Expert Picks

Here’s What Our Culture Experts Are Doing This October—And You Should, Too!

Fringe Festival! Fat Rice! Glamping! These are the events you cannot miss this October.

Harmony Korine, “Blockbuster” Installation Views, 2018. Artwork © Harmony Korine / Photo by Rob McKeever/Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

October: Believe it or not, Halloween isn’t the only event to look forward to this month. There are art, music, theater, and food happenins’ that beat stale Snickers any day.

Live Music

Omar Souleyman at Brooklyn Bowl, October 4
The modern form of the Middle Eastern celebratory music dabke is a mix of echoing chants, electronically altered oud and reed sounds, and a compulsively danceable gallop of tablas and tambourines. World music snobs sometimes disregard it as cheap pop, but it’s been embraced by broader-minded hipsters and EDM fans. The best known practitioner of the form is the internationally beloved MC Omar Souleyman from Syria; he’s in town for a set at Brooklyn Bowl. John Seroff, music expert

nyc events October 2018
Photo courtesy of Omar Souleyman Gothenburg

J Hoard at National Sawdust, October 12
This Brooklyn-based musician cut his teeth as the house singer for the legendary hip-hop jam session the Lesson and just won two Grammys for a song he wrote for Chance the Rapper. His National Sawdust show will showcase the best of contemporary hip hop and urban music in general. Meera Dugal, music expert

nyc events October 2018
Photo by Jill Steinberg / Courtesy of J Hoard

Theater + Edutainment

New York International Fringe Festival, October 1–31
After a one-year hiatus, the longtime downtown festival of the new, the weird, and the occasionally brilliant returns for a month of shows that beggar catalog or description. This year, the festival hosts 83 shows at 10 different venues. All tickets are $22. David Cote, theater expert

nyc events October 2018
Super! The Musical from Maryland Ensemble Theater. / Photo courtesy of New York International Fringe Festival

Disney’s VR Arcade at the New York Film FestivalOctober 11–14
The annual New York Film Festival delivers Convergence, a program that celebrates virtual reality, immersive cinema, and AI. As part of the fun, you can head to the VR Arcade, where new experiences from Disney will take you into the action and make you the lead of a surreal world. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Catch as Catch Can, October 22–November 17
Mia Chung’s new work for the troupe Page 73 is about two New England families who find their deep bonds suddenly tested. The cast for this NYC premiere is very exciting—Jeff Biehl, Michael Esper, and Jeanine Serralles—and the play is worth seeing just for these actors. David Cote, theater expert

Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know, October 27
Learn more about cults, UFOs, and government cover-ups in this X-Files-esque live show. Since 2008, the guys behind Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know have applied critical thinking to the world’s most prevalent conspiracy theories. Viewers will put together the puzzle pieces along with the hosts at the Bell House in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

nyc events October 2018
Photo courtesy of Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

Art + Museums

“Harmony Korine: Blockbuster,” through October 20
You would think the art of the director who brought us movies like Spring Breakers, Kids, and Trash Humpers would be deeply dark and disturbing stuff, but Korine makes perfectly pleasant abstractions. They’re Robert Rauschenberg–inspired paintings—big canvases comprised of VHS tapes and their boxes. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

nyc events October 2018
“Harmony Korine: Blockbuster,” Installation Views, 2018 Artwork © Harmony Korine. / Photo by Rob McKeever/Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

“Katherine Bradford: Friends and Strangers,” through October 21
Following her stunning solo show “Fear of Waves” in 2016, Bradford will present a new series of figurative works in strange and unsettling situations. The Canada gallery describes these figures as less individuals than “chunks of humanity.” View those chunks. —Paddy Johnson, art expert

“Barb Smith: Gravity Resistance,” through October 21
I met Smith at a ceramics residency this summer in Maine, where she dazzled the group with her minimal and impactful sculptural forms. Now you can see the finessed outcome of her work at StepSister on the Lower East Side. Molly Surno, art expert

Dining + Drinking

Chefs Club Presents: Fat Rice NYC, October 2
Before Fat Rice in Chicago, most of us hardly had a clue what Macanese food tasted like. But the restaurant—with its visual pop, not-serious-at-all attitude (its cookbook is a graphic novel), and lip-smacking good grub—not only taught us that the food of Macau is an amalgamation of Chinese, Portuguese, and Malaysian, but that it was worth seeking out. Thankfully, the chefs are coming to us for a couple of months—courtesy of Chefs Club Nolita. Expect bar bites with tons of flavor: cheeseburgers via Brazil, with bacon, ham, potato, heart of palm, and corn relish; curried pork dumplings; piri piri lobster; and more.—Secret Culinary Insider

nyc events October 2018
Photo by Jason Little/Courtesy of Chefs Club

Tahini Ranch: Southern Meets Lebanese, October 26
This Greenpoint cookbook shop–slash–café is also an underrated destination for globe-trotting pop-up dinners. Lebanese chef Edouard Massih and Southerner Tommy Warner team up for a mashup sit-down blending both of their cultures. Proceeds go toward LGBTQ+ organizations from their prospective homes. —Jess Bender, eating and drinking expert

Cold Beer Time MachineOctober 29
Drink like your ancestors—or your ancestors’ ancestors. This intimate immersion into the beers of yesterday is taught by the connoisseurs at Top Hops Beer Shop on Orchard Street, so put your trust in them as they guide you through the Middle Ages and beyond.Jess Bender, eating and drinking expert

The best october events
Photo courtesy of Cold Beer Time Machine


Collective Retreats, through October 31
You’ve got 31 more days to glamp on Governors Island—and the spots are filling up fast. Guests sleep in luxurious canvas tents with either queen, king, or twin beds, along with lounge chairs and area rugs. The interior of the tent will have you wanting to stay in, but there’s a whole community just outside sipping wine over an open fire. —Aleona Nyamgavaa, wellness expert

nyc events October 2018
Photo by Kate Osborne/Courtesy of Governors Island