Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Big Apple: Summer In The City

With a little more than two weeks left before I depart for New York City, you can be sure that I am fully engaged in all aspects of planning for the summer that is currently getting underway.

One of the reasons I love New York City so much, is the amazing range of free events that take place right across the five boroughs every summer. Once flights, accommodation, and food is accounted for, I will spend very little on high-priced events and activities during my stay. Having said that, I have already booked a series of concerts that have caught my attention at the City Winery and Highline Ballroom, but apart from these, and maybe one or two others, most of my entertainment will come from low cost music venues or the incredible array of free events available to every visitor and New Yorker.

The official New York City visitors site, NYCgo should be at the top of everyone’s list of websites when researching things to do—not just over the summer, but all year round. Here is a sampling of some of the summer concerts, movies and theatre events on offer, the vast majority of which are completely free:

You can watch a free movie every night of the week somewhere across the five boroughs. More than 130 sessions are currently scheduled, but be quick, in some instances the free summer film series have already begun. What you can expect to see: La La Land, Life of Pi, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Lego Batman Movie, The Big Lebowski, Blazing Saddles, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Muppet Movie, Logan, The Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory, Selma, and Hidden Figures, just to name a baker’s dozen from the extensive smorgasbord on offer.

If you don’t want to spend your evenings watching movies, you can always catch some live music.

The best things in life really are free, especially when it comes to NYC's summer concerts. Every May through August (Yes, the free summer concert season has also begun), you can hear live music of all kinds across the City without spending a dime. Whether it's punk on Staten Island, indie rock on the Manhattan waterfront, a classy night outdoors with the Metropolitan Opera or a diverse lineup of jazz and world music at SummerStage and Celebrate Brooklyn!, New York City's free open air performances are sure to please music lovers of all tastes. So what are you waiting for? Get out your digital calendars and start booking in your full summer concert schedule.

Other Free Concert Seasons
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I’m not sure what it is about Brookfield Place… that draws me in like a magnet whenever I find myself in Lower Manhattan. One of the attractions is definitely the relief from the city’s heat and humidity that the vast atrium provides. Other draws are the numerous food outlets on site, clean restrooms (Yay!), and the schedule of free events programmed over the summer, which include art installations and music events. While not as extensive as other free musical offerings around the city, the location of Brookfield Place by the Hudson River still makes it a fine spot to rest and recuperate while enjoying the live music on offer. 

The stunning setting for the annual Lowdown Hudson Music Fest

The main events at Brookfield Place are the gigs at the annual Lowdown Hudson Music Fest:

Lowdown Hudson Music Fest Presents Common, and OK GO
Arts Brookfield’s annual summer music festival, the Lowdown Hudson Music Fest, returns to the heart of downtown New York for its seventh summer on July 18 and 19. Bringing fun, lively, world-class musical talent to the picturesque Waterfront Plaza at Brookfield Place, this year’s festival will be headlined by rapper and producer Common on Tuesday, July 18, and quirky veteran rockers OK GO on Wednesday, July 19. Both shows are free to attend and open to the public. In keeping with the summer festival vibe, shows are standing room only and will feature a festival bar. Event is rain or shine, except for extreme weather conditions.

Tuesday, July 18: COMMON
Wednesday, July 19: OK GO

Other events at Brookfield Place

These free theatre shows include performances of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor, on the Bryant Park lawn; and the Bard’s Richard III at Carroll Park, Brooklyn. Children can enjoy live performances of Charlotte’s Web, and Madagascar at the Sobelsohn Playground in Forest Park, Queens; and Cinderella Samba, at Dry Harbor Playground also in Forest Park, Queens.

And as if all the above were not enough, visitors can also join one of the many free tours that take place across the city. These include tours arranged by Big Apple Greeter, Central Park Conservancy, Tours by Foot, Grand Central Partnership, the Greenwich Village Alliance, and many others.

You can be sure dear reader, that the above collection represents just a fraction of the hundreds of events and activities, many of which are free or low cost, that will be taking place across New York City this, and every summer. Personally, I can't wait to immerse myself in the cultural heart of the this amazing metropolis once again.

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