Fall in New York: Festivals, election fever, new venues and more

Get the lowdown on Brooklyn’s new arena, a new park and the American Museum of Natural History’s culinary exhibit with our preview of fall in New York.



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  • Photograph: Courtesy SHoP Architects

    Barclays Center

  • Photograph: Courtesy www.amiaga.com

    FDR Four Freedoms Park

  • Photograph: Courtesy 92nd Street Y

    Michael Steele

Photograph: Courtesy SHoP Architects

Barclays Center

Fall in New York brings a wealth of things to do. See a concert or a game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, take in views of Manhattan and the East River from Roosevelt Island’s new park, and sharpen your political know-how at the 92nd Street Y’s Campaign for the American Conversation series.

RECOMMENDED: Complete guide to Fall in New York

Barclays Center

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Jay-Z inaugurates the 675,000-square-foot arena by headlining eight already sold-out nights between Sept 28 and Oct 6. For anyone who’s not a Hova disciple like we are (he’s one of our top concert picks), the venue’s strong fall lineup offers more A-list bookings, including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Justin Bieber, Journey, Rush, the Who and Barbra Streisand. Sports fans get their first look during an Islanders vs. Devils preseason hockey game on Oct 2. But the building’s true raison d’être comes to fruition on Nov 1, when the Brooklyn Nets—hoping to improve on their 2011 last-place Atlantic division finish—host crosstown rivals the Knicks to open the basketball season.

  1. 620 Atlantic Ave, (at Flatbush Ave)
Book online

FDR Four Freedoms Park

It’s been 40 years since Mayor John Lindsay and Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller announced this memorial to commemorate President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941 address to Congress. Set to finally open this October, the four-acre green space on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island was designed by renowned architect Louis I. Kahn and anchors a large waterfront space along the East River. History buffs will enjoy reading about Roosevelt’s leadership on a digital network accessible through the park’s Wi-Fi, while others can appreciate the serene grounds dotted with 120 linden trees and views of the Manhattan skyline.

  1. Roosevelt Island
More info

Election 2012

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Before you head to the polls on Nov 6, get a primer on hotly debated topics at one of the 92nd Street Y’s Campaign for the American Conversation events: The fall series kicks off Sept 9 with “The Unconvention: A Soundbite-Free Evening of Political Talk from Left, Right and Center” (7pm; $10). Speakers include former Indiana governor and U.S. senator Evan Bayh, ex–Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele, HuffPost Live host Abby Huntsman and BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith. Legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward (Sept 27) and economist Joseph Stiglitz (Oct 3) are also slated to make appearances. 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St at Canal St (212-601-1000, 92ytribeca.org.) • 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave between 91st and 92nd Sts (212-415-5500, 92y.org). Times and prices vary; visit the website for details.

“Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture”

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The American Museum of Natural History’s ongoing Adventures in the Global Kitchen series has explored molecular gastronomy, tequila, why French women don’t get fat and more. Next, prepare for an investigation into human nutrition at this wide-ranging showcase: Displays will look at early diet staples and the history of agriculture, as well as current environmental, health and safety concerns relating to the food industry. While parts of the exhibit aren’t particularly appetizing—challenges of feeding the global population are more sobering—it’ll still satisfy your culinary curiosity.

  1. American Museum of Natural History Central Park West, at 79th St
  2. Sun Aug 11
More info

New Yorker Festival

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Get your ticket-purchasing finger ready now: This collection of events featuring New Yorker writers, editors, cartoonists, and many of their subjects from television, music, film and literature sells out quickly. Details for this year’s schedule are still under lock and key, but you can count on of-the-moment discussions and screenings similar to last year’s marquee events, which featured Amy Poehler, Zach Galifianakis, Andy Borowitz and Janet Malcolm. Here’s what we know for sure: The new lineup includes performances by three local acoustic ensembles or indie singer-songwriters who will be chosen to play at Joe’s Pub, the festival’s official hangout. Locations, times and prices vary; visit newyorker.com/festival for details.

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