While some people are sadly out of work and many more subsist on freelance wages, with the latter now said to make up 26% of the U.S. workforce, New York is still a workaholic city full of people with incredible drive. One subset of the city, however, gets a little break this week - namely, many members of the university community. The big NYU commencement ceremony takes place this Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as speaker. Columbia University Commencement will be held the following week on Wednesday, May 20, 2009, and other area colleges and universities ceremonies are scheduled in the next two weeks. Many parents are in town to help pack up dorm rooms and to take their sons and daughters out to eat. If you are a college student reading this, repeat after me: "Per Se, Masa, Daniel, Le Bernardin, Jean Georges."
Yesterday, while leaving City Bakery on W. 18th, I came across a pair of high heel shoes on the curb. They look like someone just got sick of them, kicked them off and decided to make the rest of the journey on foot. In honor of this anonymous person (I say "person" and not "woman" because this is New York and you never know) who freed themselves of this footwear, I name the following selection of New York events for the week the "Kick Off Your Shoes Edition."
• Monday, May 11. Daniel Barenboim with members of the Staatskapelle Berlin. 7:30pm. Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall.
• Monday, May 11. Elmore Leonard. Road Dogs is his new novel. Barnes & Noble, 1972 Broadway. 7:30 p.m. Free.
• Tuesday, May 12. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Highline Ballroom, 431 W 16th St. 8 p.m. Tickets: advance $25, day of show $30 plus $10 minimum per person at tables
* Wednesday, May 13. Howard Zinn and Guests: Voices Of A Young People's History Of The United States. Tim Robbins, Amber Tamblyn, Avery Brooks and others will read sections of Howard Zinn’s landmark book. Zinn in attendance also. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. 8 p.m Tickets: $27
• Thursday, May 14. John Ashbery. Reading his poems. The Poetry Project, St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th St. 8 p.m. Tickets: $8.
• Thursday, May 14. Michelle Shocked. City Winery 155 Varick St. 9 p.m. Tickets: $22–$35.
• Thursday, May 14. The Silos. Rodeo Bar, 375 Third Ave. 10 p.m. Tickets: at tables $10.
• Friday, May 15. John Prine with special guest, Justin Townes Earle. Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway. 8 p.m. Tickets: $40–$70.
• Friday, May 15. Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, co-organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Guggenheim Museum. On view from May 15 through August 23, 2009, the 50th anniversary exhibition features sixty-four projects.
• Saturday, May 16. Guarneri String Quartet. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. 8 p.m. $50.
• Sunday, May 17. AIDS WALK New York. Central Park. Arrive before 8:30 a.m. Registration and more information at official site.
• Monday, May 18. Birding Tours of Bryant Park. 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m. Free. Presented by NY Parks in partnership with the New York City Audubon Society.
Images: Moment of Liberation. Found shoes on W. 18th near Fifth Avenue the afternoon of May 10, 2009.