Free This Week


by Christina Parrella, 04/24/2013

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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 24–30

Wednesday, April 24
American Poet Launch with the Academy of American Poets
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe 
When: 7pm
Celebrate National Poetry Month with this party at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe for the spring 2013 issue of American Poet magazine. The Academy of American Poets' biannual publication honors the art of poetry, featuring interviews, essays and, of course, poems. Created in 1996 in an effort to provide a platform for contemporary poetry, the magazine's current issue contains pieces by Sophie Cabot Black, Cynthia Cruz and Rachel Eliza Griffiths, who will all be on hand to read their works.

Thursday, April 25
Talking About History: Race, Class and Violence: The New York Draft Riots of 1863
Where: St. John's University, St. John Hall, Room 309
When: 5pm
In response to the inequities of conscription during the Civil War, riots erupted throughout New York City. The uprisings lasted for four days. This discussion will cover both the causes and effects of the riots, the nation's racial tension during that period and the riots that took place specifically in Jamaica, Queens, on July 14, 1863. RSVP for the event by emailing or by calling 718-206-0545, ext. 13.

Friday, April 26
Shadow Puppet Troupe of Wat Bo: "Sor Neakabas" (The Magical Arrowhead Dragon)
Where: Brookfield Place Winter Garden 
When: 8pm
Season of Cambodia is in full swing. The festival, which highlights arts and culture from the Southeast Asian country, continues with this shadow-puppet play—a Cambodian tradition. Performed by a troupe from Wat Bo, Cambodia, the theatrical experience combines dance and music and uses six-foot-tall leather puppets to tell the tale of "Sor Neakabas" (or The Magical Arrowhead Dragon) from the Cambodian poem "Reamker." The performance is mounted in front of a lit screen and features a pinpeat orchestra, with wind instruments, xylophones and drums. 

Saturday, April 27
Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair 
Where: Greenwich Street (bet. Hubert and Chambers Streets)
When: 10am–6pm
The Tribeca Film Festival is most frequently associated with new movies, but the event has evolved over the years and now offers outdoor programming for families as well. On April 27, along Greenwich Street between Hubert and Chambers Streets, kids and their parents can participate in activities like face painting and enjoy performances from the casts of Broadway shows. And what would a Tribeca Family Festival Street Fair be without a film? A free screening of The Smurfs will take place at 11am at BMCC Tribeca PAC, and a series of kid-friendly shorts and animations  will be screened at the Tribeca Film Center throughout the day. 

Sunday, April 28
Film Screening: Women Without Men
Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Dweck Center 
When: 1:30pm
Adapted from Shahrnush Parsipur's novella of the same name, Women Without Men is a film that follows the lives of four women who yearn for freedom and comfort during Iran's CIA-sponsored coup in 1953. The drama reflects on what the director, Shirin Neshat, describes as the inevitable effects of overthrowing the government: the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the installation of an ayatollah as a leader of the new Islamic Republic. On April 30, Parsipur will read excerpts from her moving novella in the Dweck Center as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. 

Monday, April 29
Mobile Mondays!: A Red Bull Music Academy Special
Where: The Bowery Electric 
When: 10pm
Red Bull Music Academy is a five-week festival that celebrates aural innovators and up-and-comers with performances, screenings and discussions. This year, artists include Erykah Badu, Blondes and ?uestlove. As part of the festival, aficionados can attend this free party at The Bowery Electric, where old-school underground tunes will be spun by DJs Bobbito Garcia, Amir Abdullah and Chairman (Jeff) Mao of the defunct hip-hop magazine Ego Trip

Tuesday, April 30
Garden Highlights Walk
Where: Wave Hill
When: 11am
Discover Wave Hill's magnificent array of trees, lush plants and budding flowers on this free walk. Meet at the Perkins Visitor Center at 11am for a one-hour tour of colorful foliage, flowering bulbs and the awakening gardens of spring. Admission to the grounds is free all day. 

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
    126 Crosby St.
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10012
  2. 2
    BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center
    199 Chambers Street
  3. 3
    Brooklyn Public Library
    Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11238
  1. 4
    The Bowery Electric
    327 Bowery
    Manhattan – East Village
  2. 5
    Wave Hill
    675 W. 252nd St.
    Bronx – Riverdale
    NY 10471

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