curated by Sara Maher
We’re all feeling a little weird as the weather changes. Embrace the slightly off-the-mark with these fun finds.
Ya gotta love a festival that states “please take the Bechdel Test into consideration” on its About page. Not surprisingly, the Nordic International Film Festival is of Nordic origins, though the festival prides itself on judging all entries, “regardless of ethnicity, religion, or worldview,” with equal respect. It certainly lives up to this in terms of variety – the films range from 4 to 104 minutes and include New York, United States, international, and world premieres. The topics are nothing if not quirky; the opening night presentation, Autumn Fall, is about a lighting technician who hates actors, yet still becomes involved with two. Others cover an Australian bar re-staffed every three months by a new pair of backpackers; ghosts questioning their reasons for haunting; and documentaries about Krumping, Ghost Rockets, and Sweden’s UFOs.
• F downtown to 34 St-Herald Square and walk northeast to Scandinavia House (58 Park Ave.) Oct 28-30, various times. All screenings are free, but seating is first come, first served; panels and the opening night film are free but reservations required. Info and reservations: nordicfilmfest.org
Sure, there’s the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, but what about celebrating Halloween with something a little more … authentic? Ghosts of New York Walking Tours will guide you through every scary front step and ghoulish subway grate on tours like Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village and Children’s Ghost Hunt in the Haunted East Village. The folks behind the tour claim to have a board of advisors (including Poe himself) they contact through séances, and the walk disclaimer states they will not be held responsible for “any haunting, supernatural event, soul-possession, or poltergeist activity endured before, during, or after participation on the tour,” so keep your kids (and vital organs) in sight at all times.
• Various locations, but many tours start in the East Village, West Village, and Greenwich Village. Through the end of the year; various times. Standard tours are $20 adults, $15 seniors and students when booked online; pub crawls, special tours, and walk-ins may cost more. Tours are 90 minutes and you will walk one mile. Info, calendar, and tickets: ghostsofny.com
Buggy to the Beach
At this point, you probably aren’t inclined to spend a traditional day at the beach, so why not learn about the history of a famous one instead? Five Cents to Dreamland: A Trip to Coney Island explores Coney Island’s history through the lens of transportation, showing how advances in public transit allowed the faraway strip of sand to transform from a getaway for those rich enough to own a horse and carriage, to a seaside resort and a bustling neighborhood accessible to anyone with a MetroCard.
• F downtown to Jay St-MetroTech and walk southwest to the New York Transit Museum decommissioned subway entrance at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn St. Through November 2016. Museum hours Tue-Fri 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sat-Sun 11a.m. - 5 p.m. $10 adults, $5 ages 2-17 and over 62. nytransitmuseum.org
Cry for Joy Instead
No matter how you plan to vote this Election Day, chances are you’re pretty upset right now. Laugh away your cares about the future of America at the New York Comedy Festival, five days of performances by over 200 comedians. There’s a good mix of celebrity standup (Louis C.K., Jim Gaffigan, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld) and podcasts, tours, game shows, and other events, so spend time digging around on the website as opposed to literally any other place on the Internet.
• Various locations. F-accessible venues include Carnegie Hall (downtown to 57 St and walk northwest to 881 7th Ave); Carolines On Broadway (downtown to 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center and walk northwest to 1626 Broadway); The Town Hall (downtown to 42 St-Bryant Park and walk northwest to 123 W 43rd St); Madison Square Garden (downtown to 34 St-Herald Sq and walk west to 4 Pennsylvania Plaza); and NYU Skirball Center (downtown to W 4 St and walk northeast to 566 LaGuardia Pl). Nov 1-6; various times. Tickets free-$5,000; some events priced as drink minimum. Most events recommended for ages 18+. Info, schedule, and tickets: nycomedyfestival.com