Free This Week


by Erin O'Hara, 03/27/2013

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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 27–April 2

Wednesday, March 27
Adam Alter: Drunk Tank Pink, with Malcolm Gladwell
Where: Barnes & Noble – Upper West Side
When: 7pm
Humans are complicated creatures. We don't always know what makes us act the way we do, but Adam Alter, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University, does (the scholar also has an affiliated appointment in the school's psychology department). In Alter's new book, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave, he lets us in on all the weird secrets of our psyches. For this event, Malcolm Gladwell, who has spilled quite a bit of ink about social science and psychological phenomena himself, talks with Alter about his first book, which includes some truly fascinating research. One study highlighted by Alter concludes that people are more likely to donate to hurricane relief if the storm's name starts with the same letter as their own. Dare to find out what might be controlling your subconscious?

Thursday, March 28
Poetry Reading: Paul Muldoon
Where: NYU's Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
When: 7pm
Paul Muldoon is the poetry editor at The New Yorker and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two T.S. Eliot Prizes and a Pulitzer Prize, to name just a few of his many honors. The Irish-born poet has been a professor in some of the world's most prestigious writing programs, including those at Oxford and Princeton. He'll be reading from his recently released book, The Word on the Street: Rock Lyrics. Muldoon, a member of a music collective called the Wayside Shrines, draws on his less-well-known musical talents for this new endeavor, a collection of poems intended to be both read on paper and performed as songs. The event is part of the NYU Creative Writing Program's Spring 2013 Reading Series.

Friday, March 29
Free Music Fridays
Where: American Folk Art Museum
When: 5:30pm
Every Friday evening, unwind from the week and kick-start the weekend at the American Folk Art Museum. Admission to the institution is free during Free Music Fridays, when folk-inspired musicians perform live. Explore the galleries, sip some wine (from the cash bar) and enjoy the company of friends and fellow museumgoers. This week, the festivities showcase soulful acoustic singer-songwriters. Experience the bluesy country tunes of Jeremiah Birnbaum, the authentic Americana style of Caleb Caudle and the poppy indie-folk of Haley Dreis. Be sure to check out the institution's current exhibitions: Artist and Visionary, a collection of the work of revolutionary 19th-century American painter William Matthew Prior, and Women's Studies, an exploration of gender and the male gaze as evident in the work of four self-taught artists, both male and female.

Saturday, March 30
Brooklyn Navy Yard: Past, Present and Future and Reflections on Rosie
Where: Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92
When: noon–6pm
The Brooklyn Navy Yard was once a bustling hub of naval activity and ship manufacturing. Now, BLDG 92 pays tribute to the fascinating history of the shipyard. The museum offers information and resources relating to the yard, as well as hosts exhibitions. Current shows include Brooklyn Navy Yard, an extensive look into the location's storied past, and Gallery 92's Reflections on Rosie, featuring more than 20 interviews with women who worked at the yard during World War II, highlighting the trail they blazed for the women who run businesses there today. 

Sunday, March 31
Introduction to the Trails
Where: High Rock Park
When: 10–11am
Spring is here, which means it's time to soak up the newly emerging greenery. You can do that at Staten Island's Greenbelt, a playground of woods, ponds, hills and hiking trails so idyllic, it's hard to believe you're still in New York City. Don't know where or how to get started on your urban hiking adventure? No sweat. Shape Up NYC is here to teach you the ins and outs of traversing the terrain of the preserve's High Rock Park. Wear appropriate footwear (hiking boots or all-terrain sneakers are best) and meet at the parking lot on Nevada Avenue by 10am. For even more forest fun, check out our guide to hiking in the boroughs. Chirping birds and sunshine await. 

Monday, April 1
Where: Cortlandt Alley (bet. Franklin and White Streets)
When: 11am–7pm on Saturdays and Sundays; 24 hours a day (through viewing windows)
Culture is everywhere in NYC—even, occasionally, inside an abandoned freight elevator. A few creative friends transformed this 60-square-foot space into an unusual venue that is a miniature museum of curiosities. Among the objects currently on display: collections of toothpaste tubes and fake vomit from around the world, an empty bag of Surf & Turf potato chips and one of the shoes that was famously chucked at George W. Bush during a press conference in Iraq. Some items seem to make a grand statement, like the assortment of objects made by prisoners, while others' significance lies primarily in their presence, like the motel-room sign aimed at discouraging stealing. Museum visitors can call an 800-number to learn more about the pieces on view. 

Tuesday, April 2
A Career in Fashion: John Bartlett
Where: Fashion Institute of Technology
When: 6pm
Fashion mavens and aspiring designers—here's your chance to learn from the best. John Bartlett, who has designed menswear for Liz Claiborne and his own much-adored label, has had two decades of mainstream success in the ever-evolving fashion industry. At this FIT event, he reveals how such feats are done. Bartlett is also an animal lover and ardent supporter of animal rights, and in 2012 he made history when he debuted a fully eco-friendly and cruelty-free men's clothing line at New York Fashion Week. Bartlett runs an animal rescue organization called The Tiny Tim Fund and has even focused his design skills on attire for pets. On Tuesday evening, in the Katie Murphy Amphitheatre, he'll be discussing his triumphant career and how he managed to make it big. 

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Barnes & Noble 82nd & Broadway
    2289 Broadway
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
  2. 2
    American Folk Art Museum
    2 Lincoln Square
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  3. 3
    NYU's Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House
    58 W 10th St
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92
    63 Flushing Ave., Unit 300, Bldg. 92
    Brooklyn – Navy Yard
    NY 11205
  2. 5
    High Rock Park
    Manor Rd and Rockland Ave
    Staten Island – Richmond Town
    NY 10306
  3. 6
    Fashion Institute of Technology
    D Building
    Manhattan – Chelsea

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