Whether it's one last round of outdoor fun or diving right into cozy museum-viewing season, autumn is here offering everything up to every one of you. We'll say it: October is the best month, especially here in New York, so scroll down through this roster of can't-miss concerts, museum openings, film screenings (Blade Runner!) and get ready to make some crisp, leaf-crunching plans—no pumpkins required.
Sip your drink as writers spill their guts with tales of love, sex, and self-loathing at Hung Up On You, a regular comedy showcase that regularly features some of your twitter timeline's all-stars. Hosted by Cosmopolitan Sex & Relationships editor (and Commuter Barbie creator) Carina Hseih, this month's installment will feature Nicole Boyce, Mariah Smith, Darcie Wilder, Helen Donahue, and Blake Harper. The night will center around a Mean Girls theme of high school, bullying, and getting even with your sworn enemies, so come prepared to make out with a hot dog, get drunk, and grab your wig.
Tuesday, October 3rd, 8:30-9:15 p.m. // Pete's Candy Store, 709 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn // Free
Dreamed up in the brooding and tragic imaginations of Cassandra Rosebeetle, Jason Mejias, and Elizabeth Munn, We Want It Darker is a commentary on our divided and delirious modern society, rendered via everyone's favorite medium: burlesque. The show will feature live music, glass walking, aerial performances, and a bit of theremin shredding as characters explore concepts of darkness and alienating solitude—all while becoming increasingly unclothed. Special guests and surprises are on the bill as well, so bring a loved one (or soon-to-be loved one?) and enjoy the sultry social commentary.
Wednesday, October 4th, 7 p.m. // The Slipper Room NYC, 167 Orchard Street, Manhattan // Tickets $15-25
Comic Con 2016 (Scott Heins/Gothamist)
Comic Con is once again set to bring over 150,000 superfans to the Javits Center for four days of superhero, sci-fi, fantasy, video game, and otaku madness. Tickets are going fast, but if you can snag even a one-day pass you'll be treated to a no-holds-barred display of superfandom complete with meet-and-greets, special panel discussions, an endless sea of vendors selling exclusive merch, and of course jaw-dropping cosplayers repping everything from Superman to Star Wars to Naruto to Overwatch.
Guests this year will include The Walking Dead's Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Clerks creator Kevin Smith, Defenders star Rosario Dawson, Star Trek's William Shatner, and Neo himself Keanu Reeves. What's more, basically the entire voice actor cast of Dragon Ball Super will be coming through this year, so don't say we never did nothing for all you anime nerds out there.
Thursday through Friday, October 5-8th; Times vary // Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W 34th Street, Manhattan // Tickets $45
In 1993, The Golden Venture, a ship carrying 286 undocumented Chinese passengers, ran aground in Queens. Because the good old USA has such a humane and functional immigration system, many of the immigrants were detained indefinitely, many of them for up to four years. During their long wait, passengers created intricate paper art sculptures, over forty of which will be displayed in Fold: Golden Venture Paper Sculptures, which opens Thursday, October 5 at the Museum of the Chinese in America. According to the museum, “the sculptures give shape to both the quantitative and qualitative time spent waiting for uncertain legal outcomes.” (Sarah Amar)
October 5th - March 25th. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day // Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St, Manhattan // General Admission, $10
Still from 'Blade Runner 2049'
It's finally here, and while it has all the makings of an unimaginative big-studio soft reboot cinema cash cow...damned if it doesn't look pretty. Blade Runner 2049 will premiere on screens across NYC one night early, and tickets for those special screenings are going fast. For those who haven't seen the greatest sci-fi film of all time, Blade Runner is a trip into a dystopian future where humanoid robots (known as "replicants") toil away as unpaid labor...and occasionally revolt. In this new installment, directed by Arrival's Denis Villeneuve, Ryan Gosling plays a hardened detective who ventures into the desert to track down Rick Deckard (aka Harrison Ford) and most likely shoot at some dangerous robots. The original 1982 film featured unforgettably original set design, composition, lighting, and prescient questions of posthuman identity in the age of robots and AI. The 2017 sequel can't possibly live up to that lineage, but I'm still grabbing my origami unicorn and getting tickets for a midnight screening all the same.
"Midnight" screenings begin Thursday, October 5th // Showtimes and theaters vary
If you’ve only been subsisting on Nolita poke bowls and Midtown food trucks, you’re in need of desperate help. Luckily, The New York African Restaurant Week Festival offers you the chance to redeem yourself. Over 25 restaurants and vendors will be serving dishes from all regions of Africa, alongside tasting booths for wine, beer, and liquor. The festival highlights the talents of several local, international, celebrity, and emerging chefs, and features arts and fashion vendors, as well as live DJ performances. There'll be chapati, tandoor, and injera available at a wide range of price points, starting at $15 for three tastings, all the way up to the $80 VIP package, which offers unlimited and exclusive tastings. (Sarah Amar)
Sunday, October 8th, 12:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. // Industry City, Brooklyn // Admission and Tastings, $15 - $80
The mad minds at Atlas Obscura are bringing you Real/Fake Science, a night promising an "interactive experiment salon," that will test your command of the facts of chemistry, physics, and perhaps even human anatomy. Six presenters—a mix of real scientists with varied backgrounds and others pretending to be scientists—and six topics, a mix of real and fake science, will be the focus of this event (we're guessing this means it's time to brush up on your phrenology). Attendees will also have the chance to compete for the title of "Most Discerning." You know you want that. (Clifford Michel)
Thursday, October 12th, 7 p.m. // Union Hall, 702 Union Street, Brooklyn // Tickets $25
Chop and Quench performs at Le Poisson Rouge during the 2014 Felabration (Photo by Scott Heins)
The afrobeat riot that is Felabration is returning to Manhattan this month, featuring Low Mentality Afrobeat Massive with members of Antibalas, Akoya Afrobeat and "very special guests." Low Mentality goes beyond the traditional Lagos framework, blending elements from afrobeat, reggae, dancehall, hip-hop and rock into a 21st Century sound that is sure to have you swaying in a trance like you were back at the Shrine. Also performing is Underground System and Super Yamba Band, which alloys their afrobeat and psychedelic funk, as well as Kaleta and DJ Mickey Perez. (Clifford Michel)
Friday, October 13th, 9 p.m. // Nublu, 151 Avenue C, Manhattan // Tickets $15-20
Nai Palm (via facebook)
The lead singer and creative lifeforce behind the psychedelic boom-bap future funk of Hiatus Kaiyote, Nai Palm is a rare talent in the multiverse we all occupy and it's our good fortune we're sharing the same timeline. This fall the 27-year-old is branching out with her own solo record and tour, the latter of which is stopping at Bowery Ballroom later this month. Palm's upcoming LP Needle Paw will feature both classic covers and new originals sung in her velvety alto with curling guitar lines. You can listen to Palm's first single, "Homebody," below:
Sunday, October 15th, 7 p.m. // Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street, Manhattan // Tickets $25
Take a "walk back in brine time" at the Lower East Side's Pickle Day. More than 20 vendors from all over the city will serve up pickled and non-pickled treats (which for some reason are being allowed in). There'll also be live music, games, local boutiques hawking pickle-related gear for all you hardcore fans out there. Check out the schedule of activities, which in past years included a "brine dunk tank." Not to mention what organizers are calling "the world's first EVER home pickling/dancing contest." There'll be two categories: pickled pickles and pickled non-pickles. (Clifford Michel)
Sunday, October 15th, 12-5 p.m. // Orchard Street between Delancey and East Houston // Free
There ain’t no shame in starting the day with dessert, and who says you can't just keep on going and dessert-graze straight through an entire Sunday? Commit to an uninterrupted grazing experience on October 15th at the NYC Artisanal Sweet Treats Bazaar, where you can sample the wares of 30 of the City’s top artisanal sweet makers. The event promises cupcakes, pies, scones, truffles, ice cream sandwiches, and “experimental donuts.” Doors open at 10:00 a.m., so go on an empty stomach for a peak sugar high. Entrance is free, but donations benefit four local public schools. Your blood sugar will (eventually) return to normal. (Sarah Amar)
Sunday, October 15th, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. // Grand Bazaar NYC, 100 W 77th St, Manhattan // Admission Free
Still from Nanni Moretti's 1994 classic 'Caro Diario'
If you're looking to impress your pretentious roommate or alluring new Tinder date with some obscure film references, head to the LES later this month—cool kid movie theater Metrograph is teaming up with the Italian Cultural Institute for a Nanni Moretti series. Five of Moretti's films will be screened from October 18th through the 21st, and if you haven't seen any of his movies (or don't even know who he is), now's your chance to get familiar with the "indefatigable torchbearer" of 1980s Italian cinema. Highlights from the series include Palombella Rossa (1989), about an aging Communist politician's rebirth, and Caro Diario (1993), a blend of fiction and documentary that's autobiographical in some parts. All of the films will be screened in 35mm format, a specialty of Metrograph. (Libby Torres)
October 18th through 21st // Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street, Manhattan // Tickets here
Kali Uchis (via facebook)
Kali Uchis' sulty, neon-lit videos and old-school sound have earned her lots of fans in the past few years, and on October 21st, the Colombian-born singer will perform at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Although she's been compared to a young Amy Winehouse with a modern R&B approach, Kali is a performer all her own; in addition to her unique style, she's also collaborated with the likes of Tyler the Creator and Snoop Dogg. With a wide variety of influences—ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Kelis—Kali's show in Williamsburg will definitely bring the throwback vibes. She'll be joined by Brooklyn-based group Phony Ppl, who blend elements of jazz and rock with hip-hop tracks. Even if you're just a casual fan, this show is definitely worth checking out. (Libby Torres)
Saturday, October 21st, 8 p.m. // Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 North 6th Street, Brooklyn // Tickets $20 advance, $25 day of show
Umphrey's McGee performing live (via facebook)
Take one part Iron Maiden, two parts Phish, a dash of Pink Floyd, a pinch of Rush, and then shred. For nearly 20 years, Umphrey's McGee has been ripping the jam band circuit a new one with their relentless brand of pro-inspired improv, bridging the gap between Metallica and "Moma Dance." The Chicago-based sextet is playing two local shows this month, and we're betting that the second night, at Williamsburg's Brooklyn Bowl, is going to be the more raucous of the two. With feverish rhythms and guitarmonies cranked up to 11, this is a band that will rattle your assumptions about improvisational rock and have you headbanging long into the second set.
Sunday, October 22nd, 6 p.m. // Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn // Tickets $45
Carolee Schneemann: 'Up to and Including Her Limits' (image courtesy of MoMA Press Office)
Two new exhibitions will open at MoMa PS1 in late October; one is a retrospective of feminist artist Carolee Schneemann, and the other will focus on the installations of Cathy Wilkes, a Glasgow-based artist who recently won the Maria Lassnig prize. According to MoMa, Schneemann was a "central protagonist" of the New York downtown art scene, and the retrospective will trace her beginnings in painting to her later multimedia works. The Wilkes exhibition will focus on her sculpture, which she used to portray scenes from daily life while speaking to larger themes of birth, death, and marriage. Both Schneemann and Wilkes are groundbreaking artists whose work is not to be missed. (Libby Torres)
Both exhibitions run from October 22nd until March. // MoMa PS1, 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Queens // Tickets $14-$25
And finally: Halloween. House of Yes. Zombie Prom. No Cover. You know what to do!
Thursday, October 26th, 10 p.m. // House of Yes, 2 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn // Free