Free in NYC
by Mallory Passuite, 10/26/2011
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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.
October 26–November 1
Wednesday, October 26
Taylor Mead: Aphorisms from On Amphetamine and in Europe
At 86, poet and actor Taylor Mead remains a seminal figure in New York's underground scene. His film appearances include Jim Jarmusch's 2003 Coffee and Cigarettes and avant-garde classics like Andy Warhol's 1964 Tarzan and Jane Regained…Sort of, and he was the subject of the documentary Excavating Taylor Mead. Mead has published several books of poetry, including 2005's A Simple Country Girl, his latest, and once jumped a gunman, more than likely saving Warhol's life. Aphorisms, on view at Half Gallery, features highlights from Mead's 1968 book, On Amphetamine and in Europe.
Thursday, October 27
Days before Halloween, the 96th Street branch of the New York Public Library will screen a selection of classic horror shorts, beginning at 2pm. Among the films in the showcase is Ted Parmelee's 1953 cartoon The Tell-Tale Heart, which brings to life the maddening "low, dull, quick sound" of a dead man's heartbeat from Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story of the same name. Other films include A Rose for Emily (1982), starring Anjelica Huston; The Amateurist (1998), starring Miranda July; and The Lottery (1969).
Friday, October 28
Edward Steichen: The Last Printing
After the publication of Edward Steichen: In High Fashion—The Condé Nast Years, 1923–1937 in 2008 and the subsequent International Center of Photography Edward Steichen exhibition in 2009, Smithsonian magazine said that while the Luxembourg-born photographer may not have invented fashion photography, "he created the template for the modern fashion photographer," with a precise eye for lighting and composition. Steichen (1879–1973) began his career in Paris as a painter and photographer before falling into fashion photography in New York, where he shot for publications like Vanity Fair and Vogue. Danziger Projects presents a collection of 84 of his photos—including portraits of Amelia Earhart, Fred Astaire and Martha Graham—through October 29.
Saturday, October 29
Keith Haring Exhibition and Pop Shop
The late Keith Haring first made his mark on NYC's visual culture in 1980 via unused advertising panels in the subway, and even as his recognition (and price tags) increased, Haring—ever the street artist—wished to keep his work accessible. And so he turned to printmaking, publishing more than 60 editions in the United States, Europe and Japan, and, in 1986, the Pop Shop in SoHo, where he sold T-shirts, buttons and other items that featured his images. This exhibition, through December 3 at Pace Prints, showcases a selection of prints and small-scale multiples created between 1983 and 1990 (the year Haring died of AIDS-related complications), many featuring the artist's signature bold and vibrant figure motifs, in black and white and in color. There's also a Pop Shop installation, which has artwork that covers the walls and ceiling, modeled after the original, and is stocked with art and pieces from the Keith Haring Foundation's recent designer collaborations, including Keith Haring by Nicholas Kirkwood shoes and Keith Haring by Patricia Field apparel and accessories.
Sunday, October 30
Fright Flight—Halloween Zip Line Program
Admire fall foliage from above as you glide over Alley Pond Park in a special Halloween-themed zip line experience. We suggest sporting a classic white bed sheet–ghost ensemble for the occasion to give innocent bystanders the full effect. Costumes are welcome, but closed-toe shoes are required. Space is limited, so be sure to arrive by at least 9:30am for the 10am event.
Monday, October 31
Village Halloween Parade
The annual Halloween treat brings more than 50,000 costumed revelers, whose elaborate looks range from cute to creepy, parading up Sixth Avenue along with giant puppets and live bands. This year's theme is "The i of the Beholder," inspired by Odilon Redon's 1878 Eye-Balloon, and will include a cloud of floating eyes. Line up along Sixth, from Spring Street to West 16th Street, to catch all the action, beginning at 7pm. Those in costume are invited to join the parade.
Tuesday, November 1
Joan Didion on Blue Nights
Joan Didion once said that she, like all keepers of private notebooks, was "afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss." And while this intuition likely shaped the voice that has earned the writer such success over her 50-plus-year career, recent years have brought her greatest actual losses yet: Didion's husband and creative partner, John Gregory Dunne, died in 2003; their only child, Quintana Roo, passed away two years later. Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, published in 2007, chronicles the 12 months following Dunne's death; her new memoir, Blue Nights, shares a dark and beautiful story of grieving the death of Quintana. Didion will discuss the new work at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, beginning at 7pm.