Enjoy the fall air with an outdoor concert by Patti Smith in Central Park, or hear the soulful tunes of Benjamin Pirani & The Dreamdancers in the setting of an underground catacomb. Then refuel at a coffee festival or with a food and wine tasting in Washington Square Park.
AFAR Local is our monthly insider guide to the best of what’s happening in cities around the U.S.
September 1 - 10 | Sports
It’s that time of year again, when thousands of tennis fans descend upon Queens for the U.S. Open, one of the biggest and most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. Watch heavy hitters like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Venus Williams fight for their titles in the fourth and final Grand Slam event of the year (the others are the Australian Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon). Whether you’re interested in men’s singles, women’s doubles, or the whole shebang through the finals, it’s a lively and fun atmosphere for novice and hardcore fans alike.
Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens | From $54 | website
September 8 - 10 | Podcasts
Now Hear This
Do you rely on podcasts to get you through the day? From news to comedy to self-improvement to stuff you should know, podcasts are a great way to stay entertained, engaged, and informed. Ditch the ear buds and catch live recordings of 25 of your favorite podcasts at the second annual Now Hear This Podcast Festival. From Comedy Bang! Bang! to NPR’s Planet Money, and from Levar Burton Reads to The Art of Wrestling, they’ve got all the podcast bases covered. Get a single-day ticket or a pass for all three days.
Jacob Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St., New York | From $50 | website
September 9 | Music
Concerts in the Catacomb: Soul Night
If a night in a graveyard doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, Atlas Obscura and Green-Wood Cemetery might just change your mind with their new Concerts in the Catacomb series. Get rare access to the catacombs, which were built in the 1850s and became the resting place for many with a fear of being buried alive. They also happen to have stellar acoustics. So dance your heart out to surf rock band Hearing Things followed by the soulful sounds of Benjamin Pirani & The Dreamdancers. There will be a cash bar, and ’60s period attire is suggested. There is currently a waiting list for tickets, so get on it.
8:00 PM - 10:30 PM | Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St., Brooklyn | $65 | website
September 14 | Music
Don’t miss this opportunity to see the living legend and longtime New Yorker perform live in Central Park with her grown kids, Jackson Smith and Jesse Paris Smith, who are musicians themselves. Proceeds from the rain-or-shine outdoor concert, which will feature new and classic songs, help make free concerts at SummerStage possible. If you don’t feel like shelling out the cash, set up a blanket right outside the concert area and just listen. The show is in honor of Smith’s late husband, Fred Sonic Smith.
7:30 PM | SummerStage, Central Park, Fifth Ave. at 69th St., New York | From $50 | website
September 17 | Cultural festival
Carnaval de la Cultura Latina
Celebrate Hispanic heritage month with Carnaval de la Cultura Latina, a decade-old festival that honors Latinx culture through art, music, dance performances, and food. Last year some 80,000 people came to take part in the family-friendly fun, which includes vendors, children’s entertainment, giveaways, and even health screenings.
12:00 PM - 6:00 PM | Junction Blvd. btw. Roosevelt Ave. and 37th Ave., New York | Free | website
September 19 | Food
Taste of the Village
Head to Washington Square Park for the 15th annual Taste of the Village event, which brings together more than 30 local food and drink purveyors. Sample nibbles and sips from such city favorites as the Spotted Pig, Murray’s Cheese, and Bronx Brewery. In addition to eating your way around the fountain, there will also be live music from some of the Park’s regular performers. Proceeds support the Washington Square Park Conservancy.
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM | Washington Square Park, New York | From $60 | website
September 21 | Comedy
Jen Kirkman’s “All New Material, Girl” Tour
Whether you’re familiar with Jen Kirkman from her lauded 2015 Netflix Original Comedy Special, “I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine),” have read one of her bestselling books, or listen to her popular podcast, you know she’s a spitfire who is sure to make you laugh. Catch Kirkman’s latest material at the Highline Ballroom as she makes the rounds on her “All New Material, Girl” tour. If you miss this show, there’s also one on September 22 at the Bell House in Brooklyn.
8:00 PM | Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St., New York | From $25 | website
September 28 | Fundraising
Sip for the Sea
Rub elbows with philanthropists, animal lovers, and maritime enthusiasts at a sustainable food and wine tasting in the Central Park Zoo to support the New York Aquarium, which is still being rebuilt following Hurricane Sandy. With offerings from some of the city’s top restaurants—not to mention an interactive sea lion feeding—it’s sure to be a night to remember.
6:30 PM - 9:30 PM | Central Park Zoo, Fifth Ave. at 64th St., New York | From $200 | website
September 30 | Drink
Craft Coffee Festival
Do you know your cappuccino from your cortado? Are you into cupping, insist on single-origin, shade-grown, fair-trade beans, and have strong opinions on ristretto versus lungo shots of espresso? Or maybe you’re just a caffeine enthusiast who enjoys a cup of joe. Whatever your level of java nerdom, the second annual Craft Coffee Festival is a fun way to spend a few hours sampling offerings from 20 specialty roasters and coffee shops to the sounds of live music. Catch Talibah Safiyah in the first session and DJ Joe Crisp from Sharon and the Dap Kings in the second session.
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM | Villain, 307 Kent Ave., Brooklyn | From $35 | website
November 1 | Plan ahead: Theater
Meteor doesn’t open on Broadway until November, but with a cast featuring the likes of Amy Schumer and Keegan-Michael Key, tickets are already selling fast. The show, which will only run for 12 weeks, is an absurdist play written by comedy legend Steve Martin that follows two couples at a dinner party as a meteor falls to Earth. Tony Award–winner Jeffrey Zaks directs the all-star performance.
Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., New York | From $59 | 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.