Autumn in New York brings about a slew of new cultural experiences. Don’t miss this year’s events. From the spooky to the inspiring, there is a plethora of activities for the colder months ahead. 

Death of Classical

For the eccentric with an open mind, we recommend Death of Classical events. Forget what you think you know about classical music and opera performances, and find yourself picking from a powerful lineup held in special spaces, like a Harlem church crypt or Catacombs of The Green-Wood Cemetery. Death of Classical is known for moving and intimate experiences that give a new life to classical music. They are committed to giving voice to underrepresented composers and performers, while opening up the world of classical music to new audiences. Needless to say, these are not your typical music venues or performances. Expect romance, historic interiors, and surprising emotional responses. For their future Autumn sessions you will find yourself enjoying wine and cheese before a performance inside the Church of the Intercession’s crypt. The upcoming events include a performance by pianist and filmmaker James Carson and a night inside the crypt with violinist Jennifer Koh, with the last event happening on November 30th with a performance by Empire Wild. If you seek a unique experience that stays with you, visit their website and start booking – they sell out quickly. We cannot think of a better way to spend a magical Autumn night than with a one-of-a-kind performance in a historic space. 

Death of Classical, various locations, depending on the show: The Crypt Sessions at Church of the Intercession, 550 West 155th St (betw Broadway/Amsterdam Ave); The Angel’s Share at The Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St (entrance on 5th Ave @ 25th St) Brooklyn; The Cave Sessions under St. George’s Church, 4 Rutherford Pl, (entrance on 16th St betw 3rd Ave/Rutherford Pl, just past the playground).

Blood Manor

For Halloween enthusiasts we recommend visiting Blood Manor for a good scare. Blood Manor is a haunted house attraction and your classic cathartic experience. We like to think of it as scream therapy. The owner, Jim Lorenzo, treated us to a preview where we mingled with the actors, who made sure to give us a proper scare, and took a tour of the space before its official opening. Lorenzo describes the experience in theatrical terms: “It’s a theatrical quality production, with trained actors, set designers, and make-up artists. The difference is that the audience walks right onto the stage and into the performance.” This is no over the top haunted house, no cocktails, no pretense, just a good 20 minute tour of anticipation, screaming and enjoyment. Don’t miss these haunted halls filled with different rooms, like “The Crypt” (where no one rests in peace) and all-new frights like Maggot Invasion, Hannibal’s Hell, and Killer Clowns. One new feature is a haunted battlefield, a nod to the history of Blood Manor’s location. In the late 19th century, the building housed the studio of Matthew Brady, the first “celebrity photographer” known for his daring Civil War photos and pictures of famous people. In fact, the portrait of Abraham Lincoln on the $5 bill was shot right in this studio, making this house a designated landmark. We enjoyed ourselves as much as the actors. While this is a fun experience, it is not for the faint of heart. Bring a brave friend and hold onto them.

Blood Manor, 359 Broadway (betw Franklin/Leonard St) 

The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming

For history buffs with affinity for grim details, we recommend the latest Salem witch trials exhibit. No time could be more perfect to put on an exhibit featuring the Salem witch trials – not only is this the spookiest time of the year, Salem’s witch trials remain a defining example of intolerance, church politics and injustice in American history. New York Historical Society is an American history museum and library, their latest exhibit exhibit features some important highlights: John Proctor’s brass sundial; a loom that belonged to Rebecca Putnam (whose family was a major force in the accusations), and a gown from fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s 2007 collection that he designed in memory of Elizabeth How (McQueen’s ancestor who was condemned and hanged as a witch in July 1692). The exhibit is on view until January 22nd. The New York exhibition is organized by Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum, and there is much to learn. Run, don’t walk, to see it. 

New York Historical Society, Central Park West (betw 76th/77th St).

Frida Kahlo Exhibition

For Frida Kahlo fans seeking a closer look into the artist’s life and mind, we recommend one of the most anticipated events of the year—the opening of Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon immersive experience. While we love strolling through the halls of a museum, immersive art experiences using technology have become one of our favorite ways to appreciate an artist, and not just through their work, but by getting to know them as human beings with private lives. Without a doubt, Frida Kahlo is one of the most influential artists of all time, making this Frida Kahlo Exhibit a must-see for all art lovers. You should know that this is not your typical immersive art experience. The exhibit is presented without the reproductions of paintings, giving us a special inside look into the artist’s biography instead. The experience beautifully shows a collection of historical photographs, original films, digital environments, artistic installations and collector’s items. Through it all you will enjoy newly created music that reproduces the most relevant moments of Frida Kahlo’s life. The walk-through exhibition takes about 90 minutes and is located in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Book your ticket on their website.

Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon, 259 Water St (betw Bridge/Gold St), Dumbo, Brooklyn