Free This Week


by staff, 10/16/2013

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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.

October 16–22

Wednesday, October 16
War and Peace by Melissa Cacciola
Where: Alice Austen House Museum
When: 11am–5pm
During photography’s early years in the 19th century, tintypes were produced by creating a positive image on a metal surface that was then enhanced with paint or enamel. Tintypes grew popular during the Civil War for their fast developing time and inexpensive cost and were made famous by Matthew Brady, whose depictions of soldiers and wartime battles are seared into history. The War and Peace exhibition evokes the gravitas of that era with Melissa Cacciola's 48 contemporary tintype portraits of veterans and active service men and women from the US military. The portraits are divided in two: one side displays the subjects in uniformed gear, the other in civilian clothing, representing the dichotomy of their roles. The exhibition runs until December 29. 

Thursday, October 17
The Billboard Papers: Photographs by Joel Grey
Where: Steven Kasher Gallery
When: 11am–6pm
Joel Grey’s latest exhibition consists of 10 large-format photographs of ripped and torn billboards in the City, exposing multiple layers of images and textures—reminders of the rapidly changing nature of NYC as well as its deep residue of commercial ephemera. The decaying signs, often overlooked by busy New Yorkers, are also the subject of Grey's book of the same name. Grey, whose previous works are part of the permanent collection at The Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Public Library, is best known for his long acting career on stage and screen.

Friday, October 18
The Topshelf Records CMJ Party
Where: Suburbia 
When: 6pm
When the CMJ Music Marathon descends on New York City every October, it brings more than 1,300 bands to its bars, theaters and other stages in Manhattan and Brooklyn. No badge? No problem—you can join this parade of noteworthy music by stopping by the Topshelf Records showcase in Brooklyn. The six indie bands on the bill include Prawn, The Jazz June and The Saddest Escape. RSVP to the event on Facebook.

Saturday, October 19
Halloween Harvest Festival 
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park 
When: 11am–3pm
Bring the entire family to outdoor arts space Socrates Sculpture Park for a seasonal celebration. Prep for Halloween by crafting a costume alongside the park's artists, listen to music and enjoy seasonal foods from The Queens Kickshaw. Face painting and a canine costume contest are also on the agenda. 

Sunday, October 20
Riverside Skate Jam
Where: Riverside Park's Skate Park at 108th Street 
When: noon–5pm
See high-flying kickflips, ollies and aerials at the Riverside Skate Jam 2013, which celebrates NYC’s first official skate destination, Riverside Skate Park. Aside from freestyle sessions, there will be judged segments in which skaters are eligible to win prizes. The competition session starts at 1pm and is divided between different ramp levels, including juniors' mini, masters' vertical and under-40s vertical. Knee pads and helmets are not provided. 

Monday, October 21
Community Dance Class
Where: BRIC House
When: 6–7:30pm
Skip the gym and spend your Monday evening dancing to African and contemporary music courtesy of Ronald K. Brown and the Evidence dance company. Produced in part with BRIC, the class combines traditional African dance with modern choreography and uses spoken word to convey the spirit of human sacrifice and struggle. All experience levels and ages are welcome. Bonus: it’s a great way to get an early peek at BRIC's sparkling-new 40,000 square-foot arts complex. 

Tuesday, October 22
Brad Meltzer, History Decoded
Where: Barnes and Noble, 86th & Lexington Ave
When: 7pm
Decoded, a mystery series on The History Channel, investigates symbols, codes and various historical and modern-day secrets. The series' host, Brad Meltzer, has released the book History Decoded, which attempts to explain and answer questions surrounding some of the biggest mysteries in history. Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone in his assassination of JFK? What’s really hiding in Area 51 in Nevada? Conspiracy theorists will get the chance to meet Meltzer and have their copy of History Decoded signed at this event. 

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    Alice Austen House Museum
    2 Hylan Blvd.
    Staten Island
    NY 10305
  2. 2
    Steven Kasher Gallery
    521 W 23rd St
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10011
  3. 3
    Socrates Sculpture Park
    32-01 Sculpture Park at Broadway
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  1. 4
    Riverside Park
    Riverside Drive to Hudson River
    72nd St. to St Clair Pl.
    New York – Upper West Side
    NY 10115
  2. 5
    BRIC House
    647 Fulton St.
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
    NY 11217
  3. 6
    Barnes & Noble 86th & Lexington Ave
    150 E. 86th St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10028

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