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The downside to living in a metropolitan area run by Hill hounds and corporate fat cats is a high cost of living. The upside? Plenty of free ways to while away the weekend. Introducing a weekly round-up of the most promising free-vents the D.C. area has to offer. This weekend: pickpockets, Red Bull vodka cocktails, and Cannes-worthy Brazilian lovers.



  • Sparrow, part of the 14th Annual Hong Kong Film Festival @ Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium. 7 p.m. The film fest opens with Johnnie To‘s 2008 comedy about pick-pocketing rakes who get cut by a sharp female con artist. The festival runs through August 23 and includes films by Wong Kar-wai and Tsui Hark, among others. Tickets are required and will be distributed one hour before showtime, first come, first served.
  • Whartscape 2009 kick-off concert @ Baltimore Museum of Art front steps. Noon. B-more art collective Wham City‘s annual music fest is a must for experimental music fans. The festival runs through Sunday, July 12.


  • Hip-Hop Theater Festival. The final day of the festival offers arts & crafts, performance, and a b-boy/b-girl exhibition for all ages at noon at the Benning Park Recreation Center.
  • Feedback Dance Party @ DC9. 9 p.m. As a one-year anniversary gift from DJ Stereofaith to D.C. revelers, free entry and free Red Bull vodka cocktails for all, before 10 p.m. After the one-hour window of literal free-loading, admission is $8.


  • Gallery Talk & Film @ the National Gallery of Art. At 11 a.m., Lecturer Alexandra Gregg explains “Multiverse,” artist Leo Villareal‘s light sculpture in the underground walkway joining the Gallery’s East and West buildings. At 4:30 p.m., Leon Hirszman‘s Cannes jury prize-winning film They Don’t Wear Black Tie, about a working class couple’s shambolic road to matrimony screens in the East Building Auditorium as part of Le Festival Des 3 Continents. Seating is first come, first served. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime.
  • NSO Summer Music Institute Orchestra @ the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 6 p.m. Musicians ages 15 to 20 perform works by Glinka, Stravinsky, and Dvorák.