Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 04/10/2013

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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.

April 10–16

Wednesday, April 10
Svay Sareth: Churning
Where: Brookfield Place Plaza (formerly World Financial Center)
When: 8am–8pm
As part of Season of Cambodia, a two-month celebration of historical and modern Cambodian art, Svay Sareth's exhibition reimagines the plaza at Phnom Penh, the country's capital, for Brookfield Place. Spanning nearly 60 feet of space, the mural calls to attention Cambodia's struggle with the Vietnamese that shaped the former country's past. Instead of the controversial Vietnamese-Cambodian Friendship Monument that stands in Phnom Penh, Sareth calls upon mythology in his design, choosing to depict a sculpture located at Angkor Wat, the prominent Hindu temple constructed during the Khmer Empire. The bas-relief, titled Churning of the Sea of Milk, shows the juxtaposition between past and present and the stress that results from the fight for power. For details on other discussions, screenings and exhibitions during Season of Cambodia, visit

Thursday, April 11
Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month
Where: National Museum of the American Indian
When: 6pm
April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and the National Museum of the American Indian celebrates with the musical stylings of Cherokee saxophonist Sharel Cassity. The performance calls attention to the museum's exhibition Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture, a tribute to successful artists that describes the history and personal tales behind their rise to prominence. On April 11, Cassity will play compositions by Oscar Pettiford, a fellow saxophonist whose work is detailed in the show. 

Friday, April 12
Poems of Ecological Sanity
Where: Poets House
When: 7pm
In its spirit of making poetry available to the masses, library and events space Poets House hosts a reading session that bridges the gap between ecology and the spoken word. Elizabeth Kray Hall, with a view of Teardrop Park's natural beauty, provides the ideal setting for this ode to the environment. The event is sponsored by, an organization that raises awareness about environmental issues through poetry. Nineteen poets will present their work and talk about topics concerning climate change. 

Saturday, April 13
Saturday Family Program: CarnegieKids Presents The Itty Biddies
Where: Brooklyn Public Library – Central Library
When: 1pm
Spend Saturday afternoon at the Brooklyn Public Library with local kids' group The Itty Biddies. The musical storytellers entertain young audience members with tale-packed tracks that encourage imaginative trips around the world. Armed with a melodica, bass and two ukuleles, the three-member band gets families dancing to tunes about African safaris and trips on the subway. Seating is limited and families will be given priority. 

Sunday, April 14
Downtown Literary Festival
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and McNally Jackson
When: 10:30am–5pm
Venerable SoHo reading dens Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and McNally Jackson team up for a literature-packed day dedicated to New York City's books and their authors. The inaugural fest features such events as a downtown tour hosted by LitCrawl NYC, top-notch concert stories from music writer/editor Alan Light, street vendor stories pulled from New York à la Cart, readings from The Paris Review and subway accounts shared by authors John Wray, Charles Bock and Sophie Blackall. Both venues will host events throughout the day.

Monday, April 15
Flamenco: 100 Years of Flamenco in New York 
Where: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
When: noon–8pm
Performance troupe Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana has teamed up with the New York Public Library for this survey of the vibrant dance form that has taken NYC performance spaces by storm since the early 19th century. Among the items on display are costumes from male and female dancers, photos, engravings of New York and Spain's dance venues from as early as 1840, promotional tools used for tours, castanets and videos documenting the evolution of flamenco. Throughout the exhibition's run, the library will also feature dance performances, screenings, discussions and other programs to supplement its collection of historical memorabilia. 

Tuesday, April 16
Catch-and-Release Fishing
Where: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
When: 10am–3pm
Despite the recent fickle weather, it's a surefire sign of spring when catch-and-release fishing returns to Central Park. Poles and bait will be provided for this afternoon on the Harlem Meer where children ages 5 to 15, with accompanying adult, can reel in largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, chain pickerel and carp, among other swimming residents of the waterway. All fish must be released after catching, and photo identification from an adult is required to borrow equipment. Fishing sessions will take place Tuesday through Saturday and on Sundays through October 5.

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Brookfield Place
    230 Vesey St.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10281
  2. 2
    National Museum of the American Indian—NY
    1 Bowling Green
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  3. 3
    Poets House
    10 River Terr.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10282
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Public Library
    Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11238
  2. 5
    Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
    126 Crosby St.
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10012
  3. 6
    McNally Jackson
    52 Prince St.
    Manhattan – NoLIta
    NY 10012
  1. 7
    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
    111 Amsterdam Ave
    Manhattan – Upper West Side

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