Free This Week


by staff, 06/04/2014

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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.

June 4–10

Wednesday, June 4 
Janelle Monae 
Where: Prospect Park Bandshell 
When: 8pm
The Celebrate Brooklyn! outdoor concert series returns with a show from propulsive soul-pop stylist Janelle Monáe. The singer, known for her glamorous androgynous style, recently covered David Bowie's "Heroes" for Beats of the Beautiful Game, a visual soundtrack for the World Cup. Arrive early if you want to snag a spot close to the stage; she's having a moment, and opening night always draws a crowd.

Thursday, June 5
Exposed: A History of Lingerie 
Where: The Museum at FIT
When: noon–8pm
Centuries before Victoria's Secret and La Perla, lingerie existed in the form of corsets stiffened with whalebone (in a word: ouch). Today, intimate apparel is much more comfortable, and its evolution to that current state is traced in this exhibition. The collection, which examines the history of undergarments from the 18th century to the present, features over 70 items and highlights all things feminine and delicate. Silk, cotton and lace examples from designers like Christian Dior, Valerie Porr and Patricia Fieldwalker are among the intricate pieces on display. 

Friday, June 6
Art by the Ferry 
Where: St. George Ferry Terminal and 139 Bay St.
When: 6pm
Each June, Art by the Ferry transforms the St. George terminal of the Staten Island Ferry into an arcade for Staten Island's burgeoning arts community. The festival, which has expanded past the station's confines, will be making a gallery of the warehouse at 139 Bay St., a short walk away. Tonight's kickoff features literary readings, to be followed by live music; over the rest of the weekend, expect art exhibitions, more outdoor musical performances and family-oriented craft workshops.

Saturday, June 7
Target First Saturdays: Brooklyn Pride 
Where: Brooklyn Museum
When: 5–11pm
Every June the five boroughs come alive with parades, festivals and parties that bring the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community's heritage to the forefront of public attention. Be part of one of the celebrations at this Saturday event, which showcases music, drag performance, pop-up gallery talks and ballet. Artist Alexander Kargaltsev, who suffered persecution as a gay man in Russia, will talk about his experiences and photo series Last Polaroids, which documents his time in exile. A ballet performance of The Firebird (composed by Igor Stravinsky) and a voguing workshop led by Benny Ninja are also among the evening's happenings. 

Sunday, June 8
Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 
Where: Madison Square Park
When: 11am–6pm
Pit masters from NYC, Alabama, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina and other locations near and far descend on the Flatiron District for the annual lip-smacking food festival. While the event itself is free to attend, the food does come with a price tag—a plate of tasty vittles costs $9. The ambience and music, which includes live sets from rock and country acts such as Lera Lynn and JD McPherson, are free. Folks can also catch seminars on the art and science behind the brisket and ribs.

Monday, June 9
Bryant Park FitClub: Pilates with Pilates on Fifth 
Where: Bryant Park, Fountain Terrace
When:  7:30–8:30am
Skip the extra shot of espresso in your morning coffee, and start off the workweek with an early morning Pilates class. Pilates, which focuses on building energy and endurance, also addresses the body's alignment and proper ways to breathe. This alfresco class, given by Pilates on Fifth, targets abdominal muscles and the spine, which can help strengthen your body from the inside. The hour-long class is open to individuals of all skill levels. A limited number of mats will be provided. 

Tuesday, June 10
Museum Mile Festival 
Where: Fifth Avenue, between 82nd and 105th Streets
When: 6–9pm
While it's easy to spend all day in a single New York City cultural institution, this once-a-year affair gives visitors a three-hour period to sample a variety of the very finest of them—for free. The 23-block stretch of Fifth Avenue known as Museum Mile is home to eight participating institutions—El Museo del Barrio, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt (whose galleries are closed for renovation), the Jewish Museum, the National Academy Museum, Neue Galerie and the Museum of the City of New York—offering extended evening hours. In addition to all the art inside, there are plenty of outdoor festivities: face painting, chalk drawing, live music and other block-party-type events.

related venues/(8)

  1. 1
    Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell
    Prospect Park West
    Brooklyn – Park Slope
  2. 2
    Museum at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
    Seventh Ave. at 27th St.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10001
  3. 3
    Staten Island Ferry
    St. George Terminal, 1 Bay St.
    Multiple Locations
    NY 10301
  1. 4
    Brooklyn Museum
    200 Eastern Parkway
    Brooklyn – Prospect Heights
    NY 11238
  2. 5
    Madison Square Park
    23rd to 26th Sts. (bet. Fifth and Madison Aves.)
    Manhattan – Flatiron District
    NY 10010
  3. 6
    Bryant Park
    Sixth Ave. between 40th and 42nd Sts.
    Manhattan – Midtown West
  1. 7
    El Museo del Barrio
    1230 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  2. 8
    Museum of the City of New York
    1220 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029

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