The brainiacs’ beloved New Yorker Festival, which began on Friday, has the usual crop of celeb interviews, art tours, and the anomaly that is The New Yorker dance party. But this year, the Conde Nastian powers-that-be focused decidedly on nerds, oddballs, and second bananas—you know, the people who love The New Yorker. Events include interviews with lesbian newscaster Rachel Maddow, Pulitzer-winning Dominican sci-fi fan Junot Díaz, and a panel of character actors that includes Christine Baranski, John Cusack, and Richard Kind. They go a step further today by honoring the mag’s flamboyant mascot in Tailing Tilley, a scavenger hunt that sends participants to city sites in search of the magazine’s monocled mascot Eustace Tilley, who will be “hopping” about town. Finally, trivia nerds and New Yorker nerds come together.

Sun., Oct. 18, 11 a.m., 2009