Free in NYC


by staff, 01/25/2012

« »
  • print

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.

January 25–31

Wednesday, January 25
J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions Squash
The 2012 iteration of the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions Squash is a bit meta. For a couple of years, we've been saying that the gorgeous glass-walled squash court in Grand Central Terminal looks like a miniature Apple Store, and now there is an actual Apple Store in Grand Central. Weird. In any event, casual or more devoted spectators can watch the games for free (though fans can also buy premium seating right up against the court), and the action moves at a blistering pace as players fling themselves back and forth and sometimes onto the playing surface. Their ruthless jostling for position might remind passing commuters of their own daily routine, and the matches could draw more foot traffic than the iPod and MacBook emporium itself.

Thursday, January 26
Largehearted Boy's 10th Anniversary at Largehearted Lit
Fan-favorite music (and book) blog Largehearted Boy will celebrate its first decade of existence at this reading series, Largehearted Lit. The literary event will feature birthday-themed stories from local up-and-comers Emma Straub (Other People We Married) and Jennifer Gilmore (Something Red) and cupcakes from The Brooklyn Baker. Expect to hear the talents of a mystery musical guest as well. It all goes down at Word in Brooklyn, starting at 7pm. 

Friday, January 27
Damien Hirst: The Complete Spot Paintings (1986–2011)
Gagosian Gallery mounts an impressive collection of works by British artist Damien Hirst (the sort of guy who puts a face to the term "enfant terrible"). Composed of more than 300 of Hirst's spot paintings—dots of varying sizes and colors, usually on white canvas—the exhibition runs simultaneously in New York, Beverly Hills, London, Rome, Paris, Athens, Geneva and Hong Kong. (The paintings are up in NYC through February 18.) In conjunction with the show, Gagosian is holding a contest called "The Complete Spot Challenge," during which registered participants who visit all 11 Gagosian locations to see the exhibition will snag a spot print personally dedicated to them by Hirst himself. Whether that's worth the price of airfare, however, is another matter entirely.

Saturday, January 28
Screening: Alice in Wonderland
For those who don't know (or, perhaps, were living on Mars back when the film's marketing juggernaut conquered all media), Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland stars Mia Wasikowska as a 19-year-old Alice who returns to Wonderland to restore the magical kingdom's throne to its rightful heir. The movie includes performances by Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen and, in a neat bit of typecasting, some guy named Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. A screening of the movie will begin at 2pm at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Reservations for screenings here can be made beginning on the Monday of the week the film shows by calling 212-833-8100. Remaining tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before the start of the screening.

Sunday, January 29
Tom Ford Beauty's Lip Makeover Event
When the devilishly handsome designer returned to womenswear in 2010, it was big news in the fashion industry. But Ford, who had become established as a suiting guru and film director (A Single Man) since leaving Gucci Group in 2004, never completely devoted himself to menswear. Case in point: Tom Ford Beauty. Drop by the Tom Ford counter at Bloomingdale's for a free lip makeover featuring Tom Ford lipsticks, available in 18 shades. Reserve your spot by calling 212-705-2730. (The event is also taking place on January 28, should you not be able to make it out on January 29.)

Monday, January 30
Dan Neustadt Plays Your Favorite Albums by Your Favorite Bands
No, he's not kidding. The musician—a current member of In Cadeo who's formerly of The World/Inferno Friendship Society and was the last touring keyboardist for The Hold Steady—has a Monday-night residency at the Knitting Factory's front bar. Just so there's no confusion, "your favorite albums" refers to material like Arcade Fire's Funeral and Weezer's blue album. Yes, he plays them in their entirety. The 21-and-older show starts at 9pm.

Tuesday, January 31
Bill Morrison: A Modern Master of Silent Film
New York–based filmmaker and artist Bill Morrison will be saluted at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden with a four-night showcase of some of his major works, with live orchestral music further augmenting the much-lauded opening and closing films. On January 31, see The Miners' Hymns, Morrison's paean to coal-mining culture in northeastern England, whose brass-filled score by celebrated Icelandic electronic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson will be performed by The Wordless Music Orchestra. All films—including Great Flood (February 1), Spark of Being (February 2) and Decasia (February 3), an acclaimed assemblage of found footage, to be accompanied by the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble—start at 7:30pm.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Grand Central Terminal
    15 Vanderbilt Ave., Hall 2A
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10017
  2. 2
    126 Franklin St
    Brooklyn – Greenpoint
    NY 11222
  3. 3
    Gagosian Gallery
    980 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10075
  1. 4
    Sony Wonder Technology Lab (now closed)
    550 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10022
  2. 5
    1000 Third Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10022

check-in date

check-out date