Friday, June 29, 2012

Cheap and Free NYC Events, June 29-July 1, 2012

Editor's Note: Apologies all for the later than usual posting, was doing some errands in the am to avoid the heat and then this afternoon I was having some Blogger/Internet issues.

Please also enjoymy 4th of July Guide here!

Friday June 29, 2012

Knock back Skinnygirl cocktails for free! 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., West End Wine and Spirits, 33 West End Avenue at 61st St., cost: free!

It’s time for 2G’s Jumpstart Commission plays (for more info about Jumpstart go here.) basically they’re new plays by new writers, 7 p.m., ART/NY, 520 Eighth Ave, Bruce Mitchell Rm., bet 36th and 37th Streets, cost: free! (but reservations required. Make them here!

Viva la France! See French films on the green! Tonight’s offering is Donkey Skin, movie starts at 8:30-get there early to grab seats, Tompkins Square Park, Old Bandshell Lawn, cost: free!

Say Namaste to soundscape yoga during this special session hosted by husband and wife team Camila Celin and Ehren Hanso, who run the Anindo Chatterjee School of Tabla in New York, 6:30-8:30 p.m, Kula Yoga, 28 Warren St bet Church and B’way, 2nd Floor, cost: $18, plus $5 suggested donation to the musician who is performing tonight!

Get in the right frame of mind for the 2012 London Olympics by watching the horror film Lifeforce! Bonus points if you can spot the pre-TNG Patrick Stewart! Midnight, Film Society of Lincoln Center, cost: $13, buy tkts here!

Also today…see Tom Fruin’s “Watertower” at Brooklyn Bridge Park or Manhattan Bridge Bike Park in DUMBO at night for special shows at 7 p.m., the 2012 Undergroundzero Festival of Independent Theater begins today and runs thru July 29, 2012, Check out the Harlem Arts Festival today and tomorrow, the 11th annual New York Asian Film Festival begins today and runs through July 15, tonight is New York Non-Fiction at Rooftop Films, and don’t forget that Midsummer Night Swing is ongoing tonght!

Saturday June 30, 2012

Discover the Williamsburg You Never Knew with Discovery Walking Tours! “Once farmland, later laden with breweries and industry, Williamsburg, or “Billyburg” as the natives call it, has emerged as one of Brooklyn’s most popular residential areas and “hot” trend-setting destinations in the art scene. Take a tour through one of New York’s most colorful neighborhoods focusing on the diversity of the area, from the hipster to the Hasidic. Stops include the Bedford Avenue Theatre, where Fanny Brice performed; the world-famous Peter Lugers steakhouse; the landmark Williamsburg Savings Bank; the New England Congregational Church, an anchor for the abolitionist movement; and the Williamsburg Bridge, once the longest suspension bridge in the world. 4:30 p.m., call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place, cost: $20!

Hop in your TARDIS and travel through time and space to the Paley Center where digitally remasterd eps of the long-running series from the 70’s and 80’s are screened today! For those of you “who” think they know the Dr. and his companions well there will be opps to win prizes at this event via trivia, 1 p.m., The Paley Center for Media, 25 West 52 Street (bet. Fifth & Sixth Avenues), cost: included in the reg $10 admission)!

Create new looks out of your old T-shirts at A Moment of…LOUD: A Fashion Reinvention w/Beau McCall library workshop. This workshop will be led by designer, Beau McCall, who has been featured in Women’s Wear Daily. 2 p.m., Riverside Library, 127 Amsterdam Avenue bet 65th and 66th Streets, cost: free! (participants should bring their favorite large sized T-shirt, a pair of scissors and a seam ripper.)

Don’t get caught in a web when watching Spidey stunts performed by the stuntman from Spiderman! You can also practice your own Spidey skills w/a special rock climbing wall, learn the truth about those eight-legged creatures, create Spidey-related crafts, and participate in a variety of activities! There will also be giveaways tying in w/the Amazing Spiderman movie! All day (the zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.)summer weekends, Bronx Zoo (directions here!) cost: $16 (general admission-I believe this is not included I special event pricing, but check when you get there, it could be more than this.) Cheap Chick Cheap Tip: Kids in Spiderman costumes get special discount on admission.)

Cowabunga Dude! Party like a ninja turtle with a special-themed party at Turtle Bay tonight! Enjoy a $20 open bar, $10 for those who dare to dress up as Turtles! Free pizza and prizes will be given out to those with the most knowledge about Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Rafael! 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Turtle Bay, 987 2nd Ave at 52nd Street, cost: $10-$20!

Glass blowing begins today on Governors Island today (runs thru July 29), the Crest Fest opens today, get your $1 solid flip-flops today at Old Navy, take a $25-cent ride on the Cyclone in honor of the ride’s 85th anniversary today (first *5 riders on the ride starting at noon get the special anniversary rate) and other festivities, See the second floor of historic homes in Lefferts Gardens, attend Sycamore’s pre-Cyclones party tailgate party ($25 gets you a plate of food, a pint of Brooklyn, and a ticket (in Sycamore's block), and Shilpa Ray performs a free concert at Shea Stadium tonight!

Saturday and Sunday June 30 and July 1, 2012

Now it’s time to learn about Harlem! Join Discovery Walking Tours “on a walk through one of America’s most prominent African American neighborhoods. Some highlights on the tour include the Apollo Theatre, a showcase for some of America’s top talent; old jazz spots like the Lenox Lounge and Dizzy Gillespie’s home; the Mount Morris Park Historic District, with its magnificent examples of the Harlem brownstone; the site of the assassination attempt on Martin Luther King in the 1950s; The Hotel Theresa, home to the nation’s top African American celebrities, including boxer Joe Louis and blues composer WC Handy; the site of Malcolm X's office, and Bill Clinton’s office where the president and candidate Barack Obama had their summit in 2008.” 1:30 p.m., call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place!

Sunday July 1, 2012

Get a workout with the Urban Girl Squad during their coached run in Central Park! This free event includes a mini-workshop following the run, and a reception w/your fellow runners after the workout! All skill levels and experiences are welcome, so come on out and have some fun! 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., meet at the Athleta Upper East Side, 1517 Third Ave, cost: free (but reserve your space now, here)!

If you’re a punk rock fan you should go watch Rock ‘n’ Roll Exposed: The Photography of Bob Gruen, a documentary featuring the famous music photographer! 8 p.m., BAM Rose Cinemas, Peter Jay Sharpe Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, cost: free!

Dance the night away w/live Flamenco music tonight! 7:00 p.m. - 9:45 p.m., 127 MacDougal Street (bet. W. 3rd St. and W 4th St.) cost: free!

Celebrate Christmas in July with special holiday-themed items at a Housing Works Thrift Store! 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., UES Thrift Shop, Broadway between 96th and 97th streets, cost: pay for what you buy!

Get your Geek on w/ a cabaret featuring Harry Potter and Dr. Who among other fantasy icons, 8 p.m., Way station, 683 Washington Ave bet Prospect and St. Marks, cost: free!

Also catch the Limon Dance Company at Summerstage tonight, and watch Daniel-san take on Cobra Kai at Habana Outpost’s special Movies Under the Stars series tonight!

And all weekend long catch the Bicycle Film Festival, the Del Close Comedy Improv Marathon is happening, in celebration of The Amazing Spiderman the Paley Center is screening special  TV versions of the superhero through July 1, the Astoria Park Festival is ongoingthe Fourth Annual North River Historic Ship Festival runs through Sunday, catch Dark Crystal (Jim Henson) at Nighthawk, the Museum of the Moving Image's “Paramount in the 1970s” series ends Sunday!, and Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn runs at the Film Forum thru July 5! (Isaac Mizrahi intros 7/2, 9:20 screening)!

Looking ahead…Special screening of Ghostbusters on Monday July 2nd , on the beach at Coney Island, and if you’re still in need 4th of July plans check out my listing of cheap and free NYC Independence Day activities!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cheap and Free NYC July 4th Events! Happy Fourth NYC!

Think there's nothing going on in NYC on or around the 4th that doesn't cost $100+? Think again, the Cheap Chick has you covered! Here are cheap and free July 4th NYC Events! Happy Fourth of July!

Look for my regular cheap and free NYC weekend events by Friday afternoon!

June 28, 2012

Get into the spirit of the holiday with wine at the Red, White and Bubbly Independence Day Tasting! “Michel Abood from Vinotas Selections will be pouring 3 deliciously affordable wines: a pink bubbly and a crisp white from the Loire Valley in France and a lovely red from northeastern Spain. Best of all, these wines are all under $20 (heck, the red's under $10!).” 5 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., Millesima, 1355 2nd Avenue, cost: free!

Tuesday July 3, 2012

Support Team USA by watching a 6,000-square- foot flag, created by using real Americans’ stories of what the flag means to them, being unfurled! Sponsored by Tide, SMASH star Katherine McPhee will also lend a hand to the festivities, 8 am. to 8 p.m., (Ms. McPhee will make an appearance around noon), Bryant Park, cost: free!

The exhibit "The Declaration of Independence: The Stone Engraving" opens today at the New York Historical Society (runs through July 15, 2012),

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Oooh, aaaahh, ohhhhh, watch the Macy’s fireworks over the Hudson River! Fireworks start at 9 p.m., cost: free! Here is a list from CBS featuring the best plaes to watch the event!

Can you ever really eat enough hot dogs? Find out at the 97th annual Nathan’s Famous hotdog eating contest! 3 p.m., Nathan’s Coney Island, corner of Surf and Stillwell, cost: free!

Uh-oh looks like Nathan’s may have some competition this year, Crif Dogs is hosting its own first-ever Crif Dog Classic with Takeru Kobayashi! Watch out Nathan’s, they’ve got “live music and celebrity guests” 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Roberta’s, 261 Moore Street, Bushwick, cost: $10, buy tkts here!

Celebrate America in film with all “the diversity, daring, and charm of our country, in a program of short films that is funny, revelatory, dramatic and All-American,” 7 p.m., Socrates Sculpture Park, Vernon Blvd. bet. Broadway and 30 Dr. Queens, cost: free!

Join Jim Kaplan in the wee hours to learn about New York City’s role in the American Revolution during the 10th Annual Nighttime Walking Tour of Revolutionary War New York sponsored by Fraunces Tavern Museum, 2 a.m. – 6 a.m., assume you meet at the museum, but double-check, 54 Pearl Street, cost: $20, buy tkts here!

Still something you need to know about Satchmo? Observe his birthday and take a tour of his house, which includes artifacts, rare recordings, and interesting factoids! Plus free cupcakes for visitors under 12! 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., the guided 40-minute historic house tours start every hour on the hour (last tour of the day starts at 4 p.m.), Louis Armstrong House Museum, 34-56 107th Street, Corona, Queens, cost: $10 (reg admission price)! (*Cheap Chick Recommends)

Get some exercise in before the big show with Discovery Walking Tour’s Pre-Fireworks Presidential Greenwich and Gramercy Park! “A historical walking tour of both neighborhoods, with special stops at places associated with some early presidents, including Lincoln, Roosevelt, FDR, Wilson and Washington. Stops include the Washington Square Arch and Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace.” 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., (The 5 p.m. tour ends at the drive at 7:30 p.m. in time to secure a spot for fireworks viewing.) Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place, cost $20!

I hear that both the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees are playing at in the city today, get $1 beers+$10 Pitchers, beer pong, flip cup, $5 Jager shots, 50 cent wings, and $2 Sliders at Turtle Bay, Deborah Davis plays the Blue Note, and the Roots & Ruckus show is playing @ the Jalopy Theater for free!

Red Hook Lobster Pound marks National Lobster Day on summertime Wednesdays w/a 1.5 lobster, corn, and cole slaw, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., Red Hook Lobster Pound, 284 Van Brunt Street, cost: $20 for the food described above!

Learn about America’s humble beginnings as a melting pot with Big Onion’s Immigrant New York walking tour! “This tour explores the experiences of the different immigrant and ethnic populations residing in the Lower East Side from the early 19th century through today. We’ll look at housing, places of worship and street life to see how everyone got along (or didn’t) at different times. Some stops include: the Tweed Courthouse, the African Burial Ground, Five Points, the Bowery, sites associated with Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Jacob Riis, Abraham Cahan, Emma Goldman and many others.” 11 a.m., meet at the SE corner of Broadway and Chambers St., at City Hall Park, cost: $18!

Spend Independence Day jamming to music in Madison Square Park with food and drinks in a special July 4th concert! The line-up includes Spuyten Duyvil, Noam Pikelny and Friends, and The Sweetback Sisters! 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Madison Square Park, cost: free!
Got a hankerin' for some BBQ? The chefs at Five Points are cooking up a storm for the Down and Dirty Low Country Picnic! Menu items include beer, burgers and a low country boil complete with cornbread, spiked watermelon lemonade, South Carolina shrimp and more! No reservations needed, just show up! 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Five Points, 31 Great Jones St. (at Spring St), cost: varies, pay for what you buy!

Learn about the bald eagle as our country's patriotic symbol at the program "Eagle as Icon." at the Prospect Park Audubon Center at the Boathouse, cost: free! (is primarily aimed at kids, but I think adults might find it interesting as well!) 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Audubon Center, Prospect Park Lincoln Road/Ocean Avenue entrance, cost: free!

City Crab is hosting a special 4th of July happy hour for most of the day! There will be half-price beer, wine, cocktails, and appetizers during the day! 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., City Crab, 235 Park Ave. South at 19th Street, cost: varies based on what you order!

Still want do some BBQ-ing? The Parks Dept. lists all the designated BBQ-ing areas here! If you still haven't caught The Fuuny Face screening at the Film Forum, you can stil catch it today and tomorrow!

The American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, and the Strand are all open today! (The hours may be reduced for the holiday, so double-check websites before you go!)

Saturday July 7, 2012
Get in the patriotic spirit with an outdoor concert by the Community Wind Ensemble and Concert Band Stars and Stripes Forever Concert conducted by Ray Wheeler at Kingsborough Community College, 8 p.m., 2001 Oriental Blvd at MacKenzie St, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, cost: free!

Wednesday July 11, 2012

Enjoy free post Fouth-fireworks and a Philharmonic concert on the same night! Park vendors will also be on-hand selling snacks and other food! 8 p.m., Prospect Park’s Long Meadow Ballfields, cost: free!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cheap and Free NYC Events, June 22-24, 2012-Happy Gay Pride Weekend!

June 22, 2012

Fall in love with Rooftop Films all over again with the org’s Romance Weekend! Tonight the spotlight is on “Is it Love?” Romance Shorts! Doors open at 8 p.m., film begins @ 9 p.m., after-party to follow, Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand Street, LES, cost: $12, buy tkts here!

See Richard Pryor live in concert (via film silly!) on a restored 35mm print! @ Lincoln Center tonight! Midnight, Francesca Beale Theater at Lincoln Center, cost: $13! For more info and to buy tkts go here!

Caling all vegans! Mascha Artz reads from her new tome, VEGAN NY, 7 p.m., Blustockings Bookstore,  172 Allen St, cost: $5 suggested donation!

Scour the shelves for book bargains @ the TASCHEN warehouse sale with books marked @ 50%-75% off! Sale lasts all weekend, but starts today! 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., 107 Greene Street, cost: pay for items you buy!

Is a relationship really like a shark? I think it is..Watch Annie Hall on the big screen in a new 35mm print at the Film Forum, varous times, buy tkts here! (through June 28, 2012.

The Invisible War, a doc about rape in the U.S. military, also opens today, The BoCoCa Arts Festival starts today and runs through June 30th, The Photoville photo village in Brooklyn Bridge Park begins today and runs through through July 1, The Seaport Music Festival begins today and runs through July 14, Keb’ Mo’ and Natalia Zukerman play a free show at the Prospect Park Bandshell for Celebrate Brooklyn, and Dances of Vice is throwing a Rockabilly night this evening!

Friday and Saturday June 22 and 23, 2012

Relive those glorious VCR-days w/a screening of Dazed and Confused! Sponsored by BBQ Films and Scout Mob, this event will feature the screening, one Sixpoint Craft Can (pint), popcorn and other munchies, $3 drinks, movie characters roving around, movie-inspired classic cars from Bel-Air Automotive and shenanigans, and giveaways from Golden Age of the Music Video! 8 p.m. doors/drinks, 9 p.m./film, Windmill Studios, 287 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, cost: $22, buy tkts here!

Saturday June 23, 2012

Spice up your weekend with Adventures NYC today! Presented by Backpacker Magazine and The North Face, featured events include The North Face Passport Program, the UBC Rock Climbing Zone, the Vermont Adventure Center, Cabot Community Tour, health and fitness clinics, the REI® Adventure Zone, kayaking zone, bike helmet giveaway, courtesy of NYC DOT, outdoor gear exhibits, free bike valet parking, mountain bike expo, and live music and entertainment! 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Central Park, Bandshell Area, cost: free!

Be “shore” to swim your way over to the 30th Annual Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade! 2 p.m. The parade will start at West 21st Street and Surf Avenue and end @ At West 15th Street, in Coney Island, cost: free to attend, $10-$100 to participate!

Where is Mary Poppins when you need her? Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of her @ the Brooklyn Kite Festival! 10:00am - 2:00pm, Brooklyn Bridge Park, cost: free! (Kites will be available for purchase on site, or bring your own.)

Today is also the grand opening of the Brooklyn Swirl, a new frozen yogurt place! 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.: There will be music, fun, and face painting for the kids. 6 p.m.-10 p.m.: All are welcome to stay and enjoy the yogurt, crepes and coffee, Brooklyn Swirl, 445 Marcus Garvey, cost: free! (except if you buy anything.)

Silent films get live-action musical treatment as the Red Hook Ramblers fuse themselves with pictures including Buster Keaton's One Week, Harold Lloyd's Bliss, and Harry Langdon's Saturday Afternoon. The band will accompany the films and then play a short set after the last movie. 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, 315 Columbia Street bet. Hamilton/Woodhull Street Brooklyn, NY, cost: $10!

Ladies, get ready to drool! Hugh Jackman is hosting the TropFest short film festival! 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., Bryant Park, cost: free! (BUT attendees are encouraged to reserve their free tkts on the film fest’s website, and are encouraged to snag their seats in the park early!)

The Lumen Festival hits Staten Island! Eat Drink Local Week begins (through June 30), a new Farmer’s Market opens @ Socrates Sculpture Park as part of GrowNYC Greenmarket, catch Schwinn and Us Weekly Bike-In Movie Night screening of Puss N’Boots, with special guest appearance by Dancing Star Derek Hough, watch Gayby with Rooftop tonight, and Lo and Astro perform a  free show at the Prospect Park Bandshell for Celebrate Brooklyn!

Saturday and Sunday June 23 and 24, 2012

Learn about Manhattan and Governors Island during the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War with Discovery Walking Tours! “First a walk through Lower Manhattan with stops associated with all three wars, ending with a free option to Gov Island, once a secluded military installation. Stops include sites associated with Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, The 1863 Draft Riots, the grave of 1812 hero James Lawrence, a War of 1812 fort and a Confederate prison camp.” Sat., June 23 at 11:45 a.m. Cost: $20!

See tomorrow’s OBIE and TONY-award-winning playwrights today with The Jumpstart Commissions Festival! On Sat., June 23rd at 7 p.m. and Sun., June 24th at 3 p.m., ART/NY, 520 Eighth Ave, Bruce Mitchell Rm, bet. 37th and 36th St, cost: free, but reserve tkts here!
The Boomerang Theatre Company begins free performances of “Hamlet” in Central Park at 77th Street and Central Park West and the Renegade Craft Fair takes place!

Sunday June 24, 2012

Still have that blank piece of paper or blinking cursor staring you in the face? Then break that writer’s block with the NYWC’s the 7th Annual Write-A-Thon! “Attend free inspiring workshops, compete for prizes, and commune with fellow writers. The event will benefit the NY Writers Coalition, which is celebrating 10 years of leading writing workshops in underserved communities throughout the city.” 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mark Morris Dance Center, cost: reg price $150, BUT if you can scramble for sponsors-think friends w/deep pockets :-) you can participate for “free”($150 min.)! Ira Glass of “This American Life” fame will also be making an appearance as part of the day’s festivities!

Something’s fishy here…go saltwater fishing (catch-and-release) in the East River. “Experienced Rangers teach the ethics of fishing and the ecology of our waterways on every fishing program. Whether you chose to grab a simple bamboo pole at a quiet lake, or join more advanced salt water or fly fishing programs, the rangers have a program that fits your skill level. Families and children ages eight years and older are welcome to participate in our fishing programs. Participation in a mandatory safety review lead by a trained ranger is required. All equipment is provided. Most fishing programs are first-come, first-served. 11 a.m., East River Esplanade, E 96th Street and East River Drive, cost: free!

If it’s a little too hot for you outside, spend some time inside with Discovery Walking Tours for their Beat the Heat: the Secrets of Grand Central. “Join us as we explore one of New York’s finest landmarks -- from the cooler confines of the indoors! The commuter day is so hectic, that few New Yorkers rushing through Grand Central ever really get to learn about the hidden history and lesser known lore behind this classic landmark. Here's your chance as we celebrate Grand Central with a discussion of the symbolism behind its decor and the structure’s lesser known lore. Stops include Grand Central's "whispering arch"; Vanderbilt Hall; a secret apartment used as a speakeasy during the 1920s; JM Hewlett’s classic ceiling mural with its mysterious constellations painted in reverse; and Jules Coutan’s Roman group god sculpture -- a crowning masterpiece to the structure.” 1:15 p.m., Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place, cost: $20!

And…today the New Amsterdam Market is cheese-themed, and if you didn’t get enough cheese @ the New Amsterdam Market, then head to Stinkfest 2012 in Brooklyn, combine caffeine and cocktails @ the second annual Coffee-Cocktail Mash-Up, and punk music takes over Governors Island!

All weekend long… enjoy Le Grand Continental™ by Sylvain Émard Danse as part of the River to River Festival, Gay Pride Events are ongoing w/the parade on Sunday, and and this is the last w/e to catch “Twelfth Night” for free in Central Park!

Looking Forward...

Mon June 25... Nelson George is sharing from his new novel The Plot Against Hip-Hop and his documentary Brooklyn Boheme in a special benefit for PS 11, a public school in Brooklyn. The evening will also include readings by Brooklyn authors Victoria Brown and Tai Allen, 7 p.m., Brooklyn Moon, 745 Fulton Street (bet Elliot Place and S. Oxford), Fort Greene, cost $20, buy tkts here!

On Wed, June 27...enjoy Get It Out There: Comedy by BAM and IFC!

And on Thurs June 28...regress to those summers spent @ camp with Brokelyn, or jam w/Fishbone for free @  BAM as part of theirR&B Festival at Metrotech!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cheap and Free NYC Events, June 15-17, 2012! Happy Father's Day!

Editor's Note: Hi all! Happy Father's Day weekend! I hope you find plenty of cheap and free events to share with dad all weekend long! Also please scroll down for info on the Tom Sachs SPACE PROGRAM MARS exhibit that ends on Sunday.

Friday June 15, 2012

You’ll have to grab some Floo powder or get your Apparition license to attend Epic Win’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Ass-kaboom, 9:30 p.m., Tada Theater, 15 W. 28th St. bet Broadway & 5th Ave. cost: $15, buy tkts here!

Rooftop Films brings the glitz and glamour of the Sundance Film Festival to the Big Apple when they screen Sundance Film Festival Shorts tonight. Doors open @ 8 p.m., with live music @ 8:30 p.m., and the films start screening@ 9 p.m., Open Road Rooftop, 350 Grand Street, LES, cost: $12, buy tkts here!

War of the Buttons screens tonight as part of the Films on the Green series, sponsored by the French Embassy in NYC. All films begin around 8:30 p.m., Washington Square Park, cost: free!

Learn how to improve your photography skills with this class taught by Brooklyn Creative! 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Brooklyn Creative, 33 Washington Street, cost: $5!

Today is the last day to partake in the Bouillabaisse Festival at participating NYC restaurants!
Don’t forget the Coney Island fireworks start up again tonight for the summer, there are a few days left to participate in the Sizzlin' Summer Record + CD Sale 2012, which ends on Sunday, and there is another free Celebrate Brooklyn concert tonight!

Saturday June 16, 2012

All aboard for Oyster Craziness 3.0! 2p.m. to 5 p.m., Brooklyn Oenology, 85 North 3rd Street, Suite 106. cost: $1 an oyster!

Join Municipal Walking Tours as they explore el barrio! “Join Luke Nephew, artist, educator and co-founder of the community-based arts collective The Peace Poets, for a tour of El Barrio Today Arts Cluster, a coalition of East Harlem organizations who have joined forces to raise awareness about the cultural richness of El Barrio. Come explore the neighborhood. Vibrant public art, beautiful community gardens, rich cultural organizations and one of a kind stores make East Harlem an unique place in New York. Highlights include the Graffiti Wall of Fame, Julia de Burgos Boulevard, local murals and much more.” 2 p.m., Meeting place revealed after RSVP, Cost: $20, Please purchase tickets online here or call (212) 935-2075, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.!

Celebrate the Sixties on Broadway as the delightful songstress Jenny Lynn Stewart and her accompanist William Lewis perform songs from popular musicals of the decade including: "Hello Dolly," "Mame," "Camelot," "Fiddler on the Roof," and others! 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium, 1 Lincoln Plaza, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, free!

Traverse Union Sq. with dad today as part of iAdventure’s first ever Father’s Day Scavenger Hunt and Dunk Your Dad BBQ After Party! After all that running around, rest your feet at the after-party with BBQ food, Dunk Your Dad in our Dunk Tank and "Dad Challenges!" The scavenger hunt winners will also be announced and given a prize! 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sidebar, 118 East 15th Street @ Irving Place, cost is $25, BUT inc -Scavenger Hunt Participation, one burger OR hot dog with a side of fries, one ice cream bar, unlimited soft drinks, and one beer for Dad! Scavenger hunt teams can consist of up to six people. Buy tkts here!

Red Hook Pride Events will be happening all day today throughout the neighborhood! the streets in Billy-Burg become more bike and pedestrian-friendly with Williamsburg Walks today, and the Atlantic Avenue Extravaganza is happening today!

Saturday and Sunday June 16 and 17, 2012

Get “crafty” w/the American Crafts Festival at Lincoln Center! Saturday: Noon-9 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. cost: free to attend, pay for what you buy!

Charleston it up with the Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Governors Island, cost: $15 online here or @ the door!

Observe Father’s Day with walking tours hosted by Discovery Walking Tours! “Two tours for the price of one for Father’s Day Weekend. First a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to discuss its creation and history. Then a tour of sites in Brooklyn Heights associated with the Dodgers, including Duke Snider’s home and where Jackie Robinson was signed.” 2 p.m. both days, Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place. Cost: $20!

Help Dad feel like a child again with a bowl of sugary cereal and Sat morning cartoons! Nighthawk is hosting "Spoons Toons and Booze" with a special Father’s Day theme incorporating cartoons from the 40’s to the 90’s, so there will be something for all dads! Both days will also feature contests, drink and food specials! 12 p.m., Nighthawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg, cost: $11 for adults, $9 for seniors, buy tkts here!

Plus The Seed, “a vegan experience" will be happening, $20/day or $30 for two days (inc an appearance by the Bust Craftacular!)

Sunday June 17, 2012

The Municipal Arts Society takes on pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village! ”From the drag balls at Webster Hall to the lesbian owned haunts of Macdougal Street to the clubs featuring "Pansy Acts" to the slummers who would comb the Village to ogle the "fairies and dykes" cavorting openly in public, Greenwich Village was a major center of LGBT life almost half a century before the Stonewall rebellion. Join urbanist Laurence Frommer for a walk through pre-Stonewall life as embodied in NYC's quintessential enclave for those escaping the restrictions of mainstream society. Everyone is welcome!” 2 p.m., Meeting place revealed after RSVP, cost: $20, buy tkt here!

Bring in some noise to your life with today’s 12-hour Bang on a Can Marathon! 12 p.m., World Financial Center, 220 Vesey Street (between North End Ave. and West St.), cost: free!

Park yourself in Prospect Park for today’s Food Truck Rally! Vendors include Luke's Lobster, Mudtruck, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, and Wafels & Dinges, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Prospect Park Grand Army Plaza, cost: free to attend, pay-for-what-you buy!

Join Tony-nominated artist Elizabeth Swados for "Jewish Books Cooking," which uses well-known Jewish-themed children’s books to create an original production For more information go here! , 1 p.m., Bryant Park Carousel, 40th Street bet Fifth and Sixth Avenues, cost: free!

Catch up on Breaking Bad before the fifth season starts! Brooklyn Winery is playing episodes from the fourth season starting tonight w/the first four episodes from the fourth season! They will also screen the fifth season premiiere on July 15, 2012, 7 p.m., Brooklyn Winery, 213 North 8th Street, cost: free!

Take Dad on a Nosh Walk with the Big Onion The Annual Fathers Day Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour! "This tour combines the history of the diverse Lower East Side with a series of small food sampling, or “noshing” stops from local shops and markets. The main focus of our tour is the history of the multi-ethnic Lower East Side emphasizing the neighborhoods of the Jewish East Side, Little Italy and Chinatown. During the course of our walk we will sample about 10 different items, representing the Dominican, Jewish, Italian, and Chinese communities of the Lower East Side. Most of these items are vegetarian or dairy. All food sampling will be done outdoors and we do not include restaurants on our tour. Our “noshing” tour uses the markets & shops to highlight the history and this walk should not be considered a meal.” 1 p.m., meet @ SW corner of Delancey and Essex Streets, in front of the American Choice Deli/Chase Bank, cost $23 (inc food), Big Onion requests reservations for this tour, so pls send your name, date you wish to attend, and number of people in your party to They will confirm via email.

Also today…Dads get a free breakfast at IKEA, half-price beers for Dads today at Duke’s, there’s catfish carryout esp for dads @ the Beer Table (reserve your box lunch in advance here,  there is a Father’s Day Concert with Randy Weston presented by MoCADA, and The Red Hook Jazz Festival is happening today ($10 sugg. donation), a giant Lit mag Fair at Housing Works Bookstore sponsored by CLMP, MillionTreesNYC is hosting a free Tree Care and Flower Planting event, and there is a special Father's Day Sing-A-Long at Lefferts Historic House with Rory Dineen as well!

If you still have not bught a Father's Day gift, here are suggestions from the Strand!

Also happening all w/e long is the Smart Plays Festival (thru July 20, 2012) with tkts only $20 at the door! Presented by Piper Theatre Productions, to benefit the Piper Education Program, Old Stone House in Washington Park in Brooklyn. At the performance on July 11, the audience will vote on their favorite one-act and the winner will receive a $500 prize, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival at Lincoln Center (through June 28, 2012), and the Northside Festival is running thru the 21st!

Looking Forward…The Ensemble Studio Theater’s wrap-up of its Youngblood Bloodworks Play Series is this week, starting on Monday, free!

Don’t miss Malaysian Restaurant Week, June 18 – 24. "This means you get to try some delicious Malaysian food at great prices! A three-course prix fixe menu is only $20.12 at nine different restaurants around the city, with some participating restaurants in NJ and CT!"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tom Sachs: Space Program Mars (on View until June 17, 2012)

Travel through space to Mars via the latest Tom Sachs installation SPACE PROGRAM, which takes visitors on a trip to Mars all in the Park Avenue Armory’s 55,000-square-foot drill hall. Your journey begins with the option of viewing five short films in Cinema 5, which has been installed as part of the exhibition and gives you the chance to be “indoctrinated” into the installation's space program, by completing a series of tasks (including watching all five films) while visiting the exhibit, as well as taking a series of written and oral tests. Fear not, however, getting indoctrinated is purely optional, and you don’t need to do so to enjoy the exhibit. I was crunched for time, so I chose not to be “indoctrinated,” but did view one of the short films, A Love Letter to Plywood, featuring a material used heavily in Sachs’ projects, including SPACE PROGRAM. During the film I learned some interesting factoids about plywood, such as there one correct way to sand plywood and you cannot drill plywood.

Once you leave the cinema, you enter the large main room of the Armory which is set up on one side with white folding chairs arranged bleacher-style inscribed in with the words NASA on them in red lettering-a nice touch I thought. Bright red plywood throughout the room simulates the rocky Mars landscape.

As you make your way into the exhibit, you’ll find whimsical objects including a conveyer belt with nuts and stuffed socks (of nuts perhaps?) and a sign reading “Hot Nuts.” Another unique object that caught my attention was Darth Vader robot made with a black fridge with a note attached to the front saying ‘Don’t drink mini-Buds,’ and a bunch of mini-Buds stored below.

Sachs also constructed items relating to training for space exploration. In the Special Effects part of the exhibit, there are four sections: Rescue, Parachute, Launch, and Ignition. In the Rescue section of the exhibit, a rescue is simulated, in which a helicopter moves from left to right, picking up a capsule from water and putting it on an aircraft carrier. When this is shown on a monitor, you get the illusion of a rescue. In Parachute, a painted blue sky and monitor give the illusion of delivering a space capsule back to Earth. Launch recreates a rocket blasting off in a haze of fog and smoke. Finally in Ignition, fire comes out of a propane tank. At a nearby replica of a NASA control center (tho I don’t think NASA control centers have quirky ‘Applause’ and ‘Quiet Please’ signs adorning their walls…) the special effects were shown on a variety of TV monitors replicating actual rocket launches and rescues.

Another area of the Armory is dominated by a re-creation of a Mars Rover. There is also a greenhouse where the astronauts would grow things, a Japanese-inspired teahouse where astronauts would drink tea and Everclear, a model of a LEM (Lunar Excursion Module), a machine that was built for the lander portion of the Apollo mission to them oon, in which the spacecraft takes crew members to the moon’s surface, and an EDL (Entry, Descent, and Landing) device that lowers down to Mars’ surface to cut into rock and collect samples to bring back to the space shuttle. Additionally there were pieces constructed where astronauts could keep in shape with punching bags, all types of balls, barbells, and even skateboards as well as a Repair Station equipped with all the tools needed on another planet, and a Mobile Quarantine Facility created from a 1970s Winnebago.

The space station atmosphere is completed by Sachs’ studio staff, who have donned NASA shirts (and I’m told that they have ridden skateboards and bikes in order to discuss the exhibit with visitors), but alas, I did not witness these spectacles during my recent visit, though they were very helpful in explaining all aspects of the exhibit.

“Tom Sachs: Space Program: Mars” runs through June 17 at the Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, at 67th Street, (212) 933-5812,

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cheap and Free NYC Weekend Events, June 8-10, 2012

Editor's Note: Dear all, apologies for the non-blog last w/e. I was out-of-town, and had pre-scheduled a blog to post, but unfortunately, Blogger dropped the ball, and the post did not publish as planned. I do hope to make it up to you all in the next week with some new long-form entries, as well as fabulous new weekend event picks next week! In the meantime, please do enjoy these very abbreviated w/e NYC event picks and check me out on Twitter for some addt'l Sat and Sun NYC weekend events!

Friday June 8, 2012

Catch the Inflatable Sculpture Show (free) 7-9 p.m., 3rd Ward, 195 Morgan Ave., free (w/RSVP) here!

See the classic May-October romance Harold and Maude as part of the Museum of the Moving Image's Paramount in the 1970's series, $12 or free w/museum admission! Remember the museum is free on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., movie starts @ 7 p.m.!

Watch shows as part of Lincoln Center's LCT3 Festival! (Begins today through July 15th!) All tkts are $20!

Rooftop Films is screening Fat Kid Rules the World, Matthew Lillard's full-length feature film debut tonight w/a Q&A and free post-screening after party! Doors open @ 8 p.m., more deets here!

Celebrate all-things Prince @ the Erotic City Tribute to Prince @ the Brooklyn Bowl tonight @ 11:30 p.m.! 

And finally Films on the Green screens The Snows of Kilimanjaro @ Washington Square Park! Movie begins @ 8:30 p.m.!

Saturday June 9, 2012

Samba with Stella and Beebe, the Prospect Park zoo's talented sea lions as they jam out with Samba New York! Free w/zoo admission! Noon and 2 p.m.

Sip your way to summer w/Union Square Wines and Spirits' La Vie en Rose Tasting! 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., 140 Fourth Avenue, free!

BE A HISTORY DETECTIVE: THE GREENWICH VILAGE SCAVENGER HUNT– (with Discovery Walking Tours)  "And now for something completely different. Instead of being led through the Village, this time discover its history by teaming up,using a map and deciphering clues on your way through the nooks and crannies and hidden sidestreets of the Village. First to come back with the most correct answers wins!" 5:15 p.m., call 212-465-3331, $20!

Pie in the Sky! Time for the Daisy Flour Pie Contest @ Smorgasburg today! 2 p.m.! Proceeds to benefit the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen!

Saturday and Sunday June 9 and 10th, 2012

Discover Fort Greene! "Who knew that Fort Greene would be the home to a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, a stop on the Underground Railroad, the Brooklyn Academy of Music , and one of the largest internments of Revolutionary War heroes?" Find out more w/Discovery Walking Tours! Sat: 2:30 p.m. and Sunday @ 2 p.m., Call 212-465-3331 for reservations and meeting place!

The Figment Art Festival (complete w/mini-golf!) takes place on Governors Island this w/e!

Eat your heart out w/the Big Apple BBQ in Madison Square Park!

Sunday June 10, 2012

The Prospect Park Carousel turns 100 today! Mark the occasion with free rides, and cake, as well as games, crafts and other activities!

Jazz it up w/the 5th Annual Red Hook Jazz Festival today @ 1 p.m., at the Urban Meadow(President St. and Van Brunt Streets), free!

Get your yolk on w/the Egg Rolls and Egg Cream Festival starting at 12 p.m. and running to 4 p.m., on the LES!

Also happening all w/e (and beyond)  is the Queer New York International Festival, and the VHS exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design!

And looking forward...the Vision Festival starts Monday!