Free This Week


by Christina Parrella, 01/22/2014

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There's always something plenty 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 deals section for more free events.

January 22–28

Wednesday, January 22
Midweek Bird Walk
Where: Conference House Park
When: 10am–noon
During the winter months, the wetlands of Raritan Bay, which extends from the southwest shores of Staten Island to the northern shoreline of Monmouth County, New Jersey, are a migratory stopover for waterfowl, including the horned grebe and greater scaup. Since the tour is outdoors, a warm coat is recommended. Meet outside of the visitors center at Satterlee Street and Hylan Boulevard.

Thursday, January 23
Great Books Discussion Series: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Where: Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library, Trustees' Room
When: 2–4pm
One of the most influential novels ever written, War and Peace tells a multilayered story of Russian society during Napoleon's invasion in 1812. Along with Anna Karenina, the novel is widely considered to be one of Leo Tolstoy's masterpieces. Literary studies professor and Tolstoy expert Inessa Medzhibovskaya will lead a discussion on the author and this major work.  

Friday, January 24
Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art
Where: American Folk Art Museum 
When: noon–7:30pm
What is the relationship between fashion and folk art? This exhibition explores the two seemingly unrelated fields through the work of 13 designers who have created garments inspired by works of art in the museum’s collection. Handcrafted clothing hangs alongside the painting, sculpture, photograph or quilt it draws inspiration from. Featured designers include Michael Bastian, Chadwick Bell and Catherine Malandrino. 

Saturday, January 25
Arts, Culture & Fun: African-American Art at the Museum of Modern Art
Where: Red Hook Recreation Center
When: 1–2pm
Ahead of Black History Month, Museum of Modern Art educator Kirstin Broussard leads a discussion about the museum’s collection of work from African-American artists. The interactive talk will cover artists from Romare Bearden to Kara Walker. To reserve your spot, email or call 718-965-8968.

Sunday, January 26
Where: Fort Totten Park Visitors Center
When: 6pm
A former US Army base and onetime Civil War fortress, Fort Totten Park, located near Long Island Sound, offers clear views of the New York City sky. Winter is the ideal season to view meteor showers, phases of the moon and planets of the Milky Way. Urban Park Rangers will be on hand to explain the history, science and folklore of the universe. Telescopes and binoculars are available for amateur stargazers.  

Monday, January 27
Shape Up NYC: Ragin' Stations
Where: McDonald Playground
When: noon–1pm
To promote exercise during the winter months, Shape Up NYC offers free fitness classes throughout the five boroughs for participants of all skill levels. This one-hour class improves core strength through cardio training and core exercises, with a focus on adult and senior health.

Tuesday, January 28
Pop Culture Phenomena with Alan Light, Glenn Kenny and Rob Sheffield
Where: Word
When: 7pm
What's the magic element that makes a pop song an earworm? Journalists Alan Light and Rob Sheffield, who have contributed to Rolling Stone and Spin magazines, and MSN film critic Glenn Kenny examine our obsession with pop culture, from music to movies. 

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    The Conference House Museum
    298 Satterlee St
    Staten Island – Tottenville
  2. 2
    Brooklyn Public Library
    Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
    NY 11238
  3. 3
    American Folk Art Museum
    2 Lincoln Square
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  1. 4
    Fort Totten Park
    Weaver Rd and Totten Ave
    Queens – Bayside
    NY 11359
  2. 5
    126 Franklin St
    Brooklyn – Greenpoint
    NY 11222

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