This Week in New Haven (October 9 – 15)

A harvest dance, a visual arts bonanza, kids in costumes and other local October staples highlight a week that’s busy and dynamic even by New Haven standards. 

Monday, October 9
A top Chinese poet and a top American translator team up for a reading and conversation at Luce Hall (34 Hillhouse Ave, Rm 203, New Haven) from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The poet is Zang Di, who’s also a “critic, translator and editor” and “widely acknowledged as one of the leading poets and literary critics of his generation,” while his compatriot is Eleanor Goodman, a prize-winning researcher at Harvard who translates Di’s work, among others’, and put out her own book of poems in 2016. Free.

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G Cafe Bakery

Tuesday, October 10
At College Street Music Hall (238 College St, New Haven; 877-987-6487), Third Eye Blind, who deservedly owned a good share of rock and pop radio in the late ’90s, are playing an 8 p.m. show for $30 to $45. In the 20 years since the group’s debut record, when it almost immediately sold millions and millions of copies, the band’s had a semi-charmed life, losing two original members and the huge spotlight it once had. But the handful of albums released in the interim contain plenty of jumpers, while lead singer/writer Stephan Jenkins doesn’t seem to have lost his youthful edge.

Wednesday, October 11
Today is Founder’s Day at Yale. Helping mark the 316th birthday of the school’s formation is a series of public-facing, sometimes behind-the-scenes tours of places like Mory’s (306 York St, New Haven; every 30 minutes from noon to 3), Harkness Tower (High St between Chapel and Elm; every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 1:30) and the University and Yale Repertory Theatres (starting at 222 York St, New Haven; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.).

Unrelatedly, the founder of a pop culture dynasty is playing at the Whitney Humanities Center (53 Wall St, New Haven). Alien (1979), specifically a 35mm print of the director’s cut—which is actually “slightly shorter” than the original theatrical release but “includes many alternate scenes”—screens at 7 p.m. Free.

Thursday, October 12
Congregation Mishkan Israel (785 Ridge Rd, Hamden; 203-288-3877) hosts Comic Relief: An Interfaith Fundraiser for the Immigrant Bail Fund, “a family-friendly standup comedy show by Muslim, Jewish and Christian comedians: Gibran Saleem, Rabbi Bob Alper and Reverend Susan Sparks.” Joined by What’s on Tap, a “Yale post-grad a capella group” whose “repertoire consists of well-known selections of pop, oldies and rock,” proceeds will go towards helping beleaguered immigrants “fight their deportations with their families from a position of freedom.” $10 suggested donation.

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Fireflies at Long Wharf Theatre

Friday, October 13
It’s October, and it’s Friday the 13th. If that doesn’t make you want to marathon horror movies, then you might head over to the Whitneyville Cultural Commons (1253 Whitney Ave, Hamden) for the Fourth Annual New Haven Farms Harvest Celebration and Contra Dance, where the vibes couldn’t be less scary. Leading the “traditional New England folk tradition, similar to a square dance,” is distinguished local contra caller Bill Fischer, with beer and wine for sale plus hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction. Regular tickets cost $28 and VIP tickets, which include “a signature cocktail and exclusive hors d’oeuvres,” go for $55. 7 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, October 14
The second full weekend in October means the second weekend of City-Wide Open Studios. Held from noon to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow, Armory Weekend—named after its host, the Goffe Street Armory (290 Goffe St, New Haven)—features some 160 artists and nine commissions distributed throughout a humongous and historic building, filling a former locker room, kitchen, attic, drill hall and a maze of unique spaces between with fine visual arts of every stripe (like work by Jesse Peck, installed last year, pictured in detail above). Free.

A day of seeing artworks leads to a night of hearing others. At 7:30 at the Unitarian Society of New Haven (700 Hartford Tpke, Hamden), educational nonprofit Music Haven celebrates 10 years of work with a free 7:30 concert by its quartet-in-residence, the Haven String Quartet, performing Schubert, Mozart, Telemann and more. At 8 p.m. at The Outer Space (295 Treadwell St, Hamden; 203-288-6400; $8), Model Decoy plays its trademark power pop/R&B tunes inspired by “nerd” culture, like a song that takes Knives’s side against Scott Pilgrim and another that tries to capture what it’s like to feel infatuation from the perspective of Abed Nadir, a naturally stoic character from the show Community. Also at 8, inside Lyric Hall (827 Whalley Ave, New Haven; 203-389-8885; $30), New Haven Jazz Week 2017 kicks off eight days of shows around the city with a performance by the Giacomo Gates Quartet, whose leader is “known for his smoky tenor style” and “croons in the tradition of vocalese masters Eddie Jefferson and Jon Hendricks while adding his own hipster elements.”

Sunday, October 15
The Blackstone Library (758 Main St, Branford; 203-488-1441) undergoes its annual transfiguration into Hogwarts, giving local kids ages six and up a chance to immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter. Encouraged to dress the part of budding wizards, “upon arrival, children will be escorted by Prefects to the Great Hall,” organizers say, “where they will be greeted by Professor McGonagall. From there, attendees will take classes in Charms, Potions, and Divination,” as well as solve an “escape challenge” posed by the odious Dolores Umbridge. Tickets cost $30 per child, and half of the library’s four two-hour sessions—yesterday and today at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.—are already sold out.

Striking both a more and less sober note, a fundraiser for the tenants and workers displaced by the recent fire at 157 Orange Street happens from noon to eight in Temple Plaza (160 Temple St, New Haven), where there’ll be live music (including from bagpipers), raffles, big-screen televisions showing NFL games and “great friends,” plus “good drinks” and “delicious food” for sale.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Image depicts detail of work by Jesse Peck, shown last year during Armory Weekend. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories.

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