Andrea F

Archive for the ‘NYC for free’ Category

Day 86: Prospect Park

In Brooklyn, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, things to do in NYC on August 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm


Bordering the cozy Brooklyn neighborhood of Park Slope, known for its historic brownstones and tree-lined streets, lies the borough’s 585-acre green space, Prospect Park. Designed and built in the late 1800s by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, also known for Manhattan’s gem Central Park, it welcomes thousands of visitors year-round who go looking for an escape to nature. With endless activities from hiking the trails, running or bicycling on the 3.35-mile path, pedal-boating on the 60-acre lake, and bird-watching the more than 200 bird species known to perch in the park, summer is the ideal season to stop by. For the laziest of activities, visit the park’s Long Meadow that sprawls nearly a mile in length offering endless hills of grass, giant shade trees and plenty of open space perfect for a summer afternoon picnic. Enjoy the bright blue sky, the gentle sounds of leaves rustling in the breeze and the warmth of sun of your face. If only summer could last forever!


Day 85: 5Pointz

In Long Island City, NYC, NYC Art, NYC for free, NYC Graffiti, things to do in NYC on August 24, 2009 at 11:48 pm


The ‘mom and pops’ have closed, the familiar buildings that once stood oozing that wonderful mix of New York grit and charm have been crumbled to dust. Chain retailers and luxury residences abound. Out with the old, in with the new, the clean, the shiny. Gone are the days when graffiti was king, when the city had no control over artists whose mission it was to be known in every borough, covering the faces of buildings with their signature tags and prismatic murals. For a good fix of some of that old New York, check out Long Island City’s jaw-dropping 5Pointz, a 200,000 square foot factory building, a bona fide graffiti mecca. Once known as the Phun Factory, the complex, which occupies a block, is curated by artist Jonathan Cohen, a.k.a. “Meres One”, who began working in graffiti at the age of thirteen. Painting is open to anyone, but first you need to get a permit from Meres. If painting isn’t your thing, at least go check it out. With more than 350 murals, it isn’t called “The Institute for Higher Burnin’” for nothing.

Day 81: Movies With a View

In Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, things to do in NYC on August 20, 2009 at 11:58 pm


As if a movie on the big screen, outdoors on a warm summer night isn’t magical enough, once a week in Dumbo you can watch one the under the lights of the Brooklyn Bridge and those of the Manhattan skyline twinkling in the distance. Now in its tenth year, Syfy’s Movies With A View makes a spot on the grass in Brooklyn Bridge Park the most coveted piece of land on Thursday nights. Crowds gather early spreading blankets and sprawling out, to catch up with friends, share a picnic or do nothing but relax to the sounds of Brooklyn Radio while waiting for the sun to set. (Movies start at sundown). Aside from the free entertainment aspect of it, the event is one of summer’s best activities simply because of the setting. You very well may find yourself swept away more by the view than the movie itself!

 Through August 27

Day 79: Lasker Pool

In Central Park, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, NYC Sports and Recreation, Summer 2009, things to do in NYC on August 18, 2009 at 11:46 pm


On a hot summer day there’s nothing quite like jumping in a pool and then resting in the warmth of the sun. Mention the pool in Central Park to people and most of them will say they didn’t even know there was one. That may be because it’s nestled mid-park all the way at the top, between 106th and 108th Streets just next to the Harlem Meer. During winter months it’s Lasker Rink where you’ll find ice-skating and high school hockey games, but at summertime it’s the oh-so-inviting Lasker Pool, opened in 1966 thanks to the generous donation by the wealthy Lasker sisters. In its off hours, the glassine, bright blue oval set amongst the trees creates a serene waterscape that passersby can admire from afar, but once the crowds arrive, it’s all fun and games as children laugh and play, and splash about. Bordering the pool itself is an arc of concrete ‘bleachers’ where crowds sit, and sunbathers bathe. Remember to bring the essentials – proper swim attire (including flip flops!), a towel, a lock and of course the sunblock. It’s a great escape without even leaving the city, and best, it’s free!

11am – 3pm, 4-7pm daily, through September 5.

Day 77: Pool Parties Series

In Brooklyn, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, Summer 2009, things to do in NYC, Williamsburg on August 16, 2009 at 11:54 pm


There isn’t a pool, but that’s not to say it isn’t a party. Started in 2006 and named for its original venue, the empty McCarren Park Pool, it’s Jelly’s free summer music series known as the Pool Parties. Now taking place at 90 Kent Street in Williamsburg at East River Park, the stage sits along the East River with the Manhattan skyline as the main backdrop. Inside the park, that feels more like a lot, teams of hipsters in short shorts play organized games of basketball and dodgeball while onlookers sizzle in the hot summer sun. Though there’s little in the way of shade, tents border the park selling beer, wine and food, to keep you standing…or of course make you dizzy. If you can handle the heat, it’s a cool Sunday afternoon out of doors. Cool as in all right, that is. 

Sundays 2-8pm through August 30.






Day 75: Lincoln Center Out of Doors

In Lincoln Center, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Performing Arts, Summer 2009, things to do in NYC on August 14, 2009 at 11:46 pm


If you’re a fan of the Ballet, the Opera, or the Philharmonic, and you’re in New York, you know Lincoln Center. You’ve admired Chagall’s paintings and looked out of the grand, arched windows in the Metropolitan Opera House, maybe caught a film at the Walter Reade Theater, and perhaps have even sat in the newly re-designed Starr Theater at Alice Tully Hall. During the summer, the Center puts on Lincoln Center Out of Doors, were performers in music, dance and spoken word bring their talents outside, to the plazas. With great open spaces throughout the complex, the summer venues are quite impressive with rows of chairs lined up for the hordes of spectators, whether those that just happen to be passing by or friends meeting for a something new to see and hear, maybe an Afro-Cuban dance troupe or a Slavic Soul Party. All performances are free, and there are bars set up throughout. (Those you have to pay for.) So head on over and pull up a seat. Call it your night of open-air Arts & Culture. Through August 23.

Day 74: River Rocks

In Meatpacking District, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Music, NYC Parks, things to do in NYC on August 13, 2009 at 11:42 pm


There’s no shortage of fun to be had at Hudson River Park this summer. Inside the 550 acres that run down Manhattan’s west side, from 59th Street to Battery Park, with twenty-seven piers, one would be challenged to feel bored. And though sunbathing and kayaking are only by day, good times go on after dark as well. As part of the park’s River Rocks series, bands light up the stage for free nighttime shows at Pier 54, on the water just west of the meatpacking district. Under the black sky it’s tough to make out the pier from the street, but you can’t miss the rusted steel arch at the entrance. Another hint might be the crowds of people out to take advantage of a no-cover open-air show. When the weather’s nice, it’s all about being outdoors. It’s even better when there’s music to move to. Uh huh. That’s something to ‘yea’ about!

Day 64: Lunch Hour in Bryant Park

In NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, things to do in NYC on August 3, 2009 at 11:47 pm


With Broadway on the lawn, afternoon knitting classes, ping-pong and an open-air library known as ‘The Reading Room’, one could find something to do everyday of summer in Bryant Park. If you can handle the mob-scene, lunch hour may be the best time to go. Aside from the ton of activities and events that take place mid-day, it’s a hot time for ultimate people watching, mainly the throngs of mid-town business men and women in suits, lunching at every other table. Find a place to sit in the shadow of a tree in one of the allees or in a sunny spot next to the lawn. Bring lunch or pick something up from one of the cafe stands; take a break in an Adirondack chair on the Southwest Porch or keep busy surfing the web on free Wi-Fi. On Monday afternoons, just next to the airstream trailer at the East end, there’s a piano player. As you can probably imagine, the sweet melodies make for an unexpectedly peaceful lunch break.

Day 62: Picnic at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park

In Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, things to do in NYC on August 1, 2009 at 11:04 pm


If there is a postcard-perfect picture of a New York City afternoon, it’s one taken at Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park under a bright sky, on a grass of green, in between two great bridges of lower Manhattan, and the city skyline just across the sparkling East River. It’s a coveted spot for weekend picnickers, a mere nine acres, located on the edge of Brooklyn, in the artistic-industrial Dumbo neighborhood. The park’s entrance sits right next to an old tobacco warehouse, now a roofless, red brick structure and can’t-miss landmark. Bring a blanket, the kids, and a Frisbee, for a day of soaking up some summer sun…with some incredible views. Construction is underway on the new Brooklyn Bridge Park which will consist of 85 acres of green space, including the current, adjacent Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Day 61: NYC Public Art Tour

In NYC, NYC Art, NYC for free, things to do in NYC on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 pm


Without having to pay a dime to get into a museum you can see a day’s worth of art by simply taking a walk in New York. With permanent commissioned work and short-term installations, public art is all around. Everyone knows Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but many others exist too; you just have to know where to look. Listed here: a few interesting pieces to check out.

The Alamo by Tony Rosenthal at Astor Place between Lafayette and 8th Street; Sun Triangle in the plaza at 1221 Avenue of the Americas; Red Cube by Isamu Noguchi in front of 140 Bowery between Liberty and Cedar Streets; Throwback by Tony Smith at 45th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues; Larger than life male and female nudes, Adam and Eve by Fernando Botero in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle; Group of Four Trees by Jean Dubuffet at Chase Manhattan Plaza; Malcolm Cochran’s 30-foot bronze wine bottle at Pier 96; Three Way Piece: Points by Henry Moore at Columbia University; (Shown here) Wind-Up Hello Kitty by Tom Sachs at Lever House (until September 6).