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Previewing The 2019 New Yorker Festival And Its Capital Region Connections

Susan Orlean and Alison Bechdel, who have both appeared in Saratoga in recent years, will be featured at the October festival.

Author Susan Orlean, who has appeared at Yaddo multiple times, will be appearing at The New Yorker Festival in October in NYC. (Noah Fecks)

It’s time to party like it’s 1999. The 20th anniversary of The New Yorker Festival touches down at a number of different venues throughout New York City, October 11-13—and this year, the festival has a number of intriguing connections to the Capital Region. For those unfamiliar with the event, it celebrates all things pop culture, with panels and performances from some of the best-known names in music, film, books, art, media and politics. With panelists and speakers ranging from 2020 presidential hopeful “Mayor” Pete Buttigieg and the Food Network’s Ina “Barefoot Contessa” Garten to performances by Dua Lipa and Florence + The Machine, the festival has a little something for everybody. But what makes it extra special for us Capital Region-ites? Here are three ways.

Susan Orlean Talks: “Shelf Awareness” – Sunday, October 13 at 11am – NYIT Auditorium on Broadway
You may remember saratoga living‘s November 2018 interview with longtime New Yorker contributor/staff writer and author Susan Orlean, who was set to make an appearance at Saratoga Springs’ Northshire Bookstore on her The Library Book book tour. The novelist, whose most famous work, The Orchid Thief, was adapted into an Oscar-winning film, entitled, aptly, Adaptation, has also had several residencies at Saratoga’s famed artists’ colony, Yaddo, which she describes as “…a really valuable, almost irreplaceable [place] for getting my books done. I’m really unspeakably grateful that it exists and that I’ve had a chance to be there.” Besides giving her talk, Orlean will also be signing books at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets, at 3pm. Tickets are still available and cost $49 each.

Desus & Mero With Troy Patterson – Friday, October 11 at 10pm – Florence Gould Hall
Two of the podcasting and now TV world’s funniest New Yorkers, Desus Nice and Kid Mero (of Showtime’s Desus & Mero and The Bodega Boys podcast), will be at this year’s festival, in conversation with New Yorker contributor Troy Patterson. The comedic duo are not strangers to the Capital Region. Earlier this year, they interviewed then-2020 presidential candidate (and New York Senator) Kirsten Gillibrand, whose presidential headquarters were based in Downtown Troy. Their interview took place at The Bradley bar,a favorite of Gillibrand’s, which is also in Downtown Troy. Tickets are still available and cost $49 each.

Alison Bechdel Talks With Judith Thurman – Saturday, October 12 at 10am – NYIT Auditorium on Broadway
When saratoga living‘s Senior Writer Jeff Dingler graduated from Skidmore College in 2018, one of his commencement speakers was American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, whose graphic novel, Fun Home, was later transformed into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical (it played at Proctors in 2017). Bechdel will appear at this year’s festival in conversation with New Yorker Staff Writer Judith Thurman. Tickets are still available and cost $49 each.

To browse a full list of events at or purchase tickets to the 2019 New Yorker Festival, click here.

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Olivia Mendlinger

Olivia Mendlinger is an editorial assistant at saratoga living.

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