Be a NYC cheapskate and enjoy the best city on the planet without reaching for your wallet. Here are five FREE things to see and do this week, through Friday, August 11. Our recommendations are for all ages, and for both residents and visitors.
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Make like Superman and step inside an old-fashioned phone booth in Times Square. Not to change your clothes, but to listen to stories of immigrants who have made such a positive impact on New York. Pick up the old-fashioned receiver to hear oral histories, or look inside the old-fashioned phone book to read more about the storytellers’ communities here in NYC and the countries they left behind that are an integral part of their story. There are three interactive phone booths in Duffy Square to explore, FREE.
Once Upon A Place is through September 5th. Listeners are drawn into the lives of New York City residents from Bangladesh, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tibet, and Yemen, bringing an intersection of experiences to the Crossroads of the World. The interactive art program was created by artist Aman Mojadidi, an immigrant from Afghanistan.
- FYI – According to the Pew Research Center, by 2065 one in three Americans will be an immigrant or have immigrant parents. In New York City today, more than a third of residents are foreign-born and nearly 800 languages are spoken across the five boroughs.
Uptown Bounce is the annual street party in front of two neighborhing museums, the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio, and this week is the final of four Wednesday evening summer events. This week’s theme is Latin Disco, with classic music from the 70s. Dance to New York DJs, enjoy gallery talks, tours, art workshops, and savor summer drinks and local food. Registration is required to ensure space. The party starts at 6pm, on Fifth Avenue at the upper end of Museum Mile.
Uptown Bounce includes FREE admission to both museums.
- At the Museum of the City of New York, see two current exhibits – Rhythm & Power brings the history of salsa in New York to life through a collection of nearly 100 objects including Tito Puente’s musical instruments and garments worn by singer Celia Cruz. Muslim in New York explores the role of a group that has been part of New York since the city’s origins as New Amsterdam, and today New York’s diverse Muslim community.
- At Museo del Barrio, see the exhibit nasty women/bad hombres features the art of contemporary uptown artists who explore the legacies of sexism, racism, homophobia, the power of the media, the state of health care and our natural environment, using art as a form of social protest. Artworks on display include collage, documentary photography, poetic text, painting, needlepoint, textile work and video are all methods enlisted by these artists to create works that deal with various social issues.
Say goodbye to summer at an all-day festival in Union Square Park that includes a FREE performance of the Gazillion Bubble Show, giveaways and more. The party on Thursday, August 10th wraps up with an outdoor screening of Back to the Future.
Get on the fence at this annual FREE photo exhibit at Brooklyn Bridge Park, back for its sixth year, through September 10th. THE FENCE is a large-scale traveling photography exhibition reaching over 4 million visitors annually through open-air exhibitions in seven cities across the United States. Since its inception, THE FENCE has attracted exceptional work by talented photographers from around the world, providing them with a truly public platform and unexpected career opportunities. This year’s installation will explore the themes of Home, Streets, People, Creatures, Nature, Play, and Food. THE FENCE is at Empire Fulton Ferry and along the Greenway. The exhibit is FREE, as are the cool breezes from the East River and the picture postcard view of the Manhattan skyline.
Who lived where you do before you? And what were there lives like? Learn how to research the history of your home or apartment building at this FREE class at the NYPL. The Milstein Division is home to one of the largest free United States history, local history and genealogy collections in the country. Looking at censuses, city directories, land conveyances, and photographs, newspapers and local histories available at the New York Public Library, and at other New York City institutions, you will learn how to construct a narrative history of your home. The class is at the main branch on Fifth Avenue, Wednesday, August 9, 2pm to 3:30pm. Find out more here
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