Free in NYC


by Erin O'Hara, 07/06/2011

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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.

July 6–12

Wednesday, July 6
The Social Network
If you haven't yet had the pleasure of viewing the big-screen depiction of Mark Zuckerberg's awkwardness, overinflated ego and genius ability to harness the social capabilities of the Internet, be sure to head to Hudson River Park's newly opened Pier 63 Lawn in Chelsea as RiverFlicks for Grown-Ups presents the multi-Oscar-winning film The Social Network. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, the movie centers on the now infamous tale of the controversial formation and ascension of social media powerhouse Facebook. Partake in the complimentary popcorn while you watch the Winklevoss twins have a meltdown or two, with the Hudson River serving as the backdrop. (Other snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.) The screening starts at dusk, which is approximately 8:30pm. Bring a blanket and a few of your Facebook friends, and be sure to get there early to snag a good spot.

Thursday, July 7
The Whitney Museum of American Art has commissioned new works as part of its Whitney on Site series in Gansevoort Plaza (the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Gansevoort and Little West 12th Streets), a block away from a future outpost of the institution. The latest installment, Ascension, by Elizabeth Streb, is a stunning performance art piece featuring nine members from the STREB Extreme Action Company, a troupe known for executing breathtakingly complex and daring maneuvers. As the performers climb a 21-foot ladder, it rotates, and they melt into a transfixing and dizzying dance where up is down and the top is endlessly out of reach. Weather permitting, the performances will take place at 3pm and 5pm through July 9. 

Friday, July 8
Waterfront Workouts: Belly Dance
If you're tired of doing the same old squats and sit-ups at the gym, Waterfront Workouts will help change up your routine and give you a change of scenery. Join Dodge YMCA for belly dancing, a fun workout that is definitely not your average exercise, while soaking in breathtaking views by the water at Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Learn to sway your hips like a pro as you're guided through authentic belly-dancing moves to the beat of traditional Middle Eastern music. The hour-long session starts at 7pm and you must fill out a Waterfront Workouts waiver beforehand in order to participate. Belly-dancing workouts take place every Friday through July 29. 

Saturday, July 9
4Knots Festival Kickoff Show with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
The official 4Knots Kickoff Show (the festival itself takes place a week later) continues a beloved New York City summer tradition: the free Ted Leo performance. He's played no-cost concerts in NYC every summer since 2002. This one begins at 6pm at South Street Seaport's Pier 17. Attendees can look forward to a joyous evening of folk-punk sing-alongs. His cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" is a fan favorite.

Sunday, July 10
Laughter in the Park
Laughter in the Park is a summer program that aims to bring happiness and humor to the City's green spaces. Past performers have included comedians Hannibal Buress, Christian Finnegan and Amy Schumer. On July 10, sit back, relax and enjoy the hilarity of Pete Lee, Al Jackson, Stuckey & Murray, Dan St. Germain and Roger Hailes from 2 to 4pm at the band shell in Tompkins Square Park.

Monday, July 11
The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
What more perfect way is there to experience the first-rate music of The Metropolitan Opera in the summertime than in the picturesque outdoor setting of Central Park? Delight in performances by soprano Angela Meade, tenor Dimitri Pittas, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and pianist Bradley Moore as the sun sets and the heat of the day gradually gives way to a cool night under the City's sparkling lights. The show, the first of the season for the Met's annual Summer Recital Series, takes place at Rumsey Playfield as part of SummmerStage and begins at 8pm.

Tuesday, July 12
Bryant Park Knits
Knitty City, one of NYC's premiere yarn stores, is offering free beginner's knitting lessons in Bryant Park every Tuesday through August 30. Whether you've never touched a knitting needle or you're a beginner who wants to improve your skills, you will be led through the basics of this ancient craft while knitting squares for blankets that will later be donated to charity (yarn and needles will be provided). The group meets from 1:30 to 3pm at the Upper Terrace, near the statue of Gertrude Stein. Space is limited; RSVP by calling 212-787-5896. 

related venues/(4)

  1. 1
    Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1
    Furman and Old Fulton Sts
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  2. 2
    Tompkins Square Park
    Ave. A between 7th and 10th Sts.
    Manhattan – East Village
  3. 3
    SummerStage in Central Park
    Rumsey Playfield, E. 72nd St. at Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10065
  1. 4
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West

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