenny Wollesen, Frisell’s exquisitely laid-back drummer in a longtime trio with bassist Tony Scherr, joins him Wednesday for a set that may include some of Wollesen’s own percussion inventions. Expect fireworks August 23, when Andrew Cyrille brings his pioneering outside handiwork to the table. Johnathan Blake, who’s played with everyone from Robert Glasper and Oliver Lake to rapper Q-Tip and singer Monday Michiru, and man-machine Mark Guiliana, who played on Bowie’s Blackstar, fill out this ingenious week of strings and things that go bump in the night.” (Richard Gehr, Village Voice)

The Lineup with Susie Mosher
Birdland / 9:15PM, $25
“Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her biweekly series at the brand-new Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show off their talents. Guests at the August 21 edition include Naturi Naughton, Amy Lynn Hamlin, Telly Leung, Erin Maguire, Anya Marina, Eric Gilliland, Constantine Rousouli, Alex Ellis, Kevin Chamberlin and Time Out’s own Adam Feldman.” (TONY)

GILAD HEKSELMAN TRIO (also Aug.21)
at Smalls / 7:30 and 9 p.m., $
“This guitarist doesn’t need to be slick to sound commanding. When he starts to scamper in a single-note line, he’s usually quick to cut himself off — interrupting his own train of thought and grabbing your ear. A strong new album of original tunes, “Ask for Chaos,” is out next month. He appears at Smalls alongside the bassist Rick Rosato and the drummer Jonathan Pinson, who form one of two trios featured on the record.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

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

More smart stuff coming soon.

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Continuing Events

2018 U.S. Open Fan Week (Aug.21-26)
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park /
“There’s going to be a lot of racket (swinging) at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park come August 27 during the U.S. Open, a two-week tennis tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. Tickets for the usually star-studded matches (Bey and Jay-Z attended in recent years) tend to be steep ($65 to $100 for the cheap seats), but you can attend free of charge during U.S. Open Fan Week.

Just one week before the professional matches begin, head to the National Tennis Center to watch a qualifying tournament, where 128 women and 128 men compete. You can also check out the top dogs in tennis practice on the grounds (think Serena and Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal), and be just a few feet away from your favorite players. There’s even more tennis-related activities scheduled off the court, too. Get pumped for New York’s major summer sporting showdown during the U.S. Open Experience on Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23 at Brookfield Place. Players and special guests will make appearances and pose for selfies, and there will be food sampling and more sponsor-related activities at the scene. The event promises to be more fun than you can shake a racket at!” (TONY)

For a wonderful guide to the U.S. Open, try TimeOutNewYork’s guide.

Candytopia (thru Nov.15)
Candytopia @ Penn Plaza, 145 W. 32nd St./ 10AM-8:30PM, $34
“This interactive candy exhibit, which has drawn the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden and Wiz Khalifa from California, has more than a dozen rooms and art installations including a swimming pool filled with about half a million giant marshmallows; unicorn-pig hybrids that fart confetti; a candy-covered Sphinx sculpture; and candy recreations of such artworks as the “Mona Lisa,” Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night” and Rodin’s “The Thinker.” (amNY) &  (amNY)
DIVE INTO A HUGE MARSHMALLOW PIT AT CANDYTOPIA
“First it was in Los Angeles, and now it’s made its way to the east coast. Candytopia is officially open in NYC! Just like many other pop-ups, this one has uniquely designed rooms — except this one is all about candy. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to snag a ticket and enjoy the marshmallow pit and candy-filled rooms.” (bestproducts.com)

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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 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., 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.

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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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)

‘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

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)

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)

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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) 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).
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For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 08/19 and 08/17.
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