Free This Week


by staff, 11/19/2014

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There's always something exciting to do and see around the five boroughs that doesn't cost a dime. Find our weekly picks below, and visit our calendar and Save the Date section for more free events.

Wednesday, November 19
Orphan Train and My Notorious Life
Where: Lower East Side Tenement Museum
When: 6:30pm
Join the authors of these two novels for a discussion about the sometimes-hardscrabble lives of American women from earlier eras. Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train concerns a young Irish immigrant traveling to NYC by rail during the Great Depression, while My Notorious Life, set in the City during the 1860s, tells the fictional story of a poor midwife who parlays her talents into a successful business and becomes a controversial activist for women's reproductive rights. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6pm.

Thursday, November 20
Maryland to Murano
Where: Museum of Arts and Design
When: Pay what you wish, 6–9pm
This exhibition examines the relationship between artist Joyce J. Scott's beaded neckpieces, made in her Baltimore studio, and her glass sculptures fashioned in the Berengo Studio on Murano Island in Venice, Italy. The pieces demonstrate Scott's intense dedication to technique and interaction with her chosen materials. Examples include a bib necklace crafted with glass beads and a hand-blown Murano glass Buddha filled with beaded jewelry pieces.

Friday, November 21
Anthony Kiedis and David Mushegain in Conversation with David Fricke
Where: Barnes & Noble, Union Square
When: 7pm
The new book Fandemonium: Red Hot Chili Peppers pays tribute to the funk-punk band's legion of superfans. Featuring interviews with some of the group's most loyal die-hards, the tome also includes hundreds of photos taken at concerts worldwide. Shaggy-haired Rolling Stone eminence David Fricke hosts a discussion with lead singer Anthony Kiedis, who wrote the book's introduction, and photographer David Mushegain, who snapped many of its pics and conducted the interviews that make up much of the text. Seating will begin at 5pm on fourth floor, and priority will be given to those who purchase the book. No photographs, CDs or memorabilia will be allowed at this event.

Saturday, November 22
Astronomy: New Moon
Where: Fort Totten Visitor's Center
When: 6pm
Located inside historic Fort Totten Park in Queens, this event welcomes both seasoned stargazers and newbies who want to learn about the night sky's celestial sights. Using high-powered telescopes and binoculars, you'll get an especially good view of the galaxies tonight because the moon will be directly between the earth and the sun, which cuts down on light pollution. This event is weather permitting; call 718-352-1769 ahead of time.

Sunday, November 23
Nature Playtime!
Where: Prospect Park Zoo Discovery Trail
When: 10:30am–12:30pm
Organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Nature Playtime combines fun and learning in an explorative outdoor space for children. In preparation for Thanksgiving, park guides will assist kids in creating a nature-inspired menu of mud pies, stone soup and leafy pizza.

Monday, November 24
Holiday Train Show
Where: Grand Central Terminal
When: 8am–8pm
The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex and Store at Grand Central Terminal is back with its 13th annual Holiday Train Show. The installation features Lionel trains chugging through a two-level, 34-foot-long miniature New York City and countryside scene. Vintage trains from the museum's collection, including New York Central models, travel all the way to the diorama's North Pole.

Tuesday, November 25
Marina Abramović: Generator 
Where: Sean Kelly Gallery
When: 11am–6pm
Known for her performance-based art and boundary-pushing shows, New York City-based artist Marina Abramović explores absence and solitude in her new installation, Generator. (Unlike her lauded 2010 show, however, there's no guarantee the artist will be present—though she does show up from time to time.) In order to experience what Abramović terms "full emptiness," guests must leave belongings such as cell phones, bags and watches in a locker, and will be fitted with blindfolds and noise-canceling headphones in return. Only 68 visitors are allowed to enjoy the sensory deprivation at a time.

related venues/(7)

  1. 1
    Lower East Side Tenement Museum
    103 Orchard St.
    Manhattan – Lower East Side
    NY 10002
  2. 2
    Museum of Arts and Design
    2 Columbus Circle
    Manhattan – Midtown West
    NY 10019
  3. 3
    Barnes & Noble Union Square
    33 E. 17th St.
    Manhattan – Union Square
    NY 10003
  1. 4
    Fort Totten Park
    Weaver Rd and Totten Ave
    Queens – Bayside
    NY 11359
  2. 5
    Prospect Park Zoo
    450 Flatbush Ave.
    Brooklyn – Crown Heights
    NY 11225
  3. 6
    Grand Central Terminal
    15 Vanderbilt Ave., Hall 2A
    Manhattan – Midtown East
    NY 10017
  1. 7
    Sean Kelly Gallery
    475 Tenth Ave.
    Manhattan – Chelsea
    NY 10018

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