Free in NYC


by Erin O'Hara, 03/28/2012

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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.

March 28–April 3

Wednesday, March 28
"John and Molly Get Along" with Jared Logan, Found Footage Festival and Julieanne Smolinski
Quality comedy, no cover charge and no drink minimum in New York City? Unbelievable, but true. This 21-and-over show, at 7pm at (Le) Poisson Rouge, features brother-sister duo John and Molly Knefel, whose web series, "John and Molly Get Along," and other witty videos have received underground renown in the blogosphere. Joining them are writer, editor and popular tweeter Julieanne Smolinski, up-and-coming comedian Jared Logan and an array of absurd videos courtesy of the Found Footage Festival—an extensive collection of old, unintentionally hilarious VHS tapes discovered in thrift stores, garage sales and Dumpsters around the country. 

Thursday, March 29
Roots of Style with Isabel Toledo
Isabel Toledo rocketed to fame when it was revealed that she designed Michelle Obama's elegant ensemble for the 2009 presidential inauguration, but fashion insiders have been hip to her since the mid-1980s. On March 29, the designer will join Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire and judge on Project Runway, at El Museo del Barrio at 6:30pm to discuss her new book: a memoir titled Roots of Style. The work—which is illustrated by her husband, Ruben Toledo—recounts her childhood in Cuba, her experience going to high school in New Jersey, her personal philosophies and the roles clothing and love have played in her life. It is an inspirational read, reaching well beyond the realm of fashion. An RSVP is required to attend the event.

Friday, March 30
Screening: Midnight in Paris
Catch Woody Allen's 2011 comedic work, Midnight in Paris, for free at 3pm at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. The neurotic lead in this film is played by Owen Wilson, whose character, Gil, is a Hollywood screenwriter on vacation in Paris with his unhappy fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams). Gil finds an escape from writing his first novel and clashing with Inez though his nightly walks, when, at midnight, he's invited back in time to the 1920s and mingles with some of his literary idols. The film's all-star cast also includes Marion Cotillard, Kathy Bates, Carla Bruni, Adrien Brody and Michael Sheen. You're really getting your (no) money's worth, since the film won the 2012 Oscar for Best Writing (Original Screenplay). Reservations for screenings at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab can be made beginning on the Monday of the week of the showing by calling 212-833-8100. Remaining tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before the start of the screening.

Saturday, March 31
Spring Fling
Ring in spring at this joyous celebration along the East River. The seventh-annual Spring Fling, a lively festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park, includes musical performances by AudraRox and The Wiyos, dancing, storytelling, face painting and an appearance by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Bunny. Kids can also participate in egg decorating and games, create solar-powered bracelets, make a boat at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center, strike a few poses with Karma Kids Yoga and ride Jane's Carousel, a 1920s masterpiece that has been beautifully restored. The fun starts at 10:30am.

Sunday, April 1
Beyond the Machine 12.1 – Synchroneity
The Music Technology Center at Juilliard is dedicated to the integration of digital technology with the performance and creation of music. Its state-of-the-art facility and equipment allow for one-of-a-kind live-performance experiences. In honor of the centennial of the birth of prolific musician John Cage, a pioneer of electronic experimentation with music, the Music Technology Center and the Beyond the Machine festival present Beyond the Machine 12.1 – Synchroneity. The multimedia show, at 8pm at the Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater, features Juilliard students and other musicians from around the globe. (Performances will also take place on March 29, 30 and 31, should you not be able to make it to the one on April 1.) Although tickets are no longer available, there will be a first-come, first-served standby line on the day of each show.

Monday, April 2
An Evening with Douglas Crimp: "Our Kind of Movie": The Films of Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol is one of America's most well-known and adored artists. It is perhaps less well-known that in addition to his lithographs and paintings, he created more than 100 films and almost 500 film portraits known as Screen Tests. Beginning at 7pm at The Kitchen, author Douglas Crimp will read from his new book, "Our Kind of Movie," in which he explores Warhol's avant-garde movies through essay. The audience will also see Kiss, one of Warhol's films, many of which are rarely screened in public.

Tuesday, April 3
Target Free Tuesdays at Wave Hill
Soak up the sunshine and unseasonable warmth in the Bronx at Wave Hill, a picturesque garden overlooking the Hudson River and the Palisades—admission is free all day. Take an hour-long tour of the grounds at 11am, led by a garden guide who will highlight the seasonal blooms. Some flora you might see: the white bridal wreath in the Flower Garden, the coral and yellow Kaffir lily in the Conservatory greenhouse and the bold pink-purple Siskiyou lewisia in the Alpine House.

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    (Le) Poisson Rouge
    158 Bleecker St.
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
    NY 10012
  2. 2
    El Museo del Barrio
    1230 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  3. 3
    Sony Wonder Technology Lab (now closed)
    550 Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10022
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Bridge Park
    334 Furman St.
    Brooklyn – DUMBO
    NY 11201
  2. 5
    Rosemary and Meredith Willson Theater at the Juilliard School
    60 Lincoln Center Plaza, Broadway
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
  3. 6
    The Kitchen
    512 W 19th St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10011
  1. 7
    Wave Hill
    675 W. 252nd St.
    Bronx – Riverdale
    NY 10471

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