COOL THINGS TO DO
West Indian American Day Carnival; Various locations
One of the best neighborhood block parties of the year and the best way to send off summer…with loud, positive music and dancing in the street. And funnel cake.
DJ Shadow + Cut Chemist: Renegades of Rhythm Tour; Irving Plaza
Two influential DJ-producers join forces to pay homage to one of the godfathers of hip-hop: Afrika Bambaataa.
The dubstep don steps to the decks. Expect a deep, ambient set. Just kidding.
Dollypalooza: An Epic Fan Tribute to Dolly Parton; Littlefield
Y'all better head to this super fun Dolly Parton tribute for all your straight talkin' and boot-scootin' fixes.
First Annual Brooklyn Brain Jam; The Bell House
Sort of like a jam session for music, but with brains. Smart folks should head to Gowanus for this.
92nd St. Y Annual Street Festival; Lexington Ave
This 92nd St. Y Annual Street Festival is fun for the whole family without breaking the bank, or leaving Harlem. This year's focus is showcasing international cultures. There's also an entire block of kid-friendly activities.
Hyperdub 10 Year Anniversary; Verboten
The esteemed London electronic label celebrates a decade in business with sets from Kode9, Mala, Ikonika and more.
Pirate Ball; Waterfront Museum
Yar, me matey. A dancetastic ball for sea-farin' ne'er-do-wells and scallywags.
OK Go DJ Set with Cyclists; Glasslands
The quirky Chicago alt-rock band spins a set in Brooklyn. We're hoping treadmills are involved.
Eric Prydz; Madison Square Garden
The Grammy-nominated hit machine brings his brawny house beats to the Garden.
AWESOME THINGS TO SEE
Sep 4–Oct 4
Roxy Paine, "Denuded Lens"; Marianne Boesky Gallery
The centerpiece of Paine's gallery debut features a wood-carved sculpture of a TSA airport security checkpoint, complete with an X-ray machine and conveyor belt. Not quite true to scale, the piece captures the odd combination of banality and anxiety associated with such places.
Sep 7–Oct 12
Ryan McGinley, Yearbook; Team Gallery
The photographer's noted passion for fleeting youth is on full display in this installation. Depicting 200 models, all young and in the nude, the piece consists of 500 studio portraits printed on vinyl sheets, which are stuck to every square inch of the gallery's walls and ceiling. It's a celebration of the innocent and anodyne, but also, as the title suggests, a acknowledgment of the transition to the ravages of adulthood.
The Skeleton Twins Opens in theaters
Former SNL-ers Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig empress in dramatic turns in this film, as estranged siblings hoping to reconnect.
Sep 11–Oct 25
Jenny Holzer, "Dust Paintings"; Cheim & Read
The famed auteur of "Truisms" presents abstract paintings based on redacted government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act—accounts related to the use of "enhanced interrogation" (i.e. torture) by the U.S military and the CIA on detainees captured during the War On Terror.
Sep 11–Oct 25
"Mike Kelley: Reconstructed History"; Skarstedt Chelsea
The enfant terrible of left cost art presents a series of textbook illustrations of the Founding Fathers, and other historical figures defaced with doodles such as penises, swastikas and pigs' noses. Seen from the perspective of the unmotivated student at the back of the class, the images offer a piquant comment on American exceptionalism.
Sep 11–Oct 18
Helen Frankenthaler, "Composing with Color, Paintings 1962-1963"; Gagosian Gallery
Frankenthaler was one of the very few women artists associated with Abstract Expressionism, but during the early 1960s she began to embrace the Color Field aesthetic championed by the critic Clement Greenberg. Dating from that period, these striking paintings veritably luxuriate in the chromatic possibilities of the medium.
20,000 Days on Earth Opens in theaters
Nick Cave performs his spin on the autobiographical profile—as riveting and unusual as the man's music itself.
Tusk Opens in theaters
Kevin Smith could be back in top form with this dark horror comedy about a radio interviewer kidnapped by his subject.
The Two Faces of January Opens in theaters
Nothing like autumn to bring on the buzzy high-toned dramas, like this Greece-set mystery starring Viggo Mortensen.
Sep 26–Oct 12
The 52nd New York Film Festival; Various locations
NYC's premier film event will mark the global debuts of David Fincher's Gone Girl and Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice.
TASTY PLACES TO EAT
Pig Island; Erie Basin Park Waterfront
Barbecue heavyweights will go hog wild at the fifth annual all-you-can-eat event, serving slow-roasted, grilled and even fried pig to be washed down with bottomless Sixpoint craft beers, Finger Lakes wines and Hudson Valley hard ciders.
NYC Honey Week; Various locations
Loook out for city-wide honey and cheese tastings, chef-hosted dinners, infusion workshops, panel discussions and apiary tours at Gotham institutions like Murray’s Cheese, Brooklyn Grange, Brooklyn Kitchen and The Cleveland.
Taste Talks Brooklyn; Various locations
Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese, Mission Cantina) and Mario Batali co-host this year's three-day food festival featuring dinners and tastings, demonstrations with Brooks Headley and an All-Star BBQ with other cult-status chefs like Wylie Dufresne (wd~50, Alder), Alex Guarnaschelli (Butter) and
Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar).
New York Oyster Week; Various locations
Chefs at marquee fish houses and oyster bars curate special menus and pairings that highlight their unique take on the oyster.
Vendy Awards; Governors Island
Vote for your favorite street food chef—and feast all day—at the 10th-annual cook-off among food trucks, sidewalk carts and other local vendors.
ASTONISHING DANCE PERFORMANCES
Sep 9–Oct 14
National Ballet of Canada; David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center
The company performs Christopher Wheeldon's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Featuring costumes and sets by Bob Crowley and a score by Joby Talbot, the piece transforms Lewis Carroll's famous story into a story ballet.
Trajal Harrell; the Kitchen
As part of the Crossing the Line Festival, Harrell presents his entire Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning dance series at the Judson Church series over the course of a week. The pieces rewrite dance history by imagining what would happen if two monumental ’60s movements—Judson Church postmodernism and Harlem voguing—came together.
L.A. Dance Project; BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Benjamin Millepied—the former New York City Ballet principal and newly appointed artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet—unveils his west coast dance collective in its New York debut. The program includes Millepied's Reflections, Justin Peck's Murder Ballades and William Forsythe's Quintett.
Sep 23–Oct 4
Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion; Various locations
The NYLA resident choreographer explores the civil rights movement in two programs. "When the Wolves Came In," inspired by Max Roach’s 1960 protest album, We Insist: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, is a repertory collection that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 20th anniversary of the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. "The Watershed," an evening-length work for nine dancers, explores cross-cultural fights for freedom from the Civil War to the present day.
FANTASTIC SHOWS TO SEE
The Wayside Motor Inn; Pershing Square Signature Center
Elder dramatist A.R. Gurney gets his first production at the Signature’s new space: a revival of his 1978 motel play set outside of Boston.
Bootycandy; Playwrights Horizons
To be young, black and gay: writer-director Robert O’Hara finds hilarity and heartbreak in this anthology of interconnected sketches.
This Is Our Youth; Cort Theatre
Two post-adolescent New Yorkers in the ’80s get mixed up in drugs and stolen money. Michael Cera makes his Broadway debut in the Kenneth Lonergan play.
The Money Shot; Lucille Lortel Theatre
In his latest collaboration with MCC Theater, eternal provocateur Neil LaBute asks how far actors would go for a paycheck.
You Can’t Take It With You; Longacre Theatre
Kaufman and Hart’s comedy classic returns with a dream cast headed by James Earl Jones, who plays the delightfully nonconformist head of the Sycamore clan.
CONCERTS TO GO CRAZY AT
Karen O residency; The Manderley Bar & Le Poisson Rouge
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman plays four intimate hometown shows in honor of her solo debut, Crush Songs, which is out this week on Julian Casablancas's Cult Records.
King Crimson; Best Buy Theater
Of all the great prog-era dinosaurs still roaming the earth, Robert Fripp's 46-year-old art-rock institution has remained the most committed to reinvention. This time around, the group will debut a three-drummer septet lineup, dubbed a Seven-Headed Beast.
Replacements; Forest Hills Tennis Stadium
Too polished to be punk but too trashy to be pop, ’80s alt-rock pioneers the Replacements finally bring their reunion tour to NYC. Word has it that, even after 22 years, Paul Westerberg & Co. can still deliver the sloppily passionate goods.
Iggy Azalea; JBL Live at Pier 97
The Australian glamazon’s new single, “Black Widow,” sticks to the formula that made “Fancy” a summer smash. Love her or hate her, you can’t deny I-G-G-Y’s trashy allure.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters; BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
Led Zeppelin may be in the midst of a snazzy, full-catalog reissue campaign, but don't get your hopes up for a U.S. tour. This fall, leonine lead man Robert Plant is on the road with his current cross-cultural concern, the Sensational Space Shifters, touring behind a sensuous new African-tinged soul-meets-rock set, Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar.
INTERESTING AUTHOR EVENTS
Literary BFFs: Adam Wilson and Justin Taylor; McNally Jackson Books
David "Largehearted Boy" Gutowski brings two exceptional Brooklyn writers to his monthly series that proves writers are just regular people with BFFs, too.
An Evening with Edward Hirsch; The New School
Don't say we didn't warn you: Bring some tissues to hear poet Ed Hirsch read from and discuss his new book, Gabriel, in which he grapples with the loss of his son.
Women in Clothes book launch; The Powerhouse Arena
Join writers Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton to celebrate the publication of a one-of-a-kind hybrid book that explores how women relate to clothing, and bring five items from your own wardrobe for the clothing swap!
Ben Lerner in Conversation; The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Poet, novelist, professor, critic. Ben Lerner pretty much does it all—and does it well. Don't miss the award-winning writer when he stops by the "LIVE from the NYPL" series to talk about his new book, 10:04.
Harper Perennial Publishers 50th Anniversary Celebration; Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
One of today's best publishing imprints turns 50! Fete the occasion with some fabulous Harper Perennial authors, like Roxane Gay and Kate Zambreno, and free drinks (while they last).
COMEDY SHOWS TO CHECK OUT
Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Jokes; BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
The comedian, actor and director hits the stage for one night only to talk about all the trouble his jokes have caused.
Sasheer Zamata Party Time; Union Hall
Before she has to get back to work on SNL, this comedian gathers her funniest friends for an event that is equal parts party and comedy show.
Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival; Various locations
7th annual EMCF is the biggest and longest yet (organizers have added an additional day). Filled with stand-up and podcast tapings.
David Alan Grier; Carolines on Broadway
The comedy veteran and actor featured in In Living Color, Chocolate News and various Broadway shows heads to the stage to show off how unique and talented he really is.
The Daily Show Writers: A Non-Daily Show; UCBEast
Writers of the popular show put down their remotes and tell their jokes straight to you without their famous proxy.
WONDERFUL LGBT EVENTS
Tits of Clay; Mercury Lounge
Hedwig's band (a.k.a. the Angry Inch) strikes out on its own with this late-night downtown gig.
Bad with Money Out in theaters
Ben Rimalower (Patti Issues) is back to the Duplex with a harrowing new solo show about overspending and debt.
Thomas Knights, "Red Hot"; Bosi Contemporary
Thomas Knights's lush, sexy photos of redheads arrive in NYC, preceded by a wave of gay buzz.
Bushwig; Secret Project Robot
The north Brooklyn drag fest is bigger than ever, with two days of gender-bending shenanigans.
Circus Amok; Various locations
The queer, political circus delights audiences of all ages at parks around the city throughout September.
ACE PLACES TO SHOP
Housing Works Best of Fall sale; Various locations
This roving sale, taking place at the thrift store's various outposts throughout the month, features deep discounts on quality donated merch—including Prada shoes, Halston Heritage dresses and more.
Boris Bidjan Saberi; Soho
The luxury menswear designer brings his sleek and sporty looks to his first flagship boutique.
Ramy Brook; Nolita
This local line (known for its womenswear and handbags) is opening its first storefront in a tiny space in Nolita.
Yep, the preppy chain is opening in Billyburg—and will honor the 'hood by featuring locally-made furniture in the fitting rooms and works from mixed-media artist Johannes Girardoni behind the cash registers.
Sep (date TBA)
3.1 Phillip Lim; Noho
The big-time designer's new flagship will house his entire men's, women's and accessories collections.