Free in NYC


by Mallory Passuite, 12/07/2011

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There's always something exciting to do and see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. See our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar and special offers section for more free events.

December 7–13

Wednesday, December 7
Dash Snow: Movie List
The late downtown artist Dash Snow was in Los Angeles when he stumbled upon VHS sleeves from adult films in a recently shuttered video shop. But when a New York copy shop was unable to reproduce the gold accents of the movie covers to Snow's liking, he abandoned his compilation of them and the project was never completed—until now, that is, from the original maquette from the artist's estate. Andrew Roth Gallery presents this book/object, titled Movie List, as part of Snow's first solo show in New York since 2006 (and also since his 2009 death). The exhibition includes a selection of Snow's original zine works; in his short career, the artist produced around 30 of these compilations, on his fleeting obsessions and inspirations. Of his friend, and of Movie List, writer and curator Neville Wakefield wrote, "Perhaps more than any of his generation Dash understood that only through the gilding of filth can it receive the attention it truly deserves." 

Thursday, December 8
Discussion of Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door with David Kaufman
Author and journalist David Kaufman reveals the shadowed life of one of the brightest stars of the 1950s and '60s in his 2008 book, Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door. The beaming blonde singer and starlet is known for songs like her 1945 hit "Sentimental Journey" and films like Pillow Talk (1959), in which she represented the innocence and charm of this seemingly halcyon era. Kaufman shares the other side of the story in a discussion at New York Public Library's Mid-Manhattan Library on Thursday at 6:30pm. Day, now 87, released My Heart, her first new album in 17 years, on December 2.

Friday, December 9
Talk to Her
Talk to Her, a 2002 film by esteemed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, follows the friendship that develops between two men caring for girlfriends in comas. In addition to many international awards, Talk to Her won the 2003 Oscar for Best Writing, Original Screenplay. The December 9 screening of this picture is part of a Pedro Almodóvar film series at New York Public Library's Muhlenberg Library. All movies in the showcase—which also includes All About My Mother, Live Flesh and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown—will be screened in Spanish with English subtitles and start at 2pm each Friday in December. Watch the trailer for Talk to Her at

Saturday, December 10
Union Square: Crossroads of New York Walking Tour
Union Square's rich history includes architecture, like the actual square; activism, marked by a Mahatma Gandhi statue, installed in 1986; art, recognized this year by Rob Pruitt's chrome-finished Andy Monument; and more. Union Square Partnership and Big Onion Walking Tours have teamed up to offer this weekly 90-minute walking tour, which departs from the Abraham Lincoln statue (at the northern end of Union Square Park, near 16th Street) at 2pm. And while you're in the area, check out the Union Square Holiday Market for gift ideas and treats.

Sunday, December 11
The Art of the Park: Central Park Tour
Designed in the mid–19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Central Park, in many ways, defines the City. And while it remains a year-round favorite to visit, the 843-acre oasis is quite romantic in the fall, with leaves in shades of red, orange and yellow. Stroll Central Park, from Tavern on the Green to Belvedere Castle, in a free walking tour focused on the park's intricately designed pastoral landscapes and formal vistas. The 90-minute jaunt begins at Tavern on the Green (inside the park at West 67th Street) on Sunday at 12:30pm.

Monday, December 12
Lou Reed: The Raven
With The Raven, Lou Reed—formerly of The Velvet Underground, recently of a Metallica collaboration—offers his own dramatization of Edgar Allan Poe's dark poem of the same name as well as the writer's other classics, plus songs inspired by Poe's work. While the album version came out in 2003, the book adaptation was released this past summer, in collaboration with Italian illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti. Reed will share his Raven at Brooklyn's BookCourt on Monday at 7pm.

Tuesday, December 13
Charlie Siem Performance
Young, good-looking British violin virtuoso Charlie Siem is, ahem, attracting a new generation of classical music fans with a talent and sound that spans delicate and feverish. He released his third album—Bruch, Wieniawski, Ole Bull, in which he is accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra—in September. Siem has played London's Royal Albert Hall and New York's Carnegie Hall, and has performed for Lady Gaga and Vivienne Westwood, among others. See him in a special show on Tuesday at the Apple Store on the Upper West Side, beginning at 7pm.

related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Union Square
    14th St to 17th St
    Manhattan – Union Square
    NY 10003
  2. 2
    163 Court St.
    Brooklyn – Cobble Hill
    NY 11201
  3. 3
    Apple Store Upper West Side
    1981 Broadway
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023

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