101 things to do in New York City in the fall
Thu Sep 1 2011
Tickle your funny bone at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Coo over dogs in costumes
Photograph: Loren Wohl
See a slew of indie-rock bands
Photograph: Eric Harvey Brown
Run around with a broomstick during the Quidditch World Cup
Cavort with the beautiful people at Fashion's Night Out
See stars at the New York Film Festival. Pictured: The Descendents
Tickle your funny bone at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival
21. Tickle your funny bone at the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival
Expect plenty of snarky shenanigans during the Brooklyn comic's eponymous extravaganza, which showcases the talents of alt-comedy stalwarts across two venues. A Kickstarter campaign is funding unusual events to bolster the entertainment, like a petting zoo and an awkward party bus. Among this year's goofy offerings are "An Evening of Science," during which hip astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson will explain scientific phenomena to Kristen Schaal, John Oliver (unless the Daily Show sends him elsewhere) and Mirman, and a variety hour dedicated to FX spy spoof Archer, featuring songs and dancing from the show's cast. Location, times and prices vary; visit eugenemirmancomedyfestival.com for more info. Sept 15--18.
22. Coo over dogs in costumes
The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you'll have to head east for the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade. The getups themselves are remarkably elaborate and high-concept. Last year, we saw dogs dressed as Mr. Potato Head, a character from Tron and as Breakfast at Tiffany's (one of the iconic shop's boxes provided the bulk of the outfit). Enterprising owners stand to win an iPod Touch if their pooch is selected Best in Show, so start planning Fido's outfit now. Ave A between 7th and 10th Sts (firstrunfriends.org). Oct 22 at noon; suggested donation $5.
23. See a slew of indie-rock bands
Over a mere five-day spell, the annual CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival stages more than 1,000 gigs throughout the city. Catch established acts like Eleanor Friedberger (of Fiery Furnaces fame) and Wild Flag at Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-260-4700, boweryballroom.com; Oct 18 at 7:30pm; $15), the sweat-inducing Brazilian outfit CSS (with support from MEN and EMA) at Webster Hall (125 E 11th St between Third and Fourth Aves; 212-260-4700, bowerypresents.com; Oct 22 at 6pm; $25, advance $20) and others. Location, time and price vary; see cmj.com for details (212-235-7027). Oct 18--22.
24. Watch the Macy's Parade balloon inflation
While millions of people around the nation watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television, we lucky New Yorkers get to experience the event in person. Our tip? Instead of being jostled by a crowd of 3 million spectators on November 24, turn up the day before to see the enormous balloons being inflated with helium in preparation for the march. The best time to visit is late in the evening when the gigantic characters like Spider-Man, Sailor Mickey, Hello Kitty and Sonic the Hedgehog will have taken shape. 79th St at Columbus Ave (macys.com/parade). Nov 23 3--10pm; free.
25. Screw the haters—sip a pumpkin-flavored brew
Pumpkin beer is a divisive drink—some people love it; others find it cloying and gross. We're staunchly pro pumpkin, especially since there are several beers that buck the stereotype and skillfully incorporate the gourd. A perennial favorite is Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, a not-too-sweet version of the drink sold at Bierkraft (191 Fifth Ave between Berkeley Pl and Union St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-230-7600, bierkraft.com; single bottle $3.75, four-pack $13.95). After the success of last year's Pumpkin Brewster, Sixpoint will debut a new seasonal quaff, Autumnation, on September 21. Not only will it be on tap at bars around the city, it'll also be available in the brewery's 16-ounce cans. And Greenport Harbor Brewing Company will release its Leaf Pile beer (which is also flavored with nutmeg and vanilla) on September 1. Head to the brewery's headquarters in Long Island to pick up a growler.
26. Run around with a broomstick during the Quidditch World Cup
Do you think that because the Harry Potter series has ended, people were going to stop playing Muggle Quidditch? You would be sorely mistaken. In November, more than 100 teams from across the country will descend on Randalls Island to throw Quaffles around. The game itself resembles a cross between lacrosse and basketball, but with players carrying brooms around. Watch all the teams march into Icahn Stadium (in costume!) during the opening ceremony, and later that evening, catch a performance from a to-be-announced musical act. Randalls Island (worldcupquidditch.com). Nov 12, 13 at 10am; $4--$99.99.
27. Cavort with the beautiful people at Fashion's Night Out
For one night a year, shoppers can stay out late and mingle with some of the big names in fashion: More than 1,000 local shops will keep their doors open until 11pm, hosting sales and events and enabling celebrity sightings ranging from Heidi Klum to Joe Jonas. Check out our picks for the ten best participating stores. Location and time vary, visit fashionsnightout.com for details. Sept 8; free.
28. See stars at the New York Film Festival
Cinastes should flock to the 49th installment of this fest, which hosts screenings at three venues on the Upper West Side. The big-ticket draws this year are Alexander Payne's The Descendants, a George Clooney--starring dramedy that marks the director's first feature since Sideways; My Week with Marilyn, wherein Michelle Williams channels the blond bombshell; and Roman Polanski's dark comedy Carnage, starring Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly. Other don't-miss entries include Martin Scorsese's doc George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Pedro Almodvar's The Skin I Live In and provocateur Lars von Trier's Melancholia. Location, time and price vary; see filmlinc.com for details. Sept 30--Oct 16.
29. Behold the world's largest fleet of floating vegetables at the Pumpkin Sail in Central Park
A flotilla of illuminated carved gourds (including yours) will be launched on the Harlem Meer at twilight as the centerpiece of this annual Halloween celebration. Check the website in October for weight requirements and other stipulations, then drop off your artistic endeavor before 6pm—the Central Park Conservancy will provide the tea light and flotation device. Central Park, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, enter at 110th St and Fifth Ave (212-860-1370, centralparknyc.org). Oct 23 4--7pm; free.
30. Watch thousands of crazy people run the New York City Marathon
Stake out a spot to see the more than 45,000 people expected to run the annual race. For an especially good race-watching perch, situate yourself along Fourth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn; First Avenue between 60th and 96th Streets in Manhattan; or Central Park South near the finish line. Get there early to see the front-runners (the elite women and men start at 9:10 and 9:40am, respectively), or later in the day as amateurs flood the streets. Locations vary (nycmarathon.org). Nov 6 at 9:10am; free to watch.