Free This Week


by Alyssa Grossman, 11/13/2013

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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.

November 13–19

Wednesday, November 13
Katharina Grosse: Just Two of Us
Where: MetroTech Center Plaza
When: ongoing
The Public Art Fund's latest installation brings bursts of bold color to Downtown Brooklyn's MetroTech Center. German artist Katharina Grosse is responsible for the striking, rainbow-colored display of 18 irregularly shaped sculptures that have seemingly erupted amongst the trees of the complex's plaza. Her abstract work is separated into two groups, each creation employing her signature use of layered spray paint to render different hues and textures in unexpected ways. For the artist, whose past surfaces have included everything from soil to building facades, experimentation is par for the course. 

Thursday, November 14
The Ailey/Fordham Student Dancers
Where: David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
When: 7:30pm
On Thursday evenings, Target and the David Rubenstein Atrium team up to give audiences a chance to experience the arts at no cost. This week's installment brings a dance performance from students enrolled in the Ailey School's professional division or its joint BFA program with Fordham. They will showcase a multitude of dance forms—ballet, jazz, hip hop, Horton, West African and Dunham, among them—arranged by both up-and-coming and established choreographers. Admittance is on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early to be assured of a spot. 

Friday, November 15
Where: Museum at the 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Fashion may be one of the most cyclical industries in the world: clothing considered outdated after one season can reemerge as newfangled in a flash.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. This is your last chance to see the exhibition, which ends November 16. 

Saturday, November 16
The Fed at 100
Where: Museum of American Finance 
When: 10am–4pm
Saturdays now mean complimentary admission to the Museum of American Finance—just in time for the institution's latest exhibition, The Fed at 100, which is also making history as the museum's biggest display yet. Visitors will get an in-depth look at how the Federal Reserve goes about business and explore its contributions to the country over the past century. Spanning three galleries, the exhibition includes replicas of office layouts and pays homage to the nearby Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the one branch with permission to carry out international business and the site of the largest quantity of gold in the world. In the display "100 Years, 100 Objects," guests can view an official notice announcing the bank's opening, a 1927 watch clock and a photo depicting the Fed’s very first board of governors. 

Sunday, November 17
History of Sports Tour
Where: Central Park 
When: 2–3:15pm
With their bike and running paths, baseball fields, basketball courts, boat rentals, skating rinks and grassy open spaces, Central Park's 843 acres are a sports enthusiast's paradise. During this special tour, you'll discover how this famous Manhattan sward has adapted over time to meet the changing recreational needs of visitors, from the mid-19th century to today. Highlights of the 75-minute expedition include learning about the park's original plans for an ice-skating rink, the creation of its ball fields in the 1920s, the evolution of bridle paths into running lanes and the park's longtime role in the New York City Marathon. The tour will end near Tavern on the Green. No reservation is required. Meet at the Dairy Visitor Center and Gift Shop, located mid-park at 65th street. 

Monday, November 18
The Line King's Library: Al Hirschfeld at The New York Public Library 
Where: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 
When: noon–8pm
This Upper West Side branch of the New York Public Library celebrates the 110th anniversary of the birth of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld with an exhibition showcasing his contributions to stage and screen. During his nearly eight-decade career in illustration—most visible in The New York Times' Sunday entertainment pages—Hirschfeld had a profound influence on the arts world in NYC, Hollywood and places in between; for many actors, musicians and other public figures, becoming the subject of his line drawings was a sure sign they had arrived. Curated by David Leopold, who spent over 20 years archiving the artist's work, the exhibition includes drawings, posters, album covers and the very table where Hirschfeld sat to work on many of his depictions—which have been called some of the most accurate actor portrayals in the industry. The Line King's Library will also feature special programming, including today's 6pm screening of The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story, an Oscar-nominated compilation of home movies, celebrity appearances and interviews with his daughter and wife. 

Tuesday, November 19 
Nicholas Dawidoff, Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football
Where: Greenlight Bookstore 
When: 7:30pm
Ted Conover leads a discussion with author Nicholas Dawidoff about his latest project, Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football. The New York Times and New Yorker contributor observed the New York Jets for a full year, gaining access to their offices and locker room and discovering a world unfamiliar to even the biggest sports fans. Dawidoff brings to light the challenges of life as a professional athlete and chronicles the impact of the game watched and loved by so many. Among the individuals highlighted are the team's head coach, Rex Ryan; (currently injured) quarterback Mark Sanchez; and former cornerback Darrelle Revis. 

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
    David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
    Broadway at 62nd St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  2. 2
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  3. 3
    Museum of American Finance
    48 Wall St.
    Manhattan – Financial District
    NY 10005
  1. 4
    Central Park
    Between Fifth Ave. and Central Park West
    Manhattan – Central Park
    NY 10024
  2. 5
    New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
    111 Amsterdam Ave
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
  3. 6
    Greenlight Bookstore
    686 Fulton St
    Brooklyn – Fort Greene
    NY 11217

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