Free This Week


by staff, 05/21/2014

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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 21–27

Wednesday, May 21
Lea Michele, Brunette Ambition
Where: Barnes & Noble, Union Square
When: 7pm
Part memoir, part how-to and part style guide, Lea Michele's debut book, Brunette Ambition, grants readers insider access to the Glee star's busy life and successful career. From beauty, fitness and fashion advice to tips on breaking into showbiz, Michele reveals all she has done (and wishes she had done). Michele will read from and sign copies of this inspirational tome.

Thursday, May 22
Multiple Exposures 
Where: Museum of Arts and Design
When: pay what you wish, 6–9pm
This exhibition explores the influence of photography on jewelry artists from the 19th century through the digital age. Pieces on display come from more than 80 artists the world over, including Joyce Scott and Andy Warhol. Among the items on display is an Abraham Lincoln daguerreotype pin fashioned with gingham and black ribbons.

Friday, May 23
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot: Hamlet 
Where: Bryant Park, Upper Terrace
When: 7pm
This summer the Bard turns 450. And what better way to celebrate his birthday than with a free performance of one of his signature plays? In its first production outside of a parking lot, the Drilling Company stages Hamlet, Shakespeare's quintessential revenge tragedy, at Bryant Park. Alessandro Colla stars as the Danish prince, hell-bent on serving up piping-hot vengeance. Some chairs are provided, but bring your own for guaranteed seating.

Saturday, May 24
Historic New York: The World's Fair 
Where: Unisphere, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
When: 1pm
This year Queens celebrates the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the World's Fair with a number of activities, exhibitions and events. Today, take a walking tour to learn about the history of Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The guided exploration focuses on the legacies of the events, which not only showcased technology, but also significantly changed the City's landscape. (The New York Hall of Science, Queens Museum and the Unisphere, where the walk begins, were built for these special occasions.)

Sunday, May 25
Artist Talk: Nnenna Okore
Where: BAM Fisher
When: 3:30pm
DanceAfrica, BAM's annual celebration of African and African-American dance, music, art and film, brings together creators from around the world. This afternoon Nigerian-born sculptor Nnenna Okore will talk about her process, which involves transforming recycled and organic materials. BAM curator Holly Shen Cheaves will lead the discussion, and a rooftop reception follows the event.

Monday, May 26
Memorial Day Parade
Where: Various
When: noon–2pm
Memorial Day isn't just an excuse for springtime sales and a three-day weekend—it is, first and foremost, a time to honor those citizens who have served the United States in times of war. The City honors our fallen heroes with parades all over the five boroughs. The Little Neck–Douglaston parade in Queens is reputedly the largest. You can also follow Brooklyn's Memorial Day Parade (147 years old!), which begins at 87th Street and Third Avenue. In Manhattan, head uptown for a smaller parade in Inwood, which begins at Dyckman Street and Broadway.

Tuesday, May 27
Jen Davis: Eleven Years
Where: ClampArt
When: 10am–6pm
For over a decade, photographer (and former photo editor) Jen Davis has explored beauty, body image and self-identity in a series of raw self-portraits. Through July 3, they'll be on view in a show that addresses Davis' struggle for self-acceptance and examines the impact that societal standards can have on body image. (The photos are also collected in a book.) Another Davis exhibition, I Ask in Exchange, features images of men from various walks of life and runs concurrently in the gallery.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Barnes & Noble Union Square
    33 E. 17th St.
    Manhattan – Union Square
    NY 10003
  2. 2
    Museum of Arts and Design
    2 Columbus Circle
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  3. 3
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  1. 4
    Flushing Meadows Corona Park
    111th St to Van Wyck Expy
    Queens – multiple locations
    NY 11375
  2. 5
    BAM - Brooklyn Academy of Music
    30 Lafayette Ave.
    Brooklyn – Downtown Brooklyn
    NY 11217

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