Free This Week
by Erin O'Hara, 06/11/2013
- events in nyc/
- more in arts & entertainment/
Wednesday, June 12
Philippe Petit: Why Knot?
Where: Bryant Park Reading Room
High-wire artist Philippe Petit made history for pulling off one of the most daring stunts of all time. In 1974, Petit traversed the distance between the two World Trade Center towers on a tightrope that he and his cohorts surreptitiously laid 1,350 feet above street level—a feat that was the subject of the award-winning 2008 documentary Man on Wire and revealed the Frenchman's remarkable tenacity and joie de vivre. The title of his new book, Why Knot?, succinctly captures that adventurous spirit. The book is a collection of his knot-tying knowledge and experience, gathered from decades of walking on high wires all over the world. It features more than 60 knots and their uses, as well as Petit's own illustrations and anecdotes. On Wednesday, you can learn about some of them firsthand with demonstrations from the man on wire himself.
Thursday, June 13
Amy Stewart: The Drunken Botanist
New York Times Best-Selling author Amy Stewart has a way of writing about nature that makes it seem just a little bit magical, even within her scientific purview. This time, in The Drunken Botanist, her subject is the fascinating and strange history of humans fermenting alcohol using a variety of fruits, herbs, flowers and other plants. Author and "Drink" columnist for The New York Times Magazine Rosie Schaap will be on hand to start the conversation, and there will be drink samples inspired by recipes from the book. Those attending are encouraged to RSVP.
Friday, June 14
Where: Central Park
Shakespeare's not the only playwright who gets his day in the summer sun. New York Classical Theatre, a nonprofit that offers free performances of classic works for the public, presents its production of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull in the park at Central Park West and West 103rd Street. The tragic play is a character study about four dissatisfied people who never seem to get what they want. The show runs through the end of June in Central Park and Prospect Park.
Saturday, June 15
Celebrate Brooklyn!: Calexico at Prospect Park; SummerStage: The Zombies at Central Park
Where: various locations
When: various times
Summertime in NYC always brings a wonderful assortment of free outdoor concerts, but sometimes this blessing can feel like a curse when several high-profile shows are scheduled in two different boroughs on the same day. In Brooklyn, Southwestern indie rockers Calexico headline one of Prospect Park's first Celebrate Brooklyn! events of the season, beginning at 3pm, with a stellar and diverse assortment of other acts: Peruvian singer Susana Baca and a cool collaboration between Radio Jarocho and Akoko Nante Ensemble. In Central Park, starting at 6pm, the beloved British rock band The Zombies takes the, er, SummerStage alongside Django Django, Adam Green & Binki Shapiro and Modest P. What's a music-loving New Yorker or visitor to do? For more information, visit bricartsmedia.org and cityparksfoundation.org.
Sunday, June 16
11th Brazilian Film Festival of New York
Where: Central Park
Starting on June 12, a selection of this year's exceptional Brazilian films will be screened at Tribeca Cinemas as part of the weeklong Brazilian Film Festival of New York. Check the schedule at brazilianfilmfestival.com for the lineup. On Sunday, the festival comes to a close at SummerStage at Central Park's Rumsey Playfield with an awards ceremony, a concert by Brazilian pop sensation Preta Gil, DJ sets by Gaspar Muniz and a screening of the film Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, an animated love story for both children and adults that unfolds over several centuries of Brazilian history.
Monday, June 17
Sam Roberts: Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America
Where: Surrogate's Court Building
Sam Roberts, acclaimed author and New York Times reporter, has written a book about the history of one of the City's most beloved landmarks to coincide with its 100th anniversary this year. Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America explores the grandiose building's storied past, from its construction by Cornelius Vanderbilt to its near-demolition before being saved by preservationists. On Monday, join Roberts for a reading and talk in room 112 at the Department of Records Visitors Center, 31 Chambers St., in Lower Manhattan.
Tuesday, June 18
Summer on the Hudson: Pilates – Mat Class
Where: Riverside Park South
Grab your yoga mat and head to the Plaza at West 66th Street in Riverside Park South for a fitness class that's both energizing and relaxing. Pilates was created based on the belief that the health of the body and mind are intertwined. It not only strengthens your core, builds muscle and improves balance and flexibility, but it also helps to reduce stress and de-clutter the mind as you concentrate on your breath. After completing the practice along the Hudson River at sundown, you'll be more than ready to take on the rest of your week. No experience is necessary to participate.