NYC Events,”Only the Best” (10/11) + 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:  October 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:

Neil deGrasse Tyson in Conversation with Robert Krulwich: Letters from an Astrophysicist
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 7PM, $55
All tickets include a copy of the book.
“Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the world’s most influential scientists.

As director of the Hayden Planetarium, and host of Cosmos and StarTalk, he has dedicated his life to exploring and explaining the mysteries of the universe. Join him for an evening of humor, passion and big ideas as he shares insights and anecdotes from his new book, Letters from an Astrophysicist. Every year, Tyson receives thousands of letters from people across the globe who have sought him out in search of answers to questions about science, faith, philosophy, life and, of course, Pluto. His replies are by turns wise, funny and mind-blowing. Join the galactic conversation as he talks with Radiolab host Robert Krulwich about his quest to understand our place in the cosmos.”


7 OTHER TOP NYC EVENTS TODAY (see below for full listing)
>> The Jazz Messengers: The Legacy of Art Blakey led by Valery Ponomarev
>> Jesse Baez
>> New York Coffee Festival
>> New York City Wine and Food Festival
>> I Got Gershwin: The Inside Story of the Most Celebrated Song in All of Jazz and Broadway

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


Music, Dance, Performing Art

The Jazz Messengers: The Legacy of Art Blakey led by Valery Ponomarev (Oct. 11-12)
at Dizzy’s Club / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $45
“World-renowned trumpeter Valery Ponomarev continues the Art Blakey Centennial Celebration with a hard-swinging tribute to his iconic former bandleader and band in The Jazz Messengers: The Legacy of Art Blakey. As a bandleader, Blakey was best known for his ability to find and hone the sharpest young talent in jazz, from Lee Morgan to Ponomarev himself, who held the trumpet spot right before a young Wynton Marsalis. Ponomarev has already wowed Dizzy’s Club audiences with a big band that he leads in that same spirit, highlighting some of the most talented young jazz musicians. Tonight’s group, however, goes after the classic, small-group energy of the legendary Jazz Messengers, with a lineup featuring five of today’s top instrumentals performing a set of expertly arranged hard bop”

at the Jazz Gallery / 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; $25-$35
This alto saxophonist was born in Harlem to parents of Haitian descent; as an adult he has lived in New York, Haiti and New Orleans, and on his debut album — the double disc “Global,” which effortlessly mixes carnival bounce with jazz linguistics — he explores the common threads of black expression that he discovered along the way. At the Gallery, Louis will perform music from that release with Axel Tosca Laugart on piano, Kareem Thompson on steel pan, Giveton Gelin on trumpet, Dion Kerr on bass and Jonathan Barber on drums.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)

Jesse Baez
S.O.B.’s, 204 Varick St./ 8PM, $18
“R. & B. has been slowly bubbling up in underground music scenes across Latin America, and the Chicago-born, Guatemala-bred singer Jesse Baez has found his footing in the genre. On his EP “Turbo,” from last year, he sprawled suave vocals over slick, pop-flecked melodies, resulting in chromatic experiments like “Quiero Saber” and “Siempre.” As the style he’s known for becomes more popular in the Spanish-language mainstream, Baez sets himself apart by selecting beats that are laid-back and just a little dark.” (Julyssa Lopez, NewYorker)

at Smalls / 10:30 p.m. and midnight; $20
“A bassist with a rare depth of feeling and flavor, Douglas can typically be heard in bands led by some of jazz’s brightest talents. He’s the kind of side musician who can almost single-handedly make a band shine, while doing nothing so flashy as to seize the spotlight. So his talents as a bandleader should come as no surprise. Douglas’s most recent album, “Black Lion,” from last year, dealt in capering funk, briskly swinging postbop and maximalist contemporary jazz, all arranged for a sextet with a three-horn front line. Here he leads a quartet featuring the tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart, the pianist Sylvia Manco and the drummer Jerome Jennings.” (NYT-GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO)


Smart Stuff / Other NYC EventS

New York Coffee Festival (Oct.11-13)
Make your morning buzz last all day
Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St./ hours vary daily; $40
“The New York Coffee Festival has hundreds of coffees to try, guaranteeing a weekend full of wakefulness. There’ll be live cooking demos; a cold brew cocktail bar stocked with vodka; and New York’s Best Barista competition, where local baristas will be recognized for their talent and community impact. 100% of the profits from the festival will benefit Project Waterfall, which brings clean water to coffee-growing regions around the world. At last, all that iced coffee you chug can finally do some good.” (

New York City Wine and Food Festival (Oct.10-13)
Various Locations and Prices
“Spend four days feasting at tastings, classes and dining events all over the city with TV personalities like Ted Allen, Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Masaharu Morimoto, Rachel Ray, Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart, plus local heroes like Pig Beach’s Matt Abdoo, Baoburg’s Chef Bao Bao and Jacob’s Pickles’ Glenroy Brown. You may not be able to fit into your Halloween costume, but it will certainly have been worth it.” (TONY)

I Got Gershwin: The Inside Story of the Most Celebrated Song in All of Jazz and Broadway
92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave./ 12PM, $29
“When George Gershwin, already the most celebrated songwriter of his day, wrote “I Got Rhythm” for newcomer Ethel Merman in the 1930 musical Girl Crazy, he not only launched the career of the most dynamic performer in the history of musical theater, he created a song that truly changed the world.

“I Got Rhythm” became not only a Broadway blockbuster, but the definitive “jazz song,” a number that thousands of major musicians continually deconstructed and reconstructed, ransacking its chord changes to produce new songs of their own. This special Clip Joint looks at both sides of “Rhythm,” theatrical and jazz, from Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney to Nat King Cole, Charlie Parker, Count Basie and even The Flintstones!”

Continuing Events

New York Film Festival (Sept. 27 — Oct. 13)
“Lincoln Center’s signature cinematic event returns with a lineup that’s simply packed with eagerly anticipated movies by major filmmakers. The festival opens with Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and closes with Edward Norton’s “Motherless Brooklyn.” In between, you can find new work by everyone from Bong Joon-Ho (“Parasite”) to Kelly Reichardt (“First Cow”), along with Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodóvar (“Pain and Glory”).” (amNY)

at New York City Center / 8PM, $15 (Sundays 3PM)
“The annual smorgasbord of high-quality, low-cost dance returns with five diverse programs that mixes hometown stars with global luminaries, and classics with new commissions. Program 1, on Tuesday and Wednesday, features Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in a work by Crystal Pite, Vuyani Dance Theater from South Africa with the stateside debut of a piece by Gregory Maqoma, Caleb Teicher & Company in Teicher’s “Bzzzz,” and Misty Copeland in a Kyle Abraham premiere. The lineup for Program 2, on Oct. 3 and 4, comprises Mark Morris Dance Group, the French hip-hop troupe Dyptik, the Washington Ballet and Malevo, who bring a rock version of the Argentine folk dance malambo. All shows have sold out, but any cancellations will result in tickets becoming available online and at the box office, so keep an eye out.” (NYT-Brian Schaefer)

Ron Carter (Oct. 1-26)
Birdland, 315 W. 44th St./ various times, $30-$40
“If Ron Carter had retired in the mid-seventies, after helping cement the sonic identity of the now revered CTI Records, he’d still be recognized as one of the most substantial bassists in jazz history, having shared stages with a slew of legendary figures (including Miles Davis) and recorded with dozens more—but he didn’t. He has since added thousands of recordings to his résumé and established a respected solo career. Week one of this monthlong stint features the exemplary instrumentalist fronting his Great Big Band.” (Steve Futterman, NewYorker)



10/10-11 Big Thief, Webster Hall
10/11 Bon Iver, Barclays Center
10/12 Live From Here w/Chris Thile, Town Hall
10/12 Wilco, Radio City Music Hall
10/12 Shovels & Rope, Brooklyn Steel
10/13 Wilco, Brooklyn Steel
10/15 Black Keys, Barclays Center
10/15 Orville Peck, Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/15-16 Kacey Musgraces/Lucius, Radio City Music Hall
10/15-16 Steely Dan, Beacon Theatre

Fall Concerts (

David Byrne’s American Utopia on Broadway
October 4­, 2019–January 19, 2020
Hudson Theatre
The Talking Heads frontman hits Broadway with a show based on his latest album—but you can expect some old favorites as well.

October 12
Radio City Music Hall
Yes, Ode to Joy, the title of Wilco’s upcoming album, was used centuries ago by Friedrich Schiller and then Beethoven. But occasional parallel thinking is inevitable in any creative endeavor.

Kacey Musgraves
October 15
Radio City Music Hall
The Grammy-winning country artist brings her tour to Radio City.

Steely Dan
October 15, 16, 18, 19 and 22
Beacon Theatre
Donald Fagen keeps the jazz-rock music of Steely Dan, familiar from songs like “Do It Again,” “Reelin’ in the Years” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” going strong.

Alessia Cara
October 23
PlayStation Theatre
The Canadian pop and R&B star known for the song “Here” plays in Times Square.

October 30 and 31
Kings Theatre and Hammerstein Ballroom
Minus one Janet Weiss, the Pacific Northwest rockers tour behind new album The Center Won’t Hold.

♦ 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 2019 – the ninth consecutive year. 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:


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 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 10/09 and 10/07.

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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