Friday, October 29, 2010

Cheap Chick NYC, Cheap and Free Weekend (and Halloween) Event Picks, Oct. 29-31, 2010

Weekend Picks (Scroll down for special Halloween Picks!):

Friday October 29, 2010

Who doesn’t love vinyl? If you do, check out the free I Love Vinyl Show at the David Rubenstein Atrium (Lincoln Center), 61 West 62 Street, 9 p.m., free!

Don’t forget that the new Houdini exhibit opens at the Jewish Museum today (, I don’t know if it will match Jan Brady’s, but wear a wig today and get in the International Center of Photography for free today, plus 20 percent off gift shop purchases (, Rent The Cutting Edge and Ice Princess (my two fave figure skating movies) before taking to the ice at Bryant Park-the free rink opens today!) (!

Saturday October 30, 2010

I’m really not sure if there is a lesser of two evils in the case of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. At any rate you can decide for yourself at the Brooklyn Bowl’s live broadcasts of Stewart’s and Colbert’s rallies. Watch the events in HD with treats from Blue Ribbon and Brooklyn Brewery flowing. Noon, Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave, free!

Unfortunately no I Love Lucy-style grape stomping here, but you can sample wines from Australia, Argentina, California, Portugal, Italy and Chile as well as snacks prepared by Al De Winter from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Quintessential Wines, 1490 York Avenue @ 79th Street, free, plus 15% off full or mixed case!

Sunday October 31, 2010

If you’re already Halloween’ed out, then perhaps the Municipal Art Society’s Chelsea Northwest Tour may soothe candy and other Halloween hangovers. Matt Postal leads a tour of “a waterfront neighborhood with an intriguing industrial past, this tour focuses on the High Line Park, the newest section of Hudson River Park, and the West Chelsea Historic District. We’ll address the area’s promise and potential, with stops to discuss the history of Manhattan’s last freight railway, North Chelsea Cove and Pier 64, as well as the colossal Terminal Warehouse Central Stores Building and the restored Starrett-Lehigh Building,” 11 a.m., SE corner of 10th Ave. and 22nd St., $15.

Also view rare footage from the Warsaw Ghetto in A Film Unfinished at Symphony Space, tkts $12, more info and tkts here:

Weekend Halloween Picks!

Friday October 29, 2010

Thrills and chills at Trinity Church await at a screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, complete with spine-tingling organ music as accompaniment, watch out for ghosts in the cemetery, and slam back some presidential libations, 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour time, 8 p.m. screening, Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall St., free!

Hopefully no one is whining about Halloween, with a Halloween Wine Tasting at California Wine Merchants! Costumes encouraged and there will be treats instead of tricks! 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., 15 Bridge Street, free!

Celebrate Halloween like they did in the 1890’s with a “magic lantern” full-screen visual show that entertained Victorians before those new-fangled cameras were invented! 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Mount Vernon Hotel and Museum, 421 East 61st Street, $20!

Saturday October 30, 2010

Wine isn’t just for cheese anymore! Pair candy and other seasonal treats with a variety of wines, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit, 5 W. 19th St. (at Fifth Ave.), free!

Creep through chilling crypts while hearing stories of those buried under the great church and the origins of Halloween at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s annual Crypt Crawl, various times, $12, buy tkts here: (This is a Cheap Chick-approved event!)

Saturday and Sunday October 30 and 31, 2010

If you’re looking for a fun way to dispose of jack-o-lanterns then head to the New York Science Center for “pumpkin chucking” via catapult (and yes, it’s as inhumane as it sounds). Perhaps pumpkin pie with the remaining innards? Just a thought. Noon to 4 p.m., New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, free!

Hear about grisly ghosts of Greenwich during Discovery Walking Tour’s Gotham City Ghost Tour (I love alliteration!)! “You’ll see the spooky cemetery at St Mark’s; the hanging elm, a 19th century execution site; the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; the home of Edgar Allan Poe; and the burial ground at Washington Square, just to name a few.” Saturday, October 30 at 1:30 pm, 4 pm, 6:30 pm, 9 pm, and Sunday, October 31 at 1 pm, 3:30 pm, 6 pm. Note: Sunday’s tour ends along the parade route. Call 212-465-3331 for meeting places and reservations. $18.

You can also watch scary movies at MOMA Sat and Sun (!

Sunday October 31, 2010

It’s such a thrill to watch the Thriller group and other costumed NY’ers in the Village Halloween Parade each year, 7 p.m., Spring to 13th St., free!

It wouldn’t be Halloween unless you spent some time in a graveyard, right? Aren’t people just dying to get in? Today you can take Big Onion’s walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery, 2 p.m., $15.

Save the Bazooka and Blow Pops for the kids! Tonight you can trick-or-treat for grown-up snacks at local Elmhurst Restaurants at the Trick or Eat event sponsored by food blogger Jeff Orlick. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tour starts at Clement Clarke Moore Homestead Park at 45th Ave. and Broadway, Queens, $10 suggested donation.

For added thrills and chills you can visit the Steampunk Haunted House (, check out the Postmortem photography exhibit at the Merchant’s House Museum (, get intimate with the spooky moors that inspired Wuthering Heights at the Brooklyn Museum’s “Ghosts” (, see more pumpkins then you ever thought possible at Central Park’s Pumpkin Festival ( and it doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day to appreciate your mom in a whole new way with Psycho at Film Forum (!

Plus see which parties my friends over at Time Out New York suggest!

Editor's Note!

Apologies on the delay, weekend picks will be posted! Please check back!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cheap Chick NYC, Cheap and Free Weekend Event Picks, Oct 22-24, 2010

Friday October 22, 2010

I don’t think you’ll need to pray that you’ll find this program interesting! This 30 Days, 30 Mosques: Tales of a Ramadan Road Trip presenation is based on the blog, Housing Works Bookstore, 126 Crosby Street, 7 p.m., free!

For those of you who didn’t read the book in junior high, can you figure out whodunit before all the guests on a mysterious island disappear? Play detective at the 92ndYTribeca’s screening of And Then There Were None, based on the classic Agatha Christie novel, 92ndYTribeca, 200 Hudson St., 7 p.m., $12, get tkts here:

A new take on the poetry slam is “Just Working On My Novel,” a new bi-monthly series hosted by a published author (this month is Emily Horner author of A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend), and gives aspiring writers the chance to share their unpublished writing, Word Bookstore, 126 Franklin St., Bklyn, 7:30 p.m., free!

Mix and mingle with professionals at NetParty’s soiree at "spectacularly opulent" space Covet! Enjoy music and happy hour specials while networking, Covet, 137 East 55th St (btwn Lexington and 3rd Aves) 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., cost: $10 in advance; $15 at the door with RSVP; $20 w/o RSVP, RSVP and tkts here:

Saturday October 23, 2010

Head to Queens for a wine tasting Astoria-style at Off the Vine, “sample new and old world wines for the upcoming holiday season,” 44 - 21 30th Avenue, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., free!

“Explore Prospect Park after dark as we go in search of the wildlife that comes out when the sun goes down” during the Creatures of the Night Hike led by the Urban Park Rangers, Prospect Park Picnic House, 6:30 p.m., free!

Live vicariously through your dog with the 20th Annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade! Gather treats for your favorite canine and get prizes for costumes! Tompkins Square Park, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., for more info click here:

It’s grrll power all the way at the Museum of the City of New York celebrates the females of the “Great White Way” with Notorious & Notable – The Revue: A Broadway Musical Cabaret, a show inspired by their latest exhibit and featuring performances by Karine Plantadit, Dan Bogart, Victoria Mallory, and David Turner and is written and directed by Michael Montel, with Lawrence Yurman as musical director, 3 p.m., $20, reservations required, buy tkts here:

Don’t forget to clean up your local park on It’s My Park Day,, and sample a smorgasbord of soups on Smith Street (how’s that for alliteration???? today for $5,!

Saturday and Sunday October 23 and 24, 2010

Can’t wait until next weekend for Halloween? Get your creepiness on with some home-grown NYC Halloween tales with Discovery Walking Tours’ Pre-Halloween Gotham City Ghost Tour at Twilight! “You’ll see the spooky cemetery at St Marks; the hanging elm, a 19th century execution site; the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; the home of Edgar Allan Poe; and the burial ground at Washington Square, just to name a few. And you thought only subways ran beneath the city streets!” 5:30 p.m., $18, call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting time.

Sunday October 24, 2010

“Take a tour of one of Brooklyn’s most colorful neighborhoods focusing on the diversity of the area, from the hipster to the Hasidic. Stops include Bedford Avenue, Peter Lugers, the landmark Williamsburg Savings Bank, and the Williamsburg Bridge” during Discovery Walking Tour’s The Williamsburg You Never Knew Tour, 1 p.m., $18, call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting time.

Sharpen those knives up to get ready for the Great Pumpkin Carving Contest! Perhaps you’ll get bonus points for incorporating a blanket like the one Linus owns, Carving begins at 7:30 p.m., Judging is at 9:30 p.m., Matchless, 557 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn, seems to be free, to reserve your pumpkin RSVP to!

Glee fans unite for the Village Gate (an homage to a 50’s nightclub that hosted off-Broadway premieres) Old Fashioned Piano Party where they can belt out tunes just like any Fame student or Chorus Line hopeful! Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St., 9:30 p.m., free!

Don’t have enough mourning in your life? Then attend a re-enactment of Seabury Tredwell’s 1865 funeral at the Merchant’s House Museum, followed by a procession to the New York Marble Cemetery, Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East Fourth Street, $20, reservations required, for more info click here:

Stock up on all your favorite records and CDs this weekend at the WFMU Record and CD Fair (, here’s a coupon for $2 off admission,, and watch out for Tinkerbell at Wave Hill’s Enchanted Weekend activities (, basically the Sat and Sun activities listed here)!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cheap Chick NYC, Cheap and Free Wekend Event Picks, Oct 15-17, 2010

Friday October 15, 2010

Only Bill Bryson could make getting sunburned while taking a walk in the woods sound like fun while throwing in some random statistics about things like shark attacks to boot! Hear his latest about the comforts of home as he discusses his latest, At Home, 7 p.m. at the Union Square B &N, free!

Practice those petanque skills at Bryant Park today with members of La Boule New Yorkaise, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Courts at the NW corner of Bryant Park at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, free!

Friday and Saturday October 15 and 16, 2010

I’m not sure I could handle the pressure I would feel trying to create a new Halloween costume every day if I lived in Halloween Town, but maybe you could? Decide for yourself at Landmark’s Nightmare Before Christmas screenings, Midnight, Landmark Sunshine, 143 E. Houston St., $9.99.

Saturday October 16, 2010

I miss my Strawberry Shortcake Big Wheel…perhaps its reincarnation will be at the Great Big Wheel Race in Central Park, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Great Hill (East Drive and 104th St.), free!

Explore the wonders of Wall Street on the Curb Exchange Walking Tour, 2 p.m., meet at 2 p.m. at the newsstand outside 40 Wall Street, between Broad and William, download MP3s from the website before the tour (here:, free!

Find out everything you ever wanted to know about bats, but were afraid to ask (I’m betting that vampire bats don’t always turn into Robert Pattinson look-alikes tho…) at Bats Alive with Rob Mies, conservation biologist, bat expert, and Director of the Organization for Bat Conservation. The program includes a lecture and nature walk through Central Park. Warning: there will be live bats on-hand, so be sure to check your teeth for fangs afterward ;-) 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Meet at the Great Hill inside Central Park, at Central Park West and 106th St. (In case of rain or temps below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, meet at the North Meadow Recreation Center, mid-Park at 97th Street), call 212-348-4867 for weather-related updates, free!

It’s not just a tea, it’s also a movie! The Darjeeling Limited will be screening at 92YTribeca, with filmmaker Gina Telaroli on-hand before the show with a “cinematic presentation” (I assume that means a movie (?), anyway enjoy! 9 p.m., $12, buy tkts here:

Learn about NYC’s Irish past with Big Onion’s Irish New York Walking Tour, which covers the former "Little Ireland" district on the LES, bet. City Hall and Houston Street. Stops may include “the founding site of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Al Smith's home, the Five Points, the first Catholic church in the city, and sites associated with Tammany Hall, Thomas Addis Emmet, and many others,” 11 a.m., meet at St. Paul's Chapel, Broadway between Fulton and Vesey Streets, $15.

Greenlight Bookstore turns one today! Ring in their second year with champagne and toasts written by authors like Jhumpa Lahiri, Jennifer Egan, and Gary Shteyngart and friends and neighbors stopping by such as Johnny Temple of Akashic Books, 7:30 p.m., Greenlight Bookstore, 686 Fulton St., free!

Commune with the Living Dead at ZombieCon today as well! (

Saturday October 16 and October 17, 2010

“Fall” in love with Central Park all over again with Discovery Walking Tour’s Central Park in Fall Walking Tour. Visit sites like Strawberry Fields, The Lake, The Ramble, Literary Walk, The Arsenal, Bow Bridge, Wagner Cove and Bethesda Fountain, 2:30 p.m., call 212-465-3331 for RSVP and meeting place !

Dogs and Central Park go together like a collar and a leash! Celebrate the pairing with the 8th annual My Dog Loves Central Park Country Fair event, sponsored by Central Park PAWS and complete with a Best in Park competition, an Ask the Vet booth, a pet tricks casting call for the David Letterman Show, a dog tales booth where you can record your Central Park story, goodies and giveaways, a Children’s Corner, and onstage entertainment, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Naumberg Bandshell, near 5th Ave and 72nd St., free!

Nosh your way through 40 vendors at the Grub Street Food Festival, with offerings from local eateries like Pies N Thighs, Georgia’s Eastside, and Employees Only, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the intersection of Hester and Essex, free (aside from food purchases!) for a complete list of vendors click here:

Municipal Art Society MTA Arts for Transit: Downtown & Central Brooklyn Walking Tour! “Join Amy Hausmann, assistant director of MTA Arts for Transit, as we explore Downtown Brooklyn–stopping to view artwork by Ben Snead, Allan & Ellen Wexler, George Trakas, Jane Greengold and others. Bring a Metro Card,” 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., meet inside the LIRR-Atlantic Terminal, use entrance at Flatbush and Hanson Pl. Reservations required, either click here: or call 212 935 2075, $15.

Sunday October 17, 2010

Come worship at the altar of Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce (tho Joan is my personal hero!) with the Mad Men season four finale party at the Bell House with period drinks and 60’s music, and of course the show at 10 p.m., event starts at 8:30 p.m., Bell House (149 7th St. bet 2nd and 3rd Aves, Gowanus, Bklyn), at press time $5 standing room tkts were sold out, but it seems that there may be tkts available at the door (

Don’t get your bun in a pickle (or is it a pickle in a bun?) at the LES Pickle Festival. It’s everything you could want in a pickle (before they emerge as cucumbers) with food, performances, and artwork inspired by everyone’s favorite bun topper, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., parking lot bet. Broome and Essex bet Essex and Ludlow.

A free comedy show and free buns! What else could you desire to end your weekend? I don’t know…but you can have it all at Buns and Puns, a free comedy show on Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m., Arlo & Esme, 42 E. First Street, free!

The Cooper Hewitt is free through Sunday, ( and there is an exhibit of photos taken by Anne Frank’s father at the Leica Gallery ( that is ongoing, the Imagine Science Film Festival starts on the 15th and runs through the 22nd (, cat and dog lovers unite for Meet the Breeds ( at the Javits Center, and discover what the art galleries of the High Line have hidden behind their doors (!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Extra, Extra?! A Cautionary Tale...

As a cheap chick I’m always looking for ways to earn a little extra money, so when I saw an ad on Craigslist looking for Law and Order: SVU extras I decided to see what it was all about; a few friends and co-workers of mine had done it before, and it seemed like a fun way to make some extra cash, though I was fully aware before I had even finished reading the ad that it might be a scam to make money by charging me for necessary headshots/classes.

I was quite pleased and surprised when I got a quick response from my initial email that included only the fact that I was female and 31, and took it as a good sign that an appointment was scheduled within the next few days. I arrived at the office early, and barely had the chance to give the receptionist (who was sitting behind a plastic window) my name and appointment time before he buzzed me through the next door. What I found there astounded me-in a space not much bigger than my bathroom were two sets of chairs against the walls with people sitting in each one, and the chairs so close together that in most cases people’s knees were touching quite cozily.

As a disembodied voice from behind a door called “Next” no attention was paid to our given appointment times. We were simply left to keep track of our appointments on our own by using the honor system of who had arrived first and in what order, and sliding over one seat closer to the door. As I waited I noticed out-of-date movie posters (think White Oleander and Goodfellas) lining the black walls (perhaps for inspiration?) and a strange video (yes, a video, not a DVD player that stopped in the middle and had to be re-set by one of the aspiring actresses) showing odd footage of what seemed to be a mix of 900-number commercials and rock videos-again inspiration?

Soon a guy sat next to me and began chatting to the woman he was brushing knees with, and mistook my disbelieving glance at him for admiration that he looked like he could be 21 (no way!), but he had worked as an extra before in such gems as Weekend at Bernie’s and Empire Records, as well as Dawson’s Creek, which he informed us featured most of his former high school classmates. He continued to regale us with stories of his celebrity encounters (MC Hammer once mistook him for another actor) and giving us tips (when you’ve been an extra once, it’s easier to do it again.) Others in the waiting room/closet were just as congenial, one girl telling us she was often told she looked like Oprah (wasn’t sure I saw that…) and another shared a tip with the room-at-large on another audition happening two floors up.

Finally it was my turn inside and... (sorry to ruin the suspense), but it took about five minutes tops for the agent to offer to get me work if I paid for headshots (!) and for me to decline, at which point he escorted me out a different door than the waiting room (we had been speculating that this was done so we couldn’t ask people how their auditions had gone-looks like we were right!) Ah well, back to Craigslist, perhaps I can check out that sperm testing thing!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cheap Chick NYC Cheap and Free Weekend Event Picks, Oct. 8-10, 2010

Friday October 8, 2010

“Take a stab at the modern sport of fencing with masters from Manhattan Fencing Center. No prior experience needed and equipment is provided. Call (212) 382-2255 to pre-register or take a chance and drop by,” Bryant Park, Fifth Ave. Terrace, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., free!

Walk the line, The High Line that is, with Big Onion Walking tours! The tour will cover the park as well as Chelsea landmarks like the “Chelsea Hotel, “Death Alley,” General Theological Seminary, sites associated with Dylan Thomas, Clement Clark Moore, Janis Joplin, John Sloan, and the birthplace of the Oreo cookie.” Meet in front of the Chelsea Hotel, 222 West 23rd Street (between 7th & 8th Avenues), 1 p.m., $15.

Embrace your inner Geek at Nerd Nite! Tonight’s lectures focus on all those games you used to play before you started playing guitar, shooting bunnies, cooking, and exercising on the Wii (you know like Scrabble and Tetris!) Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main St., DUMBO, 7 p.m., $10. For more info go here:

Saturday October 9, 2010

Explore the non-island Jamaica, in Queens mon with historian Jack Eichenbaum. Stops include Loew’s Valencia Theater and Prospect Cemetery, meet in front of King Manor Museum, Rufus King Park, Jamaica Ave. bet 150th and 153rd St, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., free!

The super Stan Lee will be at the Animazing Gallery today signing superhero art by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and Alex Ross, 54 Greene St. at Broome St., RSVP (req.) to for reservations.

Hopefully you won’t be coerced into painting any fences during the Mark Twain’s New York Walking tour, which will take you to the author’s NYC-hangouts, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., call 917-620-5371 for reservation and meeting place, $20.

Don’t scratch the vinyl you find at the Shakey’s Record Fair, hosted by the Bell House, 149 7th St., bet. Second and Third Aves., Brooklyn, free!

Gather in Central Park to wish John Lennon a happy 70th birthday with a free screening of LENNONYC, a look at the musician’s years in NYC, Rumsey Field, Central Park, Fifth Ave. and 72nd St., 7 p.m., free!

Feeling like a snack when you’re in Prospect Park? Skip the hot dog, pretzel, or ice cream, and instead feast on the natural treats the park offers! Locavore and botanist Leda Meredith will be leading a foraging walk to learn about the park’s edible delights, Meet at entrance on 9th Street and Prospect Park West, 9:45 a.m. to noon, $20 includes tasting of snacks made with wild ingredients.

It’s Beatlemania in NYC with a walking tour of city sites associated with the Beatles in the 60’s and 70’s like the Ed Sullivan Theatre, The Dakota, Carnegie Hall, and Strawberry Fields, 11 a.m., Call 212-465-3331 for meeting place and reservations, $18.

Dance your heart out with a day of free classes (plus a performance and free champagne!) at Dance New Amsterdam! 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for more details go here:, free!

It’s harvest time in Harlem with this Saturday’s Harlem Harvest Festival and Fresh Food Summit! There will be a “grand” farmer’s market, a Taste of Harlem food samplings from area chefs, Battle of the Chefs onstage competition, a children’s pavilion, and a fresh food summit focusing on Harlem’s fresh food movement, A. Phillip Randolph Square, 200 W. 116th St., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., free!

Don’t get your wiener in a schnitzel at the Governors Island Oktoberfest! Treat your stomach to German beer and food, and let your eyes feast on all the lederhosen! Plus root beer and activities for the kids! Governors Island, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., free! For info on getting to Governors Island click here:

Saturday and Sunday October 9 and 10, 2010

The doors to the city open wide this weekend for one of my favorite events, Open House New York. I hate to say this, but I hope the weekend goes more smoothly than their reservations operations did, after attending and supporting the event for at least five years and promoting it on my blog for the last two years, I expected better than the disaster that was their opening day reservations system. Visit sites across all five boroughs for free, plus enjoy other special programs,

Sunday October 10, 2010

Celebrate the city’s Hispanic population at the Hispanic Day Parade as it marches down Fifth Avenue bet. 44th and 69th Streets, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., free!

Sustainable living and film converge at the Switch Film Festival, with offerings like No Impact Man and Crude, a film about the “Amazon Chernobyl” case, screenings will be at both Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick St., and Indie Screen, 285 Kent Ave., Bklyn, Festival starts at 1 p.m., Fore more info and screenings check, $20 (all proceeds will be going to community organizations like Grow NYC.)

The Conflux Festival is happening all weekend (, and check out an indoor carnival (!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cheap Chick NYC, Cheap and Free Weekend Event Picks, Oct. 1-3, 2010

Friday October 1, 2010

Galapagos is hosting GUMBO, DUMBO’s first gay party complete with DJ music and free haircuts! Email for the free vodka open bar from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.,, $5 before midnight, $10 after midnight.

Make your Friday night sizzle with Fall Fantasy Networking & Cocktails with Next Iron Chef Maneet Chauhan at Vermillion (480 Lexington Ave.)! 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., for more info and RSVP (preferred) here:, $5.

The Neue Galerie is free tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. as part of its First Fridays program.

Friday and Saturday October 1 and 2, 2010

Enter into Hunter S. Thompson’s world with midnight screenings of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Landmark Sunshine,, $9.99

Saturday October 2, 2010

Explore Chinatown with Big Onion, and learn about the history of the neighborhood with stops at sites like the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Lee Family Association, outdoor markets, and the Lin Zeju and Confucius statues. 1 p.m., meet at the southeast corner of Grand and Chrystie Street, at Roosevelt Park, $15.

See Boris Karloff’s Before I Hang and the Boogie Man will Get You at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab! 2 p.m., make reservations here (required), free!

Find out how easy it is to be green at GreenHomeNYC’s DIY Green Block Party, where you can embrace your inner environmentalist with activities like free tours of the Gowanus Canal, and sustainable living spaces at Brooklyn Ecopolis and Third+Bond, and a visit to the Jerko, the Gowanus Canal Water Vacuum, where sustainable experiments are performed. Be sure to check out booths manned by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, Recycle-A-Bicycle, and Brooklyn greenroof. The fair is being held on 3rd Street between Bond and Hoyt in the Gowanus/Carroll Gardens area of Brooklyn and is free to all.

The Brooklyn Museum is hosting its free First Saturday programs tonight including curator talks, art, music, and film with the theme of Shout Out Brooklyn, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., free!

Find out what lurks in the hearts (and studios) of Brooklyn’s artists with the Gowanus Artists Studio Tour, where more almost 30 studios will be open to the public! 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.,, free!

Think on your feet (literally!) with Improv Everywhere’s MP3 experiment, where you’ll join other New Yorkers in a wacky, offbeat prank. Info is available Friday, also check for info too! 6 p.m., free!

Nick Flynn, Marie Howe, and Kevin Young will be reading from The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing, edited by Kevin Young at Poets House, 1 p.m.,, $10, $7 for students and seniors.

No old spices here (or scary, posh, or ginger)! The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hosting a Chile Pepper Fiesta where you can spice up your Saturday with cooking demonstrations, a chile/chocolate takedown, and music from chili-loving countries, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. , , $15 (inc. admission to the grounds.)

Saturday and Sunday October 2 and 3, 2010

Visit the worlds of New York’s old money and noveau riche with Discovery Walking Tour’s “Old and New Money: Victorian Fifth Avenue and Central Park West,” which features “a tour of the two great boulevards of wealth—CPW and 5th Ave--and how their architecture reflects the social aspects of the Victorian communities that lived there. Stops include the Dakota, the Prasada, and the Payne Whitney and Henry Clay Frick mansions.” 2 p.m., $18, call 212-465-3331 for meeting place and reservations.

Check out the Czech Street Festival with food, music, dancing, and games, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., 83rd Street bet. Park and Madison, free!

Sunday October 3, 2010

Take a sneak peek at the new Freshkills Park with all-day activities including guided walking tours, kite making, canoe, tram, and bird watching tours, and workshops on subjects such as puppet making led by Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater and green-friendly activities such as solar power and composting! 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free!

Travel back in time (without visiting a restaurant!) with Fort Tryon Park’s Medieval Festival! This all-day event will include medieval music, dance, magic, performances, and knights jousting on horseback! Ladies keep an eye open for knights-in-shining armor, but I don’t know if there will be any damsels in distress on-hand! 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.,, free!

Think you’ve got what it takes? Audition for the Apollo’s (Brooklyn) Amateur Night today at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, More info here: Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, free-just bring your talent!

The Municipal Art Society is hosting the Jane Jacobs Tour: Battery Park City Evolving where you can “see architecture by Cooper, Robertson & Partners, Demetri Porphyrios, and Charles W. Moore, landscapes by Michael Van Valkenburgh, and Susan Child, and art by Tom Otterness and Martin Puryear, among others. Please note: Unlike previous tours of BPC, this one will focus on the northern section.” The tour will be led by architectural historian Francis Morrone. 2 p.m., $15.

If you have a favorite teacher, you may want to trek to Queens for the Queens County Farm Apple Festival where you can sample the fruit, sip cider, and partake in the world’s biggest apple cobbler! Queens County Farm Museum ,, free!

Housing Works Bookstore is having a 30% off sale Saturday and Sunday (, and celebrate Oktoberfest with additional menu items and beer at the Shake Shack (, and Greenpoint opens its studios to the masses (

Also this weekend and through the 10th, enjoy Art in Odd Places ( and the New York Film Festival (