It all starts with the U.S. Open, the classiest local sporting event, when renowned New Yorkers like Spike Lee and Alec Baldwin gladly share space with just-as-important albeit not-as-famous residents (like this YouTuber, who thought it entertaining and incredibly “New York” to get a haircut while watching a match).
Although the official start of fall isn’t until a few weeks after the U.S. Open wraps up, there’s something about the tennis tournament that points to a return to normalcy. It may be that the matches usually coincide with the start of the school year or that the weather gods start blessing us with a few beautiful nights, but there’s just something about the beginning of September that jolts the city awake and reminds everyone that we’re all the same, whether we spent the summer in the Hamptons, galavanting through Europe or slumming it in an air condition-less apartment. Come fall, we’re all back in town and ready to tackle what the five boroughs have to offer.
And just like that, the most exciting cultural period of the year kicks off: much-anticipated exhibits open, new restaurants catapult onto the city’s always-wonderful culinary scene, novel imbibing trends are born and parks suddenly no longer feel like paralysis by asphyxiation. It’s actually pleasant to spend time outdoors.
This year alone, the Museum of Broadway is scheduled to finally make its debut, as is the new immersive art center Hall des Lumières (one thing we hope the season will bring less of: immersive art experiences). On the theater front, a solid number of already well-received shows (Kimberly Akimbo! & Juliet! The Devil Wears Prada!) are making their Broadway debut.
There’s just something about the beginning of September that jolts the city awake…
Fall is, indeed, a feast for the senses and a true display of what New York is all about: a unique urban concoction made up of differing ideas, innovations, inventions and, of course, plenty of reasons to moan about it all.
After an entire season spent grumbling about the unbearable heat, the putrid smell of garbage sitting in the sun and the rising cost of real estate, it’s exciting to have a fresh platter of only-in-New-York matters to complain about (in primis: the newly renovated Penn Station, which doesn’t seem as modern and straight-up beautiful as it should be considering its original state).
Alas, as New Yorkers, despite our constant criticism, we always have a flair for the romantic, so let’s not forget the best thing that fall brings along with it: a few days of absolutely perfect weather—a fact that makes everything just… click.
As a personal welcome to the season, I take an annual walk around Washington Square Park at the first smell of fall. As a new crop of New York University students moves in, the feeling of novelty electrifies the air. There’s just something about seeing the newly implanted citizens discover and claim New York as their own for the very first time that tickles my insides and reminds me that, no matter how not-so-great our politicians are and how absurd restaurants’ reservation policies have become (I’m talking to you, Carbone), we live in the greatest fucking city in the world.
Go enjoy it, folks—and happy fall.
Time Out tip: Before it gets too cold out, head to The Seaport to marvel at the changes that have taken over the neighborhood, including the newly opened Tin Building by Jean-Georges. After satisfying your hunger pangs at seasonal restaurant Seeds and Weeds, grab a focaccia from T Cafe and Bakery downstairs and make your way to the Seaport outpost of McNally Jackson, which is arguably the most beautiful bookstore in New York.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.