Happy Friday to all my islanders, and beyond. If you live in New York City, then you know that there is never a lack of information for what to do, see, hear, eat, screw; whatever floats your preverbal boat. Google “free stuff, nyc”, and about a million sites and links will pop up, everything from walk the highline, to oh god… that is not at all what i meant by cheap thrills.
And yet, I am still amazed by the plethera of things that really excite and amaze you, that don’t have to cost much, or anything at all. And this week, I’m totally obsessed with the idea of something for nothing..
1) Gem Spa. This unassuming deli on the corner of St Marks Place, (8th and first ave), is exactly what it says. A little gem. Because the difference between it, and every other bodega in New York City is not it’s variety of soft drinks, but the fact that it serves the best egg cream in NY. Maybe anywhere… The cashier, and owner makes them himself, and although he’s been featured several times in NY Mag, and Time Out, he shys away from the press. He wouldn’t even let me take his picture. But that doesn’t stop him from making these delicious egg creams (for those who don’t know an egg cream is vanilla syrup, seltzer and milk), and it tastes like heaven. I made my friend, who had never even heard of one before try it out, and broke her egg cream cherry, all for $2 out of my pocket.
2) Central Park. Last Saturday, I spent the day strolling through central park. Everyone was out, and the great lawn was filled with hundreds of people sun bathing, reading, frisbeeing, you name it. I was amazed by how it looked like a highschool out of a movie. The cool kids, the hipsters, the loner, the girl studying unaffected, while her enamored bf kissed her. Everyone was out enjoying life. And no one spent a penny doing it. That day I watched boats, saw monuments, and attended a wedding.
3)Pulsd.com. I have become completely obsessed with this website pulsdnyc.com. Again, if you really want to know what to do on any single day, week, month, there is no shortage of places to find something to do. But something about Pulsd has me hooked. It is daily, and features the best of coolest events; culturally, socially, and otherwise, and though a lot of the events, concerts, and food shows cost $ for a ticket, they also feature so many cool, free events. I log on at least a few times a day, and usually leave the tab open in case something else cool comes my way. This is definitely a website that should go in your bookmarks- trust me. You’ll wind up going to at least one cool thing this month you might not have known about otherwise.
4) Walk Around Manhattan. Okay, this one is a bit of a cop out, but honestly, it’s not only fun, it’s one of the best ways to get around the city, and explore unfound streets, stores, and restaurants. And you can’t do it by train, or obnoxious double decker tour bus. You can only do it by the good old fashioned method- walking the city streets.
5) The return of the Outdoor Movie. The season of the outdoor movie is upon us. I remember a time, that doesn’t seem like that far back, when the ambiance of a giant movie screen playing something old while 200 New Yorkers sit together and watch over wine, and cheese was a special event. When the weather hits 70, and it doesn’t get dark till 8, stroll over to Bryant Park on Monday nights, but get there early and don’t forget your blanket and your food.
Nowadays, that special night is not so special. Because if you miss that one, there will be 5-6 other ones each week until summer comes to a close. There’s Hudson River Park, Rooftop films, Red Hook Films, Movies under the Stars, and about a dozen other off-shoots, all basically promising essentially the same thing.
A New York City Summer night. Where else can you watch a movie, while literally staring at a life size version of the brooklyn bridge lit up right in front of you. And with the price of movies so extravagantly high these days, where else could you ever see one for free.