New York City may never sleep, but it sure does slow down in August during the dog days of summer. As such, September can feel like an abrupt shift of gears because let’s face it: jumping back into work mode, sending the kids off to school, and mentally preparing for the change of weather is something of a shock to the system. That’s why we focus this month’s Manhattan events blog on finding ease and enjoying the transition of seasons with fun activities that will help you savor the warmth, good vibes and sunshine, all while preparing for more focused days ahead.
New York Fashion Week kicks off right after Labor Day Weekend, and while most shows remain “invite only” you can get a taste of the action thanks to WWD Style Dimension at Samsung 837 in Chelsea, with panel discussions from top brands and a beauty class from MAC Cosmetics (Free but RSVP is required 9/6 and 9/7). A few days later, StyleCon at Root Studios with host Jay Manuel brings you up close and personal with more fashion industry leaders, tastemakers and social media influencers (9/8).
Rosh Hashana celebrates the arrival of the Jewish new year and is a sweet time to try Ben’s Manhattan Kosher Deli at 38th Street for Sunday brunch (9.9). On Monday morning at the iconic Bitter End, join Rabbi Blane and a Jazz Quintet (Piano, Bass, Drums, Sax/Flute & Fiddle) for festive music of the high holiday season (9.10).
This year 9/11 falls on a Tuesday, and will once again remember the attacks of 17 years ago. O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub, located a few blocks from the WTC site that is now the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, has over 6,000 patches on display donated by police and fire departments across the country in a show of solidarity and support. Stop by for a bite to eat and sample the pub’s beer offerings amidst a supportive community that will never forget.
Mid-September offers a series of events to keep potential end-of-summer blues at bay, starting with the Roll Out Pop Up Roller Disco in the Union Square Ballroom (9.14 and 9.15). Live music, throwbacks, and costumes not required but preferred? Yes, please. A day later, Refinery Rooftop’s Endless Summer Soiree features Swingbelly’s BBQ, Montauk Beer and romantic sunset views (9.16).
For a taste of elegance, the Dinner en Blanc outdoor “chic picnic” is a whimsical, glam gathering with thousands of attendees who only receive details of the secret location on the day of the dinner. Tickets are currently sold out for this year but a waitlist is available (9.17, or table this until 2019!)
Who doesn’t love a sweaty, late summer outdoor workout? The Intrepid Iron Strength and 305 Fitness event might be our favorite one of the season, with back-to-back boot camp and dance cardio classes that are sure to rev you up for the fall (9.17). Do you remember dancing in September? You will now.
The Autumnal Equinox arrives on a Saturday (9.22), which means you can celebrate it for an entire day. Towards that end, it’s all aboard the Circle Line’s cruise up the scenic Hudson River to Bear Mountain featuring a mini onboard Oktoberfest. After snacking on all the German food and beer you can handle, deboard for three hours of hiking, foliage viewing, a visit to the zoo and more.
If you prefer to stay on dry land to usher in the new season, The Smithsonian sponsored Museum Day gives you free admission to participating museums vis a vis the Smithsonian website (9.22). Which ones in Manhattan are participating? The American Folk Art Museum, Bard Graduate Center Gallery, The Jewish Museum, The Cathedral of St. John The Divine, Asia Society, Museum of Chinese and others.
If Museum Day whets your appetite for even more (and you are relieved to find thinner lines as tourist season comes to a close) then check out Medieval Monsters at The Morgan Library before it closes 9.23, and Rebel Women: Defying Victorianism at the Museum of the City of New York. All of this art and good info will feed your soul and stoke that back-to-school fire (even if you’re not technically in school).
While the Tribeca Film Festival came and went last April, the Tribeca TV Festival runs this month and features talent of the small (but equally formidable) screen (9.20-9.23). Programming highlights include the 20th season premiere of NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU” (with star and executive producer Mariska Hargitay, executive producer Dick Wolf, and longtime co-star Ice-T), a talk with Bryan Cranston on the 10th Anniversary of the premiere of “Breaking Bad,” and new season premieres from “Tracey Ullman’s Show” with star and EP Tracey Ullman interviewed by Meryl Streep.
September heralds two theatrical premieres already gaining significant buzz. First off-Broadway at The Public Theater, “Girl from the North Country” focuses on a struggling community searching for transformation in Duluth, Minnesota in 1934. Directed by Conor McPherson, it features the songbook of Bob Dylan (opens 9.11). Later in the month and further uptown on Broadway, “Bernhardt/Hamlet” by Teresa Rebeck centers upon the late-19th-century production of “Hamlet” starring Sarah Bernhardt and stars Janet McTeer in the title role (opens 9.25).
Before anyone mentions the drink that rhymes with chump-kin-hot-hey, visit the LES winery with this month’s namesake September Wines & Spirits for tastings, then dive into all the suggestions on this exceptional GrubFest “Late Summer Hit List” for all the good eats to grab before, you know. Get in all the non apple cider donut flavored ice cream you can find until September 30th.)
Also on the culinary front, two restaurants from international imports open this month. At Zauo, which has 13 thriving locations in Japan and will make its American debut on W. 24th Street, diners…wait for it…fish for their dinner out of a wooden boat situated in the restaurant’s center. The team, headed by chef Noriki Takahashi and his sons, then orders it to your liking (think grilling, tempura style or even sushi) for what will likely be a highly Instagram-worthy event. Meanwhile in Soho, La Rossa brings Roman pizza al taglio to Lafayette Street courtesy of Italian chef, Stefano Callegari.
We’re hoping the September summer-ish warmth lingers not fades, and suggest three outdoor and altruistic events to close it out. First, help end global poverty by attending the Global Citizen Festival, where this year’s headliners include Summer ‘18 comeback queen Janet Jackson, Canadian + international sensation Shawn Mendes, new mom + Grammy nominee Cardi B, and The Weeknd. Then get another solid workout in by participating in the Tunnel to Towers charity 5K run, which starts early morning in Red Hook and ends in lower Manhattan (9.30), and benefits the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation. Finally, in a harbinger of health-conscious living to come, attend the Vegandale Festival on Randall’s Island, which features 100% vegan food and drink, plus live DJ and events (9.30). All are welcome, including your dog (as long as s/he is on a leash).