101 things to do in New York City in the fall
Thu Sep 1 2011
Finally go back to school and learn a new language at FluentBrooklyn
Photograph: Paul Ramrez Jonas
Explore the birdlife of Freshkills Park
Get high-minded at BAM's Next Wave Festival
Photograph: Courtesy Smithsonian Institution
Meet the Muppets at MoMI
Photograph: Violet Brill
Hunt for 'shrooms in Central or Prospect Park
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Wander through the gardens of Wave Hill
Finally go back to school and learn a new language at FluentBrooklyn
81. Finally go back to school and learn a new language
Graduate school is expensive. And while it may teach you about torts or Cartesian philosophy, you can expand your mind for a fraction of the cost. Drop by FluentBrooklyn (or its outpost, FluentManhattan) for affordable ten-week courses in French, Spanish, Italian, German or Arabic taught by the kind of dreamy, young cosmopolitan that got you interested in languages in the first place. The sessions are on evenings and weekends, and taking the level one course will help you to speak confidently in the present tense. 143 Skillman Ave between Graham and Manhattan Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (fluentbrooklyn.com). Ten weeks/20 hours $285--$325.
82. Explore the birdlife of Freshkills Park
The former Staten Island landfill is being transformed into a natural refuge nearly three times the size of Central Park. Currently, the grounds are accessible only by NYC Parks--organized tours, so check out the area's fowl on a bus-and-walking expedition. Representatives from the Staten Island Museum and Freshkills Park will lead the two-hour walk around wetlands and meadows as you try to track down species like red-tailed hawks, northern harriers and meadowlarks. Meet at Eltingville Transit Center, 90--98 Wainwright Ave at Richmond Ave, Staten Island (212-788-8277). Next tour Sept 25 at 10:30am; free. Reservations required. To R.S.V.P., e-mail email@example.com or call 212-788-8277.
83. Get high-minded at BAM
Take your bookish self over to BAM's annual Next Wave Festival for a host of dance and musical performances, plays, discussions and more. We're particularly intrigued by the US premiere of a new adaptation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera (BAM Howard Gilman Opera House; Oct 4--8 7:30pm; $17.50--$110) and a talk entitled "Think You're Pretty Smart," wherein playwright Neil LaBute, philosopher Clancy Martin and others discuss the perks and travails of intelligence (BAMcaf; Sept 22 at 8pm; $10). BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn * BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St between Ashland and Rockwell Pls, Fort Greene, Brooklyn (718-636-4100, bam.org). Prices vary, see website for details. Sept 21--Dec 18.
84. Minigolf along the Hudson
Perfect your putting on this 13,000-square-foot course, which opened this year. Youngsters should get a kick out of smacking the ball among the waterfalls and footbridges, while you'll likely enjoy the view of the river. For more great places to play minigolf, check out our handy guide. Pier 25, Hudson River at North Moore Sts (hudsonriverpark.org). Daily 10am--10pm. $5, children under 14 $4.
85. Pretend to be master of all that you survey at a new park on Roosevelt Island
Situated between the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, Roosevelt Island (formerly Hog Island) is an ideal spot to take in the panoramic grandeur of our city. Do so from the newly opened 7.25-acre Southpoint Park, among the latest green spaces to set the stage for one of the world's best skylines. Other sights include Lighthouse Park, at the island's northern tip, which features a 50-foot-high stone lighthouse; Blackwell House (East Rd and Main St), one of the oldest historic farmhouses in NYC; and the classic diner Trellis (549 Main St, 212-752-1517). Take the iconic tram (59th St at Second Ave; Mon--Thu, Sun 6am--2am; Fri, Sat 6am--3:30am; $2.25), newly reopened and featured in Fiery Furnaces Eleanor Friedberger's homage to the isle, "Roosevelt Island." rioc.com
86. Go on an end-of-daylight-saving-time club crawl
You know when the club announces last call, and you wish you had just one more hour of boozing, dancing and fist pumping? It's a crummy feeling, we know. Luckily, on the night of Saturday, November 5, your wish comes true when the clocks turn back an hour at 2am. We suggest kicking off your trek at the stylish Sutra in the East Village, where turntablist extraordinaire Rob Flow spins everything from hip-hop to Latin beats for the always packed room (16 First Ave between 1st and 2nd Sts; 212-677-9477, sutranyc.com; Nov 5 at 10pm; free). Then head just a few blocks downtown to the appropriately named Lower East Side den Dark Room for new wave and goth cuts, and a young, hot scene (165 Ludlow St between E Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-353-0536; Nov 5 6pm--4am; free). Afterward, hop over the East River to polish off the night by getting down to funky Afro rhythms at Bembe, which lies under the Williamsburg Bridge (81 South 6th St at Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-387-5389, bembe.us; Nov 5 10pm--4am; free).
87. Meet the Muppets
Delve into the universe of The Muppet Show—and Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street and other timeless creations from the mind of Jim Henson—at the Museum of the Moving Image. "Jim Henson's Fantastic World" includes everything from the puppeteer's illustrations from the '50s to pieces from the set of The Dark Crystal, as well as special programs such as "Muppet Music Moments" (Sept 24, 25 1pm; free with museum admission), a screening of classic Muppet Show sing-alongs and performances by guest stars like Elton John and Linda Ronstadt. 36-01 35th Ave at 37th St, Astoria, Queens (718-777-6888, movingimage.us). Through Jan 16; $12, seniors and students $9, children 3--18 $6, members and children under 3 free; film tickets free with museum admission.
88. Hunt for 'shrooms in Central or Prospect Park
There are plenty of workshops that will teach you how to grow your own food; fewer will show you how to find it in the wild. Learn to forage in the city's green spaces on this four-hour walking tour led by environmental educator "Wildman" Steve Brill. You'll look for natural ingredients both edible and medicinal, including seasonal items like apples, nuts and mushrooms. Location and time vary; visit wildmanstevebrill.com for more information. Suggested donation $20, children $10; reservations required.
89. Expand your knowledge of Indian culture beyond Trader Joe's frozen paneer during the Diwali Festival of Lights
Help commemorate the end of king and deity Rama's 14 years of exile alongside hundreds of local Indian-Americans during this annual extravaganza. Fashion, music, educational programming and other activities make this one of the largest culturally-Indian events in the city, and it has been going strong for over two decades. South Street Seaport, 19 Fulton St at Front St (212-732-7678, southstreetseaport.com). Oct 2; free.
90. Wander through the gardens of Wave Hill
People sometimes forget that the Bronx isn't all just pinstripes and fish markets. There are actually some rather lovely parts to it, like this 28-acre oasis on the Hudson. Enjoy terrific views of the Palisades, a rainbow of foliage and, for early risers, free admission every Saturday from 9am to noon. W 249th St at Independence Ave, Bronx (718-549-3200, wavehill.org). Tue--Sun 9am--5:30pm; $8, seniors and students $4, children 6--12 $2, children under 6 free. Tue, Sat 9am--noon free.