New York City is amazing for so many different reasons. It's the center of everything (says this bougie ass native New Yorker), takeout is legitimately always open, and disappearing into a crowd when you've been reluctantly spotted is easier than it probably should be. One thing the city is not so awesome for? The Full Fall Experience. Yes, capitalization is necessary. Because it's a thing, y'all. I went to college in the middle of west-bumble Pennsylvania. Fall was more than just crisp weather and back-to-school. It was bobbling for apples, driving to see the leaves change color, beer tasting at a brewery and warm, chunky sweaters. I've always missed bumblef*@k in October.
But fellow New Yorkers, don't throw in your pumpkin spiced lattes just yet (I mean you can though, those things are kinda gross). The Fall Experience does come to the city. You just have to know where to look. Not that I know where to look, but like I know how to internet and that's kind of the same thing.
There are two categories for things to do during autumn in the city: (1) the things that just fall in the fall (so punny) and (2) the things that happen on account of the season.
Things That Just So Happen to Happen In The Fall
+ NYC Marathon
The Marathon happens every November (barring November of 2013 courtesy of Hurricane Sandy) and it's sole purpose is to make me feel like a total sloth as others travel miles across oceans just to run 26 more. It ends at Central Park but you can count on hoards of people gathered at regular intervals to cheer on the runners. Even if you aren't running it, It's a cool experience, so head out on November 6th if you can handle the crushing self-loathing.
+ Hudson Valley Day Trip
Taking a quick train up to the Hudson Valley can totally make your day. We don't get much foliage here in the city, the leaves seem to go from green to dying overnight, but Hudson Valley's got that and more. Also, picking apples is a thing there, so I'm sold.
+ NYC Wine & Food Festival
Eat, drink and fight hunger? How can I say 'no' to that? I can't. And neither should you, if you're in the area from the October 13th to the 16th. The largest food festival in the city can get a bit pricey, some events costing over three hundred dollars, but there are some great ones under $100 too.
+ Art Museums
Of course, museums are open all year round but there's just something really great about attending once the weather cools down. I'm hoping to get to at least one of the main four -- Met, MOMA (pictured below), Guggenheim and Cloisters -- and fall is the perfect time to do it.
+ The Rink at Rockefeller Center
This, on the other hand, does not happen all year-round but it's definitely worth waiting for. Beginning on October 8th, Rockefeller Center lays down tens of thousands of gallons of ice and opens its gates to the public, making the center a popular tourist attraction. Yet, even for the New York native, the magic of the rink never gets old.
+ NYC Film Festival
From now until the 16th of October, Lincoln Center host the 17-day celebration of top films and their filmmakers. This year's lineup includes the world premiere of Ava DuVernay's The 13th, a film focusing on the loophole in the 13th Amendment that turned slavery into the prison system. There are so many phenomenal films at the festival this year, so if you've got a second, do make time to see a a few.
Things That Happen Because Of Fall
+ Cider Week
Can you go apple picking in your town? Because I have yet to find a place in NYC where I can and it really bums me out. The closest I can get is apple cider. From October 21st to the end of the month, Cider Week events span over 50 bars and restaurants throughout the city. Not apples but I'll take it.
+ HighLine Stargazing
On every Tuesday in October, you can head up to the HighLine and look at the stars. The HighLine's been up and running for a few years now yet I was oblivious to this gem. The Amateur Astronomer's Association set up telescopes on the tracks so anyone can see the stars.
+ Haunted Lantern Tours
On October 28th at Fort Totten Park, the Haunted Lantern Tours give you the spook you're looking for this season, combining history with Halloween in this lantern guided tour. Seems like a creepy-good time, and, oh yeah, it's free :)
+ Halloween Dog Parade
Manhattanites love their dogs. So if this event surprises you, it shouldn't. City residents will take any opportunity possible to parade their fur children around. Every year at Tompkins Square Park (this year on the 22nd at 3pm), they do just that. The website itself makes me wanna attend, not to mention the cutest outfits owners don their pets in for the change to win Best In Show.
+ Village Halloween Parade
Every Halloween night, rain or shine, the goblins, ghouls and ghastly prance along 6th Avenue in Manhattan in the Village Halloween Parade. Although it's televised (that may just be for the city, though), there's nothing like witnessing it live. It's surprisingly supportive and loving for the occasion. I can not tell you how many "girl, yaassss" comments I've gotten just trying to walk to my apartment.
+ Thanksgiving Day Parade
Do I even need to say anything? Did I even need to list this? No. It happens every Thanksgiving morning. And if you're in the city the day before, head out that night to watch the floats being blown up.