Free This Week


by Christina Parrella, 03/13/2013

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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.

March 13–19

Wednesday, March 13
TrivWorks '80s Trivia Teaser
Where: The Bell House 
When: 7:30pm
The 1980s saw the introduction of big hair, garish fashion and cherished catchphrases, as well as much-adored music and films—not to mention the advent of cable networks like CNN and MTV. These are among the many topics you may find yourself queried about at TrivWorks' '80s trivia teaser. The event, which is meant to build excitement for TrivWorks' 90s vs. 00s Pop Culture Trivia Challenge on March 20, also at The Bell House, will test participants' knowledge of '80s pop culture with timed question-and-answer rounds—so perhaps you should pull out those old VHS tapes, listen to your New Order discography and review all the associated cultural arcana. Special '80s-themed prizes, including tickets to the Off-Broadway show The Awesome 80s Prom, will be given away to the most totally tubular high-scoring guests.

Thursday, March 14
MillionTreesNYC Lecture
Where: Arsenal Gallery, Central Park 
When: 6–8pm
MillionTreesNYC is a program that has helped to plant approximately 662,000 trees throughout the City, more than half of its goal of 1 million trees by 2017. The trees not only provide lush green scenery; they help improve air quality, reduce noise and offset climate change. In conjunction with this initiative, a number of exhibitions and events aim to help New Yorkers appreciate the benefits, pleasures and history of trees in NYC. Ecologist and author Eric Sanderson will share his thoughts on the unique history of NYC trees and the forest that once covered most of the City in a talk titled "Lives of Trees in New York City: Retrospective and Prospective Views from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Welikia Project." Sanderson is a leader of The Welikia Project, an effort to envision the five boroughs before urban development (which is viewable online), and his book Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City features simulated images of what Manhattan looked like 400 years ago. Sanderson's talk will generate further appreciation for photographer Benjamin Swett's exhibition New York City of Trees, a collection of portraits on view in Central Park's Arsenal Gallery through April 26. Email to reserve your spot for the lecture. 

Friday, March 15
Visualizing Emancipation
Where: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
When: 10am–6pm
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the exhibition Visualizing Emancipation showcases photographs of free and enslaved men, women and children in the years before and after the Civil War. These photographs, some of which feature black soldiers and workers, examine the quest for emancipation in the South. Catch the show before it closes, on March 16.

Saturday, March 16
St. Patrick's Day Parade 
Where: Begins at Fifth Avenue and 44th Street  
When: 11am
It doesn't matter if you hail from the Emerald Isle or not—on St. Patrick's Day, everyone's a little Irish (and that includes the City's bagels and beer, which can be found rendered in green for the occasion). This year, the parade will be held on Saturday so that Sunday, the actual date of the holiday, can be devoted to religious observance. Don your best green gear for the event and watch bagpipers, marching bands and assorted revelers from all over NYC and the world as they march up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street.

Sunday, March 17
Leprechaun Hike
Where: Greenbelt Nature Center 
When: 1–2pm
Looking for the "Luck of the Irish"? Summon up the St. Patty's Day spirit (and hopefully find some good fortune) by searching for leprechauns and their secret pots of gold in a beautiful outdoor preserve. During this exploration for loot and leprechauns, attendees will hike a mile-long path through the sprawling Staten Island Greenbelt, so dress comfortably. Registration is required for the event; email or call 718-351-3450 to reserve a spot. Participants will meet at the Greenbelt Nature Center, at the intersection of Rockland and Brielle Avenues.

Monday, March 18
Marc Spitz: Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s, with Chuck Klosterman
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe 
When: 7pm
During the '90s, music journalist Marc Spitz set out to live like the rock 'n' roll and literary legends he admired, adopting the fast, edgy, drug-addled lifestyles of his muses, all the while writing about them for Spin magazine. He evocatively recounts this period of his life in Poseur: A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the '90s. The book intimately details the delirious thrill of the music scene in that era, as well as Spitz's exploits rubbing elbows with rock stars like Axl Rose and Courtney Love. Spitz describes the period as "the music industry's heady, decadent last gasp," and he captures it with all its revelry. At this event, Spitz will discuss Poseur with fellow author and rock-music aficionado Chuck Klosterman. 

Tuesday, March 19
Morning Fitness at Fort Tryon Park
Where: Fort Tryon Park
When: 7:30–8:30am
Your energy levels may have dipped down during the cold grip of winter, but as spring approaches, a workout class may help jump-start your exercise routine and overall mood. Starting shortly after sunrise, the Tuesday-and-Thursday program focuses on stretching, walking and strengthening exercises, all of which are meant to increase core strength—perfect for beginning that journey to the summer swimsuit. Organizers recommend that participants wear comfortable clothing and bring water to the hour-long class. 

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    The Bell House
    149 7th St
    Brooklyn – Gowanus
    NY 11215
  2. 2
    Arsenal Gallery in Central Park
    830 Fifth Ave
    New York – Central Park
    NY 10021
  3. 3
    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
    515 Malcolm X Blvd.
    New York – Harlem
    NY 10037
  1. 4
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    700 Rockland Ave
    Staten Island
    NY 10314
  2. 5
    Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
    126 Crosby St.
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10012
  3. 6
    Fort Tryon Park
    Fort Tryon Park
    Manhattan – Washington Heights
    NY 10040

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