Free This Week


by staff, 05/14/2014

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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.

May 14–20

Wednesday, May 14
Bronx Week 
Where: Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
When: noon–4pm
In a city of islands, the Bronx stands out as NYC's emissary to the mainland thanks in part to its distinctive neighborhoods and quiet charisma. Each year the City comes together to give the northernmost borough its due. Bronx Week, a tradition for more than 40 years, celebrates the borough with a parade, festivals, live music and, of course, the induction of the latest additions to the Bronx Walk of Fame (among this year's honorees are record producer Swiss Beatz and singer-actress Priscilla Lopez). As part of Bronx Week, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum offers guided tours of its grounds throughout the afternoon beginning at a quarter past the hour. This Bronx landmark, built in 1842, remains a stunning example of 19th-century country life in modern New York City. The architecture is breathtaking, with a freestanding spiral staircase at the entrance, floor-to-ceiling windows on the second floor and magnificent, flora-filled grounds outside.

Thursday, May 15
2014 AIANY Design Awards Winners
Where: Center for Architecture
When: 9am–8pm
The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects holds an annual awards program to honor and celebrate excellence in the built environment and related design disciplines. The exhibition showcases 35 winning projects, selected from more than 400 entries representing four categories: architecture, interiors, urban designs and conceptual projects. All winning works, which include an interior for a Calvin Klein store in Shenyang, China, and the restoration of Donald Judd's NYC residence, represent exemplary innovation, craft skills and use of materials.

Friday, May 16
International Center of Photography Exhibitions 
Where: International Center of Photography
When: 10am–8pm (pay what you will after 5pm)
The International Center of Photography is home to a permanent collection of over 100,000 photographs, both contemporary and historical, as well as visiting exhibitions. The ICP's summer showcase opens today with two shows that focus on Latin and Central America. Urbes Mutantes: Latin American Photography 1941–2012 surveys the photography movements in places such as Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil that use the city as their focus. These photographs emphasize periods of social and political turmoil, particularly as events played out in public spaces. The second exhibition highlights the work of Caio Reisewitz, a prominent contemporary photographer in Brazil whose work captures landscapes of his native São Paulo. This is the Reisewitz's first major solo show in the States.

Saturday, May 17
Talib Kweli
Where: Rough Trade
When: 2pm
Known for his resonant lyrics and socially potent music, hip-hop luminary Talib Kweli plays an all-ages show in his native borough. Doors open at 1:30pm.  

Sunday, May 18
World's Fair Anniversary Festival 
Where: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
When: 1–8:30pm
Held since the 19th century, the world's fairs have been showcases for reflecting society's present innovations and its dreams for the future. For the expositions held in 1939 and 1964, Queens was selected as the host site, and several of the 1964 buildings remain as visible totems of space-age modernity. This year the borough celebrates the 50th anniversary of 1964's expo with a day of family-friendly activities. The festival includes games, inflatable rides, crafts and activities specially designed for kids—like puppet shows, face painting and a visit from the Mets' mascot, Mr. Met—in addition to tours of the park's sculptures and structures. A concert will cap off the day's events.

Monday, May 19
The Keillor Reader, Garrison Keillor 
Where: BookCourt
When: 7pm
If you're a public radio listener, you're probably well aware of Garrison Keillor and the broadcast shows he hosts, which include The Writer’s Almanac and A Prairie Home Companion. But the radio personality is also a renowned columnist, poet and author. His latest collection of work, The Keillor Reader, groups a full range of pieces together including stories, essays, poems and personal reminiscences, some never before published. Keillor will read excerpts, answer questions from the audience and sign copies.

Tuesday, May 20
Comedy Notebook with Liam McEneaney
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
When: 7pm
The Comedy Notebook series at Housing Works takes a rotating cast of comedians, many of them well known, and gives them new material to try out right there in front of watchful eyes. Saturday Night Live head writer Bryan Tucker and stand-up comic Hari Kondabolu are the featured acts of the night. Former Das Racist member Ashok Kondabolu will provide music for the evening's event, which is hosted by comedian Rob Paravonian. 

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum
    895 Shore Rd.
    Bronx – Pelham Bay
    NY 10464
  2. 2
    Center for Architecture
    536 LaGuardia Pl.
    Manhattan – Greenwich Village
    NY 10012
  3. 3
    International Center of Photography
    250 Bowery
    Manhattan – NoLIta
    NY 10012
  1. 4
    Rough Trade
    64 N. 9th St.
    Brooklyn – Williamsburg
    NY 11249
  2. 5
    Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    111th St to Van Wyck Expy
    Queens – multiple locations
    NY 11375
  3. 6
    163 Court St.
    Brooklyn – Cobble Hill
    NY 11201
  1. 7
    Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
    126 Crosby St.
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10012

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