NYC Events,”Only the Best” (05/18) + 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:  “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.”

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

9th Avenue International Food Festival (May18-19)
“The streets between 42nd and 57th are filled with the smell of smoke and oil from gyro carts, empanada stands, and donut shops at the 9th Avenue International Food Festival. Come hungry and without a destination in mind: The crowd’s shoulder to shoulder, but that’s easily forgotten while sipping a cold beer as you walk down the street. Pause to take in some live music, then follow your nose to the fried Oreos, Kobe beef hot dogs, and bacon-topped cocktails.
Cost: Free to enter, but bring cash for street food.” (thrillist)

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7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> JOEY DEFRANCESCO WITH THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA
>> American Ballet Theatre
>> THE GIL EVANS PROJECT
>> 13th Annual Dance Parade.
>> World’s Fare 2019
>> Essex Market

>> Taste of Tribeca

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

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Music, Dance, Performing Art

JOEY DEFRANCESCO WITH THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA (May 17-18)
at Rose Theater / 8 p.m.; $40+
“DeFrancesco, a virtuoso soul-jazz organist, recently put out an album in a more mystical mode, “In the Key of the Universe” — inching closer than ever to the late-career sound of Dr. Lonnie Smith, jazz’s other premier organ player. The record features a few entrancing tunes recorded with Pharoah Sanders as a special guest, and it affirms DeFrancesco’s versatility and sensitivity as a bandleader. More evidence of that adaptability will be on display at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he will be joined by the resident orchestra, performing selections from Duke Ellington’s “New Orleans Suite” and Oliver Nelson’s arrangement of “Peter and the Wolf” — two of the rare works in jazz that blend the Hammond B3 with a full orchestra.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

American Ballet Theatre (through July 6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 2PM, +8PM, $25+
“What hasn’t Alexei Ratmansky choreographed? For the time being, his ballets monopolize the repertory — and that’s not a bad thing. Friday and Saturday feature the final presentations of his staging of “Harlequinade,” a comic ballet in the commedia dell’arte tradition, inspired by the archival notes of Marius Petipa. On Monday, the company’s spring gala, which celebrates his 10th anniversary as the artist in residence, offers his “Serenade After Plato’s Symposium” and the premiere of “The Seasons.” The following day showcases a Ratmansky triple bill with “Seasons” and more new works: “Songs of Bukovina” and “On the Dnieper.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

THE GIL EVANS PROJECT (May 16-19)
at Jazz Standard / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $35
“Evans is the rare composer whose music doesn’t need any refurbishing or newfangled interpretation to sound contemporary. Ryan Truesdell, a young composer and arranger, has made it his mission to prove that point: He goes directly to Evans’s original big-band manuscripts — including some charts that haven’t been played in over 50 years — and restages them to full effect. On Thursday and Friday, Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project ensemble will perform selections from Evans’s tenure with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra in the 1940s. On Saturday and Sunday, the focus will fall on Evans’s better-known work of the 1950s and ’60s.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

13th Annual Dance Parade.
“The celebration will begin at 12:35pm at 21st Street & Broadway with a Ceremonial Native American Circle Dance, led by Grand Marshal Louis Mofsie of the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers. Joining Mofsie as Grand Marshals are Bill T. Jones, Baayork Lee, and DJDara.The parade of approximately 10,000 dancers representing over 100 styles of dance will then dance its way down Broadway and through Union Square to Astor Place, where some of the groups will perform in front of a grandstand.All will continue east on St. Marks Place and settle in Tompkins Square Park. From approximately 3 to 7pm, activities in the Park will include performances by many of the companies on 5 stages, along with free lessons.” (cityguideny)

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Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

Elsewhere, but this sure looks worth the detour:

World’s Fare 2019 (May 18-19)
“Taking inspiration from the 1964 World’s Fair, World’s Fare 2019 will offer authentic foods and wares for purchase, served up by more than 100 vendors representing cultures from around the globe. ($23, with beer garden entry: $49; children age 9 and younger: $9; Noon to 8 p.m.; Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Flushing, Queens; theworldsfare.nyc)” (amNY)

Taste of Tribeca (May 18)
various venues / 11:30AM-3PM, $45+
“This outdoor food festival will showcase dishes from more than 60 of Tribeca’s highest-rated restaurants and wine and beer from local shops and pubs. There will be a Kids’ zone and live entertainment as well. Proceeds go toward local public schools P.S. 150 and P.S. 234.” (amNY)

AND The Statue of Liberty Museum opened just this week!


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.”

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

“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)

Design Pavilion in Times Square. Explore the future at this free annual public design happening. Design Pavilion serves as the public hub for NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s annual celebration of international design. Open daily 11am-9pm between West 42nd and West 47th, bounded by Broadway and Seventh Avenue, highlights of the Design Pavilion include a 50,000 pound yacht, an interactive tiny house sculpture, FutureHAUS (the world’s best solar home), and a sound and vision exhibition. (cityguideny)

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COMING SOON (WFUV)

5/18 Rodrigo y Gabriela, Beacon Theatre
5/19 & 21 Passion Pit, The Rooftop At Pier 17
5/19 Anthony De Costa, Mercury Lounge
5/19-20 Nils Lofgren, City Winery
5/21 Jimmy Webb, City Winery
5/22 St. Lucia, Irving Plaza
5/22 Positively Bob Dylan 78th Birthday Tribute, City Winery

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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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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)

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)

“The Tale of Genji” (Through June 16)

“To detail the rich history of a Japanese literary epic, this stunning exhibition assembles artifacts and art works spanning nearly a millennium. Written in the early eleventh century by the noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu, the fifty-four-chapter tale—a mix of entertainment, social commentary, and Buddhist philosophy—recounts the misadventures of an emperor’s son, who, excluded from the line of succession, seeks restitution through romantic liaisons. Colorful episodes describe the opulence of the Heian period and introduce iconic female characters. The fascinating objects on view include paired calligraphic texts and paintings drawn from the oldest-known complete “Genji” album, from 1510; an ornate, portable lacquered-wood cabinet, from the Edo period, made to house the tale’s many volumes; and a wedding palanquin (or covered litter), from the same era, whose exquisitely painted interior features motifs from the story. The visual literary tradition instigated by Murasaki’s classic was not just for the élite: modern translations, as well as books and popular prints, disseminated it to a wide audience. The show concludes with original drawings by the contemporary manga artist Yamato Waki, from his updated adaptation “Asaki Yume Mishi” (thirteen years in the making)—a testament to the saga’s enduring legacy.” (Johanna Fateman, NewYorker)

‘THE WORLD BETWEEN EMPIRES: ART AND IDENTITY IN THE ANCIENT MIDDLE EAST’ (through June 23).

“The Met excels at epic-scale archaeological exhibitions, and this is a prime example. It brings together work made between 100 B.C. and A.D. 250 in what we now know as Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. In the ancient world, all were in the sphere of two competing superpowers — Rome to the west and Parthia to the east — and though imperial influence was strong, it was far from all-determining. Each of the subject territories selectively grafted it onto local traditions to create distinctive new grass-roots cultural blends. Equally important, the show addresses the fate of art from the past in a politically fraught present.” (NYT-Cotter)

“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 05/16 and 05/14.
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Bonus Live Music  – NYC 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.”

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

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NYCity Vacation Travel Guide Video (Expedia):

 

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