NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/14) + 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:

Bill Charlap Trio (May 14-26)
Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center/ 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $40-$45
“Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…when he sits down to play, the result is an embrace, an act of possession. The tune rises, falls, disappears, and resurfaces in new forms as Charlap ranges over the keyboard with nimble, crisply swinging lines, subtly layered textures, dense chords, and spiky interjections.” TIME Magazine
One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed and recorded with modern masters ranging from Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis to Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. Since 1997 he has led the Grammy Award-nominated Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, long recognized as a leading group in jazz. Veterans of all the top jazz venues, including, this trio is exemplary for its jaw-dropping level of chemistry and on-the-fly interactivity, made possible by both technical chops and hard-earned experience.”


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Ben Wendel
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> “Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful”
>> Jackie Robinson: The Personal and Political

You may want to look at previous days posts for events that continue through today.


Music, Dance, Performing Art

NEW YORK CITY BALLET (through June 2)
at the NYS Theater, Lincoln Center / 7:30PM, $35+
“For the first time, the work of City Ballet’s founding choreographer, George Balanchine, and that of its current resident choreographer, Justin Peck, are on a program together (Friday, Tuesday and Thursday), cementing Peck’s status as the heir apparent and the shaper of the company’s modern identity. In between, spread over two shows and mixed in with other Balanchine classics, Peck’s latest piece and new dances by Pam Tanowitz and Gianna Reisen enjoy a few encores. On Wednesday, Balanchine gets his own program that comprises the large-scale “Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet” and “Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Principia (New Peck 1)
Symphony in Three Movements
The Times Are Racing
Works by our Founding Choreographer and our current Resident Choreographer come together for the first time in a single program.

The Stone at the New School / 8:30 p.m.; $20
“Mitchell, a flutist who was recently selected to head the University of Pittsburgh’s prestigious jazz program, has friends in many high places. One of the most esteemed performers and composers on the jazz avant-garde, she will gather a different group of collaborators every night during this five-day run. Highlights will include the trio appearing on Tuesday, with Val Jeanty on electronics and Chad Taylor on drums; Mitchell’s team-up with the Matthew Shipp Trio on Wednesday; and a group she’s calling Funkish — with André Lassalle, known as Dre Glo, on guitar, Jared Nickerson on bass and Calvin Gantt doing spoken word, on May 18.” (GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO-NYT)

Ben Wendel (May 14-19)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./
“Ben Wendel, a saxophonist and bassoonist (and a member of the popular band Kneebody), created his “Seasons” project as a series of online video duets that sprang from programmatic piano pieces by Tchaikovsky. It took on a new life as both an album and a band. Here four partners from those duets—the guitarist Gilad Hekselman, the pianist Aaron Parks, the bassist Matt Brewer, and the drummer Eric Harland—join Wendel to give ample voice to his adventurously inviting music.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $22
“The city enters peak ballet season this week, with its two major companies facing off across the plaza at Lincoln Center. A.B.T. begins eight weeks at the Metropolitan Opera House with a kind of Alexei Ratmansky retrospective—the choreographer has been at the company for a decade. It begins with his charming rendition of Marius Petipa’s 1900 commedia-dell’arte ballet “Harlequinade” (May 13-18). After that comes a trio of shorter Ratmansky works, including a new ballet set to Alexander Glazunov’s rich and danceable suite “The Seasons.” A Twyla Tharp program, two weeks later (May 30-June 3), includes an exciting company première, “Deuce Coupe,” from 1973, a playful, all-American romp to music by the Beach Boys, originally made for the Joffrey. For those who like their ballet with a heavy dose of drama, there is another company première, “Jane Eyre,” by the British choreographer Cathy Marston. The work, which is set to a selection of nineteenth-century music, premièred at Northern Ballet, in 2016, to good reviews.” (Marina Harss-NewYorker)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

“Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful”
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / 6:30PM, donation requested
“The photographer Kwame S. Brathwaite celebrates the start of his monograph, “Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful,” with a conversation at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Manhattan.” (NYT-Today)

Jackie Robinson: The Personal and Political
Museum of the City of New York / 6:30PM, $20
“Jackie Robinson’s daughter Sharon Robinson, historian Jonathan Eig, and journalist Budd Mishkin reflect on the unlikely hero who helped to launch the modern civil rights era. In conjunction with the exhibition “In the Dugout With Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait of a Baseball Legend”

Continuing Events

NYCxDESIGN (May 10-22)
“New York City’s annual celebration of design, attracts hundreds of thousands of attendees and designers from across the globe. Taking place each May, the event celebrates a world of design and showcases over a dozen design disciplines through events taking place across the city’s five boroughs.”

Times Square transforms into a design paradise for NYCxDESIGN: What to See

“Here’s a reason for New Yorkers to head to Times Square: there are sixteen installations to check out at DESIGN PAVILION, the hub of NYCxDESIGN, the annual city-wide celebration of design.  Stretching from 42nd Street to 47th Street across five plazas (kiosks will show maps to aid your journey), there is everything from an “ecocapsule,”, a tiny house, a carousel of creative chairs, to an iconic Eastern European bloc kiosk shown in the United States for the first time.” (untapped cities)


5/14 My Brightest Diamond, Rough Trade NYC
5/14 Moby & John Hodgman, National Sawdust
5/15 Gordon Lightfoot, Town Hall

♦ 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 is one exhibition 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 05/12 and 05/10.

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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