101 things to do in New York City in the fall
Thu Sep 1 2011
Photograph: Paul Warchol
Make the city more comfy at the BMW Guggenheim Lab
Photograph: Roxana Marroquin
Brew your own beer. Pictured: Brooklyn Brew Shop's Erica Shea and Stephen Valand
Sit in on chats with arts heavyweights
Get a fashion education. Pictured: Shoe by Alexander McQueen
Relive Broadway's glory years on Broadway
Photograph: Jeff Gurwin courtesy The NY Chocolate Show/Event International
Indulge at the Chocolate Show
Photograph: Squared Design Lab
Pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial
Get your hands dirty at the World Maker Faire
Photograph: Paul Warchol
Make the city more comfy at the BMW Guggenheim Lab
11. Make the city more comfy at the BMW Guggenheim Lab
The uptown institution stakes out a temporary downtown claim on an unused piece of city parks land, to foster ideas about better urban planning. Screenings, meditation sessions, talks from renowned thinkers and a pop-up caf run by Brooklyn eatery Roberta's will keep the open-air space abuzz through the fall. E Houston St at Second Ave (bmwguggenheimlab.org). Wed, Thu 1--9pm; Fri 1--10pm; Sat, Sun 10am--10pm; through Oct 16; free.
12. Scope out the new Madison Square Garden
You may have noticed that an eerie quiet overtook the Garden this summer. That's because the arena was undergoing the beginnings of an $850 million renovation that'll shutter it every off-season for the next two years. This fall, MSG will be able to show off the first phase in time for Rangers games (who knows if the Knicks will even get to play). Improvements include a revamped Seventh Avenue entrance, new seats for the lower bowl, fancy premium boxes, and more concessions and bathrooms. Sports will start up at the Garden in October, but you'll also be able to see the changes at concerts, such as Katy Perry's gig on November 16. 4 Pennsylvania Plaza (Seventh Ave) between 31st and 33rd Sts (212-465-6741, thegarden.com)
13. Brew your own beer
Fall is the best time to brew your own alcoholic tipple. Compared with the sweltering summer, the climate in your apartment should be more friendly to the fermentation process (the ideal temperature for ale yeasts is between 65 and 75 degrees). But to take advantage of these favorable conditions, you'll need equipment. Brooklyn Brew Shop (brooklynbrewshop.com) sells convenient one-gallon brewing kits (equipment plus ingredients) in varieties like Everyday IPA and Chocolate Maple Porter ($40). One place you can buy the packages in person is the Beer Room at Whole Foods Bowery (95 E Houston St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-420-1320, wholefoodsmarket.com; daily 8am--11pm), which carries a wealth of other hardware, such as five-gallon fermenters, siphon tubes and air locks. In addition to supplies, brew shop Bitter & Esters (700 Washington Ave between Prospect Pl and St. Marks Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; 917-596-7261, citybrewshop.com; Tue--Sun noon--8pm) offers a Homebrewing Essentials class that'll take you through the process step-by-step (Sept 4, 17, Oct 2 at 2pm; $55).
14. Indulge at the Chocolate Show
You'll spoil your sweet tooth rotten at this cocoa expo, where more than 65 companies will showcase their sugary wares. Taste your way around stands from Valrhona, 2 Chicks with Chocolate and Xocolatti before hitting the demonstration theaters to watch the likes of Zac Young (Top Chef Just Desserts) and Serena Palumbo (The Next Food Network Star) at work. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (chocolateshow.com). Nov 10--12 10am--7pm, Nov 13 10am--6pm; $30--$40.
15. Sit in on chats with arts heavyweights
The New Yorker Festival returns for its 12th year of conversations between the mag's scribes and cultural luminaries. We're particularly jazzed for tell-all talks with Owen Wilson (Directors Guild of America, 110 W 57th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-581-0370; Oct 1 at 10pm; $35), glam-rockers Scissor Sisters (Gramercy Theatre, 127 E 23rd St between Park Ave South and Lexington Ave; 212-777-6800; Oct 1 at 10pm; $35) and director David Cronenberg (SVA Theatre, 333 W 23rd St between Eighth and Ninth Aves; 212-592-2980; Oct 1 at 4pm; $30). Set an alarm for Sept 9, when tickets go on sale, and snap them up fast. Location, time and price vary; visit newyorker.com/festival for details.
16. Get a fashion education
All amped up after seeing the Alexander McQueen show at the Met, but confused about where to direct your fashion curiosity? One good place to start this fall would be the "Daphne Guinness" exhibit at the Museum at FIT. Guinness—a fashion patron and designer who has inspired such iconic creators as McQueen and Karl Lagerfeld—cocurated this survey of approximately 100 pieces from her closet, including designs from Christian Lacroix, Tom Ford and Gareth Pugh. Seventh Ave at 27th St (212-217-4558, fitnyc.edu/museum). Tue--Fri noon--8pm, Sat 10am--5pm. Sept 16--Jan 7. Free.
17. Relive Broadway's glory years on Broadway
At a time when revivals of Stephen Sondheim masterpieces are hobbled by orchestras that are too small (cough, cough, A Little Night Music), a new staging of his 1971 classic Follies makes for a refreshing change. A 28-piece pit accompanies star Bernadette Peters, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein and Elaine Paige in Sondheim and James Goldman's gorgeous ode to Broadway's faded glories. Marquis Theatre, 1535 Broadway at 46th St (877-250-2929, folliesbroadway.com). $47--$137, premium $225--$275.
18. Get your hands dirty at the World Maker Faire
This gathering brings together individuals obsessed with crafts, technology and science. Participants will display human-sized mousetraps, creatively adorned chariots constructed from bicycles and other vehicles, and robotic creations of every ilk. There's no shortage of participatory activities: You can get your hands on compressed air rockets and marshmallow canons, or get schooled at a lock-picking workshop for aspiring cat burglers. New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th St at 47th Ave, Flushing Meadows--Corona Park, Flushing, Queens (707-827-7074, makerfaire.com). Sept 17 10am--7pm, Sept 18 10am--6pm. $25, seniors $20, students $15, children 2—7 $18, children under 2 free. Weekend passes: $50, seniors $40, students $30, children 2—17 $10, children under 2 free. Advance tickets available at makerfaire.com through Sept 8.
19. Pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial
The official monument debuts on the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001, with a special ceremony planned for the relatives of those who were lost. It opens to the public the following day, with reservations required for admission. Among the elements visitors will see are two pools in the footprints of the original Twin Towers, each surrounded by bronze plaques inscribed with the names of those who died on 9/11 and during the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. The 9/11 Memorial, enter at Albany and Greenwich Sts (212-312-8800, 911memorial.org). Sept 12--Jan 8: Mon--Fri 10am--8pm; Sat, Sun 9am--8pm. Jan 8--Mar 2012: Daily 10am--6pm. Free; advance reservations required.
20. Support a good cause and burn some calories at Bike MS NYC
With the economy still in the doldrums, nonprofits need more support than ever. Sign up for this ride and you'll get to circle Manhattan—taking a 30-, 50- or 100-mile route—and raise funds for the National MS Society to help find the cause and a cure for MS. This year will be the last time participants get to ride through the Lincoln Tunnel, so if you've ever wondered what it's like to haul ass under the Hudson River on two wheels, now is the time. Meet at Pier 94, Hudson River at 55th St (bikemsnyc.org). Oct 2 at 7:30am. Before Sept 24 $50, Sept 24--Oct 1 $100; plus $150 fund-raising minimum. Registration required.