101 things to do in New York City in the fall 2013

Clear your schedule: Our fall calendar of things to do in New York—festivals, parades, shows, new activities and more—will fill your planner through November.



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  • 11. Catch a reading at Live from the NYPL, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

  • Photograph: Paul B. Goode

    12. Celebrate Fall for Dance Festival's tenth anniversary, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

  • Photograph: Paul Kolnik

    13. Check out New York City Ballet's fall season, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall. Pictured: Benjamin Millepied in the studio at NYCB.

  • Photograph: Pari Dukovic

    14. Find mind-bending culture (case in point, the Anna Nicole opera) at the BAM Next Wave Festival, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

  • Photograph: © Steve Lambert

    15. Weigh in on capitalism during the Crossing the Line festival, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall. Pictured: Capitalism Works For Me! (True/False) by Steve Lambert, appears in Times Square as part of Crossing the Line 2013

  • Photograph: Alexis Devaney

    16. See Brooklyn Bridge Park transform into a gallery for Photoville, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

  • Photograph: Robert Ascroft

    17. Break out the hankies for Romeo and Juliet on Broadway, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

  • 18. See Russell Brand's Messiah Complex tour, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

  • Photgraph: Alex John Beck

    19. Catch Vampire Weekend, Solange and Sky Ferreira on the same bill at Barclays Center, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

  • Photograph: Phyllis B. Dooney

    20. Watch the German-American Steuben Parade, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall

11. Catch a reading at Live from the NYPL, one of the best things to do in New York in the fall


Books: Live from the NYPL

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The New York Public Library isn’t just any old library, and this semiannual reading series proves it. Venerable readers and performers this fall and winter include book-world luminaries like Margaret Atwood (Sept 17), John Ashbery (Sept 19), and Toni Morrison and Junot Díaz (Dec 12). You can also catch Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger (Sept 25), billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett (Oct 23), composer Nico Muhly in conversation with Ira Glass (Oct 29), and culinary legend Alice Waters (Nov 18), among others.

  1. Fifth Ave, (at 42nd St)
  2. Various dates, Tue Sep 17 - Thu Dec 12
More info

Dance: New York City Ballet Fall 2013

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The company's fall season spotlights a premiere by Angelin Preljocaj. Other highlights include a contemporary program that includes pieces by Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky, ballet master Peter Martins's Swan Lake, a special program designed for families and—as always—a variety of wonderful, classic Balanchine works.

  1. David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center) 20 Lincoln Center Plaza, at 63rd St
  2. Tue Sep 17 - Sun Oct 13
More info

Arts & Culture: BAM Next Wave Festival

  • Critics choice

As any shrewd local will tell you, when temperatures cool down, culture heats up in Fort Greene thanks to the Next Wave Festival. Big names in various mediums perform throughout this this 30th edition. Music buffs, listen up for maverick composer Fred Ho's Muhammad Ali–themed Sweet Science Suite or Questlove's electronic-music tribute, Electronium. Discerning dance fans, keep an eye out for a new interpretation of Stravinsky's modernist classic Rite of Spring courtesy of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company. Theater enthusiasts, don't miss Nosferatu, a creepy take on the Dracula legend via Grzegorz Jarzyna. And pop-culture fiends, attain lowbrow-highbrow nirvana with Anna Nicole, pictured, an opera based on the late doomed beauty queen. Whatever show you choose, you'll leave energized and enthused about the limitless scope of the Brooklyn arts scene.

  1. Various BAM venues
  2. Sep 17 2013 - Dec 22 2013

Arts & Culture: Crossing the Line

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The French Institute Alliance Français’s seventh annual fall festival brings an intriguing offering of theater, dance, art and talks to the institution's home base and at sites across New York. Much of the program invites public participation, notably Capitalism Works for Me! (True/False) by Steve Lambert. The piece will erect an illuminated sign in Times Square (Sept 20, Oct 6–9) and ask passers-by to vote on the statement. In Spokaoke, Passing Strange director Annie Dorsen has added a playlist of speeches—ranging from MLK Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" to "Should All Oppressed People be Allowed Refuge in America" from the film Clueless—to the offerings in Karaoke Cave (Sept 21–Oct 13). Visit fiaf.org for a complete schedule.

  1. Various venues
  2. Thu Sep 19 - Sun Oct 13
More info

Things to Do: Photoville

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Kings County exhibition producer United Photo Industries takes over Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 to create a pop-up village honoring the art of picture taking. This year's festival also includes a beer garden dispensing Brooklyn Brewery suds. Peruse 45 shipping containers, which provide venues for curated gallery installations—from photojournalism chronicling Liberia's civil war to Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner's intimate on-the-road shots of his fellow band members—and interactive workshops, as well as panel discussions with photographers, editors and publishers. Then wander past a 1,000-foot-long fence displaying 200 large-form prints made out of photographic mesh that correspond to the theme "Community: Home/Street/People/Creatures/Play."

  1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Main St, at Fulton Ferry Landing, 11201
  2. Thu Sep 19 - Sun Sep 29
More info

Theater: Romeo and Juliet

  • Price band: 4/4

Shakespeare’s timeless romantic tragedy returns for a contemporary stage revival, starring Hollywood pretty boy Orlando Bloom. It marks the Broadway debut of the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean star, who will play Montague to Tony nominee Condola Rashad’s Capulet. In David Leveaux’s modernized staging, the star-crossed lovers are divided by racial tensions (didn’t West Side Story already cover that…?), though they’ll still employ the Bard’s original language. It’s the play’s first time on the Great White Way in 36 years, so get those hankies ready.

  1. Richard Rodgers Theatre 226 W 46th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Opens Thu Sep 19
Buy tickets

Comedy: Russell Brand: Messiah Complex

  • Critics choice

Rigorous intellect and magnetic presence Russell Brand embarks on his first world tour, provocatively titled the Messiah Complex. He will discuss the lives (and, more importantly, afterlives) of Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi, Che Guevara and Jesus in his stand-up set (which he was banned from bringing to Dubai and Lebanon).

  1. The Town Hall 123 W 43rd St, between Sixth Ave and Broadway
  2. Thu Sep 19
More info

Music: Vampire Weekend + Solange + Sky Ferreira

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

First: the charming album. Second: the clever and charming album. Third: This year's triumphant Modern Vampires of the City is Vampire Weekend's most charming, smart full length to date. Don't pass up the chance to see NYC's preppiest heroes in action, playing on home turf tonight in the splendid company of It girls Solange Knowles and Sky Ferreira.

  1. Barclays Center 620 Atlantic Ave, at Flatbush Ave, 11217
  2. Fri Sep 20
Buy tickets

Things to Do: German-American Steuben Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This annual march is named for General Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who helped out George Washington in a little scuffle known as the American Revolution. The parade continues to honor German immigrants and their descendants with plenty of dirndls and lederhosen, and beer steins at a ticketed (and sold out) Oktoberfest after-party in Central Park. Fifth Ave from 68th St to 86th St. Visit germanparadenyc.org for more information.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Sat Sep 21
More info

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