NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/05) + 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:  “July 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:

at Birdland / 8:30 and 11 p.m.; $30-$40
“Swift is a 25-year-old vocalist of nimble grace and forceful disclosure, as if Annie Ross had gotten more of Sarah Vaughan’s influence. She will perform here with backing from Cohen, a prodigious young straight-ahead pianist, and his trio. (His group will start things off on Thursday and Saturday with a set of its own at 5:30 p.m.)” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Special Notice:
Only three days left to see “The Ferryman” on Broadway. This TONY award winner is one of the great plays of the last decade. If you have not seen it, please just drop everything, find your way to the Bernard Jacobs theater, and enjoy a classic Broadway experience.

Time Out New York Theater critic Adam Feldman’s review is here.


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Joe Battaglia & The New York Big Band
>> Oliver Beer: Vessel Orchestra
>> Joanna Gleason: Out Of The Eclipse
>> Linda May Han Oh

>> American Ballet Theatre

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

Joe Battaglia & The New York Big Band
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center / 6PM, $22
Dance floor opens at 6:00 pm
Dance lesson at 6:30 pm
Live music at 7:30 pm
Style: Ballroom
Dance Instructor: Sandra Cameron teaches Foxtrot, Swing, and Rumba
DJ: Gene Eagle

“For more than 20 years, trumpet player Joe Battaglia and his 16-piece big band have been playing fresh arrangements of everyone’s favorite rumba, foxtrot, cha cha, and other ballroom styles. Well known by dance lovers around town for his longstanding gigs at Tavern on the Green, the Rainbow Room, and the Edison Ballroom, this native New Yorker and his New York Big Band keep dancers gliding around the floor with a melodic sensibility that “showcases Battaglia’s lyrical and sweet sounding horn” (Cabaret Scenes).”

Oliver Beer: Vessel Orchestra
at the Met Breuer / 6:30 p.m.
“Oliver Beer’s new “Vessel Orchestra” turns a collection of objects taken from the Met’s vast holdings into parts of a massive musical instrument, one played automatically during the day and in live concerts on Friday nights. The first features this excellent vocal ensemble, joined by the pianist Bruce Brubaker, performing medieval monophony and pieces by John Cage, Alvin Lucier and Philip Glass. The concert is free with museum admission.” (NYT-David Allen)

at Smoke / 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.; $40
“Harper plays the tenor saxophone in spirally, darting movements, with a pearly-hot intensity and steady focus. A luminary figure in post-bop, he emerged in the 1960s and ’70s playing music that leapt from the core of the jazz tradition — with titles like “Black Saint” and “Knowledge of Self” — and bespoke a mind-set of restive, contemporary vision. At Smoke, he appears with Freddie Hendrix on trumpet, Francesca Tanksley on piano (on Thursday, George Cables will be behind the keys), Hwansu Kang on bass and Aaron Scott on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Joanna Gleason: Out Of The Eclipse (also July 6)
Feinstein’s/54 Below / 7PM, $50+
“The warm, witty Gleason, whose long résumé of stage and screen roles includes a Tony-winning turn as the Baker’s Wife in the original Into the Woods, returns to 54 Below with a new set that explores her recent journey through a dark time in her life. She is joined by musical director Jeffrey Klitz and backed by the Moontones.” (TONY)

Linda May Han Oh (July 2-7)
Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Ave. S./ 8:30PM, +10:30PM, $35
“There was once a time when the sight of a female jazz bass player on the bandstand was an anomaly, but that era has passed. Since relocating from Australia, in 2006, Linda May Han Oh, an omnivorous whiz on both the acoustic and electric versions of the instrument, has been providing authoritative support for others—hear her recent dazzling work with Dave Douglas or her performances with Pat Metheny—while calling attention to her own providential gifts. In her return to the venerated Village Vanguard, July 2-7, Han Oh, whose four albums reveal a knack for resourceful composition, leads a quintet that includes the pianist Fabian Almazan and the saxophonist Ben Wendel. But, remember, it’s all about that bass.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)

at the Joyce Theater / 8PM, $45+
“The tap master returns to the Joyce with a new evening-length work inspired by an imaginary conversation between himself and Gregg Burge, a tap dancer and choreographer who died in 1998. In “Lady5 @ Savion Glover’s BaRoQUe’BLaK TaP CaFe,” Glover explores ideas around identity and the development of thought. The first half, to classical music, has a baroque theme, while the second takes a contemporary turn. As Glover states in press materials, it shows “the transition to becoming more ourselves and really getting into the tap.” (NYT-Gia Kourlas)

American Ballet Theatre (July 1-6)
Metropolitan Opera House / 7:30PM, $25+
“In the hundred and twenty-nine years since its première, “The Sleeping Beauty”—Marius Petipa’s first collaboration with Tchaikovsky—has undergone countless revivals. Each time, a new director has put his or her stamp on the work, adding, subtracting, changing details. Enter the choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, who mounted this revival on A.B.T. in 2015. In preparation, he went back to a trove of archival sources: notations from Petipa’s time, kept at Harvard; photos and drawings of the original production and a subsequent Ballets Russes revival; firsthand accounts. His staging is like a critical edition in music—in other words, an attempt to get as close to the original text as possible. In the process, a wealth of detail—musical, theatrical, stylistic—has been revealed.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

More smart stuff coming soon.

Continuing Events

‘Midsummer Night Swing’ (July 2-6, 9-13)
Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center
“Each summer, some of the dance at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts takes place outside, in Damrosch Park, where a variety of bands and orchestras will serve up R&B, swing, disco and other styles. Guests can dance the night away — and for those who could use a hand learning steps, group lessons are offered. ($18-$22; 6 p.m.; Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan;” (amNY)



7/4-7 Dirty Dozen Brass Band, The Blue Note
7/5 David Bromberg, City Winery
7/6 Charles Turner and the Uptown Swing, Damrosch Park Lincoln Center
7/7 The Lone Bellow, City Winery
7/9 Citizen Cope, Brooklyn Steel
7/9-10 Earth, Wind & Fire, Beacon Theatre
7/9 WFUV’s on Your Radar, Rockwood Music Hall
7/10 Belle & Sebastian, Brooklyn Steel
7/10 Dar Williams, City Winery

♦ 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.

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)


“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,

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.” (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.”

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).
For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Recent Posts in right Sidebar dated 07/03 and 07/01.

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.,, 212-255-4037 (1st 8:30)
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave., 212-475-8592 (1st set 8pm)
55 Bar – basement @55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S., 212-929-9883 (1st 7pm)
Mezzrow – basement @ 163 W10th St. nr 7th Ave.,646-476-4346 (1st 8)
Smalls – basement @ 183 W10th St., 646-476-4346 (1st set 7:30pm)
The Stone at The New School – 55 w13 St. (btw 6/5 ave) – (8:30PM)

Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. — / 212-258-9595 (1st set 7:30pm)
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave) — / 212-581-3080 (1st 8:30pm)
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. — 212-864-6662 (7pm)
Jazz Standard – 116 E27 St. (btw Park/Lex) – – (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. — / 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., 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.


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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