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Free Things to Do in Manhattan This Weekend - September 15-September 17

September 11, 2017 - by CG Directory Editor
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Free Things to Do in Manhattan This Weekend Photo: John St John/Flickr 


There's no denying that Manhattan is the sparkle in New York City's eye, but that doesn't mean you have to dump out your wallet to hang out there. City Guide's compiled all the best free things to do in Manhattan this weekend, and for those wanting to explore the city's most famous borough on the cheap, this is your go-to guide.

The 91st Annual Feast of San Gennaro - Little Italy
Through September 24, 2017 - New York

The beloved Feast of San Gennaro, which is celebrating its 91st anniversary this year, is an annual festival presented by Figli di San Gennaro (Children of San Gennaro), a not-for-profit community organization dedicated to keeping the spirit and faith of the early Italian immigrants alive. The Feast is New York City's largest and longest running festivals, and attracts more than one-million people from around the world each year, to take part in the religious processions, colorful parades, free musical entertainment, and a wide variety of authentic Italian cuisine. The first Feast in New York City took place on September 19, 1926 when newly arrived immigrants from Naples settled in what is now Little Italy in New York City, and decided to continue the tradition they had followed in Italy to celebrate the day in 305 A.D. when Saint Gennaro was martyred for the faith. Since then, the Feast has grown from a one-day street festival to a gala 11-day event. Chazz Palminteri will be this year's Grand Marshal, and Tony Danza will be this year's MC for the Meatball Contest. Following the meatball eating contest on Saturday, September 23, there will be a celebration honoring Dean Martin'... (read more)

Aunts - NYU Skirball
September 15, 2017 - New York

NYU Skirball's backstage, dressing rooms, hallways and lobby (everything but the theater itself!) will be transformed when AUNTS takes over the building for this uptown/downtown performance extravaganza. Audiences will be able to wander and experience as many or as few performances as they choose, creating their own experiences through chance encounters. Bringing together contemporary artists and diverse audiences for this-night-only event, AUNTS concludes the evening with an immersive dance party in NYU Skirball's lower lobby. AUNTS was founded by Jmy James Kidd and Rebecca Brooks in 2005 and is currently organized by Laurie Berg and Liliana Dirks-Goodman. An underground platform for dance, AUNTS creates events in unconventional spaces with multiple performers, overlapping performances, open dance parties, multi-disciplinary, body/non-body based, time oriented, finished/experimental/unfinished/process art. Since 2005, AUNTS has organized approximately fifty events and hosted more than four hundred artists from multiple disciplines and at various points in their careers.

In Search of Lost Time Opening Reception - ICP School, Rita K. Hillman Gallery
September 15, 2017 - New York

Join us for the opening reception of In Search of Lost Time, an exhibition of work by 22 alumni from 10 of ICP's full-time educational program graduating classes. In Search of Lost Time explores photography's relationship with memory and its influence on our personal perceptions as well as our collective consciousness. Culled from completed, new, and evolving projects, the exhibition includes videos, trans-media, and photographic prints.

Submerge 2017 - Hudson River Park's Pier 26
September 16, 2017 - Tribeca

Join us for a splash of science in the city! Hudson River Park's SUBMERGE festival celebrates NYC's coastal waters while bringing marine science to life. Enjoy free hands-on activities, kid-approved science entertainment, presentations by noted scientists, citizen science, kayaking, fishing and more!

Free Greenwich Village Walking Tours Led by the Village Alliance - Greenwich Village
September 16, 2017 - New York

Steeped in artistic, political and progressively social history, Greenwich Village today remains a cultural melting pot. The 'Village' has been, and remains a bohemian capitol, a center of the modern LGBT movement and one of the birthplaces of the 'Beat' and 60's counter culture movements. Join a FREE Greenwich Village walking tour led by the Village Alliance, each Saturday from June through September to see for yourself the places where so much history has been made, and the places where todays locals continue the Village vibe. Walking from St Marks Place to Sixth Avenue the tours take in some of the Village's most important landmarks, including – Where Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney opened the first Whitney Museum and had her studio. See the residences of Andy Warhol, Lou Reed and Jackson Pollock. Pass by the studios Jimi Hendrix built, and where Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, David Bowie recorded much of their work, and where many major musicians still record. Visit the spot where Barbara Streisand used to perform for just $125 per week. See where Jack Kerouac cavorted with the 'Village Beat'. Find the building that Abraham Lincoln declared 'Right Makes ... (read more)

Hester Street Fair's Textile Day - Hester Street Fair
September 16, 2017 - New York

With September being NYC's Textile Month, we will be inviting some of the cities most exciting emerging artists, designers, and educators to bring installations, retail projects, and textile focused workshops. In 2016 we hosted an exciting group for a similarly Textile themed gathering, like Naomi Clark of Fort Makers, painting clothing on the spot , Isabel Wilson leading us in Marbling Workshops, Barrie Cohen leading Shibori Indigo Dye Workshops, Margot Becker of Margot Handwoven, a Hudson Valley based fiber farmer, yarn maker, and weaver, giving drop spinning and frame weaving workshops. We want this to be something of a contemporary Sheep & Wool Fest Like in Dutchess County, NY. Beautiful, High Quality Products, Real Fun Experiential Workshops,

BLACKAMAZING Brunch: NYC (FREE Admission W/ RSVP -- 21+) - Location TBA
September 16, 2017 - New York

BLACKAMAZING Brunch is a monthly networking party for creatives, entrepreneurs and go-getters. It's a breath of fresh air from the nightclub scene. You'll get to interact face to face with like-minded individuals in a space with good food, music and vibes. Alcohol is not allowed into venue. There will be drinks available for purchase. We are still considering the venue for this exclusive event. For the purpose of planning your visit, it will be a venue in the Manhattan NYC area. BLACKAMAZING, launched in 2016, has quickly gained worldwide recognition for "Making Positivity Popular" as the #1 non-celebrity gossip platform. We collaborate with diverse brands (including influencers and community organizers) and share unique stories that deserve to be heard with our global audience.

Saturday Sketching - Solomon R Guggenheim Museum
September 16, 2017 - Upper East Side

Explore Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural shapes and spaces through drawing activities in the museum's galleries. Art materials, including a drawing board, paper, pencils, and erasers, are available for loan at the Family Activity Kiosk. This program is geared towards teens, though families with children of all ages are welcome. No registration is required.

High Line Tour: from Freight to Flowers - The High Line
September 16, 2017 - New York

Hear the story behind New York City's park in the sky. Weekly guided walking tours are free 75-minute-long tours led by High Line Docents, knowledgeable volunteer guides, will offer you an insider's perspective on the park's history, design, and landscape. Free public tours take place twice a week on Tuesdays at 6:30 PM and Saturdays at 10:00 AM, between May 2 and October 31.

Joy Passanante, Through a Long Absence - Poets House
September 16, 2017 - New York

EVENT LOCATION: Kray Hall ADMISSION: Free and Open to the Public Joy Passanante launches her new book, the saga of a wartime medical unit, a passionate long-distance love, the making of a surgeon, and first-generation American Italian and Jewish families. More than just a World War II story, Through a Long Absence delves into one man's past to explore his personal wars: a stint as a child bootlegger, a marriage between newlyweds separated by continents and strained by years apart, and his struggle late in life with his own mind. Told through her father's eyes—drawing on hundreds of his letters to his beloved wife, his four-volume wartime diary, and his paintings—this is also a daughter's quest to rediscover her father years later through his own words. This program is made possible through the Literary Partners Program.

Author/Illustrator Event: Origami Peace Cranes with Sue DiCicco - Asia Society
September 16, 2017 - Upper East Side

Children's writer/ illustrator, and founder of Peace Crane Project, Sue DiCicco introduces her multicultural story about friendship and the power to make a big difference through small exchanges. Write your words of peace on paper cranes and exchange with others. DiCicco's books will be available for purchase and signing.

Harlem Stage Open House, Drum Circle & Dj Dance Party - Harlem Stage
September 16, 2017 - New York

Participate in a drum circle led by, second year artist in residence, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. We kick off our fall season welcoming community and inviting all drummers, percussionist, dancers and culture enthusiast! Bring your tambourines, djembes, congas, cajone, hand percussion and joy. Stretch Music will honor the rhythmic tradition of Christian's Afro New Orleanian/Black Indian culture throughout the season. Tour the Gatehouse and learn about its historical restoration from a facility to distribute clean water to New York City into a state-of-the-art flexible performing arts center. Meet some of the artists and dance to the soulful sounds of Sundae Sermon's DJ Stormin Norman.

Wildlife Tour: High Line as Habitat - The High Line
September 16, 2017 - New York

Tour the High Line with horticulturist and resident wildlife expert, Maryanne Stubbs. This tour will focus on how pollinators, migratory birds, and other wildlife use the habitat and forage provided by the High Line's gardens.

Brooklyn Tea Party - Skyroom NYC(New York,NY)
September 16, 2017 - New York,

Join Jamila and Ali as they introduce their line of loose leaf teas for their Brooklyn Tea company. Be the first to sample their unique 28 varieties of hot and cold teas. They will be offering everything from small 1 ounce tea bags to specialty packages for sale. So whether you want to purchase something small and simple for your kitchen or if you want to place a generous order to contribute to the larger business, you will find exactly what you need. Purchase of packages, help go towards the expansion of online and pop-up stores as well as the ultimate goal of an actual shop in Brooklyn! Tea sommelier, Ali, will host tea tasting sessions throughout the event so you can enhance your palate. When youre not learning at this station, enjoy some music, tasty pastries, sip the cold tea blends, and smell all 28 teas.

Radical Bodies - The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Through September 16, 2017 - New York

Anna Halprin, Simone Forti, and Yvonne Rainer in California and New York, 1955 - 1972 In August 1960, the choreographer Anna Halprin, the inventor of task-based improvisation, taught an experimental workshop on the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais, north of San Francisco, attended by Simone Forti and Yvonne Rainer. Within two years, Forti's conceptually forceful dance constructions premiered in Yoko Ono's loft in New York and Rainer co-founded the groundbreaking Judson Dance Theater. Radical Bodies examines the artistic relationships between Halprin, Forti, and Rainer, shedding light on each artist's contribution to history. Dance was a conceptual engine of the art world in the 1960s. Halprin, Forti, and Rainer, all Californians with Jewish roots, opened the way to a radicalized, communitarian vision for performance that continues to influence choreographers and visual artists around the world to the present day. Curated by Ninotchka D. Bennahum (Professor of Theater and Dance, UCSB), Wendy Perron (Former Editor in Chief, Dance Magazine; Adjunct Professor, NYU Tisch School of the Arts) and Bruce Robertson (Professor of Art History and Director of the AD&A Museum, UCSB), Radical Bodies: ... (read more)

IAC at Brooklyn Book Festival - Irish Arts Center
September 17, 2017 - New York

Irish Arts Center is sharing a table with our friends Glucksman Ireland House at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Come find us!

Scholars' Rocks from the Collection of Kemin Hu - Asia Society
Through September 17, 2017 - Upper East Side

AsiaStore presents a newly acquired collection of scholar rocks from Kemin Hu. Experience the power of gongshi or "spirit stones" - cherished by the Chinese for generations. Autographed copies of Ms. Hu's books are available for purchase.

Shell-Ebrate Oysters - Hudson River Park Pier 45 and 46
Through September 17, 2017 - New York

NEW EXTENDED SEASON! Oysters filter water, engineer reef habitat, and stabilize shorelines. Work alongside Park staff to restore oysters and learn how these bivalves benefit the health of the River.

Capturing the Lower East Side's Storefronts Oral History & Photo Exhibition - Theater for the New City
Through September 18, 2017 - East Village

Experience activism and community through the lens of photographers, as they display their work from two free 2017 workshops with acclaimed photographers and award-winning authors Karla and James Murray. In two sessions at the Neighborhood Preservation Center, the famed duo taught amateaur photographers how to use photography and oral history to raise public awareness, build community, and encourage advocacy. Participants learned to create their own powerful photographs of neighborhood storefronts and to connect with the proprietors through personal interviews. Karla and James Murray present a curated exhibit of the photographs and interviews created by amateaur photographers, at the Theater for the New City. Photographs will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds going to the the Theater for the New City.

6th Annual Morningside Lights: The Secret Gardens - Miller Theater at Columbia University
Through September 23, 2017 - Morningside Heights

Greenwich Village Free Walking Tours - Village Alliance
Through September 23, 2017 - New York

Steeped in artistic, political and progressively social history, Greenwich Village today remains a cultural melting pot. The 'Village' has been, and remains a bohemian capital, a center of the modern LGBT movement and one of the birthplaces of the 'Beat' and 60's counter cultures. Join a FREE Greenwich Village walking tour led by the Village Alliance, each Saturday from June through September and see for yourself the places where so much history has been made, and the places where today's locals continue the Village vibe. Walking from St Marks Place to Sixth Avenue the tours take in some of the Village's most important landmarks, including – Where Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney opened the first Whitney Museum and had her studio. See the residences of Andy Warhol, Lou Reed and Jackson Pollock. Pass by the studios Jimi Hendrix built, and where Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, David Bowie recorded much of their work, and where many major musicians still record. Visit the spot where Barbara Streisand used to perform for just $125 per week. See where Jack Kerouac cavorted with the 'Village Beat'. Find the building that Abraham Lincoln declared 'Right Makes Might', gaining him the preside... (read more)

Free Saturdays - The Jewish Museum
Through September 23, 2017 - New York

Admission to the Jewish Museum is free on Saturdays. Learn more here. During a Saturday visit to the Museum, you will be able to view our current exhibitions. Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum is now open on Saturdays for prepaid and prix fixe Kosher brunch. Advance reservations required. Shop locations are closed.

Text and Image in the 1950s: Do Artists Practice What They Preach? - The Museum of Modern Art
Through September 25, 2017 - Manhattan

Can artists be taken at their word? Join us as we attempt to answer this question by exploring the work of three modern masters: Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns. None of these artists wrote manifestoes, but they were heavily interviewed and art historians and critics have been theorizing about their work for decades. Through close looking and reading, we'll evaluate the extent to which the words match up with the work. This session is led by Lauren Kaplan. Join us for lively conversations and engaging activities, facilitated by Museum educators, that offer insightful and unusual ways to engage with collections and special exhibitions. Groups meet in the galleries noted on the schedule. Gallery Sessions are free for members and Museum admission ticket holders. No registration is required.

Senior Fishing - Hudson River Park Pier 45 and 46
Through September 26, 2017 - New York

Drop in a line and relax by the beautiful Park waterfront. Older adults are invited to try their luck at catch and release fishing. We provide the rods, reels, bait and instruction. Seating and shade are available. Pier 63, cross at W23 St Mondays: July 3 – September 25 No program Sept 11 3-5pm

Healthy on the Hudson - Hudson River Park Pier 45 and 46
Through September 26, 2017 - New York

NEW EXTENDED SEASON! Getting fit in New York City has never been better! This FREE exercise series will take place every Tuesday & Wednesday all summer long! BRING YOUR OWN MAT! RSVP is required. TUESDAYS May 9–Sept 26 No class on July 4 Pier 46, cross at Charles St. 6:30-7:30pm

Triggers of the Imagination - The Museum of Modern Art
Through September 27, 2017 - Manhattan

Join us as we explore the enigmatic paintings of Giorgio de Chirico and discuss how they inspired such Surrealist artists as Salvador Dalí and René Magritte. This session is led by Elisabeth Bardt-Pellerin. Join us for lively conversations and engaging activities, facilitated by Museum educators, that offer insightful and unusual ways to engage with collections and special exhibitions. Groups meet in the galleries noted on the schedule. Gallery Sessions are free for members and Museum admission ticket holders. No registration is required.

- Bryant Park
Through October 13, 2017 - New York

Free beginner lessons with masters of this modern sport Take a stab at the modern sport of fencing with masters from Manhattan Fencing Center. No prior experience needed and equipment is provided. Pre-registration is required at manhattanfencing.com. Drop-ins will only be accepted if space allows. Must be 16 or older to participate. Fifth Avenue Terrace, at 41st Street Take a stab at the modern sport of fencing with masters from Manhattan Fencing Center. No prior experience needed and equipment is provided.

Hilary Knight's Stage Struck World - Lincoln Center
Through October 14, 2017 - New York

ilary Knight was born stage-struck, ninety years ago. Best known as the illustrator of the American classic Eloise, he cites the performing arts as the single greatest influence on his life and career. As a child, Knight was fascinated by the circus and could not get enough of Broadway. His artist parents introduced him to musicals with Jumbo in 1935. His early theatrical influences were Ethel Merman in Red, Hot and Blue; Gertrude Lawrence in Lady in the Dark; and the sensational Carmen Miranda in The Streets of Paris. The movies were another source of inspiration and obsession. Designer Adrian's extravagant costumes for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) mesmerized him; child star Sabu in Elephant Boy (1937) became a hero. After studying at the Art Students' League with Reginald Marsh, and then a stint in the US Navy in World War II, Knight designed sets under the exacting eye of the legendary George Abbott at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. Eloise became a national and international bestseller in the 1950's, and Knight's children's book career took off with titles such as Where's Wallace, and The Circus is Coming! Yet his work in the theater continued with iconic Broadway posters, inc... (read more)

Shell-Ebrate Oysters - Hudson River Park Pier 45 and 46
Through October 15, 2017 - New York

NEW EXTENDED SEASON! Oysters filter water, engineer reef habitat, and stabilize shorelines. Work alongside Park staff to restore oysters and learn how these bivalves benefit the health of the River. No Program June 25 & September 17

Folk Art Reflections - American Folk Art Museum
Through December 07, 2017 - New York

This interactive and discussion-based program for individuals with Alzheimer's and their family members or care partners brings the world of folk art to life through conversation. Museum admission and program are free. Registration is required. Stools are provided.

John Minihan: Beckett and His World - Irish Arts Center
Through December 15, 2017 - New York

Walter Asmus directed Waiting for Godot and worked with Samuel Beckett in Berlin in the 1970s, author Edna O'Brien and publisher John Calder made up his circle in London, and actor Lisa Dwan gave life to Not I as never before. These are some of the luminaries who made up a world of Beckett, both during his life, and after his passing. John Minihan captures their essence in black and white portraiture, including his iconic images of Beckett himself. In his artist talk "Beckett and the Wake," John remembers spending time with a playwright who was often a reluctant subject and rarely posed. John Minihan photographed volumes I and II of IAC's cultural exhibition To Love Two Countries, a celebration of the men and women who immigrated to the United States in the early half of the twentieth century. Culture Night is an annual public event in Ireland that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. On Culture Night, arts and cultural organizations and venues of all shapes and sizes extend their opening hours to allow for increased access to the public. This year we join by opening our gallery doors for a daytime opportunity to view Beckett and His World.

San Marco Quartet - 5 Manhattan West
Through February 21, 2018 - New York

Video Installation by David Rokeby; San Marco Quartet layers all the actions of people and pigeons on Piazza San Marco in Venice into a pair of evolving images showing two views. The images are lit by movement; things that are not moving are invisible. Walking pigeons leave worm-like traces. Gathered people disappear through their shifting motions. Tour groups flow across the image like a river. The left side combines the activities into a very long exposed image that develops over several minutes. In the projection on the right, the past fades more quickly. The moving images are presented as two video projections mirrored at their point of meeting. They use the same material and with differences in how time is portrayed. They present a record of the temporary social architecture that is shaped by the permanent physical architecture of the piazza. Curated by Pari Nadimi. ABOUT DAVID ROKEBY David Rokeby is an installation artist based in Toronto, Canada. He has been creating and exhibiting since 1982. For the first part of his career he focused on interactive pieces that directly engage the human body, or that involve artificial perception systems. In the last deca... (read more)

Thurs. 08/24: Happy Hour at TaJ NYC. No Cover. 2-4-1 Specials & Hookah. - Taj II Restaurant & Lounge NYC
Through February 23, 2018 - New York

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