The other day I caught myself almost buying a pair of reindeer printed leggings. Blame the sweltering summer that lasted until, well last week, but I was ready to stock up on thermal already in protest. I think every New Yorker is ready to wear clothing that doesn’t involve mesh or cutoffs anymore. Maybe it’s because it is the shortest month of the year, but people tend to freak the fuck out over fall. It awakens something in our distressed leather loins and turns everyday urbanites into something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Sure a pumpkin latte here, a hot cider there, and then all of a sudden it’s OMG guys we HAVE to go apple picking, or let’s rent a car and “look at the leaves!” Despite the 4 months out of the year when we resemble Nanook of the North, every East Coaster has a soft spot for seasons. So before you begin your hibernation process, here’s a shortlist of ways to fully take advantage of autumn in New York. Don’t worry schtupping Richard Gere or getting cancer or a pixie cut are not included in this list.
Go on a Walkabout
Everyone has their work commute, but when was the last time you walked around a neighborhood all day? Step 1: Get a good cup of coffee. It’s worth the splurge unless you really want to sip and savor some Dunkin Donuts. Step 2: Pick a neighborhood you’re not as familiar with and wander around exploring side streets and local shops. I hear East New York is lovely this time of year. Or pick a schmancy zipcode like the West Village, borrow your friend’s dog and pretend you live there.
Go to a Haunted House
What, you think this city would have just AVERAGE zombies at their haunted houses. Even the undead can work a pole. I bet their stamina is amazing, and I’s expect they do a really good Thriller routine. I used to be obsessed with haunted hayrides and houses as a kid but I don’t think I can handle the ones in the city. Maybe you’ve noticed the signs for Blood Manor which depicts a Gothic mansion in the middle of the city. I’ve certainly be tempted to go, but then I hear all these stories about signing waivers allowing people to touch you and whatnot, and god know what kind of people they hire to run these things. Given my past experiences with “haunted” attractions, it tends to attract carnies during their off season. But you never know, maybe it’s just some broke off-Broadway actors with a penchant for horror make-up. If you’re a total pussy like me, try riding the Ghost Hole Ride at Coney Island to get yourself pumped up.
Creative Pumpkin Carving
Some may say pumpkin carving is for kids, and I say so is cross-dressing, which is essentially what Halloween is. My dad was an expert pumpkin carver. It’s a perfect outlet for anyone with OCD looking to explore their hidden artistic side. I’m not talking black cats and silly faces, think more Mount Rushmore and Starry Night. Last year I dabbled in some erotic pumpkin carving patterns which I’m sure entertained my neighbors and the students of the Elementary School across the street. But hey, as long as it’s not on your front step, and up on a fire escape or in a window where no one can smash it, than what you carve on your pumpkin is entirely your own business. It is a pagan holiday after all, so want not get a little freaky with the designs this year.
With each new season, brings a whole new batch of beer to enjoy. I’m a total sucker for fall beer, and really craft beer in general. You don’t have to be a beer snob or pay $9 a glass for some unpronounceable German stout to enjoy seasonal brews. Even more mainstream breweries make good seasonal varieties. Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler Brown Ale has won a special place in my heart and my fridge, and of course Dogfishhead’s Punkin Ale is amazing but definitely on the pricier side. I like to think of it as an early birthday present to myself. Just like with a good bottle of wine, good beer is something to be enjoyed, not funneled. Once in awhile try ditching the PBR and actually drink some good fall beer. You don’t need tons of beer to get drunk, that’s what cheap vodka is for.