Free This Week


by Erin O’Hara, 07/31/2013

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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.

July 31–August 6

Wednesday, July 31
The Kennedy Chronicles: The Golden Age of MTV Through Rose-Colored Glasses
Where: Barnes & Noble Tribeca 
When: 6pm
Nowadays, MTV might be best known for the likes of Jersey Shore—but a certain generation of Americans remember the days of Alternative Nation, Yo! MTV Raps, the MTV Beach House and, yes, actual music videos. Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, who goes by the name Kennedy professionally, is one of the most well-known VJs from the music channel's glory days. She's telling all in her new book, The Kennedy Chronicles: The Golden Age of MTV Through Rose-Colored Glasses, in which she dishes on everything from her most famous onscreen moments to some pretty scandalous drama that took place behind the scenes. She'll be reading from her memoir and signing copies. 

Thursday, August 1
The Go-Go's and Tom Tom Club
Where: West 21st Street and Surf Avenue, Coney Island 
When: 7:30pm
Don't miss this throwback concert featuring some of the most popular '80s new wave megastars. Immortal all-female pop rock band The Go Go's plays their greatest hits—like "Vacation," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "We Got The Beat" and more. Sharing the stage with the legendary ladies is Tom Tom Club, founded by members of the Talking Heads and famous for synth-heavy dance classics like "Genius of Love" and "Wordy Rappinghood." The show takes place in Coney Island as part of the Seaside Summer Concert Series.  

Friday, August 2
Celebrate! Brooklyn: Jamie Lidell, Dan Deacon and The Stepkids
Where: Prospect Park Bandshell 
When: 7:30pm
This Celebrate Brooklyn! concert is all about genre-bending, psychedelic electronic dance music. Jamie Lidell's soulful pop, Dan Deacon's campy electronica and The Stepkids' bluesy dance jams join forces to create one weird, impossibly fun night of live music. Download the free Dan Deacon app before you go and become a part of the show as your smartphone pulses bright colored lights and sounds in sync with the music.

Saturday, August 3
Community Medicinal Plant Workshop
Where: The New York Botanical Garden
When: 10am
Long before pharmaceutical companies and health insurance plans, humans were treating their various illnesses with medicine prescribed by Mother Nature. Come to NYBG this Saturday and learn the basics of healing what ails you with things that grow in the ground. You'll discover herbs that are helpful in soothing common conditions and even find out how to grow them yourself (even if it's on your windowsill). Attendees are invited to bring cuttings of plants that they've used and to share remedies with others in the community. Afterward, tour the Wild Medicine Show  in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and see a variety of medicinal plants from around the world. 

Sunday, August 4
Where: Rumsey Playfield, Central Park
When: 3pm
Feel the beat and soak up the sun in Central Park at the 5th Annual R&B Festival, presented by New York radio station WBLS. This year's event features Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Raheem DeVaughn, socially conscious soul singer Lyfe Jennings, contemporary jazz artist Donell Jones and Grammy-winning gospel star Erica Campbell. The show is first come, first served—so be sure to get there bright and early to ensure your spot. 

Monday, August 5
Despicable Me
Where: Astoria Park 
When: 8:30pm
Pack up a blanket, a picnic basket and the kiddies and stake out a piece of lawn in Astoria Park for its annual movie night under the stars. The feature presentation is computer-animated blockbuster Despicable Me, in which lovable villain Gru and his bumbling minions try to steal the moon. Not just for little ones, the funny film features the vocal talents of Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Will Arnett, Jack McBrayer, Danny McBride, Julie Andrews and many more.

Tuesday, August 6
Yogamaya Outdoor Yoga
Where: 14th Street Park 
When: 6:30pm
The folks at Yogamaya, a yoga studio in Chelsea, want to help you stay in shape this summer. That's why they offer free outdoor yoga classes in Hudson River Park's 14th Street Park every week. Sponsored by the Chelsea Improvement Company, the class focuses on vinyasa, a yoga practice that synchronizes the breath with body postures in a flowing sequence. As a type of moving meditation, it helps alleviate stress and cultivate mindful awareness, in addition to its benefits as a physical exercise. The class is open to yogis of all skill levels. Some yoga mats are provided, but you're also invited to bring your own. 

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Barnes & Noble Tribeca
    97 Warren St
    Manhattan – TriBeCa
  2. 2
    Coney Island
    Surf Avenue
    Brooklyn – Coney Island
    NY 11224
  3. 3
    Prospect Park Bandshell
    Prospect Park West
    NY 11217
  1. 4
    New York Botanical Garden
    2900 Southern Blvd.
    Bronx – Fordham
    NY 10458
  2. 5
    SummerStage in Central Park
    Rumsey Playfield, E. 72nd St. at Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10065
  3. 6
    Astoria Park
    Enter at 21st Ave and 23rd St
    Queens – Astoria
    NY 11102
  1. 7
    Hudson River Park
    West Side Highway, bet. Battery Place and W. 59th St.
    Manhattan – multiple locations
    NY 10014

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