NYC Events,”Only the Best” (07/21) + Museum Special Exhibitions: Manhattan’s WestSide

“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:

One Giant Leap: Apollo 11 and the Moon Landing 50 Years On
The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St./ 7PM, $50
“Take one small step to celebrate 50 years since the moon landing with a play reading that features an all-star cast including Lauren Ambrose, Jeff Daniels, and Samuel L. Jackson. Afterwards, Michael Collins, the command module pilot on Apollo 11, will be in conversation.

The evening will feature the reading of a short play by Tony Award-winning author J.T. Rogers. Commissioned specifically for this event, the play weaves together transcripts of the Apollo 11 mission, Times coverage from the period and excerpts from recent interviews.

Following the reading, Michael Barbaro of “The Daily” will host a conversation with Michael Collins, command module pilot on Apollo 11, Peggy Whitson, the first female commander of the International Space Station, and Poppy Northcutt, the first female engineer to work in NASA’s Mission Control.” (ThoughtGallery)


6 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> Maria Kochetkova
>> Jon Faddis Quartet
>> To The Moon Artist Talkback with Laurie Anderson

>> Ice Cream Blizzard

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

LIFE CYCLES (July 18-21)
at the Blue Note / 8 and 10:30 p.m.; $20-$35
“Technically this is the drummer Brian Blade’s new ensemble, but about half the personnel comes from his longtime Fellowship Band. That group has championed a crepuscular, slow-cinema kind of country jazz for the past two decades; when they’re on, Fellowship are among the loveliest bands around. But Life Cycles have something different in mind: Rather than original material, they focus on the songbook of the vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, who died in 2016. Whether playing post-bop or virtuosic, slowly tumbling funk, Hutcherson had a fondness for taking his time and leaving wide-open spaces inside his music — something you could also say of Blade. Life Cycles include Rogerio Boccato on percussion, Jon Cowherd on piano, Monte Croft on vibraphone and vocals, John Hart on guitar, Myron Walden on woodwinds and Doug Weiss on bass.” (NYT-Giovanni Russonello)

Maria Kochetkova (July 16-21)
at the Joyce Theater / 7:30 p.m.; $55+ (may need to try another night)
“Maria Kochetkova is one of those can-do ballerinas with limitless technical capacities and boundless energy. In her eleven-year career at San Francisco Ballet, she danced everything from Petipa to William Forsythe and Wayne McGregor—always with rigor and style. For the past year, she has been freelancing. Now she has a project of her own, a program of new and recent works, called “Catch Her if You Can,” by a cluster of big names such as Forsythe, David Dawson, and Marco Goecke, which she will perform along with friends and colleagues, including Drew Jacoby and Sebastian Kloborg. In addition, the French dance-theatre choreographer Jérôme Bel has created a sort of mini-portrait of Kochetkova, the title of which, “Masha Machine,” references the nickname by which she is best known to dancers and fans alike.” (Marina Harss, NewYorker)

VIJAY IYER SEXTET (through July 21)
at the Village Vanguard / 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.; $35
A renowned pianist, educator and MacArthur fellow, Iyer’s last big statement on record was “Far From Over,” the 2017 debut recording from his sextet. It was a voyage through warped-glass apparitions, spiky rhythmic terrain and skyscraping three-part horn harmonies that sometimes tumbled into writhing disarray. Two years later, this material still feels fresh. But Iyer has also worked out some new material for the band, so look out for a mix this week. The sextet includes Graham Haynes on cornet and fluegelhorn, Mark Shim on tenor saxophone, Steve Lehman on alto saxophone, Stephan Crump on bass and Jeremy Dutton on drums.” (NYT-Giovanni Russonello)

Jon Faddis Quartet (July 19-21)
Dizzy’s / 7:30PM, +9:30PM, $45
“He’s the best ever, including me!” – Dizzy Gillespie

“Legendary trumpeter Jon Faddis, protégé of the great Dizzy Gillespie, returns to Dizzy’s Club to great demand. Known for an extraordinary and virtually unparalleled range, Faddis has complete mastery over the trumpet. He evokes the voices of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Roy Eldridge, and, of course, Gillespie, all while remaining true to his own. Faddis’ illustrious career has seen him perform with top jazz musicians, including Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. For some of the best trumpet playing you’ll ever hear, don’t miss Jon Faddis at Dizzy’s Club.”


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

To The Moon Artist Talkback with Laurie Anderson
American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West 79th St./ 2PM, Free with RSVP
“Award-winning avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson joins Museum astrophysicist Jackie Faherty for a conversation about Anderson’s new immersive virtual reality experience, To The Moon, with co-creator Hsin-Chien Huang. To The Moon makes its U.S. premiere at the American Museum of Natural History from July 20 through July 28. Anderson will discuss why she likes to work in virtual reality, the motivations behind this piece, and her creative process. She will also take questions from the audience.

Please note tickets for the Artist Talkback event do not include the To The Moon virtual reality experience. Reservations for To The Moon must be made separately.”

Ice Cream Blizzard
100 W. 77th St. / 10AM-5:30PM, FREE entry
“Grand Bazaar is back with its fourth annual Ice Cream Blizzard in July, which will feature 15 ice cream makers (and 130 independent merchants) who will present their unique and tasty flavors.” (amNY)

“If vanilla ice cream is seeming too vanilla these days, this frozen fest will serve up flavors both familiar and unique, created by more than a dozen artisanal ice cream makers. More than 100 crafts makers, dealers of vintage items, artists and food vendors will also be present. All profits and a portion of the sales earned by the ice cream makers will benefit four local public schools.” (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21, 100 W. 77th St., Manhattan
INFO Free; 212-239-3025,



Bonus for my young friend Ethan.

Play or watch video games around the clock

Intended to create awareness and interest in video
Photo Credit: Thomas Brabenec

“Intended to create awareness and interest in video games, Defend The North is a three-day con featuring an arcade, diner and ballroom — all open around the clock — and cosplay is encouraged.’ (Newsday)
WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m. July 19 to 21; The New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Ave., Manhattan
INFO $50 to $150, $25 age 16 and younger; For more information or to register for play, visit

Continuing Events

“Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival will run from July 10 through August 10, 2019. Harnessing Mozart’s innovative spirit as its inspiration, this edition will feature groundbreaking, multidisciplinary, international productions and acclaimed artists from a variety of genres, introducing the audience to emerging creative voices, commissions and premieres.  The program will include performances from Mark Morris Dance Company, a panel discussion on Mozart’s Magic Flute, a screening of the film The Great Buster: A Celebration, and much more. For a full festival lineup, visit the Mostly Mozart Festival event page.” (

NYC Restaurant Week 2019:
Start making your reservations.

“The more than three-week-long promotion featuring two-course lunches ($26) and three-course dinners ($42) at some of the city’s best restaurants is back for its summer edition starting July 22. This time around, the celebration features prix-fixe meals at more than 380 eateries, with deals through Aug. 16.

You can find links to menus and the restaurants involved here, but check out our picks for some of the most enticing deals below.” (amNY)

JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film
Japan Society, 333 East 47th St./ various times, $15 individual films
“From July 19 – 28, the Japan Society will present JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film. Premiering 26 features and 16 short films, the festival offers a deep dive into one of the world’s most vital film cultures with a diverse selection across its Feature Slate, Classics: Rediscoveries and Restorations, Documentary Focus, Experimental Spotlight and Shorts Showcase sections. This year’s lineup features 19 first-time filmmakers and 14 female directors (the most in the festival’s history), including 10 International Premieres, 16 North American Premieres, 4 U.S. Premieres, 4 East Coast Premieres and 6 New York Premieres. In addition, over 20 guest filmmakers and talent from Japan will join the festival to participate in post-screening Q&As and parties.”

GregD: This is the Best of Contemporary Japanese Cinema – some films already sold out.



7/21 Dave Alvin, City Winery
7/22 Jesca Hoop, Rough Trade
7/23 Taj Mahal, City Winery
7/24 Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Blondie, Forest Hills Stadium
7/24 Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart, Rooftop at Pier 17
7/24 Caroline Rose, Rocks Off Concert Cruises

♦ 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.

My Fave Special Exhibitions – MUSEUMS / Manhattan’s WestSide
(See the New York Times Arts Section for listings of all museums,
and also to see their expanded reviews of exhibitions)

American Museum of Natural History

‘T. REX: THE ULTIMATE PREDATOR’  (through Aug. 9, 2020).
“Everyone’s favorite 18,000-pound prehistoric killer gets the star treatment in this eye-opening exhibition, which presents the latest scientific research on T. rex and also introduces many other tyrannosaurs, some discovered only this century in China and Mongolia. T. rex evolved mainly during the Cretaceous Period to have keen eyes, spindly arms and massive conical teeth, which could bear down on prey with the force of a U-Haul truck; the dinosaur could even swallow whole bones, as affirmed here by a kid-friendly display of fossilized excrement. The show mixes 66-million-year-old teeth with the latest 3-D prints of dino bones, and also presents new models of T. rex as a baby, a juvenile and a full-grown annihilator. Turns out this most savage beast was covered with — believe it! — a soft coat of beige or white feathers.” (Farago-NYT)


at Leslie-Lohman Museum (LAST DAY).
“For this summer’s half-century anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots, substantial displays of art produced in the long wake of the uprising are filling New York City museums and public spaces. The largest is this two-part exhibition, organized by Jonathan Weinberg and shared by Grey Art Gallery at N.Y.U. and Leslie-Lohman Museum. The Leslie-Lohman half, which focuses on the 1970s and has lots of archival matter, feels tight and combustible. Much of what’s in it was hot off the political burner, responsive to crisis conditions. The pace at Grey, where much of the work dates from the 1980s, is more measured, but has tensions of its own as the story encompasses AIDS and the culture wars. (NYT-Holland Cotter)

at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through Sept. 22).
“Given the political tensions that have sent spasms through the nation over the past two years, you might have expected — hoped — that this year’s biennial would be one big, sharp Occupy-style yawp. It isn’t. Politics are present but, with a few notable exceptions, murmured, coded, stitched into the weave of fastidiously form-conscious, labor-intensive work. As a result, the exhibition, organized by two young Whitney curators, Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta, gives the initial impression of being a well-groomed group show rather than a statement of resistance. But once you start looking closely, the impression changes artist by artist, piece by piece — there’s quiet agitation in the air.” (NYT-Cotter)


at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (through Jan. 3).
“Killing as a communal business, made widely lucrative by the Third Reich, permeates this traveling exhibition about the largest German death camp, Auschwitz, whose yawning gatehouse, with its converging rail tracks, has become emblematic of the Holocaust. Well timed, during a worldwide surge of anti-Semitism, the harrowing installation strives, successfully, for fresh relevance. The exhibition illuminates the topography of evil, the deliberate designing of a hell on earth by fanatical racists and compliant architects and provisioners, while also highlighting the strenuous struggle for survival in a place where, as Primo Levi learned, “there is no why.” (NYT-Ralph Blumenthal)

For other selected Museum and Gallery Special Exhibitions see Posts in right Sidebar dated 07/19 and 07/17.


Bonus: Nifty 9 – Best Cabarets / Piano Bars NYCity
These are my favorite places for an after dinner night on the town – music and drinks.
Hit the Hot Link and check out what’s happening tonight:

Feinstein’s/54 Below – 254 W 54th St.

The Green Room 42 – 570 Tenth Ave.

Don’t Tell Mama – 343 W 46th St.

The Rum House, in the Hotel Edison – 228 W. 47th St.

Laurie Beechman Theatre – 407 W 42nd St.

Marie’s Crisis – 59 Grove St.

The Duplex – 61 Christopher St.

Sid Gold’s Request Room – 165 W 26th St.

Cafe Carlyle, in the Carlyle Hotel – 35 E. 76th St.
This is the only one not located on Manhattan’s WestSide, and it ain’t cheap, but it has some of the finest singers.

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


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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