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Arts + Culture

The 13 Coolest Things to Do This Month

Have the post-summer blues? Don’t fret, September’s action-packed schedule has us bullish on fall. On our radar: a cool-kid farmhouse in the English countryside, a hidden cocktail lair in New York’s Little Italy, and a landscape-changing cultural opening in L.A.

Photo by Marco Funke

Photo by London Design Festival

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Art + Culture Hits

London This year's London Design Festival blows the others out of the water with more than 350 events. Among the highlights: Paris-based Charles Pétillon's 100,000 ethereal white balloons in Covent Garden dubbed Heartbeat; Japanese ceramics designer Reiko Kaneko's three-year experiment with porcelain; and Ogham Wall, an abstract piece by Grafton Architects that interprets 4th-century Irish script into large, concrete fins, showing at the V&A. Another favorite: Lottolab and designer Samuel Wilkinson's Ommatidium, a massive glass bulb structure in Shoreditch and Hoxton that transmits digital neighborhood guides to visitors' phones when they're in range.

Los Angeles The $140 million Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed Broad Museum of modern and contemporary art opens this month, its honeycomb shell another striking culture hit on Grand Avenue. Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad's museum is not without controversy, however, having suffered lawsuits and delays, but the permanent collection showcases some big names, from Damien Hirst to Jeff Koons to Ed Ruscha.

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Hottest Tables

Los Angeles
In the museum restaurant wars, the Broad's new Otium is L.A.'s answer to Untitled, Danny Meyer's much-hyped spot in New York's Whitney. French Laundry vet Timothy Hollingsworth oversees the kitchen, where shareable plates are the gold standard. He's been tight-lipped about the specifics, but one thing we're sure of: The flavors will be out of this world.

New York
Little Italy's new Genuine Superette has received high marks for its juice-themed cocktail list; this month the restaurant will launch a bar within a bar called Liquorette. Of-the-moment design firm Avroko designed the space to evoke a liquor store and tapped Eben Freeman (from WD-40) to create a cocktail program that brings bargoers into the mixing process. (He'll also debut his Ch-Chunker, a madcap machine that infuses canned drinks with booze.)

Chicago
The owners of New York hot spot Dead Rabbit have joined forces with Danny Meyer to open Chicago's Green River restaurant in Streeterville. Here, it's all about paying homage to the Irish-American artists and inventors who transformed the Windy City after the Great Fire in 1871. Acadia alum Aaron Lirette will run the kitchen and offer a menu of small bites (such as Slagel Farms pork terrine, harissa and scallion cream).

Austin
Locals are buzzing about Paul Qui's new small counter kaiseki spot, Otoko, housed in the highly anticipated South Congress Hotel. Fans of the Top Chef winner will recognize the reservation ticketing system, but surprises await at his latest opening; inspired by a trip to Japan, Qui's longtime right hand Yoshi Okai will take a more traditional approach, mixing Tokyo-style nigiri with cooked dishes.

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Hotels to Watch

Oxfordshire, England
Soho House has a knack for mixing its signature clubby-chic aesthetic with local flavor. And the hotel group has outdone itself with Oxfordshire's Soho Farmhouse, a reinterpreted classic English countryside retreat for the Shoreditch crowd. The 100-acre grounds are like a twentysomething's fantasy camp, with roving 1950s milk trucks serving cocktails, electric tuk-tuks and a lakeside boathouse with an infinity pool.

Guadalajara, Mexico
Hitmaker hotel group Grupo Habita is known for turning under-the-radar destinations into the next It place to be. Casa Fayette, in Guadalajara's leafy design district, is proof that these guys can't miss. Milanese design group Dimore Studio have given a crumbling mansion a soup-to-nuts makeover, adding a street-level café and courtyard, a rooftop spa and a sexy pool terrace. The hotel is the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the area's galleries and restaurants, like the imaginative Hueso, a new Mexican spot with interiors decorated with bones.

Tel Aviv, Israel
Fans of the city's scene-setting Brown TLV, in the Neve Tzedek quarter, have migrated to Jerusalem Beach, where its sister property, Brown Beach House, is the latest clubhouse for the party set. A 1950s summer resort vibe permeates the 40-room hotel, with interiors decked out with black-and-white carpets, sunshine-yellow couches and private balconies that overlook the Mediterranean.

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Photo by Stevan Alcala

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Killer Music Fests

Ibiza The island's hedonistic summers always build to a debauched climax: the closing parties (Sept. 16–Oct. 4). Don't miss: Hard Times at Privilege, headlined by Hector Romero and Derrick Carter; Guy Gerber at Ushuaia's La Familia; mega–trance stars Above & Beyond at Amnesia's Cream; and, of course, David Guetta's "F*** Me I'm Famous" show at Pacha.

Marfa, Texas Consider the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love at Liz Lambert's hippie-chic El Cosmico the laid-back brother of Burning Man. Music lovers crashing in teepees, yurts and Airstreams have been heading to this artist commune since 2006 to chill out and take drugs in the desert. What to expect? Mystics giving out tarot card readings, pig roasts and an eclectic musical lineup (Jenny Lewis, Mexican Institute of Sound).

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Must-See Events

Munich
That’s right, Munich actually kicks off its lager-drenched Oktoberfest in September, with more than 7 million liters of brew consumed over 16 days. Your drinking tent guide: The 10,000-seat Schottenhamel may be the oldest (1867), but it's also a favorite among hip locals and it's where Munich's mayor taps the first keg; the Hippodrom is best for celeb spotting; and the Hofbräu-Festzelt is the biggest and most recognizable tent at Oktoberfest.

Melbourne
Local artists take over the city, popping up in exhibition spaces and theaters, during the 18-day Fringe Festival (Sept. 16–Oct 4). Kin Collective, a popular Aussie band of actors, will put on a killer improv show, Hook Turn. Australian body painting champion Jessica Watson Miller will perform a Cirque du Soleil–worthy acrobatic production with UV-reactive body paint at the black-light theater Gasworks Art Park. And Peter Combe, a children's performer best known for his song "Wash Your Face in Orange Juice," will appease his growing hipster fan base with an adults-only show at the Fringe Club.

New York
New York Fashion Week kicks off on the 10th, with London, Milan and Paris to follow. This year all eyes are on the Big Apple, where Givenchy is unveiling a radical new concept: admitting the general public into Riccardo Tisci's fashion show (nearly 1,200 tickets will be for "real people"). Other news: IMG's new headquarters, adjacent to Milk Studios, will put on art exhibitions and talk series; controversial Instagram star The Fat Jewish is having the Dad Fashion Show at the Standard Hotel's Made Studios; and some counterculture labels (Public School, Prabal Gurung) are joining the official lineup for the first time.