13. See Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa
At the Metropolitan Museum.
Yummy, bright handblown glass by a mid-century master, made for the Venini company between 1932 and 1947. The sort of show that makes you want to go home and hit eBay.
Opens November 5.
14. Revisit The War Room
It’s the anniversary, stupid.
Exactly twenty years ago, D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus released the fast, funny, on-the-fly account of the Bill Clinton campaign that made stars of James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. You can relive the glory days with Pennebaker and Hegedus in person November 1 at the Maysles. And since we’re about to choose a new mayor, check out the Maysles’s Election Week calendar for more politics docs—including Robert Downey Jr.’s gonzo political travelogue, The Last Party. —D.E.
Maysles Documentary Center.
15. Hear French Montana, Juelz Santana, and Jadakiss
Catch up with the recent past.
There will be a few specters—the Ghosts of New York City Rap Past, circa 2002—knocking around the Hammerstein this Halloween. The crowd will come out for the headliner French Montana, a desultory but inescapable fixture of current hip-hop radio. But the word-drunk veterans Juelz Santana and Jadakiss are the real stars on this bill: the latter loose, funny, a bit gonzo, the former brusque and staccato. Both are commanding live performers. —Jody Rosen
Hammerstein Ballroom, October 31.
16. Read On Monsters
Truly, who wouldn’t read a chapter called “Hermaphrodites and Man-Headed Oxen”? The book in question is Stephen Asma’s history of terrifying beasts and our perverse attraction to them, from Gog and Magog to cyborgs, terrorists, torturers, and zombies. On Monsters is a few years old, but it’s timely: You won’t find Sexy Whatever in there, but it’s otherwise a terrific sourcebook for Halloween costumes. Or you could just wear the wonderful illustrations. —K.S.
Oxford University Press.
17. See American Ballet Theatre
The best season for ABT begins.
This week, ABT jetés across the plaza from its summer Met home, with a season chock-full of premieres and repertory works. Highlights: artist-in-residence Alexei Ratmansky’s new The Tempest, plus revival premieres of Mark Morris’s Gong, last performed nearly ten years ago, and Twyla Tharp’s exquisite Bach Partita. —R.M.
David H. Koch Theater, October 30 to November 10.
18. Meet Amy Tan
Amy Tan has her first new novel out since 2005’s Saving Fish From Drowning. Like much of her work, The Valley of Amazement concerns the relationship between mothers and daughters, not to mention other clashing cultures—themes that play out, in this case, through the relationship between the madam of a house of courtesans in 1912 Shanghai and her half-white, half-Chinese daughter. —K.S.
92nd Street Y, November 6.
19. See Dark Universe
Take that, Sandra Bullock!
The Hayden Planetarium’s new show is a swoopy travelogue of the universe, narrated by the excellent Neil deGrasse Tyson—who put it best when he remarked on Twitter that real space travel ought to get us at least as excited as Gravity does.
American Museum of Natural History, starts November 2, airing every half-hour.
20. Hear James Blake
Synths with soul.
At his best, the English singer and producer James Blake is a spellbinder: a maker of bewitchingly blurry little symphonies, spangled with electronics, that cast an entrancing glow. His latest album, Overgrown, has more actual songwriting than his acclaimed 2011 debut, mostly focused on doomed romance. He’s a 21st-century torch balladeer; he doesn’t quite have the voice to support his soul-singer ambitions, but the beautiful music closes the deal. —J.R.
Terminal 5, November 6.
21. Read Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
Yes, your reflex is to roll your eyes at the return of Bridget Jones—but Helen Fielding is wry and observant and much better than the chick-lit detractors would have you believe. And Bridget has aged into our time: She’s in her fifties now, drunk-texting through her evenings, exactly as you would fear/hope/appreciate.
22. See The Frick’s Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals
With a movie-star special guest.
Fifteen paintings by the three Dutch Old Masters are on loan from the Mauritshuis while its building’s under renovation. The draw is Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, which is unlikely to be traveling again soon: See her now, or you’ll have to book a plane to The Hague.
Through January 19.
23. See the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black
Its namesake actress died in August. But this glam-punk band fronted by Kembra Pfahler—around since 1990!—carries on with a Halloween Eve show just down the block from the lost world of CBGB, where TVHOKB played some of its first gigs.
Bowery Electric, October 30.
24. Hear Hilary Hahn
She’s no diva.
Hahn regularly skips the floor-length gowns and engages face-to-face with her public. Case in point: her “In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores” project, for which she commissioned new takes on that staid ovation-magnet from 27 living composers. She’ll play all of them, and host “Ask the Composer” sessions with the likes of Nico Muhly and Jennifer Higdon, at this cozy daylong event.
Greenwich House Music School, November 3.
25. Visit Times Scare
The name is dorky; the locale is a slog of tourists. But Times Scare is actually a weirdly cool haunted house—one that serves absinthe cocktails and is, reportedly, in a building that was once a crematorium.
669 Eighth Avenue, between 42nd and 43rd Streets.