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Cheap$kate: This week's best FREE events in NYC

Wallace Shawn

Wallace Shawn Photo Credit: Getty

Wallace Shawn
It may seem “inconceivable” — though I don’t think it means what you think it means — but actor and playwright Wallace Shawn (“Princess Bride,” “Clueless”) and some of his friends will be reading from his first nonfiction collection, “Essays,” and from his numerous award-winning plays. Look out for Fran Lebowitz, Julianne Moore, Mary-Louise Parker, Josh Hamilton and more. (Monday, FREE, 7p.m., first-come-first-served seating, CUNY Graduate Center for the Humanities, Proshansky Auditorium, 365 Fifth Ave. btwn 34th and 35th sts.,, 212-817-2005)

Lee Friedlander: America By Car
Photographer Lee Friedlander shows you “America By Car” in this exhibit at the Whitney. Take advantage of “pay what you wish” Friday evenings, but don’t be too much of a Cheap$kate; drop a buck or two in the pot if you can spare it. (Closes Sunday, pay-what-you-wish Fridays 6-9 p.m., Whitney Museum of American Art, 945 Madison Ave. at 75th St.,, 212-570-3600)

Heinz Ketchup Road Trip
Chow down for free courtesy of the Heinz Ketchup Road Trip this Thanksgiving weekend. The mobile tour will be in NYC Wednesday to Friday dishing out a taste of Heinz’ new Dip & Squeeze ketchup with a side of fries to partyers, Thanksgiving Day parade-goers, Black Friday shoppers and whoever happens to be in the vicinity. Follow Heinz on Twitter @DipAndSqueeze for up-to-date location info. (Wednesday-Friday, FREE, visit or @dipandsqueeze on Twitter for times and locations)

Happy House at The Bell House
Before you have to head off to wherever home is to stuff your face with some home cooking and deal with — we mean, visit — your relatives, get yourself to The Bell House and boogie down to some indie pop and electroclash. It’ll get that blood flowing for the inevitable cheek pinching the next day. (Wednesday, FREE, 10p.m.-1a.m., The Bell House Front Lounge, 149 Seventh St. btwn Second and Third aves., Gowanus, 718-643-6510)

Steve Martin
He’s not a bum ... or a jerk ... or even a poor black child. But Steve Martin IS an acclaimed actor, comedian, banjoist and author. The Renaissance Man brings his talent to the written word again in his newest, “An Object of Beauty,” and his presence to Barnes & Noble Union Square Tuesday night. (Tuesday, FREE, 7p.m., Barnes & Noble Union Square, 33 E. 17th St. btwn Broadway and Park Ave. South,, 212-253-0810)

Jiu jitsu
If you don’t already know how, learn to kick some butt (for defensive purposes only, we’re not violent here ... usually) with free personalized trial classes from Gotham Jiu Jitsu. To enroll, visit the website and schedule a session. (Schedule on site, FREE trial class, Gotham Jiu Jitsu,


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