Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 10/30/2013

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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 30–November 5

Wednesday, October 30
Greener Pastures Exhibition: 125th Anniversary of Bronx Parks
Where: Poe Park Visitor Center
When: 8am–4pm
Bronx Parks has been enriching the borough's green spaces for 125 years, and special programming, lectures, bike tours and more have been taking place throughout 2013 to mark the occasion. In this exhibition at the Poe Park Visitor Center, guests are invited to explore images from the Parks Photo Archive, curated by Jonathan Kuhn, the NYC Parks Department's director of art & antiquities. Greener Pastures will be on display through November 16.

Thursday, October 31
Village Halloween Parade
Where: Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street
When: 7–10:30pm
Every year 60,000 costumed revelers parade up Sixth Avenue aboard floats, on stilts and decked out in some of the most creative getups for Greenwich Village's most festive tradition—count on more than a few Walt and Jesse look-alikes (from Breaking Bad, in case you were wondering) and, undoubtedly, a foam-finger- and tongue-wagging Miley or two. Pick a spot along the route for live music, dancing and ghoulish celebrations, but make sure to get there early, as over 2 million spectators show up each year to see all the action live. While this may be the biggest Halloween offering in NYC, it certainly isn't the only one. Check out our roundup of kid- (and adult-) friendly events for even more things to do.

Friday, November 1
First Friday: A Compilation of Footage of Sumi Ink Club
Where: The Noguchi Museum
When: 5–8pm
Join Long Island City institution The Noguchi Museum to ring in November with extended hours and free programming. The highlight of the night is a film screening inspired by the exhibition Isamu Noguchi and Qi Baishi: Beijing 1930. The film showcases, via time lapse, meetings of the Sumi Ink Club, a Los Angeles art collective that uses its intricate ink drawings as a manner of communication. The goal of this inclusive group is to create records of the ways in which society interacts. Anyone can organize a meeting, anyone can attend and all participants work on the same surface with the same materials, deciding as a unit when a project is complete. An artwork discussion will take place at the museum at 6pm, followed by the screening at 7pm.

Saturday, November 2
Astronomy in Brooklyn Bridge Park
Where: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1
When: 7pm
Space takes center stage when Urban Park Rangers gather in Brooklyn Bridge Park for a lesson in night sky know-how. Participants will learn the stories and science behind the stars and walk away with tips on viewing meteor showers, moon phases and the Milky Way's planets clearly. The rangers provide all necessary equipment, including telescopes and binoculars. For the most up-to-date information on weather conditions for viewing, visit

Sunday, November 3
ING New York City Marathon
Where: Citywide
When: Race start times are staggered, beginning at 8:30am
One of New York City's biggest sporting events of the year covers all five boroughs as some 48,000 runners traverse the 26.2-mile course that begins in Staten Island and ends in Central Park. Spectators line the streets throughout the course, cheering and holding signs to encourage racers while live bands and DJs help set the soundtrack for this monumental day. Racers begin at staggered times (subject to change), starting with the wheelchair division at 8:30am, followed by handcyclists and other athletes with disabilities (8:55am), professional women (9.10am) and men (9:40am). The rest of the field also starts the race in waves, at 9:40am (directly following professional men), 10:05am, 10:30am and 10:55am. Don't miss our spectator's guide to the marathon.

Monday, November 4
Book Launch: Design Brooklyn
Where: powerHouse Arena
When: 7–9pm
Writer-editor Anne Hellman and photographer Michel Arnaud's Design Brooklyn is a timely chronicle of the borough's distinctive design sensibility, which has been getting some notice of late. Illustrated with Arnaud's lush photographs, the book explores the borough's commitment to preservation and innovation within public and private spaces—historic brownstones, industrial transformations, contemporary interiors and more. The book's creators will be joined by Jane Walentas, the restorer of Jane's Carousel in DUMBO; author and borough-history fanatic Lucas Rubin; and architect Chris McVoy. To RSVP for the launch, email

Tuesday, November 5
Where: Brookfield Place Lobby
When: 10am–6pm
The purpose of this annual event at the former World Financial Center is twofold: families can admire exquisite structures designed entirely from cans of food (past creations have included giant electric mixers, rocket ships, cartoon characters and castles), and each can will be donated to City Harvest at the end of the exhibition. While the event is free, attendees are encouraged to contribute a can or two of their own to feed the hungry. At the last competition, 91,000 pounds of canned goods were donated; the organization will no doubt be hoping to top that this time around. Displays will be up at Brookfield Place through November 13.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    The Noguchi Museum
    9 - 01 33rd Rd. @ Vernon Blvd.
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  2. 2
    Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1
    Furman and Old Fulton Sts
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  3. 3
    Central Park
    Between Fifth Ave. and Central Park West
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10024
  1. 4
    powerHouse Arena
    37 Main St.
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11201
  2. 5
    Brookfield Place
    230 Vesey St.
    Manhattan – Battery Park City
    NY 10281

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