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ART
  Two sites are indispensible for daily alerts as to art openings & events.
  The first is qualitative http://www.LarryQualls.blogspot.com. It appears each day (about 7:30am) and has only those events that someone with 40+ years of experience in NYC’s art world with a seasoned staff could select. Exquisite. Encyclopedic. (Suggestion: look up Larrry Qualls in Wikipedia)
   Here’s what ArtStor says about Larry: Larry Qualls is an American visual arts archival documentarian, editor and art critic whose library of images the “Larry Qualls Archive” (100,000 images documenting 30 years ofNew York City gallery exhibitions) was acquired by ARTSTOR.[1] Qualls is a former associate editor of Performing Arts journal,[2] an academic publication for which he also authored many articles over the course of several decades. He is a frequent presence on the New York City art scene and his appearances are often noted by among other sources the New York Social Diary.[3]
  Larry Qualls’s blog is based on his many years of experience, profound academic expertise, and rolodex from hell – so it offers more hi-quality events – especially those where a press release never gets released. Plus it has a large scope, including book signings, Embassy & Cultural Affairs events, lectures, discussions, and even high-end product launches – all free, or if there’s a charge, it’s nominal.
  The second is quantitative, http://www.artcards.cc for it lists openings & events for the next 7 days in Metro NYC. But ArtCards relies more on press releases so it has far fewer listings and a narrower choice of offerings. ArtCards.cc has a remarkable feature that may make it worthwhile using alongsideLarryQualls.blogspot.com: you can click those galleries you’re interested in; it’ll create a list; and it will map them out for you – all on your cellphone. An art map of the shows you’ve chosen in your hand. You  can also click the galleries and/or the artists and get linked to their respective websites. (We hope and pray that Larry Qualls & his staff include this feature soon!)
   There is a third resource for touring art galleries: the M Maps. You’ll find these in the three major art districts of the city: Madison Ave on the Upper East Side; the new Chelsea/High Line pop gallery area; and the sophisticated SOHO area. They’re affiliated with M Magazine. But keep in mind that they list on the maps only those galleries which have paid to be listed – and being in print they may be out of date. But they are convenient.
MUSEUMS
     I have my own list of the days & times when NYC’s cultural institutions have free admission – that’s on my art blog,www.PerOnArt.wordpress.com – or text/email me and I’ll send it to you.
    But I recommend the list from NYC-Arts.org. See also http://www.nyc-arts.org/categories/museums for 134 listings of lesser known groups, galleries & for profits whose focus is art. For PBS’s other arts programs see their other website http://www.nyc-arts.org/collections/35/free-museum-days-or-pay-what-you-wish
     I’ve some listings not on that list – and vice versa. And I’ve found two errors in the PBS list – for things always are changing in the art world. But this is a minor flaw – and the NYC-Arts.org list has the convenience of giving you the ability to click on your choice to get more information right away – a very useful feature missing from Larry Qualls’s daily listings.
     Their introduction sums up the NYC art scene very well: “New York is known as an expensive city, but it can be generous to New Yorkers and tourists. Many of the city’s premier attractions, museums, galleries and performances offer free entry or pay-what-you-wish options, be it for a select day of the month or evening hours every week. Those seeking a bargain can use the no-cost or low-cost admittance options nearly always available to take a chance on the unknown or to return to a favorite art work, exhibit or gallery/museum again and again. Below is a just a selection; there are other free places, such as the galleries and museums at the many area colleges and universities.”
EVENTS
     Lastly, you can find events by going to the Eventbrite website. See https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ny–new-york/food-and-drink–events/. They also have an app. The problem many feel at first is that Eventbrite has too many offerings – and by signing up you may get lots of junk email – so you may drown in their overkill. The solution to that is to use their search function. If you read about an event, look it up on EventBrite – and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
THEATRE
     Now let’s move on to theatre  tickets. First, there are half price tickets available at the Tickets booth at Times Square. But that means going there to try your luck.
     Instead, try the best of the 4-5 theatre clubs whose job it is to paper the hall, to fill empty halls with people. All the true (ie good) ones charge about $100 a year for two tickets, pay a processing fee of about $5.
     But all have strict rules: come a half hour early to pick up your tickets, sit in your assigned seat, stay through at least the first act, and do not bad mouth the production within hearing distance of the theater. Violate the rules – and lose your membership.
      In order of reliability here they are: PlayByPlay.com (definitely #1 http://www.play-by-play.com/ $99+$16 processing fee); #2 is AudienceExtras. There is also TheaterExtras (focus on concerts, rock shows, sports) and TheaterMania’s GoldClub but I haven’t heard feedback about them – except that they’re not as good as the first two.
     Also see these sites:
http://www.newyorkclassical.org/https://www.nycgovparks.org/events/free summer theater. And don’t forget NYC’s treasure in Chelsea, the High Line: www.thehighline.org/activities. The highland has entrances on 14, 16, 18, 20, 23, 26, 28,30;
(the ones with elevators are bold-faced)  www.bsmny.org/‎.
CONCERTS – and everything else you can, and cannot yet, imagine
     Lastly, there is Club Free Time which has been reviewed in the NY Times. It simply lists free tickets of all kinds – and costs a nominal $18/year. It’s also a good way of keeping up on cultural events that you might otherwise miss. I’m including the review of the Times of this immigrant’s creative way of seeing NYC events free after the list below from NYC-Arts.org of the days & times that NYC’s museums and major cultural institutions are free.
EMBASSY CULTURAL EVENTS
     One last tip: the cultural institutes of the cultural institutes of Europe’s  major embassies in NYC are excellent sources of events, art openings, lectures, and films. Simply sign up via their websites. I recommend Germany, Austria, Sweden, France, Ukraine, and Ireland – and I’m sure I’ve overlooked some.
     And for further tips you can search my art blog, www.PerOnArt.wordpress.com. I try not to repeat what’s available in the sites mentioned above. My focus especially is on what impossible to find out about and the utterly delectable. And your suggestions are always welcome.