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52 wonderful things to do in NYC in November

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Things to do

Louis Vuitton New York Exhibition; 86 Trinity Place; ongoing; free
We may be biased, but New Yorkers are the savants of style (and have been for many years), which is why we can appreciate a fashion house that has styled many generations. Luxury brand Louis Vuitton, for instance, certainly has elevated and changed the material world since its debut in 1854, as presented in the French-born company’s new exhibition: “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez.” Located at 86 Trinity Place, guests are welcome to experience the rich history by viewing and interacting with various artifacts (from 1854 to 2017) sourced by historian Oliver Saillard. Wander through all three-levels of the exhibition to discover the brand’s past collaborations as well as trunks and luggage of years’ past. 

Gotham Storytelling Festival Kraine Theater; Nov 1-7; $16
This fourth annual fest hosted by FRIGID New York features yarn-spinning shows like Queer Memoir and the Dead Parents Club alongside solo shows from top tellers, including 20-time Moth Story Slam winner Adam Wade, author Jamie Brickhouse and comedian Lucie Pohl.

Twin Peaks Burlesque: The Return! Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater; Nov 4; $15–$20
David Lynch lovers the Pink Room have taken on Twin PeaksBlue VelvetWild At HeartLost HighwayMulholland DriveInland Empire and more, and now they return to Joe's Pub to present their latest Lynchian striptease. This 90-minute show pays tribute to the mind-bending revival, featuring host Schaffer the Darklord and performers Anna Copa Cabanna, Bunny Buxom, Foxy Vermouth, Francine "The Lucid Dream," Minx Arcana and more.

Fall Forest Weekends New York Botanical Garden; Nov 4 + 5, Nov 11 + 12; $28, seniors and students $25, children under 2 free
Experience the colors of the season in the New York Botanical Garden's Thain Family Forest, a 50-acre thicket that boasts sweet gums, whose star-shaped leaves turn red and purple as autumn progresses, and tulip trees and hickories that display vivid golden yellows. During this annual series, gratis guided tours will point out seasonal foliage and birds, as well as offer free canoe trips, courtesy of the Bronx River Alliance. 

New York Taste The Waterfront New York Tunnel; Nov 6; $100–$200
For its 19th annual edition of this well-curated culinary celebration, New York magazine and food editor Gillian Duffy are assembling some of the city's finest chefs and mixologists to present their most inventive new works. Meet the masterminds behind Daily Provisions, Gramercy Tavern, Bar Goto, Little Tong Noodle Shop and more—and more importantly, sample their creations. A portion of proceeds benefit City Harvest, which battles hunger in NYC. 

How Did This Get Made? Town Hall Theatre; Nov 9 at 7pm and 9:45pm; tickets start at $70
Anyone who’s ever watched The Room, Leprechaun in the Hood or Sharknado knows that so-bad-they’re-good movies qualify as their own genre. Actors and industry vets June Diane Raphael, Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas dissect some of the worst films ever made on their How Did This Get Made? podcast, which comes to New York City for two live tapings this month.

Salman Rushdie Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center; Nov 14 at 7pm; $25
With the release of The Golden House, Salman Rushdie’s body of work now includes 13 novels. Set during the Obama years, his latest book focuses on a billionaire from Bombay who moves his family to downtown Manhattan. The Golden House dissects wealth, politics and the American identity. Once you’ve read it, join the author and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks for a conversation about the book and Rushdie’s prolific career.

Bake the Book: Pumpkin Pie Cake and Truffles Milk Bar Williamsburg; Nov 18, 19 at 11am; $95
Thanks to the pumpkin spice lattes that Starbucks has been peddling for what seems like decades, all things pumpkin have gotten a bad rap. But before you burn out on fall’s signature flavor, head to Milk Bar to learn how to bake their fluffy pumpkin pie cake. Graham cracker cheesecake, candied pumpkin seeds and pumpkin ganache make this dessert anything but basic. 

An Evening With David Sedaris Brooklyn Academy of Music; Nov 21 and 22 at 7:30pm; tickets start at $176
David Sedaris wants you to read his diary—a fact that isn’t actually all that surprising to longtime fans. His latest book, titled Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002), comprises 25 years of the essayists’ journal entries. You’ll find everything from salacious gossip to snippets of overheard conversations to observations on total strangers in the book. Take a peek into Sedaris’s creative process during this book signing and talk.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation; 79th St at Columbus Ave; Nov 22; free
This pre–Turkey Day ritual, held near the American Museum of Natural History, has become almost as crowded as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we prefer it to the main event. Why? We prefer to weave through the crowds, walking past the inflation stations to see SpongeBob SquarePants at our own pace. Inflation takes place from 3 to 10pm. Arrive later in the evening, when the gigantic characters have taken shape; the crowds are at their peak, so you can also show off the famed New York sidewalk shuffle. Enter at W 79th St at Columbus Ave.

Holiday Train Show New York Botanical Garden; Nov 22 through Jan 14; $23–$28
The garden lights up with its collection of trains that chug along a nearly half-mile track by 150 miniature NYC landmarks like the Empire State Building and Radio City Music Hall, all made of natural materials such as leaves, twigs, bark and berries.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at various locations; Nov 23; free
Before America gets turnt on turkey and settles in to watch some football, all eyes turn to Manhattan during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2017. The annual pageant of giant balloons, floats, cheerleaders, clowns, marching bands, theater and Broadway in New York performances and celebs is one of the best NYC events in November. Sure, it’s fun to watch in your PJs, but there’s nothing like watching the procession in person.

Big Apple Circus Damrosch Park (at Lincoln Center); various dates and times; tickets start at $28
After declaring bankruptcy in 2016 and being acquired by a Florida investment firm earlier this year, the Big Apple Circus is back. The beloved carnival will celebrate its 40th season at its longtime home at Lincoln Center. Expect to see acts like flying trapeze artist Ammed Tuniziani, the always hilarious Grandma the Clown and 10-time world record holder Nik Wallenda walking the high wire.

A Christmas Carol at the Merchant’s House; starts Nov 30; $45–$75
In late 1867, Charles Dickens trekked across the Atlantic to spend a month performing his Christmas classic here in NYC. The Merchant’s House Museum is reenacting this one-hour performance for modern-day audiences in its old-fashioned museum. If you think A Christmas Carol is enchanting now, just wait until you see it performed by candlelight in a 19th-century home by Dickens—or rather an actor playing the part of the British author. (Bonus: Come early for mulled wine and tasty snacks!). 


New York Arab-American Comedy Festival at various locations; Nov 2–Nov 4, per show $25 plus two-drink minimum
Since 2003, this festival has gathered new and well-known names from within the community for some epic acts, and this year, their voices couldn't be more appreciated. Head to Arab Comedy Buffet on November 2 at 7:30pm to see all of the fest's performers: Dean Obeidallah, Maysoon Zayid, Aron Kader, Paul Elia, Luai Hodi, Ali Sultan, Ramy Youssef, Suzie Afridi, Yazen Amra, Maher Matta, Byron Sadik, Ghassan Atshan, Sammy Obeid, Dave Merheje, Mike Easmeil, Atheer Yacoub and Murad Saleh. Check out Legends of Arab Comedy on November 3 at 7:30pm, along with the Haram Show at 10pm; and on November 4, hit up Arabs Gone Wild Reunion at 7:30pm and Arab Comedy All Stars at 10pm. 

MOIST The Creek and the Cave; Nov 2; free
All hail Abby Feldman, the intrepid stand-up who doles out advice from her bathtub on her addicting podcast and video series MOIST. She brings the tub to the Creek and the Cave stage, where she's joined by Sam Evans, Christine Meehan-Berg, Katie Hannigan, Andy Fiori, Ashley Gavin and Marcia Belsky. 

It’s Christi, B*tch! Ars Nova; Nov 4; $15
She's your naughtiest buddy on a night out, the devil in your ear, the voice on your next favorite cartoon show and the sweetest comic in town. Soon, stand-up supreme Christi Chiello will be our potty-mouthed overlord, but before then, catch her at this confessional hour of stand-up and stories.

Political Subversities The Bell House; Nov 6; $12–$15
This musical-sketch comedy show lampoons politics and pop-culture with satirical sketches, political love songs and more. Check out PoliSub's YouTube channel for some laughs before catching the group live in Brooklyn.

Cultch War: An “I Don’t Think So Honey” Deathmatch Villain; Nov 7; $15–$20
After 50 episodes of their podcast Las Culturistas, plus two live shows and endless debates over Desperate Housewives, Kelly Clarkson and Shonda Rhimes, divine gay plastics Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers take their armada of culture-addled comedians to war. Watch the show’s past guests and favorites—like Dylan Marron, Tim Murray, Dave Mizzoni, Pat Regan, Alise Morales and Rae Sanni—face off in high-stakes editions of the show’s now-iconic “I Don’t Think So, Honey” rant. Is this the end of an era or a new beginning for the evil queens of gay podcastdom? The shade will be blinding.

Go Ricki! Q.E.D.; Nov 15; $8
Hosted by comedian Matt Smith McCormick, this outrageous show gives an affectionate nod to the queen of riotous daytime talk, Ricki Lake. Lynsey Bonell, Ben Conrad, Amanda Kay Holstien, Sr., Luke Mones and Mamoudou N’Diaye bring their most deliciously ghoulish material for this month’s theme, "I Hate That You Sleep in Coffins & Hang Out in Cemeteries...Quit Being a Teen Vampire!"

The Unofficial Expert The Tank; Nov 19; $10
Marie Faustin and Sydnee Washington—two of the fastest, most ferocious comedians you’ll see this year—bring their uproarious podcast to the stage. Expect interviews with “experts” on topics like man buns, divas and sugar daddies, and whip-cracking reads of people in the audience. Hail to the queens!


Sixth Annual New York Boylesque Festival at various locations; Nov 3, Nov 4; $20–$55
Club Cumming co-founder Daniel Nardicio and Thirsty Girl Productions' Jen Gapay return with their yearly showcase of male bumpers and grinders from around the world. Over 40 burly-Q babes take the stage to strut their stuff during this two-day celebration of the art of the tease. The fest culminates with a skintastic main event on Nov 4 hosted by the always-fab World Famous *BOB*. 

Romy & Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance Club Cumming; Nov 4; free
DJ Bright Light Bright Light’s tribute to the still-untouchable heroines of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion has quickly become the most reliably joyous dance party in town, with a consistent stream of Mariah Carey, Scissor Sisters, Bette Midler and TLC delighting a merry band of adorable acolytes (you can follow the party’s playlist on Spotify). Share your favorite quotes and song requests on the DJ booth via post-it, and revel in the fact that you look totally cutting-edge. 

Addams Family Values: Queer Horror Stories Tilt; Nov 5; free
Cap off your weekend with a free evening of thrilling tales from a stacked lineup of LGBTQ storytellers. Stepping to the mic are Ryan Houlihan, Patricia Theresa McCarthy, Jamison Daniels, Kyle Turner, Maggie Larkin, Jay Jurden and many more.

Queerly Comedic Q.E.D.; Nov 7; $8
Up-and-coming comic Sammie James hosts this stand-up and storytelling show highlighting queer voices. This edition's lineup features Cam Mesinger, Jes Tom, Dana Friedman, Jeena Bloom, Lorena Russi Serna and Chelsea Moroski.

Dungeons & Drag Kings Talon; Nov 30; $10–$15
Anja Keister and Lee Valone host this mad monthly night of gender-bending, kink and geek ecstasy at Talon. Witness inventive performances from Valone, Nyx Nocturne, Ravenessa, Rara Darling and Viktor Devone, with trivia hosted by Keister. Before the show gets started at 9, join a wild kink demonstration at 8:30pm. 

Food and Drink

WhiskeyFest Marriott Marquis; Nov 16, $275 general admission, $345 VIP
Join this massive whiskey convention with a dozen seminars from grain experts, meet-and-greets with distillers from all over the world and most importantly, vendors pouring more than 350 different spirits for guests to try. 

Savor the Bronx Various locations; Nov 6-17, Price varies
A borough-focused "Restaurant Week" comes to the Bronx with special discounts and prix fixe deals at eateries throughout the neighborhoods like Mike's Deli in Arthur Avenue, Bronx Brewery in Port Morris and Lloyd's Carrot Cake in Riverdale.

Momo Crawl Diversity Plaza; Nov 5, $10
What's better than piping-hot dumplings in the fall? The Himalayan dumpling crawl in Jackson Heights is back with 27 different vendors (Lhasa Fast Food, Momo Delight) doling out their versions of the steamed and fried pockets. It will likely be more enjoyable than any other Himalayan trek you're bound to attempt.

White Truffle Festival Ai Fiori; Nov 11, $450 general admission, $548 VIP
It's white truffle season, and if you can't book a flight to the northern region of Italy to enjoy the fresh-picked delicacy, chef Michael White will bring them to you at his Ai Fiori restaurant, serving truffle-tinged cheese, pasta and risotto alongside Italian vinos. 

Grilled Cheese Meltdown Second Floor NYC; Nov 12; $35, $45 VIP 
Taste your way through the best grilled cheese sandwiches the city has to offer at Time Out New York's annual Grilled Cheese Meltdown. We've challenged New York's top cheese connoisseurs to come up with creative takes on this classic comfort food. It’s an event your taste buds and arteries won’t soon forget!

Food Loves Tech Industry City; Nov 3-4, $75
The synthesis of food and tech is an ever-present reality in our data-driven world. And nothing highlights this better than this expo that investigates the future of food and drink through discussion panels and "all-you-can-eat experiential zones.


Meteor Shower at the Booth Theatre; Nov 1–Jan 21; $59–$159
Sketch-TV royals Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael Key star in Steve Martin's comic portrait of a California dinner part. Veteran laugh-wrangler Jerry Zaks directs a cast that also includes the expert Laura Benanti and Jeremy Shamos. 

SpongeBob SquarePants at the Palace Theatre; starts Nov 6; $39–$159
The porous yellow hero of the Nickelodeon cartoon hits Broadway, defending the undersea community of Bikini Bottom via original songs by pop stars including Sara Bareilles, the Flaming Lips, John Legend, T.I., Lady Antebellum, They Might Be Giants and Panic! At the Disco.

Bright Colors and Bold Patterns at SoHo Playhouse; Nov 12–Jan 8; $59–$999
Drew Droege returns for an encore run of his hilarious and poignant solo show, in which an outrageous (and increasingly intoxicated) gay man has an identity crisis at a sanitized wedding of two old friends. 

Once on This Island at Circle in the Square; starts Nov 9; $69.50–$159.50
A peasant girl falls for a wealthy boy on the other side of her Caribbean island in this 1990 musical fable by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime). Michael Arden directs the revival, which stars teenage newcomer Hailey Kilgore as our heroine. 

The Fountainhead at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House; Nov 28–Dec 2; $35–$125
Belgian superdirector Ivo van Hove, who unsettled Broadway with stylized revivals of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and The Crucible two seasons ago, now deconstructs Ayn Rand's 1943 philosophical novel about an architect bent on defying critics and convention.  


Last Flag Flying; Nov 3
There's no more relaxed director in American filmmaking than Richard Linklater, whose long-game process has resulted in such exquisite dramas as Boyhood and the "Before" trilogy. His new movie, a sequel to Hal Ashby’s 1973 The Last Detail, dives intimately into the nuances of soldiering, parental grief and pride in a country that perhaps doesn’t deserve it. Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and an unusually quiet Steve Carell co-star.  

Thor: Ragnarok; Nov 3
Singlehandedly, Chris Hemsworth has made the Marvel Cinematic Universe a much more fun place to be: His Thor, equal parts somber Norse god and Californian everybro, deserves as much screen time as can be spared. This sequel brings on plenty of character actors who know this stuff needs a wink, especially the rascally Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster, whatever that is. 

Lady Bird; Nov 10
Greta Gerwig’s semiautobiographical comedy is miraculously free of the usual coming-of-age quirk; the star of Frances Ha is only behind the camera this time, writing and directing, but she’s clearly arrived at a kind of wisdom via distance. Dominating the lens with peerless openness is Brooklyn’s Saoirse Ronan, who brings to life the movie’s free-spirited title character, a suburban Californian aching to leave home and bond with her fantasy of East Coast artiness. Before then, though, she’s got some last-summer-before-college tensions (romantic and otherwise) to transition through. You will recognize this moment.  

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Nov 10
If your love for 2008’s witty, ultra-rude In Bruges is as unbounded as ours, you’ll need to check out Martin McDonagh’s latest crime comedy, which is just as verbally vicious. Fargo’s Frances McDormand plays a furious mom who seeks vengeance for the unsolved murder of her daughter. Her first tactic is a bit of public advertising. 

Call Me by Your Name; Nov 24
The undeniable emotional powerhouse of this year’s Sundance and New York film festivals, Luca Guadagnino’s voluptuous coming-of-age gay romance transports you not only to northern Italy but to a lazy summer’s exchange of books, fruit, glances and power. You may already cherish this director for I Am LoveA Bigger Splash and his unerring sense of adult sexiness. But with this one, he’s leapt into the revered company of Bernardo Bertolucci. 


Hospital Productions
 20 Year Anniversary Warsaw; Nov 5; $40–$50

Noise-scene bad boy Dominick "Prurient" Fernow plays a special collaborative set with industrial-metallist Jesu for this 20th anniversary celebration of his very own record label, Hospital Productions. The all-day event will also feature industrial techno duo Orphyx, Downwards Records founder Regis, harsh noise project Skin Crime and, ambient innovator Dedekind Cut. If you like music that fearlessly explores the fringes of both genre and sanity, this is the show for you. 

Waxahatchee White Eagle Hall Sun Nov 5; $16
Katie Crutchfield’s new album as Waxahatchee, Out in the Storm, is a far cry from her initial lo-fi acoustic albums. Here her talent for confessional lyrics and irresistible hooks is rendered through sparkling clear production and massive-sounding arrangements—a fuller, grander realization of her vision than ever before.

Prayers Saint Vitus; Nov 7; $17
Chicano singer Lafear Seyer's distinctive vision—for which he's coined the term "Cholo goth"—is a vibrant one: cowboy boots, crucifix earrings, gang tattoos and a penchant for the synth sounds of ’80s goth-rock. Combining his mournful shouts with beatmaster Dave Parley's industrial electronics, Seyer’s cross-cultural melancholy narrates a turbulent life navigating the San Diego gangland. 

Slowdive Terminal 5; Nov 12; $35
Don't fret if you missed Slowdive's stellar comeback performances at Brooklyn Steel earlier this year—The British shoegaze vets return to the city for another appearance behind their stunning self-titled latest. An eight-song exercise in shoegaze's best inclinations, Slowdive welcomed Simon Scott back to the drum kit for the first time since 1993's Souvlaki. Fog machines at the ready; prepare to drift off into the shoegaze ether with some of the best who've ever done it.

Kamasi Washington Terminal 5; Nov 22; $35–$40
Saxophonist, bandleader and Kendrick Lamar collaborator Washington reinvigorated contemporary jazz and garnered heaps of mainstream critical acclaim with his ambitious three-hour 2015 debut, The Epic. He takes the stage behind a new EP, Harmony of Difference.


Ashley Bickerton FLAG Art Foundation; through Dec 16, free
Famous for having ditched New York for Bali, Bickerton is no Gaughin, though he was a star of ’80s Neo-Geo. This survey tracks his work’s evolution from logo-covered boxes to wildly stylized, figurative paintings that parody the romantic preconceptions of tropical life.

“Eddie Martinez: Studio Wall” Drawing Center; through Feb 3, adults $5, students and seniors $3, children under 12 free. Admission is free on Thursdays, 6-8
Known for colorful paintings that recall midcentury abstraction, Martinez is plastering the Drawing Center with thousands of sketches that he will change throughout the exhibition’s run, a gesture that mimics his practice of keeping a wall in his studio reserved for drawings and studies. The show also includes paintings and large works on paper.

“Josef Albers in Mexico” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Nov 3–Feb 18, $25, seniors (65+) and students with valid ID $18, children under 12 free. Sat 5:45–7:45pm pay what you wish. $25, seniors and students with ID $18, members and children under 12 accompanied by an adult free
In 1935, the famed artist and Bauhaus instructor Josef Albers (1888-1976) paid his first visit to Mexico. Struck by the abstract quality of Mayan and Aztec buildings, Albers began photographing Mesoamerican pyramids and temples, focusing on architectural details like friezes and steps. He used some of these images to create collages, borrowing subtle style cues from them for his paintings from the period. That journey was the first of many made to Latin America between 1935 and 1967 and the impact they had on his art is the subject of this survey, which gathers together the work (photos and collages along with paintings) that grew out his experiences South of The Border.

“Edvard Munch: Between The Clock and The Bed” Metropolitan Museum of Art; Nov 15–Feb 17, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
You scream, I scream, we all scream for The Scream, but that iconic painting was only a small part of Edvard Munch’s prodigious output, which spanned 60 years and produced many other masterpieces besides the ur image of high anxiety. You’ll find many of them among the 45 works assembled here—including seven that have never been shown in the United States.

David Hockney Metropolitan Museum of Art; Nov 27–Feb 25, suggested donation $25, seniors $17, students $12, members and children under 12 free
The lodestones of Hockney’s work make for unlikely pairs of opposites: London and Los Angeles; Picasso and Old Master painting. Though Hockney came up through the School of London scene during the Swinging Sixties, many of his most famous works are set in the City of Angels, where he keeps two homes. And though his compositions abound with references to the great names of Renaissance art, many of his stylistic clues are taken from Picasso. Somehow, Hockney has juggled these disparate influences, forging an aesthetic that’s all his own. This retrospective mark’s the artist’s 80th birthday with a presentation of pieces from 1960 to the present.

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