47 totally excellent things to do in NYC this September

Written by
David Goldberg

Stupendous Things To Do

Aug 29–Sept 13                          
US Open various locations, Queens 
All eyes are on Queens as tennis addicts from around the world fill the stands to watch the best athletes in tennis face off.

Sept 5–7, 12, 13
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park becomes a seven-day hub for artists from all over the world to show their work. Prepare to fight for your favorite pieces of handmade jewelry, metal, ceramics, graphics, oils and acrylics. 

Sept 4­–6
Electric Zoo Festival Randalls Island Park
For the seventh year in a row, Randalls Island Park will become a Day-Glo dance wasteland, with EDM fans losing their minds to acts like the Chemical Brothers, Alesso and Pete Tong.

Sept 19–Oct 5
Oktoberfest throughout New York City
New York City certainly knows how to celebrate the world’s favorite Bavarian beerfest. You’ll need at least a month to recover from events like the German-American Steuben Parade on Sept 19 or Ompahfest on Sept 20, along with block parties and themed food specials all over the city. 

Sept 20
Brooklyn Book Festival around Borough Hall, Brooklyn
Reinforce your totes for this all-day book bash because after passing through dozens of panels, readings and, of course, books, you’ll have enough reading to take home for the next year. This years slate of guests includes Dennis Lehane, Jon Ronson, Tracy K. Smith and Mona Eltahawy.

Lovely Theatre and Movies 

Sept 8
Spring Awakening Brooks Atkinson Theatre
The 2006 musical about teens tortured by sexual longing returns to Broadway in an innovative, new production.

Aug 20–Oct 4
The Legend of Georgia McBride Lucille Lortel Theatre
How does an Elvis impersonator become a drag queen in Florida? Check out this tune-filled new comedy to find out!

Sept 6–27
Isolde Theatre for a New Audience, Brooklyn
Minimalist writer-director Richard Maxwell explores marriage and infidelity in this stylish and mesmerizing new drama.

Sept 11–Oct 18
Fondly, Collette Richland New York Theatre Workshop
For the first time ever, surrealist playwright Sibyl Kempson teams up with the dauntless troupe Elevator Repair Service. Weirdness ensues. 

Sept 11
Sleeping with Other People opens in theaters
The rom-com is back! Bachelorette writer-director Leslye Headland, an obvious connoisseur of the genre, ropes in Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie for this seemingly traditional (but irreverently lewd) When Harry Met Sally riff about two Manhattan friends who are desperately trying not to screw up their friendship by screwing each other.   

Sept 11
The Visit opens in theaters
Why do we continue to hold out hope for M. Night Shyamalan? Chastened after multiple flops in a row, he’s back with a self-produced horror-comedy that might feel closer in spirit to The Sixth Sense.

Sept 16
Pawn Sacrifice opens in theaters
Paranoid American chess champ Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) faces off against Russia’s supercool Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber) in a Cold War confrontation that’s equal parts psychothriller and Mad Men–esque period drama.

Sept 17–Nov 29
Old Times American Airlines Theatre
Harold Pinter is famous for his characters' enigmatic pauses, and you’ll find plenty of them in this tale of a husband, wife and visiting friend.

Sept 18
Black Mass opens in theaters
What’s this? Johnny Depp in an actual performance, unadorned by some wacky neck scarf or magical kookiness? Believe it. Depp turns his considerable intensity to the role of real-life Boston crime kingpin Whitey Bulger.

Sept 25
The Intern opens in theaters
Director Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated) is back with a gentle comedy about a cutting-edge fashion e-store that, in a moment of generosity, takes on a senior-age intern, played by Robert De Niro.

Glorious Eats

Sept 10–27
New York Oyster Week various locations
This annual, three-week extravaganza features 15 oystercentric workshops, tastings and parties where you'll immerse yourself in the journey those succulent bivalves take from dock to dish. You'll also feast on oyster pairings at 20 of the city's top shucking-and-slurping haunts like Oceana, Lure Fishbar and The John Dory Oyster Bar. 

Sept 12
Pig Island Ikea Erie Basin Park
Twenty-five of NYC's pit power houses will break down more than 30 nose-to-tail hogs for the sixth episode of this all-you-can-eat pork fete. Soak up the porcine offerings—including whole Laotian hog and pulled pork sammies—with unlimited whisky from High West and Van Brunt Stillhouse. 

Sept 12
Vendy Awards Governors Island
The Oscars of street food returns to Governors Island with nominees turning out cuisine from all corners of the globe. Make your way through bites like Guandong Cheong Fun's Cantonese rice noodles, Greek skewers from Astoria's Souvlaki Lady and grilled cheese from newcomer Snowday before casting your ballot for the next food truck champ. 

Sept 17
Harvest in the Square Union Square Park
Celebrate 20 years of Union Square's annual chef-and-sommelier affair tapping the bounty of seasonal harvest for bites to be perfectly paired with local brews. Your do-good ticket does more than feed you—proceeds go toward maintaining the park and its community events.  

Sept 24
WhiskyFest New York Marriott Marquis
This yearly booze bacchanal pours out more than 350 different kinds of whiskies, bourbons and scotches culled from distilleries in North America, Europe and Asia. After wetting your whistle with top-shelf labels like Pappy Van Winkle and Duncan Taylor, you'll have a chance to get schooled on the craft by industry icons like Dr. Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie. 

Beautiful Dance Performances

Sept 10–12
I Am Capitalism The Kitchen
Koosil-ja makes dances that force your brain to contort itself into unfamiliar shapes, and this foray into political commentary will no doubt be as elliptical and challenging as all her other work. 

Sept 11–26
Whistleblower Dixon Place
It would be unpatriotic to miss Mark Dendy Project's dance-portrait of the imprisoned Chelsea Manning, who journeyed across ethical boundaries to expose state secrets.

Sept 9–12
So Blue New York Live Arts
The astonishing Canadian dancer-choreographer Louise Lecavalier is only 56, but her tough, philosophical, electric dancing (here in her first full-length composition) will make you think her spirit is far older.

Sept 16–26
The Age & Beauty Series Crossing the Line festival
Miguel Gutierrez puts the finishing piece on his hilariously (and devastatingly) honest trilogy about life as a postmodern master artist—all three parts explode in glittery triumph at New York Live Arts.

September 14–21
Tree of Codes Park Avenue Armory
This is the kind of hypercool, cross-genre masterwork that makes the Armory so valuable: Where else can we see work by the great choreographer Wayne McGregor in a supersaturated environment created by überartist Olafur Eliasson? 

Gorgeous Art

Sept 10–Oct 24
Mike Kelley Hauser & Wirth New York, 18th St
Close readers of Superman comics may recall that shortly before the destruction of his home world Krypton, super baddie Braniac captured Kandor, Krypton’s capitol, by shrinking it with a miniaturizing ray, and sealing it in a bottle. Subsequently, Superman rescued Kandor, and kept the Lilliputian city in his Fortress of Solitude as a reminder of home. Among other works, this show assembles the complete series of sculptures by Mike Kelley (1954–2012), riffing on the image of this lost Kryptonian metropolis. The works are, among other things, about imprisonment, but also a meditation on memory, and on the talismans we keep to remind us of the past as we struggle with a difficult present.

Sept 14–Feb 7
Picasso Sculpture” MoMA
Although Picasso was known as a painter, his sculptures included some of the most groundbreaking art of the 20th-century. He employed planar constructions and readymades well before they became staples of Modern Art. This show surveys sculptural works and his career-long engagement with a medium he transformed.  

Sept 11–Oct 17
Christian Marclay Paula Cooper Gallery
Marclay’s video, The Clock—a 24-hour montage of film clips that’s a functional timepiece, ticking down the seconds, minutes and hours in a day—took the world by storm five years ago, but since then, the artist has returned to an ongoing theme he’s worked on since the early years of his career: onomatopoeic sound-effect words taken from cartoons and comic books. His latest piece incorporates the same, animating them as an immersive video installation projected onto four surrounding walls. The kicker is that the video is silent, requiring viewers to imagine the sounds in their own minds.

Sept 11–Oct 17
“Chuck Close: Recent Work” Pace Gallery
Close has occupied himself in recent decades with giant self-portraits rendered with a vocabulary of Expressionist marks that still convincingly recalled a photo when seen from a distant. Here, he embarks on a new approach that recalls his original one back in the 1970s, when he broke images down into fine grids, and used color separation to create hyperrealistic paintings that looked photographic even up close. These newest works aren’t nearly as high-res, but they do employ similar techniques to achieve their effect.   

Sept 16–Jan 3
“Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits” New Museum of Contemporary Art
There’s been a great deal of interest lately in the artists of the Chicago Imagist School, and while names such as Jim Nutt, Karl Wirsum and Ed Paschke may be familiar to aficionados, Barbara Rossi most likely is not. This revival offers an opportunity to catch up with her work, which bears all the hallmarks of the Chicago style—especially, a figurative approach that combines Surrealism and Pop Art with a taste for the grotesque. Most notable are her brightly colored, finely rendered paintings on Plexiglas.

Sick Concerts 

Sept 8–11
Thee Oh Sees Bowery Ballroom and Warsaw
Every show from crazy California garage rockers is a sweltering party. Here frontman John Dwyer turns up behind this spring's Mutilator Defeated At Last.

Sept 12
Death Cab for Cutie + Explosions in the Sky Madison Square Garden
Ben Gibbard and Co. take their winsome indie-rock to the Garden. The group is touring behind its eighth LP, Kintsugi, but expect some throwback hits as well.

Sept 18
Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters Hammerstein Ballroom (at the Manhattan Center)
The Led Zeppelin frontman is still at it; catch Plant here fronting a crack squad of musicians in support of last year's lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar.

Sept 26, 27
Ariana Grande Barclays Center
The young doughnut-licking diva returns for another huge stadium spectacle in support of her 2014 record, My Everything. Turn up to sing-along to hits like “Problem,” “Break Free” and “Love Me Harder." 

Sept 29
Chvrches Central Park, Rumsey Playfield
The Scottish indie-pop trio visits Central Park behinds its sophomore effort, Every Open Eye. Their synth swells and soaring melodies should fill the tree-lined outdoor space nicely.

Hilarious Comedy 

Sept 1
Jen Kirkman Bowery Ballroom
In this one-off show, Kirkman performs the entirety of her Netflix special that will be released the same day and introduce some new bits. Get off the couch and go! Live stand-up is always better.

Sept 16
Kate Berlant The Bell House
Berlant is back in NY following some touring and LA hanging. Catch her hilarious off-the-cuff performance while she’s still here.

Sept 18, 19
Tom Papa Gotham Comedy Club
Between his many film and TV appearances, Papa has been working on a new act. He’ll be bringing more of his sweet yet cruel bits to Gotham this weekend for our pleasure. 

Sept 18–21
8th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival various locations
Mirman’s self-titled festival started as a joke, but after years of continuously hosting stacked lineups on shows with funny names, it has become one we look forward to every year.

Sept 26
Brian Regan Radio City Music Hall
Comedy veteran/legend/all-star (whatever you want to call him) is not only a comic’s comic, but he’s also made a big name for himself by performing killer, clean stand-up. 

Wonderful LGBT Events 

Sept 3
Boys' Night: An All-Male Cirquelesque Revue The Slipper Room
The popular burlesque-circus mash-up featuring an all-XY cast begins a new monthly residence at this downtown bawdy house. Jason Mejias, Mr. Gorgeous, Joshua Dean and Ben Franklin are among the performers.

Sept 6
Horse Meat Disco Cielo
Holiday weekends in NYC just aren’t complete without an appearance from this lively London DJ crew. At this Labor Day Eve edition, they’re joined by Spank’s Sean Be and Will Automagic. 

Sept 11–13
Bushwig various locations
The brightest stars of the Brooklyn (and beyond) drag scene take the stage at this annual alt-drag blowout. Expect to be shocked, amused and relentlessly entertained.   

Sept 17
Verge Brooklyn Museum
Fashion website dapperQ presents a runway show featuring work from innovative designers who think outside the gender binary. 

Sept 18–Oct 4 
Justin Vivian Bond: Dixie McCall’s Patterns for Living Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater
Joe’s Pub takes a look back at a quarter century of artistic heights from downtown star Justin Vivian Bond. Their retrospective kicks off with a revival of V’s first show, which premiered in San Francisco in 1990.

Perfect Shopping

Aug 19–Sept 7
Azaleas sample sale
 Azaleas showroom
Get ready for the ultimate panty raid! Lacey underthings and chic bathing suits are up to 70 percent off, so restock your underwear drawer now.

Sept 1–Sept 9
Scoop Warehouse sale Scoop showroom
Fashion lovers of all genders should live by the motto, “shop now and save later,” and nab discounts up to 80 percent off on designer merch.

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