Free This Week


by Sara Steinfeld, 08/12/2014

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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.

August 13–19

Wednesday, August 13
My Drunk Kitchen Launch Party with Hannah Hart 
Where: Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
When: 7pm
Hannah Hart, star of the popular YouTube cooking series My Drunk Kitchen, will be at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in SoHo to celebrate and sign copies of her new cookbook, My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going With Your Gut. The book transfers Hart's sensibility—basically, that a little inebriation can make culinary endeavors more fun and accessible—from the small screen onto the printed page. In this collection, photos of Hart's creations are paired with amusing recipe names and taglines, like "Tiny Sandwiches (Size doesn't matter! Aim to satisfy.)" Some concoctions come with inspirational messages: "Perseverance Pie: Because baking is hard and involves math and science." Hart also provides—surprise, surprise—drink recommendations for every dish, as well as the odd food-safety tip ("remember to turn off your stove when you go to bed"). The night promises to be amusing, if not intoxicating, and since Hart has more than 1.3 million YouTube subscribers, it may be a packed house. 

Thursday, August 14
The "Emily" Show
Where: 2A
When: 8–9pm
Hosted by comedy veterans Lizzie Martinez, Tim Racine and Emily Bogue, the weekly "Emily" Show features improv teams, stand-up storytellers and acts by the hosts themselves. Comedians such as Upright Citizen Brigade's Jo Firestone and Spike TV's Lukas Kaiser have taken the stage at past iterations of the event. Lineups and themes can be found (as they become available) on the show's Facebook page

Friday, August 15
The Harlem Dance Caravan: Erasing the Boundaries/Master Class with Theresa Lavington 
Where: Marcus Garvey Park Amphitheater
When: 7pm
Wind down your week with this dance celebration of African and African-American culture, courtesy of SummerStage and the Harlem arts organization Faison Firehouse Theater. Baoku & The Image Afrobeat Band, a Cincinnati-based music and dance collective fusing jazz and rock with traditional African elements, shares the bill with Jamel Gaines' Creative Outlet and the Cecilia Marta Dance Company, both local outfits. Those who want an immersive taste of the art form can take a master class from longtime dancer and fitness instructor Theresa Lavington, who guides participants in a routine that blends hip-hop, funk and other styles. The class begins at 7pm, and performances start at 8pm.

Saturday, August 16
FlyNYC Kite Festival 
Where: Pier I, Riverside Park South
When: 11am–4pm
Kite flying makes for a compelling pastime, an endeavor that captures kids' imaginations and generates an appreciation for the interplay of human ingenuity and the natural elements. At the annual FlyNYC Kite Festival, held at Riverside Park, families and kids can explore the sport through numerous activities. In addition to kite-flying demonstrations (pray for enough wind), there will be kite-making workshops and live music performances. Bands include the all-female drumming group Batala NYC and Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, who play their instruments while tromping around on stilts. 

Sunday, August 17
India Day Parade 
Where: Madison Avenue, between East 23rd and East 38th Streets
When: 11am–6pm
The world's largest India Day Parade takes place on Manhattan's Madison Avenue. The procession starts from East 38th Street at noon and heads south (it concludes at East 27th Street at 3pm). The whole celebration, however, kicks off earlier, with purveyors of Indian food and merchandise—jewelry, books, crafts and more—setting up at 11am at the intersection of Madison Avenue and East 25th Street. The colorful floats and cultural performances will stimulate senses throughout the afternoon.

Monday, August 18
New Directions in Solo Piano: Elio Villafranca 
Where: One Liberty Plaza Lobby
When: 12:30–1:30pm
Four days of solo piano concerts kick off with a performance by Elio Villafranca, a jazz pianist and composer from Cuba. The talented Villafranca, who released his latest album, Caribbean Tinge, in June, brings contemporary flair to jazz traditions. He was among those given Jazz at Lincoln Center's inaugural Millennium Swing Award earlier this summer, and past credits include playing on percussionist Chembo Corniel's Things I Wanted To Do, which garnered a Grammy nomination in 2010 for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year.

Tuesday, August 19
The Sweetback Sisters with The Tall Pines 
Where: City Winery
When: 5:30–7:30pm
This penultimate concert of the sixth annual Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival features the Sweetback Sisters and the Tall Pines. Emily Miller and Zara Bode (not actual sisters) have crafted a blend of country and rockabilly music, heard on albums such as 2011's Looking for a Fight and 2009's Chicken Ain't Chicken. Opening act Tall Pines, a Brooklyn-based country-rock band headed by husband-and-wife duo Christmas Davis and Connie Lynn Petruk, will perform tracks off their newest EP, Black Ribbon. Well suited for a summer evening, the show is located at an outdoor space behind City Winery.

related venues/(5)

  1. 1
    Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
    126 Crosby St.
    Manhattan – SoHo
    NY 10012
  2. 2
    25 Ave A
    Manhattan – East Village
    NY 10009
  3. 3
    Marcus Garvey Park
    Madison Ave.
    Manhattan – Harlem
    NY 10035
  1. 4
    Riverside Park South
    Henry Hudson Parkway at W. 70th St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10023
  2. 5
    City Winery
    155 Varick St
    Manhattan – multiple locations

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