NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/08) + 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:  “May 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.
OR to make your own after dinner plans TONIGHT, see the tab above;  “LiveMusic.”


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

Maceo Parker (May 7-12)
Blue Note / 8PM, +10:30PM, $35-$45
“The saxophonist Maceo Parker’s fame was insured by his work as the Johnny-on-the-spot soloist for James Brown and by his later contributions to modern funk, but his affection for R. & B.-inflected jazz-horn work—a tradition that runs from Louis Jordan to Hank Crawford and beyond—is never far below the surface. At seventy-six, he remains a soulful instrumentalist and occasional singer who still bows to the majesty of the groove.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
Antonio Sanchez
Songs for Our Planet
>>  Imogen Heap
>> David Murray with Saul Williams
>> Governors Island Official Walking Tour
>> Keynote/Performance: What Is AI?
>> Orwell’s China


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Antonio Sanchez (May 7-12)
Village Vanguard / 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“One of the most sought-after drummers of the new-jazz generation, Sanchez made the rounds with stars such as Pat Metheny and Michael Brecker before turning 30. Here this deft player—best known for the jaw-dropping solo-drum score he contributed to Best Picture winner Birdman—draws equal attention to his writing and bandleading chops, heading up a special project.” (TONY)

Elsewhere, but this looks worth the detour:

Songs for Our Planet
Brooklyn Bowl, Williamsburg / 7:30PM, $20
“Brooklyn-based country-soul rockers the Lone Bellow sit atop the bill at this concert benefitting environmental organization 1% for the Planet. The event offers a code to get 25% off a Lyft ride, but, let’s be honest, riding your bike or taking public transport is a little more apropros.” (TONY)

Imogen Heap (May 7-8)
@ Town Hall / 8PM, $35+
“Imogen Heap is on her first North American tour in nine years, and making the tour even more exciting is that she is reuniting with her Frou Frou partner Guy Sigsworth for it. The tour is happening in conjunction with the launch of Mycelia, Imogen’s new “research and development hub for music makers,” but she isn’t letting the unique concept deter her from playing lots of solo and Frou Frou classics.” (brooklynvegan)

David Murray with Saul Williams (May 7-11)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ 8:30PM, +11PM, $40
Back in the eighties and nineties, it might have seemed as if every new dawn also brought a new David Murray recording. The still mighty tenor saxophonist and bass clarinettist may have cut down on his productivity of late, but his taste for experimentation and variety remains. Here, he reunites with the politically attuned spoken-word poet Saul Williams in a collaborative venture entitled “Blues for Memo”; they front a quintet that also features the acclaimed drummer Nasheet Waits.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Governors Island Official Walking Tour
Governors Island, Soissons Landing Welcome Center / 11:30AM, FREE
“Look into the past of Governors Island and talk about its exciting transformation and future! In these one-hour walking tours, examine how historic preservation, innovative design and environmental stewardship make the Island what it is today – one of the most unique public spaces in New York City.

Meet At:
Governors Island, Soissons Landing Welcome Center
Take the Governors Island Ferry that departs lower Manhattan at 11:00am from the Battery Maritime Building (10 South Street, just east of the Staten Island ferry terminal). Allow time for first-come/first-served boarding. The ferry is free. (The return ride from Governors Island is also free.)” (ClubFreeTime)

Keynote/Performance: What Is AI?
New York Live Arts, 219 W. 19th St./ 6PM, $15
Opening Keynote and Lecture Performance to the 2019 Live Ideas Festival.
“Get a grasp on AI’s past, present, and future in a combined lecture/performance that serves as the keynote to the New York Live Arts 2019 Live Ideas Festival. A musical rendition of the history of AI, words from the author of Artificial Unintelligence, and Patricia Marx on robots are among the presentations.” (ThoughtGallery)

Orwell’s China
SubCulture, 45 Bleecker St./ 7PM, $20
“George Orwell’s 1984 is proving prophetic in today’s China, where a new “social credit” system combines around-the-clock surveillance and consumer data mining to rank the citizenry. That’s on top of censorship and the ongoing marginalization of foreigners, minorities, and dissidents. As the PEN World Voices Festival continues, hear from two authors with insight into Chinese feminism and the absurdities of totalitarianism.” (ThoughtGallery)

Continuing Events

STREB (weekends through May 12)
Streb Lab for Action Mechanics, 51 N. 1st St., Bklyn. / Sat.5PM, Sun.3PM; $25
“The shows that STREB Extreme Action puts on at its Williamsburg headquarters  have a carnival atmosphere, and not just because eating and drinking are encouraged. Will the Action Heroes, as the intrepid dancer-acrobats are styled, collide as they hurl themselves off a trampoline? Will they get whacked by swinging cinder blocks or huge metal contraptions? Probably not, but they want you to cringe. Their newest machine is the Molinette, a giant bar that revolves like the blade of a windmill.” (Brian Seibert, NewYorker)

The Streb performers are absolutely amazing and so worth the detour.
I try to see them every year, can’t get enough.


5/7-8 Morrissey, Lunt-Fontaine Theatre
5/8 Dandy Warhols, Brooklyn Steel

♦ 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.

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 the New Yorker likes:

And from New York Magazine:

Nadav Kander (thru May 25)
A dark line.
“Known for his landscapes, the British photographer’s latest work brings the viewer to a particular point in the U.K.: the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the North Sea. The results are visually arresting and somewhat haunting.” (NYMag)
Flowers Gallery, 529 West 20th Street.


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 ( 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.) “

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see recent posts in right sidebar dated 05/06 and 05/04.

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

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

In Memoriam:
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St., 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.

NYT Theater Reviews – Our theater critics on the plays and musicals currently open in New York City.


NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):
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