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New York City This Week: CMJ Music Marathon and NYCWFF

Here are the five coolest things to do in and around New York City this week

This week in New York City seems like a series of marathons. To start, there's the vast array of indie and emerging artists at the CMJ Music Marathon. The Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine is definitely a mouth marathon, but there are some 500 chefs and 100 events, too. And then there's a kind of architectural marathon, with hundreds of unique spaces around the city opening their doors to visitors. Failing that, you could always just go apple picking.

October 13–17 | Music festival
CMJ Music Marathon
For 35 years running the CMJ Music Marathon has brought emerging and indie music to the ears of New Yorkers. Put on by CMJ (College Music Journal), the festival was started as a sort of college radio convention and became one of the premier music events in the country. Hundreds of musicians perform on dozens of stages throughout the city all week, from 10 a.m. until the wee hours of the morning; there are also panels, interviews, awards, and networking events. The sheer number of performances can be overwhelming so sometimes it’s best to just choose a date and a venue and be open to discovering some new music! Highlights include the Bella Union showcase featuring Mercury Rev, and rising star BØRNS, whose glam pop even has Taylor Swift talking.
Times, locations & prices vary | website

October 15–18 | Food festival
NYC Wine and Food Festival
The annual Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine (NYCWFF) is quite a mouthful and a powerhouse of culinary celebrities. With 500 chefs at over 100 events, all net proceeds go towards the Food Bank for New York City and the No Kid Hungry campaign. Attendees get access to intimate meals and events they could ordinarily only dream of, like Giada De Laurentiis’ Italian Feast and A Dinner with Charles Pham and Justin Smillie. The meal prepared by April Bloomfield and Amanda Cohen (two strong female chefs known for their meat/seafood and vegetarian cooking, respectively) should be particularly interesting. There are also wine tastings, cooking classes, competitions, panels, and much more.
Times, locations & prices vary | website

October 16, 22, 30 | Garden fiesta
Frida al Fresco
The Frida Kahlo exhibit at the New York Botanical Gardens has been met with rave reviews, and the after hours Frida al Fresco is an immersive way to experience the show. For select Thursday and Friday evenings throughout the summer and fall the show has taken on a party vibe with live music, food inspired by Kahlo’s own Mexican recipes, and a complimentary beer or margarita included in the price of admission. The Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life exhibit reconstructs the artist’s garden at the Casa Azul (Blue House) in Mexico City and examines her relationship with nature. Her paintings and works on paper are also on display. Hurry because the last Frida al Fresco evening is October 30.
6:30–11 p.m. (last entry 8 p.m.) | New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx | (718) 817-8700 | From $25 | website

AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to New York has you covered.

October 16–18 | Permission to trespass
Open House New York Weekend
Open House New York is hosting its annual weekend in which hundreds of sites across the city open their doors to curious city dwellers. There are tours, talks, and performances, with some sites offering open access and others requiring a reservation for a specific event. Take a peek inside Bullet Space, one of the first legalized squats in the city, stroll through pioneering urban farm Brooklyn Grange, or admire the breathtaking architecture of the historic Central Synagogue. Get access to private homes like the Coffey Street Residence in Red Hook, visit professional spaces like the Entrepreneur Space Kitchen Incubator, or get a rare glimpse inside the NY State Pavilion and World’s Fair Grounds.
Times, locations & prices vary | website

Weekend escape
Apple Picking in New Jersey
'Tis the season! Get out of the city for a fun-filled day picking apples and pumpkins and sampling hot apple cider and cider donuts. Check out Alstede or Riamede Farms, both about an hour from Manhattan in Chester, NJ. Alstede, which offers hay rides, a corn maze, and live music in addition to apple and pumpkin picking, makes a great family destination. You can also pick corn, beans, peppers, eggplant, and even sunflowers. Riamede is relatively no-frills in comparison but is perfect for those looking for a more traditional apple picking experience. They offer 34 varieties of apples throughout the season (about 13 are available now), as well as pumpkins you can cut off the vine yourself.

A native New Yorker, Katherine is a freelance food and travel writer who has eaten her way across the globe and is always on the lookout for her next great meal. She is an avid reader, insatiable traveler, sometimes photographer, and mom to inquisitive toddler.