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New York September 22–28: Submerge Festival & Oktoberfest

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Oktoberfest NYC

Courtesy of Oktoberfest NYC

Oktoberfest NYC

The best of what to do in and around New York this week.

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This week marks the official start of fall in New York City. Theater buffs might want to catch a performance of 12 Angry Women, while those interested in film, architecture, and design may be drawn to the Architecture and Design Film Festival. The weather is only just starting to feel crisp, so it’s still a good time to enjoy the outdoors—and maybe even fish or kayak—at Submerge NYC Marine Science Festival. If you can’t make it to Munich this year, head to the Oktoberfest at the South Street Seaport instead for all the beers and brats you can handle. 

AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S. 

September 22–October 1 | Theater
12 Angry Women
You’re probably familiar with Reginald Rose’s 1954 television play 12 Angry Men or its 1957 film adaptation, which was directed by Sidney Lumet and starred Henry Fonda. The story of 12 strangers who must act as the jury for the trial of a 19-year-old accused of stabbing his father to death is one that’s still interesting and relevant more than half a century later. Sherman Segal’s 1983 adaptation, 12 Angry Women, takes the original and reimagines it with an all-female cast. This week begins a 10-day production of the play at the AlphaNYC Theater Company.
Times vary | The Roebuck Theater, 300 W. 43rd St., New York | $30 | website

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September 24 | Festival
It can be easy to forget that Manhattan is an island. Spend a day celebrating the importance (and fun!) of the water that surrounds the city at Submerge NYC Marine Science Festival, held by Hudson River Park and the New York Hall of Science. Taking place at Pier 26, the free, family-friendly festival has catch-and-release fishing, kayaking, tons of hands-on kids’ activities, boat tours, performances, and scuba diving demonstrations. A few food trucks will also be on-site to sustain hungry festival-goers.
11 a.m.–4 p.m. | Pier 26 at N. Moore St., New York | Free | website 

September 24–25 | Drink
This centuries-old German tradition has enchanted the American psyche for decades, and Oktoberfest celebrations are now common throughout the United States. Check out this year’s multi-weekend event—which is also happening October 1 and 2—at the South Street Seaport’s Watermark for steins of beer, loads of German food, family activities like foosball and face painting, and plenty of live entertainment that will transport you to Bavaria. Everything on the menu—from brats and pretzels to beer—will be priced at $8 (except one-liter steins, which will run $16).
12 p.m.–12 a.m. | Watermark, Pier 15, 78 South St., New York | Free | website

Architecture and Design Film Festival
September 24–25 | Escape the city
Portland, Maine

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Before it gets too cold, hop on a quick flight to Portland, Maine (or pile into the car for a road trip—the drive is about five and a half hours). This New England city manages to combine a bustling, culturally active urban area with all the quaint, small-town charm of the seaside towns of the Northeast. For your culture hit, check out the Portland Museum of Art or the Portland Stage. There’s also the Civil War–era Victoria Mansion, the Portland Observatory, and, of course, whale watching. Portland has no shortage of great eats, but don’t leave town without having some fresh lobster (try the lobster rolls at Portland Lobster Company). There are plenty of options for accommodations; check out the Westin Portland Harborview for a convenient home base.

September 28–October 2 | Film festival
Architecture and Design Film Festival
Whether you’re a professional architect or designer or just have an appreciation for how things look and are built, consider checking out the Architecture and Design Film Festival (ADFF), starting this week. Featuring a selection of films, events, and panel discussions, the festival is part education and part entertainment. For opening night, catch a screening of The Architect Who Saw the Future, a documentary about Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen, who is famous for such landmarks as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
Times vary | Cinépolis Chelsea, 260 W. 23rd St., New York | From $11.50 | website

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 an inquisitive toddler.

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