Clear the cobwebs from your brain, and shake off those summer doldrums! As New York natives and visitors know equally well, once the leaves on the trees start to turn color, the city reasserts its identity as a cultural capital as only it can, with new, highly-touted theatrical openings, museum exhibitions, and big-name performances arriving every week.

Lately, two literary and cultural festivals have made themselves increasingly essential to the fall calendar—and New York Habitat is here to put both events on your radar so you won’t miss out.

Brooklyn Book Festival Logo

By now practically everyone has heard (or more likely read) that the borough of Brooklyn is fairly crawling with writers of every stripe, so it’s fitting that the annual Brooklyn Book Festival has grown to become the largest free literary event in New York City. Unfolding from September 15 – 18, the 2011 Festival will present a wide range of established literary lights and emerging authors alike, with a lineup that boasts such names as Jonathan Safran Foer, Pete Hamill, and Jhumpa Lahiri, among many others.

The Festival’s many readings and panel discussions are held at Brooklyn Borough Hall in downtown Brooklyn, while related and equally enticing “Bookend” events—which include not only readings but also live music, DJ sets, and film screenings—take place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Public Library, and bookstores in Cobble Hill, DUMBO, and Fort Greene. Visit the Brooklyn Book Festival’s official website for a complete schedule of events, directions to the various venues, and more information.

The New Yorker Festival Logo
The New Yorker Festival Logo
Just two weeks after the Brooklyn Book Festival, meanwhile, the New Yorker Festival works similarly highbrow turf from September 30 through October 2 (Friday – Sunday). This weekend-long extravaganza occurs at venues all over lower and midtown Manhattan, and its most sought-after tickets are the talks featuring major names in the arts, entertainment, and business in conversation with New Yorker writers like Malcolm Gladwell and Ken Auletta.

The 2011 Festival lineup won’t be announced until September 5 on the New Yorker Festival’s official website, but last year’s roster included the actor Steve Carell, James Taylor, fantasy writer Neil Gaiman and the director Werner Herzog, and it’s safe to say this year’s lineup will be equally eclectic. That’s in addition to the Festival’s readings, screenings, walking tours, and tastings—so, no matter what your tastes, the New Yorker fest almost certainly includes at least one event that has your name on it.

Interested in visiting New York this fall for these and other cultural events? New York Habitat has furnished apartment rentals across a range of locations all over town.

– Located on the garden level of a 4 story townhouse walk up in Park Slope, a fully furnished one bedroom apartment (NY-14720) epitomizes the gracious living suggested by the term “brownstone Brooklyn.” The one bedroom is conveniently located just four short blocks from the gorgeous Prospect park and it is also centrally situated near half a dozen subway lines.

– This furnished one-bedroom apartment (NY-10623) is located in the East Village on the second floor of a prewar walk-up. Its location at 1st Avenue and 13th Street puts you right in the heart of downtown nightlife, and the L train stop a block away makes the equally hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg (right across the East River) accessible in just a few minutes.

– This fully furnished one-bedroom apartment (NY-14040) in a West Village townhouse features hardwood floors, a double sized sofa bed in the living room, and a small dining table that seats two. Southern exposures in the living room and bedroom mean lots of natural light during the day, and the bedroom also boasts a charming garden view.

Let us know your favorite fall festival in New York in the comments below.

Do you have any hot tips about either the 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival or New Yorker Festival? Don’t hesitate to share recommendations or reminiscences in the space below.