Free in NYC


by Mallory Passuite, 05/04/2011

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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.

May 4–10

Wednesday, May 4
Kelly Cutrone: Normal Gets You Nowhere
"I know you don't feel normal, so why are you trying to act it and prove to everyone you are?" Such is an example of the life lessons of Kelly Cutrone, founder of fashion PR firm People's Revolution and star of Kell on Earth. She discusses those learnings in her new book, Normal Gets You Nowhere, and at Barnes & Noble on May 4, beginning at 7pm. This volume follows her New York Times best-selling debut, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside; here, Cutrone invites readers to let their freak flags fly as a way to find their true selves and success.

Thursday, May 5
Blankness is Not a Void
Blankness is Not a Void reconsiders American "low" culture with the works of Scott Campbell, the Brooklyn-based tattoo and mixed-media artist of-the-moment, who favors the skull motif; Steven Parrino, the late New York artist known for his monochromatic, abstract pieces; and Raymond Pettibon, the California artist associated with punk-rock comic-like illustrations for bands such as Sonic Youth. The show remains on view at Marc Jancou Contemporary through June 4.

Friday, May 6
StoryCorps Mother's Day
StoryCorps has been documenting the tender tales of everyday people since 2003, preserving them at the Library of Congress and sharing them in weekly broadcasts on NPR's Morning Edition. StoryCorps founder Dave Isay has compiled a collection of motherly wisdom, passed along by moms from across the country, in Mom: A Celebration of Mothers From StoryCorps, already a New York Times best seller. Greenlight Bookstore celebrates Mother's Day on May 6 with a special event hosted by Isay—featuring audio clips of moving interviews, champagne and sweets, and a book signing—beginning at 7:30pm.

Saturday, May 7
Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L'amour Fou
Pablo Picasso's once mistress and muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter, inspired a new period of portraits for the painter. The two met in Paris in 1927 when he was 45 and unhappily married and she was a statuesque yet vulnerable 17. Walter remained Picasso's model-muse and lover for nearly 10 years, until he, still married, left her for a new mistress. However, they continued contact until his 1973 death (shortly after which Walter committed suicide). The nearly 80 pieces in L'amour fou (translation: "crazy love"), now on view at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, reveal Picasso's indulgence in passion and youth, with a sensuality reflected in color and composition. This compelling period of Picasso's career is of particular interest recently, as one piece, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, sold for $106.5 million last year—the highest price ever for a painting sold at auction.

Sunday, May 8
Bryant Park Ping-Pong
As Ping-Pong continues to gain popularity as a leisure sport, NYC offers plenty of places to play (see "At Your Service: NYC Table Tennis," our roundup of indoor venues and expert tips). But as the weather warms, it's more fun to swing your paddle outdoors, and what better place to do so than Bryant Park? The park has two state-of-the-art tables and offers players paddles and balls to use, all for free. The Ping-Pong area of the park is located near Sixth Avenue and West 42nd Street and is open daily from 11am to 7pm through September 30. Sign up with a park attendant to reserve your playtime.

Monday, May 9
Free Lunch From the Taste of Korea NYC Food Truck
Many call Korean food the "it" cuisine of 2011. And for those who have yet to try it, the Taste of Korea NYC food truck offers the perfect chance to snag some free weekday samples during lunchtime. Through May 20, the truck parks in a new location daily and dishes out Korean specialties like bulgogi, the savory-sweet grilled beef dish often served with a dab of kimchi, a spicy, fermented cabbage. Details will be announced each weekday, through May 20, on the Taste of Korea NYC Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 10
Who's That Girl? Georges Dambier: Fashioning the Fifties
When French photographer Georges Dambier shot for Elle magazine in the '50s, he brought a new sensibility to the world of fashion photography, which had tended toward photographs of models in antiseptic studio settings. Dambier's portraits are full of life and emotion, showing women in real-world settings and situations. The photographer's subjects have included such icons as Brigitte Bardot, Suzy Parker and Catherine Deneuve. Who's That Girl? remains on view at Bonni Benrubi Gallery through May 27.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Barnes & Noble Tribeca
    97 Warren St
    Manhattan – Financial District
  2. 2
    Marc Jancou Contemporary
    524 W 24th St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
  3. 3
    Greenlight Bookstore
    686 Fulton St
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
    NY 11217
  1. 4
    Gagosian Gallery
    522 W 21st St
    Multiple Locations
    NY 10011
  2. 5
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  3. 6
    Bonni Benrubi Gallery
    41 E. 57th St., 13th fl.
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10022

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