Free in NYC


by Staff, 11/09/2011

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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.

November 9–15

Wednesday, November 9
Sue de Beer: Haunt Room
Acclaimed artist Sue de Beer presents Haunt Room, an interactive installation on the High Line's 14th Street Passage, up through December 4. Composed of smoke-colored Plexiglas, the structure is an empty room, meant to evoke Abbey Road Studios, where visitors are exposed to infrasound (audio below the range of human hearing). In experiments conducted by researchers at Goldsmiths College at the University of London (who held the trials at Abbey Road Studios), infrasound can, apparently, produce "haunted feelings"—drowsiness, disorientation and sorrow among them. Yes, we know—thinking about Myspace has exactly the same effect on us, too, but any excuse to get outdoors and hit the High Line is reason enough.

Thursday, November 10
Walter Isaacson Discusses Steve Jobs
Walter Isaacson, former managing editor of Time and onetime chairman and CEO of CNN, discusses his recently released chart-topping biography of the late Apple co-founder, starting at 7pm at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. (Note: doors open at 5pm and, considering the players involved, those who are interested would do well to arrive early.) In case you haven't heard, Isaacson's book contains a number of revelations about the notoriously obstinate and thoroughly brilliant businessman, not least of which was Jobs' truly obsessive attention to detail when crafting his machines (and their packaging), as well as the Apple guru's purported regret over delaying traditional treatments when battling pancreatic cancer.

Friday, November 11
Veterans Day Parade and The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall
New York City's Veterans Day Parade is the oldest and largest in America. On November 11, hundreds of thousands of people will line Fifth Avenue between 26th and 56th Streets to pay tribute to the men and women of America's armed forces, beginning at 11am at 26th Street. In addition, this year, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum's Pier 86 will host The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter-scale replica of the iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. Those interested can see the traveling monument 24 hours a day through November 20 and attend a Veterans Day ceremony at 3pm on November 11.

Saturday, November 12
Tastings at Astor Wines & Spirits
There are liquor stores and then there are liquor stores—and then there are liquor stores. Astor Wines & Spirits definitely falls into the latter category: the massive alcohol emporium carries an incredible range, offers knowledgeable staff picks (as well as classes and events) and holds free tastings. On November 12 from 3 to 5pm, Astor invites all thirsty parties to sample wines from Palari (based in Sicily), as well as Blackwell rum, an apparently delicious sideline of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell. (As Astor notes, "This Jamaican rum has an intense molasses and nutty nose. Some spices have been added in the production, but this is no Captain Morgan.")

Sunday, November 13
Target Free Sundays at The Studio Museum in Harlem
Every Sunday, visit The Studio Museum in Harlem and Target picks up the tab. Exhibitions on view as of November 10 include The Bearden Project, a tribute to renowned African-American artist Romare Bearden; The Block | Bellona by Kira Lynn Harris, in which the artist offers her own interpretation of Bearden's seminal 1971 depiction of Harlem life, The Block; and Who, What, Wear: Selections From the Permanent Collection, a group exhibition that focuses on style (fashion, beauty ideals, self-expression and artistic technique), featuring artists like James VanDerZee and Kehinde Wiley.

Monday, November 14
Liz Magic Laser: I Feel Your Pain
Ongoing now, Performa, the biennial festival of performance art, features a wide variety of projects all over the City. On November 14, one comes courtesy of artist Liz Magic Laser (scion of the New York City Magic Lasers, natch), whose mixed-media performance reinterprets America's recent political dialogues as fodder for romantic drama. Read: were certain people (Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck) to attend, they ought to thicken up their skins. As the preview on Performa's site explains, "the performance will feature live voice-overs, pantomime fight scenes, and mute commentaries by a clown." The event takes place at the SVA Theatre and starts at 8pm.

Tuesday, November 15
Umberto Eco Discusses The Prague Cemetery
On November 15, Italian author, philosopher, semiotician and all-around genius Umberto Eco will appear at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square at 7pm (doors open at 5pm) to discuss his latest international best seller, The Prague Cemetery. The book is a work of historical fiction, incorporating real-life characters like Sigmund Freud in a tale of 19th-century intrigue—assassinations, conspiracy theories and bizarre religious doctrine. Eco will speak with Italian journalist and New York University professor Antonio Monda.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    The High Line
    Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street
    Manhattan – Meatpacking District
    NY 10011
  2. 2
    Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
    Pier 86, Twelfth Ave. at 46th St.
    Manhattan – Hell's Kitchen
    NY 10036
  3. 3
    Astor Wines & Spirits
    399 Lafayette St
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
  1. 4
    The Studio Museum in Harlem
    144 W. 125th St.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10027
  2. 5
    SVA Theatre
    333 W 23rd St
    Manhattan – Chelsea

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