Top Ten Things To Do In October

Keep On Truckin’

Vendy Plaza brings Vendy Award- winning food vendors to East Harlem

In a neighborhood known for street food and live music, El Barrio, Vendy Plaza is both a throwback to their roots and a celebration of all that is new and exciting. Every Sunday through 10/16, Vendy Award finalists gather beneath the Metro-North tracks (which, yes, makes this event rain or shine!) to peddle their tasty wares while musicians play, chefs host live kitchen demos, and a pop-up bar serves a selection of beers and wines. The Plaza is free and open to the public, making it a perfect, budget-friendly Sunday outing. (La Marqueta, Park Ave. btw 115th St. and 116th St.)

Geek Out
NYC Comic Con takes over the Javits Center

While it’s never exactly surprising to run into costumed characters in midtown, from 10/6-10/9, expect more than just the usual Times Square assortment: NYC Comic Con will descend on the nearby Javits Center with the East Coast’s biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. Superfans of all stripes, from comics and graphic novels to video games and movies, will converge for the famed Panels and Autograph Sessions that get them closer than ever to their favorite characters and content creators. And yes, costumes are strongly encouraged. (Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St.)

Find Peace
Honor the late Beatle at the Imagine mosaic

What better time than John Lennon’s birthday, 10/9, to visit Central Park’s Strawberry Fields and pay your respects to the iconic musician and activist? Dedicated shortly after his death in 1980 and completed in 1985, Strawberry Fields is a teardrop-shaped region of Central Park located across the street from Lennon’s one-time residence at The Dakota. Inside, you’ll find plaques commemorating the more than 100 nations that contributed to this garden of peace, as well as the landmark black-and-white memorial mosaic, inscribed simply, “Imagine,” in honor of one of his best-known solo songs. (Strawberry Fields: Central Park near 72nd St. and Central Park West)imagine-mosaic

Remember An Explorer 
Celebrate Christopher Columbus with New York’s massive Columbus Day Parade

The world’s largest celebration of Italian-American heritage takes over Fifth Avenue on 10/10: New York’s annual Columbus Day Parade. This year’s Grand Marshal, Robert LaPenta, will lead the procession of 35,000 marchers representing more than 100 groups, from bands to oats, before nearly one million spectators. For the best views of performances, perch yourself between 67th and 69th streets. The parade is also televised, but all are welcome to join the throngs on Fifth Avenue and honor the spirit of exploration and courage that brought Christopher Columbus to the New World. (Fifth Ave. from 44th St. to 72nd St.)

Spice Up Your Life
Pick up a pumpkin ale during a tour at Brooklyn Brewery

While your friends endlessly Instagram visits to the local pumpkin patch, do them one better in NYC: visit iconic Brooklyn Brewery for a tour and bring home its famed Post Road Pumpkin Ale. Free tours are offered every half hour from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and until 4 p.m. on Sundays, and no reservations are accepted, so plan to show up early and hang in the on- site Tasting Room while you wait your turn. Pro Tip: be sure to sample some of the rare large-format beers available exclusively at the brewery before choosing which you’d like to take home. (79 N. 11th St. Brooklyn)

Wake The Dead
Living legend Bob Weir plays Kings Theatre

On 10/14 and 10/15, Deadheads will flock to Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre for a performance by Bob Weir, whose first solo album in 10 years, “Blue Mountain,” debuts on 9/30. Every ticket includes a CD of “Blue Mountain,” featuring 12 original recordings of deeply personal songs inspired by the ranch stories and reside songs of the singer’s youth. The show itself, billed as “The Camp Fire Tour,” will include performances by Aaron Dessner, Bryan Devendorf, Scott Devendorf, and Josh Kaufman. Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and are two of only eight gigs that Weir booked nationwide in support of the new LP. (1027 Flatbush Ave., Brooklyn)

Be Afraid
Face your fear at the  Graveside Inn Haunted Hotel

If run-of-the-mill haunted houses simply don’t pack enough paranoia, you’ll want to secure your tickets for the famed Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel. Presented by NYC College of Technology, this high-tech horror show o ers two performances on 10/20-10/22, 10/27-10/29, and 10/31, and is a completely immersive experience: leave to visit the restroom, for example, and it’s likely you’ll find more than just toilet paper waiting in
the stalls. Tickets are just $10, and student and group discounts are available if you’re too scared to visit alone… (Voorhees Theatre, 186 Jay St., Brooklyn)

kennedy-vest-hatShake Hands & Kiss Babies
Try your hand at “Campaigning for the Presidency”

In the midst of the seemingly endless 2016 presidential election, historical context can be of some comfort. Consider, then, the New York Historical Society’s exhibit on the campaigns from 1960-1972. Pulling from what is considered one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of historical and political campaign memorabilia, the exhibit includes posters, buttons, stickers, and more from the campaigns of John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson, Barry Goldwater, Robert F. Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, and George McGovern. Because in times this fraught, it’s nice to remember that previous generations have seen it all before. (170 Central Park West)

Get Your Kicks
Columbus Crew FC takes on NYCFC at Yankee Stadium

Look around New York, and it’s likely that you’ll notice sports fans in light blue. No, they’re not faded Yankees’ navy or Knicks’ royal; they’re soccer fans, and they’ll be out in full force on 10/23 as the city’s own NYCFC takes on Columbus Crew FC at Yankee Stadium. Thanks to international stars like David Villa and Andrea Pirlo, the home team is feeling stronger than ever, and has quickly developed a reputation for its New York attitude and passion for winning – no surprise, since they play in the home of the winningest franchise in the history of any major U.S. sport. (1 E. 161st St. at River Ave., Bronx)

Go Undercover
Masquerade among strangers at the annual Capitale Halloween bash

Details on this epic annual party are famously kept under wraps until the event itself – as are the identities of the costumed revelers at this whimsical masquerade ball – but here’s what we can tell you: on 10/29, beginning with a one-hour open vodka bar at 9 p.m., Capitale is the home to one of New York’s boldest Halloween celebrations. Located within the historic Bowery Savings Bank, it’s tough to imagine a spookier locale, which may explain why this party is known to last until 6 a.m. Our best advice? Bring an open mind, and your costume “A” game. (130 Bowery)