What to Do This Month in L.A., Miami, and NYC

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With the beach and its bliss far behind us — well, not for our SIXTY ports in Los Angeles or Miami, but you get the idea — it’s time to sink our teeth into the indoor bounty that is the fall cultural calendar. This month, our resident culture critic Scott Heins has selected the best events in November, from indie docs to a psychedelic rap and much, much more. There’s something for everyone. Here’s what’s happening.

NEW YORK CITY: It’s not every day you get to take in the work of a real legend. Diane Arbus‘s iconic  black and white photography tells the story of New York City as it came of age in the 20th century. In her work, the private moments of immigrant children, drag queens, debutantes, and drifters lay open for all to see. New York and life itself are real and immediate in these classic images. Throughout November, some of Arbus’s best works will be on display at David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea for a new show, labeled simply Untitled. The show is comprised of 66 portraits of people with developmental disabilities, made in the final years before Arbus’s death in 1971. In an era of Instagram immediacy, her images stand the test of time and are only strengthened by its passing. This is a chance to see NYC as it once was and will never be again. Show runs November 2nd through December 15th // David Zwirner Gallery, 537 West 20th Street, Manhattan // Free

NEW YORK CITY: Believe it or not, the film world stretches far beyond your suggested Netflix feed. Get an early glimpse of some of the best new indie films on the horizon at this year’s New York Documentary Film Festival. Now in its ninth year, the fest will feature 135 feature films — 42 of which are world premieres — spread out over eight days. Most of the action is conveniently located at Cinépolis Chelsea. A clear 2018 highlight is Free Solo, the gripping document of Alex Honnold’s 3,000-foot free climb of the El Capitan rock face in Yosemite. Also not to be missed is The Biggest Little Farm, the story of two artists trading in their city jobs for subsistence farming without ever really leaving the city. For the determined film fan, special talks, panels, and workshops will be sprinkled throughout the week’s schedule, so check out the Documentary Fest’s full schedule and be sure to plan ahead. Festival runs Thursday, November 8th through Thursday, November 15th; Showtimes vary // Locations vary // Ticket info here

LOS ANGELES: It’s a music and tacos fest, what more do you need to know? This November, L.A. is getting hit with the heat wave that is Tropicália Fest, a two-day celebration of some of the best latinx-inspired music and food. At the top of the bill is Cardi B and Morrissey (huh?) along with Kali Uchis, Chicano Batman, and La Sonora Dinamita. In addition to the on-stage action, a fleet of food trucks, taco stands, and bars will be serving up plenty of tequila. It’s all happening in Long Beach’s beautiful Queen Mary Park, which offers sublime views of Queensway Bay and the Pacific. Single-day tickets are still available, so check the schedule to see which day is more to your liking (or dive in deep and get a weekend pass). Festival runs Saturday and Sunday, November 3rd and 4th // Queen Mary Park, Long Beach // Tickets here

LOS ANGELES: Strange whirling sculptures make up Nonspace, the new exhibition of Alexander Calder‘s art at the storied Hauser & Wirth gallery. Stretching beyond the interior rooms and out into a central open-air courtyard, the installation makes for a surreal walking experience as the sculptures’ shape and form play off one another. Putting Calder’s work into words is a hopeless aesthetic exercise, but the exhibition title Nonspace comes from the piece’s frequent use of open space and movement to incorporate the open air in their artistic impact. Part architecture, part naturalist art, the pieces are gorgeous, thought-provoking, and accessible to art novices with little or no gallery experience. Exhibition runs throughout November // Hauser & Wirth, 901 E 3rd Street, Los Angeles // Free

MIAMI: You might have brought along a book to read on the beach but there’s a full-on literary festival happening in South Beach this month. The Miami Book Fair will feature a diverse lineup of authors, many of which work and live in the city or elsewhere across Florida. Special ticketed author talks, near-endless book shopping, Caribbean reading groups, and an outdoor fair space filled with food vendors are just a few of the reasons for even the slightly-bookish to visit the fair, which runs for eight straight days this November. Runs Sunday through Sunday, November 11th to 18th // Event locations vary // Ticket info here

MIAMI: It’s time to turn up. Riding high on the success of his excellent new album Astroworld, Travis Scott is bringing his rap rodeo to the American Airlines Arena. Praised by Pitchfork as a “a sticky, humid, psychedelic world with dazzling production and odd pleasures at every turn,” Astroworld features Scott at the top of his game, collaborating with the likes of Tame Impala, 21 Savage, Drake, James Blake, and, yes, even John Mayer. Amidst what is easily one of the can’t-miss hip-hop tours of 2018, Scott’s stopover in Miami is going to be a loud and wild one. If you’re brave enough to venture into the GA, be prepared to mosh. Sunday, November 11th, 7:30 p.m. // American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami // Tickets $35 and up

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Czum

Scott Heins

Scott Heins

Scott Heins is a writer and photographer living in New York City. Born in Minnesota, he currently works in Brooklyn as a journalist and portrait artist. He's fascinated by anything in the world that's strange, futuristic, or forgotten.