Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 08/27/2013

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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.

August 28–September 3

Wednesday, August 28
Summer on the Hudson: Game Days
Where: West Harlem Piers Park
When: 10am–2pm
Before the school year is back in session, head outdoors with your family for one of the final Summer on the Hudson events of the season. Waterfront green space West Harlem Piers Park will host a series of games geared toward kids 12 years old and under. The day's agenda includes both traditional entertainment like jump rope and hopscotch, as well as some unconventional fun like a life-size version of tic-tac-toe and bowling on the lawn. All activities will take place at West 125th Street. 

Thursday, August 29
High Line Back to School Fashion Show
Where: The High Line, Chelsea Market Passage 
When: 7–9pm
Given the High Line's fashionable location straddling Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, its latest role as a fashion show venue seems almost inevitable. On August 29, the park teams up with Harlem's Fashion Row and Caravan Stylist Studio to channel the neighborhood's design-centric vibe. Part competition and part stylish showcase, the Back to School Fashion Show will have teens working together to craft outfits fit for the classroom. Designers and fashion-forward New Yorkers will be on hand to help the teams perfect their looks, and beauty pros will polish everything off with makeup, hairstyling and nail art.

Friday, August 30
Free Music Fridays at the Folk Art Museum
Where: American Folk Art Museum
When: 5:30–7:30pm
Friday nights mean complimentary music at this Upper West Side institution devoted to folk art and autodidactic expression from around the world. Celebrate the end of the week and unwind (perhaps with the assistance of the cash wine bar) during two hours of live performances. This week, hear local singer and songwriter Lindsay Dragan; Nathan Xander, a musician who describes his style as "quiet" and "restrained"; and the indie pop sounds of The Broken Crowns. Get there early to explore the museum's halls, filled with art dating from the 18th century to the present. 

Saturday, August 31
Dance at Socrates: Rachel Cohen/Racoco Productions
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park
When: 3pm
Long Island City's Socrates Sculpture Park presents this free movement series in association with arts nonprofit Norte Maar. Throughout August, the public is invited to watch choreographers lead their troupes in learning a new dance, which culminates in a final performance at the end of each week. Four groups are scheduled to take the stage throughout the series. On August 31, see the artistic work of director Rachel Cohen of Racoco Productions, a Harvard grad who started her New York City performance and choreography career in 1997 and has since staged performances throughout the City. If you can't catch the show, drop by Socrates Sculpture Park from August 26 to 30 to see Cohen and her troupe create a dance for Saturday's performance.  

Sunday, September 1
Brazilian Day 
Where: West 46th Street and surrounding blocks
When: 10am
Each year on Brazil's Independence Day, the streets surrounding "Little Brazil" on Manhattan's west side become a spirited hub for music, dance, food and celebration. This marks the 29th year of the all-day festivities, spanning 25 blocks and featuring noted Brazilian performers including singers Gusttavo Lima and Zeca Pagodinho. Headlining performances will take place on the main stage at East 46th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues. Although the event is free, make sure to bring some cash if you're planning to sample the Brazilian food on offer.  

Monday, September 2
Urban Fabric: Building New York's Garment District
Where: 1411 Broadway pop-up space
When: Monday–Friday, noon–6pm
For its latest exhibition, The Skyscraper Museum ventures out onto City streets for a display that harks back to New York's manufacturing past. Focused on the Garment District in Midtown, which reached its apex in the flush Gatsby years of the 1920s, Urban Fabric showcases the area's striking art deco architecture and examines the bustling industry that once supported 100,000 jobs, clothed vast swaths of the American population and secured New York City's identity as a fashion center of the world. The pop-up display, which appeared last year at the museum in Lower Manhattan, will be open to the public through October 31. Throughout this time, visitors can also keep an eye out for special events including neighborhood walks and tours. 

Tuesday, September 3
Bobbi Beck: Fantasies & Realities
Where: 115th Street Library
When: 10am–7pm
Whimsy takes center stage at the New York Public Library's Morningside Heights branch during this exhibition. City resident and artist Bobbi Beck presents this visually engaging collection of drawings inspired by her personal experiences; the images transform ordinary surroundings into the stuff of fairy tales as Beck explores the themes of love and family, gender issues and global conflicts. The artist's imaginative creations are wrought with symbols—some recognizable, some less so—and the drawings weave together such elements as animals, machines, people and scenes from nature—all inspired by the urban landscape. The exhibition will be on display through September 30.  

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
  2. 2
    The High Line
    Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street
    Manhattan – Meatpacking District
    NY 10011
  3. 3
    American Folk Art Museum
    2 Lincoln Square
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  1. 4
    Socrates Sculpture Park
    32-01 Sculpture Park at Broadway
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  2. 5
    115th Street Library
    203 W 115th St
    Manhattan – Morningside Heights
    NY 10026

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