Overview of October’s Overwhelming Opportunities


NYTVF is holding its 13th annual television festival that aims to bring audiences the best of new and returning television programs. (Jon Bjornson/The Observer)


While October and its reputation as “spooky season” have begun to the elation of many, others are entering this season with dread or disinterest in the thrills and frights that come with Halloween. October in New York City may be renowned for its Halloween traditions, but fear not—there are a plethora of autumnal events across the city that celebrate arts, culture and togetherness.

  1. New York Television Festival (NYTVF)

NYTVF is holding its 13th annual television festival that aims to bring audiences the best of new and returning television programs. According to their website, the organization prides itself on being the “pioneer of the independent television movement, connecting its community of artists with leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies and brands.” Hosted throughout event spaces and theaters in Chelsea and the lower-Manhattan area, the festival lasts from Oct. 23 through Oct. 28. While festival passes are quite expensive, many of the scheduled events are available for individual sale with various affordable prices (and a $4.50 handling charge on the website).

  1. Art in Odd Places (AiOP) 2017: SENSE

AiOP works to bring visual and performance art into public settings and to challenge current ways in which people communicate, by creating public communicative efforts in hopes of raising awareness that there is more to the world than what is on social media. Serving as a reminder that public spaces are the epicenter for diversity in daily interactions and the exchange of ideas, the latest exhibition “SENSE” centers on the various definitions of the word “sense.” The events running from Oct. 12 through Oct. 15 include performance, audio recordings, dances, multimedia projects and more. All of these installations promise to have a feel of intimacy and emphasis on the unseen and aim to promote self-discovery. These communal spectacles are free to the public and can be found along 14th Street from Avenue C to the Hudson River.

  1. Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch at the Queens Botanical Garden

For those looking for more traditional fall activities, just an hour away from Fordham Lincoln Center is the Queens Botanical Garden, which is preparing to host its annual Harvest Fest. With live music, a petting zoo, a pumpkin patch and more, the festival promises to celebrate autumn for children and adults alike. Alternatively, for those who may not be as interested in some of the family-oriented events being offered, the Queens Botanical Garden is also the home to an array of bustling and diverse botanic exhibits and garden arrangements displaying both seasonal and year-round favorites on its 39-acre home on Main Street and Flushing. And from now until the end of the year, the art gallery is hosting artist Shahryar Shahamat’s pieces in “Borderlines.” The Harvest Fest is being held on Sunday, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with adult tickets for $12.

  1. 2017 Garment District Arts Festival

The 14th annual Garment District Arts Festival will host over 90 artists with their creations in an open studio setting. Held throughout the Garment District (running between 5th and 9th Avenue from West 35th to West 40th Street), the festival celebrates the artists and their works that contribute to the rich creativity New York City is known for. The festival includes behind-the-scenes looks into the creative processes and work spaces of artists, unique and enthralling performances, spectacular art installations and gallery receptions throughout the district, all near 8th Avenue and West 38th Street. If you check anything out from this event, it should be the comic book art of Neal Adams, whose original works are going to be displayed at the Metropolis Comic gallery. It runs Oct. 19 through Oct. 21 and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day (with the exception of the final day, which runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.).

  1. The 29th Annual New York LGBTQ+ Film Festival

NewFest’s 2017 LGBT Film Festival returns for its 29th year, providing LGBTQ+ film and media arts over the course of six days. It will feature over 140 films, panels and various events that highlight the experiences of members of the community. The event is being presented by HBO and in partnership with Outfest, the LBGTQ+ organization dedicated to creating, sharing and protecting members of the community, to bring the tales of diversity, struggle and hope to Cinépolis Chelsea. The festival runs from Oct. 19 through Oct. 24, and tickets are available for individual sale (based on the film or panel) starting at $16 on their website.

  1. New York City Center (NYCC) presents “The Red Shoes”

Matthew Bourne, in collaboration with his dance company New Adventures, presents his first new production in four years with “The Red Shoes”. Based on a fairy tale and Academy Award-winning movie of the same name, this ballet centers on a dancer who must choose between her ambitions to succeed in dance or falling in love. The story of passion, control and one dancer’s dream of ultimate fame and triumph runs for roughly two hours with one intermission at the NYCC (located on West 56th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue). Tickets start at $35, and the mainstage production runs from Oct. 26 through Nov. 5.

Whether you opt for a passionate ballet or an emotional film festival, this season’s artistic endeavors throughout the city have much excitement and enlightenment to offer!