Free This Week


by Christina Parrella, 03/05/2014

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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 deals section for more free events.

March 5–11

Wednesday, March 5
I Am Dandy
Where: Fashion Institute of Technology, Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
When: 6pm
The dandy has returned—at least according to the impeccably dressed writer Nathaniel Adams. His book I Am Dandy: The Return of the Elegant Gentleman provides insight into this variety of modern man, known for his exquisite sense of style, refined mannerisms and predilection for appearing in street-style photos during Fashion Week. Adams and photographer Rose Callahan, who collaborated with the author on the book, will lead the discussion. Modern-day dandies, including Andre Churchwell and Simon Doonan, will be on hand for a panel discussion. Register for the event here.

Thursday, March 6
Strand + The Believer: A Night of Confidence (or the Appearance of) with special guests Laurie Anderson and Amanda Stern
Where: Strand Bookstore
When: 7pm
Acclaimed author Amanda Stern and musician Laurie Anderson kick off a new series of music-themed discussions at Strand Book Store. This event, organized by the literary magazine The Believer, celebrates the release of Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence: The Best of the Believer Music Interviews, a collection of conversations with musicians. The book captures the artists' thoughts on a number of topics: Björk shares her feelings on poetry, while M.I.A. reflects on the influence of the Internet. 

Friday, March 7
Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket
Where: The Museum at FIT
When: noon–8pm
No longer just a functional item of clothing, the biker jacket has become a wardrobe staple for many people. This exhibition explores the history of the black leather motorcycle jacket and how it evolved from outlaw outerwear to a totem of luxe fashion. The survey traces the piece from 1928, when American outerwear company Schott designed one iteration that sold for $5.50. The jacket later became an icon of rebellion due in part to the way Marlon Brando wore it in the 1953 film The Wild One. During the latter 20th century, the jacket—also known as the "moto"—transformed from a punk-rock symbol of nonconformity into a prized piece of high fashion, thanks in part to designs by Yves Saint Laurent at Christian Dior. Leather jackets from Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier, Comme des Garçons and Rick Owens are among the featured pieces.

Saturday, March 8
Union Square: Crossroads of New York Walking Tour
Where: Abraham Lincoln Statue (at the northern end of Union Square Park, near 16th Street)
When: 2pm
Union Square is a hub of culture and activity—a walk through the park and surrounding streets reveals a vibrant community, and the park itself is a magnet for protest, performance and those seeking a respite from the urban jungle. Art, activism, architecture and political forces have all shaped the neighborhood and its history. Union Square Partnership and Big Onion Walking Tours have teamed up to offer a 90-minute walking tour that gives tour goers information about the neighborhood's rich past. Afterward, feel free to peruse the Union Square Greenmarket, where local farmers sell fresh produce and baked goods. Reservations are not necessary for individuals but are mandatory for groups.

Sunday, March 9
The Night Sky
Where: Belvedere Castle
When: 7pm
Glimpse the night sky from a castle in the middle of Central Park. The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation's Urban Park Rangers lead this stargazing session, sharing the stories and science relating to the celestial realm; participants emerge with tips on viewing meteor showers, moon phases and the Milky Way's planets. Sunday's event focuses on using the naked eye, rather than a telescope or binoculars, to find stars and planets.

Monday, March 10
National Girls and Women in Sports Day in Staten Island
Where: PS 018 John G. Whittier
When: 3–5:30pm
National Girls and Women in Sports Day began in 1987 to honor the late volleyball player and Olympic silver medalist Flo Hyman. The holiday encourages women of any age to be healthy and active, as well as to achieve equality in the realms of sports and athletic endeavors. Events will be held throughout the five boroughs during Women's History Month; this particular family-friendly celebration promotes physical well-being by offering sports clinics and fitness demos. There will also be guest speakers and prizes.

Tuesday March 11
Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle
Where: The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden
When: 6:30pm
The civil rights struggle encompasses over 150 years of history, marked by significant milestones such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To celebrate the progress on this issue, the National Endowment for the Humanities is presenting free screenings of films that reflect on and promote the ideals of freedom and equal rights. The PBS film The Abolitionists, which reveals how slavery opponents Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown contributed to and defined the struggle against injustice, will be screened at this event. Panelists will then discuss current human rights issues and ongoing inequalities that need to be addressed.

related venues/(6)

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Strand Book Store
    828 Broadway
    Manhattan – Union Square
    NY 10003
  3. 3
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  1. 4
    Union Square
    14th St to 17th St
    Manhattan – Union Square
    NY 10003
  2. 5
  3. 6
    Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden
    421 E. 61st St.
    Manhattan – Upper East Side
    NY 10065

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