Free This Week


by Christina Parrella, 01/16/2013

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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.

January 16–22

Wednesday, January 16
50 Cent: Formula 50: A Six-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life
Curtis James Jackson III, aka rapper-actor-entrepreneur 50 Cent, is adding "fitness guru" to his already-beefy résumé with the publication of Formula 50: A Six-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life. The fitness book, coauthored by health journalist Jeff O'Connell, introduces readers to a six-week metabolic resistance training program that 50 swears by for achieving his famously chiseled physique. In addition to its detailed weight-training and cardio program, the work also motivates readers to transform their mental outlook as a necessary part of attaining overall health. Meet the versatile star and get a copy of your book signed at the Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue. The session begins at 12:30pm; wristbands, which are required for entry, will be distributed beginning at 9am. 

Thursday, January 17
Target Free Thursdays: The Andrew Cyrille 21st Century Big Band Unlimited
Drummer and composer Andrew Cyrille, 73, is widely acclaimed as one of the leading free jazz drummers of his generation. The Brooklyn native earned his chops by studying marching band percussion at Juilliard, training under Miles Davis Quintet drummer Philly Joe Jones and playing with avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor for a decade before embarking on a successful career as a bandleader and performer. On January 17, Cyrille and his 21st Century Big Band Unlimited, which includes a 10-piece horn section, perform at Lincoln Center's David Rubenstein Atrium. The show begins at 7:30pm. 

Friday, January 18
Swampland has always been a part of the natural landscape of New York City. A little more than a century ago, Bear Swamp covered 180 acres of land near the Bronx Zoo, while water from swampy areas of Central Park was diverted by the park's designers to create its lakes. Now, these former wetlands (among others) are the focus of an art exhibition, Swamp, at the Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx. Through a series of explorative artwork, the show connects visitors to swampland and builds on the themes of mutability and perception in relation to nature. View pieces from mixed-media artists Tamara Gonzales and Juliet Jacobson, symbolist Jesse Bransford and nearly a dozen others.

Saturday, January 19
Ice Festival at Belvedere Castle
For many people, the winter months in NYC are the perfect time to enjoy the crisp air, sparser crowds and seasonal activities in Central Park. At the annual Ice Festival at Belvedere Castle, you can watch skilled ice carvers from Okamoto Studio in Queens chisel blocks of ice into remarkable replicas of the Castle itself and other Central Park landmarks. After marveling at the artists' sculpting skills, take a tour to learn how Central Park's landscape was shaped during the Ice Age. Children will have fun crafting their own sculptures from Play-Doh, and everyone can stave off the cold with the hot beverages on offer. The festival begins at noon.

Sunday, January 20
Hands On: Blindfold Challenge
If you thought creating art was difficult, imagine doing it blindfolded. That's how performing artist Taisha Paggett made her colored-crayon performance series, Decomposition of a Continuous Whole, at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Paggett, a dancer and choreographer, used a series of predetermined movements to create rows of crayon drawings on a gallery wall, all while her eyes were covered. Children can take on this challenge as well, in a session that encourages them to become more in tune with their other senses; it begins at 2pm on January 20 in Workshop A. Afterward, check out the rest of the institution's Fore exhibition, eyes wide open. 

Monday, January 21
How Much Do I Owe You?
The Bank of Manhattan in Long Island City's "clock tower building" has been shut as tight as a vault for the past 30 years, but it's now been reimagined into a contemporary art space. The exhibition How Much Do I Owe You?, organized by public art group No Longer Empty, adheres to the monetary theme with installations that explore finance both within our world culture and domestic infrastructure. The multimedia display includes murals, sound installations, films and sweeping sculptures that explore currency in some form. Erika Harrsch fashioned simulated money into the self-explanatory US Dollar Kites and Mao Dragon Kite, while Jongsun-Jay Lee used rice and LED lights to create her fluid Shifting Landscape.

Tuesday, January 22
Springsteen Night with Marc Dolan and Caryn Rose
If you're a fan of The Boss (and, really, who isn't?), then head to Word for Springsteen Night—an all-out celebration of the Garden State's most enduring musical export. The Brooklyn bookstore pays tribute to Bruce Springsteen through discussions and chats about his extensive career, as well as a trivia contest that awards Bruce-themed prizes—so be sure to bring your "A" game. Authors Marc Dolan and Caryn Rose, who have each recently penned books about Bruce, are hosting the event. Sixpoint Brewery will be on hand to provide free beverages. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Barnes & Noble Fifth Ave
    555 Fifth Ave
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10017
  2. 2
    David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
    Broadway at 62nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  3. 3
    Belvedere Castle
    Central Park, midpark at 79th St
    Manhattan – Central Park
  1. 4
    The Studio Museum in Harlem
    144 W. 125th St.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10027
  2. 5
    126 Franklin St
    Brooklyn – Greenpoint
    NY 11222

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