One of the best excuses I can think of to visit New York City (though who needs excuses?) is the Independent Film Week (formerly the IFP Market), taking place September 14-19 this year. IFW is part festival, part market, part seminar, and all for filmmakers and industry types looking to get a handle on the ever-changing landscape of the indie film scene.
IFW has a number of curated programs to which you can submit. Some of the deadlines have already passed, and some are coming up fast, but even without a project to submit it's well worth looking into whether IFW might have something to offer you and your career.