Something for nothing - Page 3

Free food. Free pot. Free haircuts. Free music. Free paint. Free Wi-Fi. Free phone service. Free sex events. Free urban adventures ... our guide to the essence of cheap
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If one reception a night isn't enough, try sauntering from gallery to gallery during one of several monthly art walks — the most reliable of which clusters around Union Square with regular collective receptions the first Thursday evening of each month.

www.firstthursdayart.com

VOLUNTEERING MADE EASY: ONE BRICK

Unemployed? Got time on your hands? Do something useful with it — and meet new friends in the process. One Brick is a local nonprofit that hosts upwards of 20 different flexible volunteering opportunities each week, ranging from working a short shift beautifying a local park to serving food to the homeless. It's not just about doing good — One Brick aims to help you make new friends by organizing meet-ups after each event so volunteers can get to know one another in a relaxed setting over a meal or a drink.

www.onebrick.org

GET YOUR GEEK ON: STAR PARTIES

If you've ever looked up to the heavens and wondered what the hell was up there, the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers might be able to give you some answers. The group gives free lectures the third Wednesday of each month at the Randall Museum. When skies are clear, it hosts free monthly Star Parties at Point Lobos at Lands End with a lecture and a public telescope viewing.

RandallMuseum, 199 Museum Way; Point Lobos, El Camino Del Mar in Lands End;

www.sfaa-astronomy.org

AURAL PLEASURES: MARKET STREET MUSIC FESTIVAL

If the live music at the Stern Grove and Yerba Buena Gardens Festivals make you sad that most weekdays are quiet, the annual People in Plazas festival should help fill in any remaining gaps in your work-week concert schedule. This free July-to-October Market Street music festival puts on more than 145 free lunchtime concerts of all types in 16 different public plazas from the Embarcadero through the Castro.

www.peopleinplazas.org

FRIDAY NIGHT SKATE

Rather than plunking down a big portion of your salary (or unemployment check) on a gym membership (or signing up for a free introductory pass at a different gym each week: a.k.a. "gym slutting"), get sweaty by donning your blades or old-school roller skates and join the Midnight Rollers' weekly Friday Night Skate. A large group of skaters embark from the Ferry Plaza on a 10-mile dance party/skate tour of the city, which includes plenty of stops for ice cream, Frisbee-throwing, and a chance for slowpokes to catch up.

www.cora.org/friday

TASTE-MAKING

Macy's Union Square puts on free monthly cooking demonstrations in the Cellar, where top local chefs reveal their secrets for dishing up creative yet healthy meals. Not only do you get to learn skills like how to barbecue like a grill master, expertly pair chocolate and wine, or make a brunch worth waking up early for, you also get to sample the yummy delights the experts have cooked up.