Free in NYC


by Niko Gelfars, 08/10/2011

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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.

Wednesday, August 10
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Every Wednesday evening through August, adults can enjoy the top movies of 2010 with RiverFlicks for Grown-Ups, a free outdoor film series at Pier 63 in Hudson River Park. This week's selection is Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a quirky comedy directed by Edgar Wright—you might know him for Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz—and starring Michael Cera. Based on the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O'Malley, Scott Pilgrim details a young musician's quest to defeat his girlfriend's seven evil exes in order to win her heart. The movie begins at dusk on the lawn at Pier 63; complimentary popcorn will be provided.

Thursday, August 11
Deer Tick
The RiverRocks concert series ends with a punk-folk favorite: Providence, Rhode Island's Deer Tick (who endeared themselves to us here at with both their original material and as Deervana—playing remarkably faithful covers of Nirvana songs). This show also features Dom, a Worchester, Massachusetts–based pop-rock quartet with a lo-fi DIY sensibility. "Doors" open at 6pm at Hudson River Park's Pier 54. Things get loud shortly thereafter.

Friday, August 12
These Friends

THIS Los Angeles, an art collective, brings its show These Friends to Manhattan. The exhibition, which will run through the end of August, features the work of a number of artists, including photographers Danny Clinch and Dan Monick and branding superstar Geoff McFetridge. Join them and more at 8pm at the Ace Hotel for the opening reception, where there will be free drinks.

Saturday, August 13

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival
This regatta (the largest of its kind in the United States) commemorates the death of exiled poet Qu Yuan, who is said to have committed suicide by drowning himself in a river. This year's festival also celebrates the Year of the Rabbit and continues a centuries-old Chinese tradition with a day of races in narrow boats shaped like dragons, excellent food and performances by musical guests as well as warrior monks from the Shaolin Temple in Manhattan. The activities begin at 9am at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.

Sunday, August 14
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. This performance features up-and-coming stand-up comedian Myq (pronounced "Mike") Kaplan, a 2010 Last Comic Standing finalist who has appeared on Comedy Central Presents and Conan. Join the fun at 2pm in Washington Square Park's Holley Plaza.

Monday, August 15
Downtown Dance Festival
The Battery Dance Company presents the 30th-annual Downtown Dance Festival, which will showcase companies from New York and around the world. The eight-day event is the City's longest-running free dance festival, and, in years past, it has presented the work of hotshot choreographers like Paul Taylor and Elizabeth Streb. On August 15, look for performances from the Jamal Jackson Dance Company and Lydia Johnson Dance, as well as Ballets with a Twist, a group whose choreography is inspired by cocktails. The show begins at noon at One New York Plaza in the Financial District.

Tuesday, August 16
CityParks PuppetMobile Presents Bessie's Big Shot
The CityParks PuppetMobile—one of the only traveling puppet theaters in the country—brings the professional performances of Central Park's Swedish Marionette Theater to every corner of New York City. Kids will love this production of Bessie's Big Shot, the story of a cow who dreams of joining the circus and must overcome spectacular obstacles to do so. Come cheer her on at 10:30am at the Southwest Playground in Van Cortlandt Park.

related venues/(4)

  1. 1
    Pier 54
    Eleventh Ave
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10014
  2. 2
    Washington Square Park
    W 4th St to Waverly Pl
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
    NY 10003
  3. 3
    One New York Plaza
    Water St
    Manhattan – Financial District
  1. 4
    Van Cortlandt Park
    Broadway and Jerome Ave.
    Bronx – Woodlawn/Little Ireland
    NY 10467

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