Free This Week


by Christina Parrella, 06/05/2013

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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.

June 511 

Wednesday, June 5
SummerStage: Rakim
Where: Red Hook Park
When: 7pm
One of the most influential MCs around, Rakim made waves during the "golden age" of hip-hop as part of the DJ/MC duo Eric B. & Rakim. Their 1987 debut album, Paid in Full, which relied heavily on sampled beats and complex wordplay, is still considered a masterpiece, lauded for the depth of its lyrics and resilience of its sound. The skilled lyricist will perform at Red Hook Park as part of the "This is ___ Hip-Hop" SummerStage concert series, which showcases old-school and buzz-worthy hip-hop artists at a number of the City's parks. While the event does not require an RSVP, it is recommended that concertgoers arrive early. 

Thursday, June 6
Where: The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology)
When: noon–8pm
Fashion may be one of the most cyclical industries in the world; clothing considered outdated after one season can reemerge as newfangled in a flash. Discover the relationship between fashion and its recurring past with RetroSpective, which highlights apparel from various periods and explores the role of history as a source of inspiration for designers today. Cutting-edge pieces reminiscent of styles from the past include an Alexander McQueen for Givenchy Haute Couture silk chiffon dress, an Elsa Schiaparelli silk taffeta evening dress and a Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga knit dress. The exhibition runs through November 16. 

Films on the Green Opening Night: Mississippi Mermaid
Where: Central Park, Cedar Hill
As part of the annual Films on the Green series, classic and current French films are shown in Central Park throughout the summer. The series kicks off with a screening of François Truffaut's La Sirène du Mississippi (or Mississippi Mermaid). The film is a love story that follows Louis (Jean-Paul Belmondo), a rich plantation owner whose mail-order bride, Julie (Catherine Deneuve), turns out to be an impostor. After they wed, Julie cleans out his bank account and flees town. Louis then hires a private investigator and makes it his mission to get her back. The film, which includes English subtitles, will be shown at Cedar Hill—a grassy hill in Central Park that can be accessed from the Fifth Avenue and 79th Street entrance.

Saturday, June 8
Ricky Powell NYC 1985 – Bushwick 2013
Where: David Kesting Gallery
When: noon–5pm
Ricky Powell is the photographer best known for his intimate portrayal of musicians, artists and everyday New Yorkers. Starting in the early '80s, Powell navigated his way through the City's storied downtown nightlife scene with his old Minolta, capturing subjects in their surroundings, which added to the raw aesthetic of his photographs. In doing so, he chronicled the rise of hip-hop, photographing the likes of the Beastie Boys and Run DMC, as well as the exploding New York art scene, where Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat reigned. Powell's work, which includes photos of Basquiat and Warhol, will be displayed in an effort to draw connections between NYC in the '80s and the budding art scene in Bushwick today. Note: David Kesting Gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays only. 

Sunday, June 9
Where: Governors Island
When: 10am–6pm
The Manhattan skyline views, the idyllic scenery and the promise of innovative outdoor art installations are just a few of the reasons FIGMENT is worth the visit to Governors Island. This annual two-day celebration encourages participants to interact with artworks including a sculpture garden, a tree house and a nine-hole mini-golf course, which is as challenging as it is aesthetically intriguing. You can visit Governors Island via a free ferry ride that leaves from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan or Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Monday, June 10
André Leon Talley: Little Black Dress
Where: Barnes & Noble Union Square 
When: 7pm 
Vogue contributing editor André Leon Talley, who recently joined the ranks of Numéro Russia as editor in chief, will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Little Black Dress. The book reviews the history of the wardrobe staple, featuring versions by designers as diverse as Coco Chanel, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler and Yves Saint Laurent. 

Tuesday, June 11
Museum Mile Festival 
Where: Fifth Avenue between 82nd and 105th Streets
When: 6–9pm
Don't miss the annual Museum Mile Festival, which offers free access to seven museums along Fifth Avenue during extended evening hours. Participating institutions include El Museo del Barrio, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of the City of New York, whose exhibition Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced highlights the designer's prominent 40-year career. Visitors will be delighted not only by the art inside but by the outdoor festivities as well: enjoy face painting, live music and a whole lot of block party–style cultural happenings. The event, which spans 23 city blocks, kicks off at The Jewish Museum (1109 Fifth Ave.) at 5:45pm.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Red Hook Park
    Bay St
    Brooklyn – Red Hook
  2. 2
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  3. 3
    Central Park
    Between Fifth Ave. and Central Park West
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10024
  1. 4
    Governors Island
    New York Harbor
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10004
  2. 5
    Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
    1071 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128
  3. 6
    The Jewish Museum
    1109 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10128

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