NYC Events,”Only the Best” (03/01) + 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:  March NYC Events”
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.
To make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”

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Have time for only one NYC Event today? Do this:

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through March 3).
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 8PM, $35+
The final weekend of City Ballet’s winter season offers a tidy recap of the previous weeks. On Friday and Saturday afternoon, the company presents a Balanchine double bill with “Prodigal Son” and “Liebeslieder Walzer”; on Saturday evening it serves up a triple bill of new and revised work by William Forsythe, Kyle Abraham and Justin Peck; and on Sunday it concludes the season with a trifecta of works by Jerome Robbins, featuring “Interplay,” “In the Night” and “N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> KURT ELLING
>> Rigoletto
>> Complexions, Contemporary Ballet

>> ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ AND PEDRITO MARTINEZ
>> Cyrille Aimee: A Sondheim Adventure
>> 12th Annual Panorama Challenge
>> New York City Drone Film Festival

Continuing Events 
>> NYC Beer Week
>> Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

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Music, Dance, Performing Arts

KURT ELLING (March 1-2)
at the Rose Theater / 8 p.m.; $40+
“An esteemed jazz crooner whose vocal power is matched by his cool sensitivity to each song, Elling presents the premiere of “The Big Blind,” a drama in the format of an old radio musical. Written by Elling and the composer Phil Galdston, it tells of a young jazz singer in midcentury Chicago who’s trying to catch his big break. The show’s cast includes the vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater (a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master), the stage actor Ben Vereen, the drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.’s New Century Jazz Orchestra and a Foley artist providing live sound effects.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Rigoletto (next Mar.6, 7:30PM)
Metropolitan Opera House / 8PM, $20+
“Verdi’s tragic jester returns in Michael Mayer’s neon-bedecked, Las Vegas–themed production. Baritones Roberto Frontali and George Gagnidze share the title role, and soprano Nadine Sierra reprises her portrayal of Gilda, the role that helped launch her now-blossoming Met career. Tenors Vittorio Grigolo and Bryan Hymel share the role of the lascivious Duke, and Nicola Luisotti conducts.”

Complexions, Contemporary Ballet (Feb.26-Mar.3)
Joyce Theatre, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St./ 8PM, $45+
“For most of its twenty-five years of existence, Complexions Contemporary Ballet has endured critical disapproval of its flashy aesthetic and its relentless, all-exclamation-points preening. And, for most of that time, such complaints have had little to no effect on its loyal, adoring audience. Its silver-anniversary programs at the Joyce include a greatest-hits compilation, as well as the premières of the supposedly neoclassical “Bach 25” and the topical “Woke.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ AND PEDRITO MARTINEZ (Feb. 28-March 3)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $30
“Rodriguez, a pianist, and Martinez, a percussionist and vocalist, are masters of Afro-Cuban rhythm who both hail from Havana, though they learned their craft in different settings: Rodriguez at clubs and solares — the housing units where much of Cuba’s African musical inheritance is passed down — and Martinez at various conservatories in the city. On “Duologue,” their new, Quincy Jones-produced album, the pair find plenty of generative energy in the space between their styles. They appear at the Standard in an unadorned duo.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Cyrille Aimee: A Sondheim Adventure (Feb.26-Mar.2)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $30-$40
Six decades after Stephen Sondheim’s ascendance as the doyen of Broadway composers, many jazz-inflected vocalists have yet to fully warm to his oeuvre, which bursts with songs whose musical constructions are as adroit as their lyrics are emotively penetrating. But the ever-game Cyrille Aimée is diving right in: on her smart new album, “Move On: A Sondheim Adventure,” she does justice to the master’s work with his warhorse “Send in the Clowns” nowhere in sight.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

This is real Smart Stuff. Only for you NYCity nerds and yes, I’ll be there.

12th Annual Panorama Challenge
Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park / 6PM, $15
“Prove the depth and breadth of your city knowledge at the Panorama Challenge, also known as the “World Series of New York trivia contests.” Co-presented for the dozenth year by the City Reliquary, Queens Museum, and Levy’s Unique New York, the competition covers the history, personalities, architecture, icons, and minutiae of our terrific town—and it is seriously tough. It’s also set in the perfect location for NYC nerds: the Queens Museum’s iconic totem to obsession, a five-borough scale model of the entire city.”

This is not exactly Manhattan’s WestSide but it is just across the river. Take the ferry.

New York City Drone Film Festival (Mar.1-2)
Liberty Science Center, NJ / Fri 5pm-12am; Sat 10am-4pm, $15-$25
“Drone enthusiasts can see the object of their affections and its cinematographic applications at the New York City Drone Film Festival on Friday and Saturday at the Liberty Science Center, with panels, screenings of movies shot using drones, and classes with hands-on experiences. Try it at your own risk.” (grubstreet)

“Drone camerawork has already attained new realms of astonishment. What’s so cool about the New York City Drone Film Festival is that it culls the best of that brilliance, and presents to the world the best of the best. I thought I’d seen it all—I was wrong.”  -David Pogue, Founder, Yahoo Tech

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Continuing Events

NYC Beer Week (Feb. 23-March 2)
The best week for craft beer lovers
“The NYC Brewers Guild’s annual celebration of all things hops, malt and a little madness, NYC Beer Week, returns with over 60 breweries taking part in more than 150 events, from walk-around tastings to tap takeovers, brewer talks and pairing dinners. With beers brewed special for the festival, it’s a chance to taste things you won’t find anywhere else in the company of people who love one thing above all else”. (Metro)

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Midtown Manhattan’s winter wonderland.
Bryant Park (btw 5th/6th Ave. @42nd St.) / shops to 8PM, rink to 10PM
Enjoy The Lodge by Urbanspace, and The Rink, the centerpiece of Winter Village and New York City’s only free admission ice skating rink.
The Rink
This 17,000 square foot rink features free admission ice skating, high quality rental skates, and free skating shows, special events, and activities.
​October 27, 2018 – March 3, 2019 (only 3 more days!)
Daily, 8am-10pm (Rink hours are weather permitting and Rink may be closed for events – check here)

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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 65 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:
(4 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)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – thestonenyc.com (8:30PM)

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)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – jazzstandard.com – (1st set 7:30)

For a comprehensive list of the best places to hear All Types of Live Music in Manhattan see the tab above “LiveMusic.”

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 surprised with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It was 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.
Cornelia Street Cafe – UG, 29 Cornelia St. corneliastreetcafe.com, 212-989-9319
And more recently we have lost Cornelia Street Cafe. After 41 years, it too became another victim of an unreasonable rent increase.

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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)

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future (thru 04/23/19)

“Convinced that the world was not ready for her artistry in 1906, particularly as an underrepresented female in her field, af Klint of Sweden kept her work private. Her paintings anticipated by years “breakthroughs” by Kandinsky, Mondrian and others and were unseen before 1986. The Guggenheim rediscovers her.”

“Recognized as one of the art world’s earliest abstract painters, Hilma af Klint was a steadfast believer that her work was inspired by the spiritual. The new Guggenheim exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future,” showcases the work of this groundbreaking Swedish artist (1862-1944), whose work was rarely seen until the 1980s.” (Newsday)

See our art critic’s top pick of the year.
“Luckily, the number-one pick in Jerry Saltz’s best art shows of 2018 is still running. Hilma af Klint’s Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum examines the work of the unacknowledged Swedish visionary and makes a case for her being the first modernist abstract painter. Saltz is especially enamored with the first gallery, so make sure you spend some time there.” (NYMagazine)

GD: Definitely worth a visit. af Klint was like the original Kandinsky and it’s interesting to see both of their works in the same museum, even if not side-by-side.

New-York Historical Society

‘BETYE SAAR: KEEPIN’ IT CLEAN’  (through May 27).

“Saar has been making important and influential work for nearly 60 years. Yet no big New York museum has given her a full retrospective, or even a significant one-person show, since a 1975 solo at the Whitney Museum of American Art. As this exhibition demonstrates, the institutional oversight is baffling, as her primary themes — racial justice and feminism (her 1972 breakthrough piece, “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” merges the two by transforming the racist stereotype of the smiling black mammy into an armed freedom fighter) — are exactly attuned to the present.” (Cotter-NYT)
212-873-3400, nyhistory.org

‘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)

“In Praise of Painting” (thru Oct.4, 2020)

“How great are the Met’s holdings in the Dutch golden age? Very. This long-term installation rings the lower level of the Lehman Wing with scores of lesser-known gems from the mid-seventeenth century, many of them rarely on view before, amid masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Ruisdael. The period, vivified here, began in 1648, when the end of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain brought a boom in wealth and morale, expressed by genre paintings that exalt the national ideal of gezelligheid—social warmth, comfort, belonging. A key figure was Gerard ter Borch, who had travelled widely and worked at the court of Philip IV, in company with Velázquez. Ter Borch’s lustrous, ineffably witty domestic scenes inspired a generation of masters, notably Vermeer, whose genius rather eclipsed his elder’s. The pictures often star ter Borch’s younger sister Gesina, preening in satins or enigmatically musing. Herself a painter, she is cutely funny-looking—pointy nose, weak chin—and desperately lovable. There’s much to be said for a world with such a family in it.”

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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 02/27 and 02/25.
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