September Events and 14 Classic NYCity Films (09/01)

Pre Covid-19 we searched the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you didn’t have to.”
We made it as easy as 1-2-3.

Covid-19 has required some changes for the time being.
Stay Safe.

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For the month of September we are going to try a different format – “Top 10 Corona Culture” – updated info and video especially suited to these difficult times or NYC related visual info (Instagram and YouTube) or all the NYC news you need to start your day.

We hope you will come back often to see what’s cooking here.
Today it’s 14 Classic NYCity Films (plus a few more personal faves).

If you want to get in the mood for your visit to NYCity, then make yourself some popcorn and pick up a copy of one of these great films at your local Netflix.
(and if you have seen any of these before, remember Director Robert Altman’s advice:
“It’s better to see a great movie again than an average one the first time. Because even though the movie hasn’t changed, you have. And you’ll see something new..”)

The Naked City (1948)

https://dailymotion.com/video/x55gwgh

On the Waterfront (1954)

Sweet Smell Of Success (1957) — “I love this dirty town!”, says Burt Lancaster — and so do we, in one of his signature films — a sour, caustic tale about a twisted gossip columnist, partly modeled on the legendary Walter Winchell. Lancaster is superb, and guess what, so is Tony Curtis.

West Side Story (1961)

Midnight Cowboy (1969) — Two drifters meet in a mutual attempt to survive in, then escape from, Manhattan’s grimy underbelly. Hoffman is incredible as Ratso. The kind they don’t make anymore, this “Cowboy” still packs a hefty wallop.

The French Connection (1971) — Maybe the best cop movie ever, portraying one of the city’s bigger drug busts back in the day. Gene Hackman won as Oscar and became a bankable star with this movie — and it’s easy to see why.

The Godfather (1972)

Mean Streets (1973) — Scorsese’s breakthrough about a conflicted small-time crook and his wacko, self-destructive cousin in Little Italy. Rich in emotion, immediacy, and atmosphere, this film set the pungent, propulsive Scorsese style we’d see again in movies like 1990′s Goodfellas.

The Godfather, Part 2 (1974) — Coppola managed to improve on a masterpiece with this one, which paints on a broader canvas and offers even richer period flavor. And for the price of Brando, we get a young Robert De Niro, who’s equally brilliant.

Annie Hall (1977) — Inveterate New Yorker Woody Allen’s best film ever, with some hilariously dead-on insights about the bi-coastal dilemma: New York vs. Los Angeles. I’m with Woody: give me Gotham every time. This turned Diane Keaton into a star, and it’s still her signature role.

Manhattan (1979)

Broadway Danny Rose (1984)

Three Woody Allen films in a row may seem a bit much, but for me Woody is the quintessential NYCity film auteur. Heck, I could have added “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989), and “Bullets Over Broadway” (1994).

Moonstruck (1987) — This love letter to Brooklyn is full of charm and humanity, though some disagree… worth the price of admission for Vincent Gardenia and Olympia Dukakis alone. And look for an unusual early turn from Nic Cage as a mooning, eccentric baker.

A Bronx Tale (1993)

Half of this list is from the wonderful film critic John Farr.
The other half (films without the write up’s) are my additional personal faves.

Heck, there are just too many great NYCity movies.
Need to make room for these classics:

1910s – Regeneration (1915, Raoul Walsh)
1920s – The Crowd (1928, Dir. King Vidor); Speedy (1928, Ted Wilde)
1930s – Dead End (1937, Dir. William Wyler); King Kong (1933, Merian C. Cooper)
1940s – On The Town (1949, Gene Kelly,)
1950s – Shadows (1959, John Cassavetes); On The Bowery (!956, Lionel Rogosin); Little Fugitive (1953, Ray Ashley,..); Marty (1955, Paddy Chayefsky); Pickup on South Street (1953, Samuel Fuller )
1960s – The Apartment (1960, Dir. Billy Wilder); The Cool World (1964, Shirley Clarke); Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Roman Polansky); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961, Blake Edwards)
1970s – a Golden Decade for NYCity Films
Hester Street (1975 Dir. Joan Silver); Klute (1971, Alan J. Pakula); Superfly (1972, Gordon Parks); Serpico (1973, Sidney Lumet); The Taking of Pelham1-2-3 (!974, Joseph Sargent); Dog Day Afternoon (1975, Sidney Lumet); Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese) (great movie but NYCity at its worst); Saturday Night Fever (1977, John Badham); The Warriors (1979, Walter Hill); All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse); Shaft (1971, Gordon Parks); Three Days of the Condor (1975, Sydney Pollack); An Unmarried Woman (1978, Paul Mazursky)
1980s—Do The Right Thing (1989, Dir. Spike Lee); Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese); Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Sergio Leone); The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984, Stuart Rosenberg); When Harry Met Sally (1989, Rob Reiner); Ghostbusters (1984, Ivan Reitman); Wall Street (1987, Oliver Stone); Working Girl (1988, Mike Nichols)
1990s – Goodfellas (1990, Martin Scorsese); Metropolitan (1990, Whit Stillman); Kids (1995, Larry Clark); Men in Black (1997, Barry Sonnenfeld)
2000s – Man on Wire (2008, James Marsh); 25th Hour (2002, Spike Lee); Rent (2005, Chris Columbus); The Devil Wears Prada (2006, David Frankel); We Own the Night (2007, James Gray)
2010s – Black Swan (2010, Darren Aronofsky); Margaret (2011, Kenneth Lonergan); Spider-Man into the Spider Verse (2018, Bob Persichetti); Inside Llewyn Davis (2013, Ethan/Joel Cohen); Birdman (2014, Alejandro González Iñárritu); Brooklyn (2015, John Crowley); Frances Ha (2012, Noah Baumbach)

Want to know what some other folks thought were NYCity’s best movies:

The Best New York Movies: 50 Flicks About The City That Never Sleeps  (Complex)

19 Movies That Will Bring New York to You  (Vogue)

The 21 Best Films Set in New York City   (Culture Trip)

The 101 best New York movies of all time  (Time Out New York)

49 Movies That Will Transport You to New York City  (CN Traveler)

The Best Movies That Capture What It Means to Be a New Yorker (Thrillist)

We hope you enjoy this change of pace, then please return here October 1, and every day for our daily, hot off the presses event guide with “Only the Best” NYCity event info.

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Now how about some other useful information during these trying times.

NYC-Arts Top Five Picks: August 28 – September 03

Interesting. Unusual. Uniquely NYC. Highlights of this week’s top events include Mother Earth, The Six Bach Solo Cello Suites, Looking Past Shadows and more. Get the NYC-ARTS Top Five in your inbox every Friday and follow @NYC_ARTS on Instagram or @NYCARTS on Twitter to stay abreast of events as they happen.

#ICPConcerned: Global Images for Global Crisis

#ICPConcerned: Global Images for Global Crisis

International Center of Photography

Manhattan / Tue, Aug 11, 2020 – Sun, Sep 27, 2020

On March 20, the International Center of Photography announced an open call for imagemakers around the world to post and tag imagery of their experiences as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. The hashtag #ICPConcerned was named in recognition of ICP’s founding principle to champion “concerned photography”—socially and politically minded images that can educate and change the world.Then, on May 25, George Floyd, a Black man, was killed in Minneapolis by a white police officer and millions …

Davina Semo: Reverberation

Davina Semo: Reverberation

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Manhattan / Thu, Aug 20, 2020 – Sun, Apr 18, 2021

A ringing bell organizes our civic life, inviting us to come together in public space. Its unmistakable sound marks the hours, calls us to assemble, alerts us to danger, and announces momentous occasions. These and other modes of public address can unify communities and define the auditory landscape of our city, even when all else is silent and still.Davina Semo (b. 1981, Washington, DC) has created five cast bronze bells to be rung by visitors …

Ballet Hispánico Class Registration Deadline

Ballet Hispánico Class Registration Deadline

Ballet Hispanico

Manhattan / Wed, Sep 02, 2020, 11:59 pm

Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance announces the schedule for its Fall 2020-21 dance classes. Classes will take place online and in person, maintaining proper social distancing and following all CDC guidelines. More information is available at www.ballethispanico.org/school/school-year-programs/letter. The Ballet Hispánico School of Dance is the direct link to the organization’s values of access, opportunity, and pride for all students interested in dance and Latinx culture. The School is an accredited training center that leads with a holistic curriculum …

Connecting ACO Community

Connecting ACO Community

American Composers Orchestra

Manhattan / Sun, Aug 02, 2020 – Sun, Oct 04, 2020

American Composers Orchestra (ACO) announces Volume 3 of Connecting ACO Community, featuring seven commissions to be premiered online on Sundays at 5pm ET between August 2 and October 4, 2020, for a ticketed audience on ACO’s YouTube Channel. Each session includes a live conversation with the featured composer and performer(s), hosted by ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel or ACO President Edward Yim, in addition to the performance.ACO initiated Connecting ACO Community in response to the …

The Met Reopens

The Met Reopens

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manhattan / Sat, Aug 29, 2020, 10:00 am

The Met Fifth Avenue will reopen on August 29 for visitors and August 27 and 28 for Members. The Met Cloisters is scheduled to reopen on September 12. Visitor and staff health and safety is the top priority. Please be assured that The Met is following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York State, and New York City for increased health and safety procedures.At the Met, five thousand years of art …

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31 NYC Restaurants With New Outdoor Dining

31 spots offering outdoor dining for the very first time.

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Broadway theaters closed on March 12 as New York City enacted rules to promote social distancing and slow the spread of Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a show. The NYC theater community has responded with initiatives and online shows to help support its members and entertain audiences via the internet while we’re staying away from crowds.

We’ve put together a sampling of streaming performances you can watch from your laptop or phone:

Broadway, NYC, Virtual NYCKinky Boots. Photo: Matthew Penrod

Broadway HD 
Starting in 2015, this online service began offering HD versions of classic and recent Broadway plays and musicals. You can try it out for free (with a one-week trial) or buy a subscription (from $9 a month) to watch some of your favorite shows. You can see stars like Katherine Hepburn in 1973’s televised version of The Glass Menagerie as well as musical hits like Kinky BootsAn American in Paris and Cats.

Stars in the House 
Broadway actor, director and writer (and radio host) Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, host two shows a day from their house on YouTube. The hourlong shows, which air live at 2pm and 8pm (the usual Broadway start times), raise money for the Actors Fund, helping to provide emergency relief for those unemployed in the theater community.

Living Room Concerts 
Broadwayworld.com has started posting daily concert videos from an array of performers, mainly those whose shows were running before the recent closure of Broadway. They’re posting a new video every day—stars featured include Carolee Carmello (Hello, Dolly!), Kathryn Gallagher (Jagged Little Pill) and teenager Andrew Barth Feldman, the former lead in Dear Evan Hansen.

Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar
This West Village bar, known for sing-alongs to Broadway show tunes, has taken the experience online. They’re streaming two main sets of songs each evening, usually starting at 4pm, with different pianists tickling the ivories. To watch, join their Facebook group and tune in to “Sing out, Louise” (in the comfort of your own living room). You can also tip the piano players via Venmo or PayPal, with details during each performance.

Download recent shows, like the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, on Amazon  
Many recent shows are available to rent or buy on Amazon and other online streamers, usually in the range of $3–12. Highlights include Rent, taped just before it ended its Broadway run; 2013’s Carousel, via Live from Lincoln Center; 2010 Tony Award winner Memphis; and the original Broadway production of Into the Woods, starring Bernadette Peters.

Virtual Hal Prince Exhibit at Lincoln Center 
In December 2019, the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts opened an exhibit on the late Harold Prince, the legendary Broadway producer behind megahits like The Phantom of the Opera and Sweeney Todd. While the library is closed, you can take a virtual walk-through and 30-minute guided tour of the gallery with Doug Reside, the show’s curator.

Broadway Dreams Live Lessons 
The Broadway Dreams Foundation is hosting free daily lessons, led by some accomplished Broadway-caliber talent, for aspiring actors, singers and dancers. Their lineup has included actors from FrozenHead Over Heels and Chicago. To watch, get the Zoom link from their Facebook page. Sessions begin at 1pm; each day’s links are posted five minutes before class begins, though the schedule is listed earlier than that.

Viral Monologues from 24 Hour Plays 
Every year, the 24 Hour Plays event presents a series of shows that are written, cast, directed and performed in one day with the involvement of talent from the NYC theater community. Now they’re doing a mini version, with online monologues, on their Instagram account. They’re performed by actors like Denis O’Hare and penned by playwrights like David Lindsay-Abaire.

Groove to disco versions of Stephen Sondheim songs
Broadway Records just released the digital version of Losing My Mind, a compilation of Sondheim songs with a dance beat. Conceived by Broadway performer Joshua Hinck and arranger Scott Wasserman, the 12-song album is an expanded version of a popular concert they put on in 2018. The album features singers like Alison Luff (Waitress) and Chip Zien (from the original Into the Woods). You can preview a track, “Unworthy of Your Love,” from Passion; hear the collection on Spotify; or order a copy from the Broadway Records site.

Broadway Backwards 2020 Encore 
Broadway Cares, which produces number of annual AIDS fundraisers, has put together a special encore series of recent star-studded performances from Broadway Backwards, at which performers belt out famous show tunes with gender-swapped roles. They’re also asking viewers to support an emergency fundraiser for actors affected by the Covid-19 crisis—you can make a donation at broadwaycares.org.

Watch Broadway classics like Cabaret for free on YouTube 
These days you may be wondering, “What good is sitting alone in your room?” You can get a very direct answer on YouTube by watching the 1993 version of Cabaret, featuring Alan Cumming in his breakout role. Other star turns worth checking out for free are Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patinkin in American Playhouse‘s 1986 broadcast of Sunday in the Park with George;  Carol Burnett in 1964’s Once Upon A Mattress; Nell Carter in a 1982 broadcast of Ain’t Misbehavin’; Lauren Bacall in 1973’s Applause; Gregory and Maurice Hines in 1980’s Eubie!; and Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra in 1954’s Anything Goes.

Jason Alexander sings on Twitter 
While most people know Jason Alexander as George from Seinfeld, he got his big break on Broadway in a Stephen Sondheim musical (Merrily We Roll Along). He recently went on Twitter to sing a song from the show that got him interested in theater, Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin. The beautiful ballad, “With You,” has a message of love and support we can all use today.

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STAY HOME FOR A BIT LONGER – MASK UP AND STAY SAFE.

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