Dec 242011
 

Get those toes tapping at this free performance by the six-piece Gotham Jazzmen.  It’s the last performance of 2011 for Toe Tappin’ Tuesdays  at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in Lincoln Center.  The music is Tuesday, December 27th, noon to 1:30 PM at the Bruno Walter Auditorium.  There are no reservations or reserved seats, so get there by 11:45 AM for a seat close to the front.

Dec 012011
 

Get ready for the holidays with these special free performances of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, at different branches of the New York Public Library throughout New York City.  Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is the timeless and universal tale of miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his clerk, Bob Cratchit. Through visits from the spirits of the season, Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas. The free performances are presented by Hampstead Stage Company, and suitable for kids ages 4 and older.  Performances are free, and there are no reservations — it’s first-come, first-seated — to be sure you and your kids — or grandkids — get there early.  Here’s the performance schedule and NYPL branch — and double-check the NYPL website for any schedule changes —

  • Belmont | Tuesday, December 6 | 4 p.m.
  • Richmondtown | Wednesday, December 7 | 4 p.m.
  • 96th Street | Thursday, December 8 | 4 p.m.
  • St. Agnes | Friday, December 9 | 3:30 p.m.
  • Children’s Center at 42nd Street | Saturday, December 10 | 3 p.m.
  • Bloomingdale | Monday, December 12 | 4 p.m.
  • Fort Washington | Tuesday, December 13 | 4 p.m.
  • Hamilton Grange | Wednesday, December 14 | 4 p.m.
  • Inwood | Thursday, December 15 | 3:30 p.m.
  • Parkchester | Friday, December 16 | 3:30 p.m.
  • Bronx Library Center | Saturday, December 17 | 2 p.m.
Nov 302011
 

You won’t meet legendary dancer and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov live and in person, but see him in photos, video footage and more, including personal letters from other legends of film and dance and culture including Frank Sinatra, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Fred Astaire.  This FREE exhibit is at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located appropriately in Lincoln Center.  The display was curated by the staff of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division and represents a rare chance to see this material before it is catalogued, a process expected to take three years.  There are more than one hundred digitized photographs spanning incredible Baryshnikov’s career; and excerpts of film and video footage, including a performance by a ten-year-old Baryshnikov and rehearsal sessions with greats like like George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham.  The exhibit is free, and on display through December 20, 2011, so dance yourself over to the NYPL before the final curtain.  Exhibit hours are Monday-Thursday, noon-8 PM, and noon-6 PM on Friday and Saturday.

Exhibits at New York Public Library branches are always free.  Click here for a list of free days at NYC museums.

Nov 012011
 

Walter Cronkite was called ‘the most trusted man in America’, and along with fellow CBS News icons Edward R. Morrow and Andy Rooney, possibly the most famous and influential TV news person in broadcast news history.  Spend a FREE evening with Sanford Socolow, executive producer of Cronkite Productions, Inc., and former executive producer of The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, to go behind the scenes at CBS News, and hear what he thinks — and what Cronkite thought — about current trends in American news and culture  (personal note — I have to wonder what Walter Cronkite would say about Snooki and the Kardashians).  The lecture is Monday, November 14th, at the NYPL Mid-Manhattan branch, 6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m., but get there by 6:15 for a seat.  The program is called “And That’s The Way It Is…..”, which was Cronkite’s signature sign-off for decades.  The NYPL Mid-Manhattan Branch is at Fifth Avenue and 40th Street, across the avenue from the Main Branch with the stone lions out front.

Sep 102011
 
World Trade Center, Twin Towers before 9/11, 9/11 tenth anniversary

World Trade Center before 9/11

The New York Public Library Mid-Manhattan branch is focusing on 9/11 throughout the month of September, with a series of free lectures by authors and other experts on how the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center affected and changed us all, and how it changed the city.  Here’s what’s scheduled next week, the week after the Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001 —

Monday, September 12th — Sharon Zukin, author of “After the World Trade Center: Rethinking New York City”, lectures on the ‘new normal’ of Lower Manhattan, including controversies over what is built and where, and how to include Muslims in public discussions.

Tuesday, September 13th –– Author Kenneth Jackson offers a slide presentation  from his book “New York and 9/11: A Report Card on the City’s Response to the Emergency and the Way the Tragedy Changed the Metropolis”, including the sacrifice and bravery of first responders, and the many ways terrorism has changed our daily life in New York City.

Monday, September 19th — A photo lecture on how the World Trade Center went from an unloved white elephant to an active, integral part of city life, including its impact on architecture around the world.  This lecture features historic photos of the WTC, from 1977 to today.

All programs begin at 6:30 at the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the NYPL, across Fifth Avenue from the main branch guarded by lions Patience and Prudence.  Reservations are not required, but be sure to get there by 6:15 for a good seat.

Sep 052011
 
World Trade Center, WTC, Ground Zero, 9/11 Tenth Anniversary

World Trade Center, not Ground Zero

The images of the destruction of the World Trade Center are seared into our collective memory.   What’s the story of the people in those mages, and the photographers and videographers who took them?  David Friend was Life Magazine’s director of photography, and the author of the photo book Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11.  He’s giving a FREE  illustrated talk on Wednesday, September 7th at the Mid-Manhattan Branch of the NYPL on the stories behind the images of the attack on the World Trade Center, the most watched event in human history. He traces the images back to their sources and charts their impact over the week immediately after 9/11.  That week changed our lives in many ways — including as  the beginning of a new digital age, a moment when all the advances in television, photography, and the Web converged on a single event.  This event is part of NYPL programming in honor of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.  The lecture is at 6:30 p.m, Wednesday, September 7th..  The Mid-Manhattan Branch is directly across Fifth Avenue from the main New York Public Library, guarded by those two stone lions.

Aug 292011
 
World Trade Center, WTC, Ground Zero, 9/11 Tenth Anniversary

World Trade Center, not Ground Zero

Tuesday, August 30th — Best-selling author Eric Darton talks about the role of Lower Manhattan in  New York City, from Colonial times through the construction of the World Trade Center.  It’s a FREE author lecture at the Mid-Manhattan branch of the NYPL on Tuesday, August 30th.  His cultural history of  Lower Manahttan and the WTC is “Divided We Stand: A Biography of New York City’s World Trade Center,” was written two years before the terrorist attack on the twin towers on September 11, 2001, so his view of the destruction and rebuilding of the World Trade Center should be especially interesting.  This event is part of NYPL programming in honor of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.  The lecture is at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Mid-Manhattan branch of the NYPL.  That’s the one across Fifth Avenue from the main branch guarded by the stone lions.

Just a reminder — I’m a lifelong New Yorker who will never ever call the World Trade Center anything but the World Trade Center.  I will never ever call it Ground Zero.

Jul 062011
 

Meet me at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library.  I’m giving a FREE lecture on tranquil, peaceful places in NYC — secret gardens, picture postcard vistas, quiet sanctuaries in busy places, hiking trails you can get to by subway, which days of the week and times of the day to visit popular museums and avoid the crowds, and more.  It’s easy to find peaceful places in NYC — if you know where to look, and I did.  I found more than 100 of them  researching and writing my NYC guidebook, Peaceful Places in NYC. After the crowds and the sensory overload of Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks and concert, the idea of finding serenity and tranquility in NYC is a good one.

Join me at the Mid-Manhattan Branch, at 40th Street and Fifth Avenue, at 6:30 p.m.  I’ll share hidden sanctuaries in our favorite NYC parks, hiking trails, peaceful cafes, wonderful little museums that are rarely crowded, and more.  Best of all, most of these quiet, tranquil peaceful places and sanctuaries are free and accessible by NYC subways and busses.  I’ll also have some copies of the book with me, and happy to autograph.

6:30 p.m.,Wednesday, July 6th, Mid-Manhattan Library, 40th St. and Fifth Ave., 6th floor.  And it will be a great opportunity to meet those of you who follow NYC on the Cheap.

 

Jun 062011
 

posted by Evelyn Kanter

The Tale of Flutterby and Piggle is the name of an interactive play, with puppets and music, explains why insects, including butterflies, are the coolest creatures around.  The play is being performed at various branches of the New York Public Library part of the 100th birthday celebration of the iconic and world-famous main branch NYPL building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd St.  It’s free, fun, and for ages five and older.  The performances are presented by the Central Park Zoo Wildlife Theatre. I’m glad to see the word ‘flutterby’ in the title of a story for children — that’s what my own daughter called butterflies when she was three or four years old and got the real word tongue-twisted, and  I really think that’s a better name for them.  Here’s the schedule for the free performances at NYPL branches in June and July:

  • Kingsbridge |  Wednesday, June 8 | 4 p.m.
  • New Dorp | Thursday, June 9 | 3:30 p.m.
  • West Farms | Monday, June 13 | 3:30 p.m.
  • Hudson Park | Thursday, June 16 | 3:30 p.m.
  • Spuyten Duyvil |  Wednesday, June 22 | 3:30 p.m.

See July schedule on the next page —

May 192011
 

Celebrate the 100th birthday of the New York Public Library building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd St.

posted by Evelyn Kanter

NYC weekend planner — The iconic New York Public Library building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd St. turns 100 years old this weekend, and the NYPL is celebrating with dozens of events and activities, nearly all of them FREE, between Friday, May 22nd and Sunday, May 24th.  The partial list includes a magic show, behind-the-scenes tours of the stacks of more than one million books, five-foot LEGO replicas of the famous Library Lions, live music, free ice cream, storytelling and theater performances for kids, seminars on how to research NYC history and historic photographs, and more. Download a PDF of the the full schedule here.  Again, nearly everything is free, but some programs and performances require on-line reservation to ensure your space.

Take the kids, take yourself to the 100th birthday weekend celebration of the beautiful NYPL building on Fifth Avenue that’s been renamed the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, in honor of the Wall St. billionaire who donated mega-bucks to give the Beaux Arts beauty a facelift for her birthday.  Thank you, Mr. Schwarzman for all the money you donated– but you should know that lifelong New Yorkers like me will never call it ‘your’ building.  It will always be the Main Branch of the NYPL.  That’s also how the millions of visitors to NYC will be looking for it — The NYPL building with the lions out front.

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