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Where can I find the Chicago youth culture in Brooklyn?
May 31, 2012 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Can I get Chicago in Brooklyn? (In particular: Coffee, thrift stores, theater, bicycles, and free stuff.) Keywords: Free or <$5

I just moved to Brooklyn (the southern chunk, which means Wburg is nearly impossible to get to), and I don't really know how to look for stuff besides Google Maps, or word-of-mouth, which is great but also way too slow. I lived in Chicago for a year, and now I'm sort of missing all the interesting finds I'd found there.

1.) My first question is, is there anything fun and sociable to do in Brooklyn that doesn't cost money?? I was invited to a few events, but both of them require I pay a cover charge and/or buy drinks. I require free things. I'm 21, by the way, and for some reason I feel like everyone I meet is over 25. I don't know why, per se. I've been to Prospect Park and stuff, but you can only do so much walking around alone before you start to feel sort of lonely.

2.) Are there any good thrift stores here comparable to Ragstock in Chicago? This store was fantastic--clothes were like $5 and they had a massive selection. I also liked Brown Elephant--again, cheap clothes are good clothes. Chicago definitely likes its thrift stores. I went to Buffalo Exchange and Monk's Vintage in Williamsburg so far, but seriously $18 shirts isn't doing it for me. Is Salvation Army worth looking at?

3a.) Is coffee a thing here, or what? I saw lots of cafes in Chicago, maybe I'm just not looking in the right places. Even though it was a chain, I thought Caribou Coffee in Chicago was great. There was also a space-themed coffee shop, although I forgot where it was. And New Wave Coffee in Logan Square was AWESOME! They had a TV set up with NES games on it. Are there any cool/interesting/unusual coffee places here?

3b.) More importantly, is there any place where I can drink coffee and play NES games (or arcade games) at the same time? Or a place where I can drink tea and play board games at the same time? It seemed like every coffee/tea place I went to in Chicago had board games in it.

3c.) Alternatively, are there any arcades here besides Barcade? I'd like to try Barcade, but it seems a little out of the way.

4.) Are there any free classes here? I know about the Brooklyn Brainery, but the classes cost about $22 I think.

5a.) Anything else? I wouldn't mind suggestions for subway stops/streets I should investigate. I don't mind walking alone on city streets, I guess I just hate nature so I don't like hanging out in Prospect Park alone. I just signed up for Nonsense NYC.

5b.) Just cause probably no one would think to include this, I am into religion and philosophy, so any church/synagogue tours or philosophy lectures or anything like that would be awesome too. Not really into museums so much.

6.) I will also consider going to lower Manhattan or even midtown. Or even uptown if the place is *really* good. Actually, I feel like it'd be easier to go to parts of Manhattan than it would be to go to DUMBO or Williamsburg or whatever.
posted by lhude sing cuccu to Society & Culture (33 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
My first question is, is there anything fun and sociable to do in Brooklyn that doesn't cost money??

Gallery showing are not only often free, but sometimes have free wine.

Alternatively, are there any arcades here besides Barcade?

Chinatown Fair recently re-opened, but the reviews look pretty bad. Worth a shot, though.

(Also, just a heads-up, but Barcade has no arcade games past 1990 or so. I think the newest game they have is Smash TV, so if you're looking to play MvC or Tekken or something, you're SOL.)
posted by griphus at 9:10 AM on May 31, 2012


Also apparently there's this arcade that I never heard about but I am totally going to hit up. They have a hourly pricing structure, although it seems to be pretty fair (I can't imagine not spending at least $3/hour at an arcade.)
posted by griphus at 9:13 AM on May 31, 2012


I read this article on thrifting a while ago and lots of people in the comments talk about their favorite thrift stores. I seem to remember a lot of NY mentions.
posted by jabes at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2012


Can you be more specific about where you are in Brooklyn? The idea that you haven't found snooty coffee is boggling my mind, unless you live in Coney Island or something.

DUMBO is pretty easy to get to if you have access to the A/C or F in your part of South Brooklyn. With the summer coming up, the East River Ferry can be a fun way to get to Williamsburg from points south.
posted by telegraph at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2012


In the summer especially there are a ton of free events in NYC. There are concerts in Prospect Park, Central Park, and other locations around the city. (Check out Celebrate Brooklyn, Shakespeare in the Park, New York Classical, River to River Festival, free performances by the Met Opera and NY Philharmonic in the parks. NY Classical periodically has a few free acting classes as well.) I recommend also checking out Serious Eats's Friday listing of food events for the weekend; there are often free tastings involved.

I think Tea Lounge in Park Slope has some board games. There are certainly cozy chairs for lounging in. There are a ton of coffee places in Brooklyn (and I bet I have been to most of them); if you post a more specific location than "the southern chunk" I can suggest some.

I have found things at the Salvation Army but wouldn't say it's really an exciting thrift scene or anything.
posted by mlle valentine at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2012


And Governor's Island has a free ferry service on the weekend, as well as other free events on the island. You can get there from the foot of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn or from the southern tip of Manhattan.
posted by mlle valentine at 9:17 AM on May 31, 2012


telegraph & mile valentine: I live in Flatbush off the B/Q...I mean, if I want a kosher bagel I can just walk outside my door. Coffee? Not so much?
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 9:22 AM on May 31, 2012


Churches? We got plenty of churches.

Take the train to the following pieces of amazing architecture and history:

St. Patrick's Cathedral

All Souls Church

Abyssinian Baptist in Harlem

The Central Synagogue


The Flatbush Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn also has an amazing cemetery but be warned: Ain't no Dutch over there anymore. It's all Carribean and festive and stuff.

Finally, Brooklyn is not Chicago. You really do have to embrace the city for what it is in the same way a Chicago visitor would have to. There's free things to do, mostly during the summer (check out festivals ... though even some of them charge admission now. The African Street Festival in Brooklyn is amazing and used to be free. I think it's like $10 now.) The city is amazing but you pay a tax for all that fun.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2012


The Brooklyn Flea sounds right up your alley. How 'free' it is is entirely up to you, however. But -- tons of fun, and lots to see. Even just as a hangout, it's wonderful.

On the philosophy/religion side, and to satisfy your exploration craving, head on over to Staten Island, and checking out the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. Part museum, part working temple, all fascinating. Bit of a trek to get to on foot, but that's what you're looking for. Great day trip of exploration, in the fullest sense.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:25 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in Flatbush off the B/Q

I used to go to school and currently work in that area. Start learning to take the bus, because it'll get you around Brooklyn a lot faster than the B/Q.
posted by griphus at 9:25 AM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sounds like I live fairly near to you. Qathra is a lovely cafe on Cortelyou; Salud at Avenue H and Rugby is a great inexpensive cafe/sandwich shop as well. The Cortelyou library has various free events going on; you can look at the Brooklyn Public Library's website for details. There is also a friends of the library group you can join that basically volunteers to do various things to improve the library--I can send you the details if you're interested.

You can check out the Ditmas Park blog for events going on hereabouts--recently they've mentioned gardening workshops, street cleanups, a free artists' tour, and regular bike meet-ups. From wherever you are the B/Q you can hop the train down to Coney Island and Brighton Beach and walk along the boardwalk, or take in a Cyclones game (~$10/ticket).

It's not a bargain but DiFara's pizza on Avenue J is very iconic. (Somewhat overrated in my view, but perhaps millions on the internet can't be wrong?)
posted by mlle valentine at 9:29 AM on May 31, 2012


Another nice thing about taking the bus (and I particularly enjoy the bus when the weather is nice) is that you get to see the city go by; it helps you get the map in your head and gives you ideas of places you might want to go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:30 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


You might enjoy a subscription to Time Out New York or New York magazine; they contain pages and pages of listings every week on things to do around the city. It's overwhelming but you might find things you like.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:34 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


You might enjoy a subscription to Time Out New York or New York magazine...

Yes, this. But you don't have to pay for it! They give those subscriptions away like candy during big events, and they're up for grabs even if you didn't go to the Tribeca Film Festival.

What you do is, see, is you set up a Google Alert for "Free Subscription" "Time Out New York." It might take a few months -- I think it took me like 2 or 3 -- but eventually it'll turn up a valid, free subscription form. The only way you know it's valid is that the magazine starts arriving, so don't stop until you get an issue.
posted by griphus at 9:49 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here are some of my favorite sites with free activities in NYC:
Brooklyn Vegan - free concerts
Free Movie Calendar
Myopenbar.com used to list events with free drinks, but I think the site shut down.

If you get used to riding a bicycle, commuting long distances to events can be kind of fun.
posted by DaveZ at 9:52 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seconding Brooklyn by bicycle. Intra-Brooklyn trips are notoriously hard by subway, and while the bus is pretty good, you can get everywhere you'll want to go inside of 20 minutes by bicycle. And nothing beats it for helping you mentally map the city.

Oh, and it looks like the Tour de Brooklyn is in 2 days! It's a fun way to see different parts of the borough, and is very easy-going. (Too easy-going for some.)
posted by TonyRobots at 10:06 AM on May 31, 2012


Classes:

Secret Science Club, Society for the Advancement of Social Studies, Columbia Astronomy Outreach Program. These are all lectures, but they tend to be pretty good (well, if you're a history nerd SASS can be a little basic).

Also, check out Nonsense NYC that tends to list free and cheap events and Time Out New York's list of free classes.
posted by Hactar at 10:08 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bicycle people: You've sold me. Where can I get a bicycle??? Is craigslist the only way?
posted by lhude sing cuccu at 10:10 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


1.) My first question is, is there anything fun and sociable to do in Brooklyn that doesn't cost money?? I was invited to a few events, but both of them require I pay a cover charge and/or buy drinks. I require free things. I'm 21, by the way, and for some reason I feel like everyone I meet is over 25. I don't know why, per se. I've been to Prospect Park and stuff, but you can only do so much walking around alone before you start to feel sort of lonely.

You want to subscribe to The Skint, which is an email list of free/cheap interesting things to do. Also check out Brokelyn, which is a blog and exactly what it sounds like. I will let you google these things for yourself, because you're a grown up and should be taking SOME initiative to entertain yourself beyond begging us to do it for you.

you can only do so much walking around alone before you start to feel sort of lonely.

Welcome to city life? Look, I'm doing a lot of snarking in this answer, because I feel like you are asking really basic questions that could easily be answered with google, yelp, wikipedia, and opening your eyes. But do you know anyone in New York? Because it kind of sounds like you don't know anyone here and everyone you meet is in a different place in their life (older, maybe a little more money). Which is ROUGH. So I sympathize. Hang in there!

Also, you say you're 21 -- most of the people your age who live here are probably still college students, or are very recent grads who are still sort of umbilically connected to their college social circles. You want to go find a neighborhood that is likely to be chock full of recent grads. If you're in South Brooklyn, that's probably Prospect Heights/Crown Heights around Franklin Ave. I just moved away from there, and every year around this time there'd be a crop of newbs fresh from Oberlin or Berkeley or wherever. Go find those guys! They'll be your friends! Also check out Bushwick and Clinton Hill/Bed Stuy around the Pratt campus.

You should also keep yourself open to friends of all ages. A lot of my best friends in New York are people who are significantly older or younger than I am. This is how being an adult works.

2.) Are there any good thrift stores here comparable to Ragstock in Chicago? This store was fantastic--clothes were like $5 and they had a massive selection. I also liked Brown Elephant--again, cheap clothes are good clothes. Chicago definitely likes its thrift stores. I went to Buffalo Exchange and Monk's Vintage in Williamsburg so far, but seriously $18 shirts isn't doing it for me. Is Salvation Army worth looking at?

You maybe want the Salvation Army on Steinway Street in Astoria, Queens? But, sorry, welcome to Brooklyn. The thing about New York is that there's a FUCK TON of people here. The same thing that makes life amazing and fun (plenty of people with interesting habits to support cool subcultures) also makes things cost more money. Because there are a lot of people in NYC who are willing to pay $18 for a secondhand shirt. Sorry.

3a.) Is coffee a thing here, or what?... Are there any cool/interesting/unusual coffee places here?

Um, WTF, are you blind?

On a less snarky note, this is going to depend on what neighborhood you live in. If you're in Bensonhurst or something, no, there aren't a lot of super hip quirky coffee shops that pull an amazing locally roasted espresso. If you live in Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Kensington, etc. then Yelp is your friend. Also walking around with your eyes open and trying places out and doing a little more exploring and a little less AskMe-ing.

3b.) More importantly, is there any place where I can drink coffee and play NES games (or arcade games) at the same time? Or a place where I can drink tea and play board games at the same time? It seemed like every coffee/tea place I went to in Chicago had board games in it.

A lot of coffee shops have board games. Again, go exploring around hipper neighborhoods and you'll find this sort of thing eventually. I've never seen one with video games.

I find that Brooklyn coffee shops tend to fall into one of the following categories:

A: primarily for commuters who want a caffeine fix. These are no-nonsense joints which often are one branch removed from a deli or bakery. They typically have very little seating and are not for lolling about in.

B: primarily for freelancers who want a quiet place to work during the day. These tend to be a little more on the fun/quirky side and will have lots of seating. There's a chance that you'll find board games, piles of magazines, weekly free events, and the like at these sorts of places, but the vibe on weekdays is decidedly QUIET and SERIOUS.

C: Super Serious About Coffee. These are still pretty new on the ground here, and are mostly about the coffee and not the scene. They might have good seating options. They might have social activities and quirky stuff like games or books or whatever. But mostly they are about the bean, and the vibe tends to reflect that.

You're probably looking for Option B. It's a total crapshoot as to whether your neighborhood will have this and whether it will be convenient to your apartment or have a scene that is what you are looking for.

4.) Are there any free classes here? I know about the Brooklyn Brainery, but the classes cost about $22 I think.

Space costs money, materials cost money, and teachers' time is valuable. $20 for a class is a steal. (And, again, remember what I said above about New York being big enough that there are plenty of people who are willing to pay for things like this.)

Maybe check out events at your neighborhood library? Also keep an eye on the abovementioned Skint and Nonsense lists for a term called "skillshare", which isn't so much a class as a quasi-social group where people take turns teaching each other skills. For example maybe Sue will teach you to knit if you teach her how to fix bikes, and then Bill will teach both of you how to bake no-knead bread. This can be a really good way to find a social circle, if you don't know many people here. And it's something people on the younger end of the spectrum tend to be into.

5a.) Anything else? I wouldn't mind suggestions for subway stops/streets I should investigate. I don't mind walking alone on city streets, I guess I just hate nature so I don't like hanging out in Prospect Park alone. I just signed up for Nonsense NYC.

If you live in a relatively hip part of Brooklyn like Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, etc. JUST FUCKING WALK AROUND. Jeez. If you don't, go to those neighborhoods and walk around. Jeez. The absolute BEST thing about New York City, and especially Brooklyn, is that you're free to go anywhere and explore and find hidden stuff nobody else knows about. Ever pass through a subway stop and wonder what's above ground? Go see. Ever hear of a NYC neighborhood before you moved here and thought it would be cool to go there and check it out? Do it! This isn't like other cities where there's that one coffee shop, one cool bar, one funky little soul food restaurant, or whatever. It's everywhere, and there's so much of it that it can't even all be documented. I've lived here 12 years and haven't come close to finding every cool place. And half the places I used to know closed down, anyway. You couldn't completely grok this city in a lifetime. We're all in a constant state of exploration. Get in on that!

5b.) Just cause probably no one would think to include this, I am into religion and philosophy, so any church/synagogue tours or philosophy lectures or anything like that would be awesome too. Not really into museums so much.

I'm going to assume here that you're not blind, deaf, in a wheelchair, or mentally disabled. JUST FUCKING WALK AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD OR OTHER COOL NEIGHBORHOODS THAT YOU HEAR ABOUT. This isn't that hard, or presumably that different from any other city on the planet. See a church? Go inside. Pass by a university? Stop in and see if they have a Continuing Ed pamphlet you can take. See a free local publication? Pick it up and read it. See a lot of people reading some other publication week after week? Go to a newsstand and pick one up. New Yorkers don't have some special organ that transmits info about local institutions directly into our brains. We have to find stuff out the same way everyone else does. You can do this. I promise.

6.) I will also consider going to lower Manhattan or even midtown. Or even uptown if the place is *really* good. Actually, I feel like it'd be easier to go to parts of Manhattan than it would be to go to DUMBO or Williamsburg or whatever.

There are some things that are easier to achieve in Manhattan, and depending on your neighborhood different places will be easier or harder to get to.

Also, at the end of the day, it's a huge city with a great public transit system. It might take an extra 20 minutes or a train change, but yes, you CAN get to St. Patrick's Cathedral or the Stumptown flagship or the NYU campus. People do it every day and it's not the end of the world.
posted by Sara C. at 10:19 AM on May 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


I don't even live in New York, but the way I find free things to do when I'm in town is check the back of the Village Voice (or the online listings). Look, here's the section for the Calendar. There's even a category for "Free Events."

Did you know that there are concerts in prospect park regularly? Did you know about the 9th avenue food festival two weeks ago? What about the Norwegian Parade in Bay Ridge?

You want a tour of a synagogue? Kehila Kedosha Janina is the only Romaniote synagogue in the western hemisphere. They give tours on Sunday.

I will also consider going to lower Manhattan or even midtown

Then, echoing Sara C., go to those places and JUST FUCKING WALK AROUND.
posted by deanc at 10:38 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Take the train or the B41 up to Atlantic/Pacific. Start waking south down Fifth Avenue, and keep going until you're too tired to walk anymore. You'll go through Park Slope, Greenwood Heights, Sunset Park and even down into Bay Ridge it your legs hold up, and you'll see all kinds of interesting shops and churhes and graveyards and pubs and thrift stores along the way, particularly if you make it into the 40s.

Then get on the B63 and head back north again.

Damn near perfect way to spend an afternoon.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:41 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


A few more pointers: subscribe to Platform for Pedagogy's email list: http://platformed.org/ They send out weekly emails listing tons of free lectures around the city. Classes generally cost money, but lectures are usually free and educational!

Also, http://www.heartofbrooklyn.org/ publicizes events happening at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Library, and all of their summer events look great.

Oh, and come to the Brooklyn Museum! It is awesome! Come to First Saturday if you don't mind crowds, it is quite the happening.
posted by EmilyFlew at 10:44 AM on May 31, 2012


It sounds very much like you have a touch of culture shock going on. I swear my culture shock was greater when I moved from the Midwest to New York City than when I moved from the US to France. Probably because it was less expected.

Getting used to NYC takes some time. I'd say it took me at least a year of active grumbling to get over myself and the bigness of the city, and then another year or so to find "my"places: my favorite grocery, the adorable cafe, my favorite path from here to there. It takes time and exploration! Try not to be hard on yourself as you go along, and give it some time. You will find your niches if you keep your eyes open and your curiosity healthy.
posted by Liesl at 10:46 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Folks, no need to go all ALLCAPS yelling at people here, no more of that here or elsewhere in AskMe please. Thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bicycle people: You've sold me. Where can I get a bicycle??? Is craigslist the only way?

A biking advocate friend has instructed me to go to Recycle A Bicycle for my used bike needs.

As someone who used to live in Chicago and now lives in NYC... I feel you. This place is SO MUCH bigger than I realized, and it can feel a lot more alienating than Chicago.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:00 AM on May 31, 2012


There is a freaking week-long Greek Festival in Brooklyn Heights next week. There is free music and dance performances! Tours of the church! Food (but you have to pay for that)!

And stuff like this happens every single week in New York. There are parades for one group or another than occur almost every weekend. There was a weekend long music festival on the Bushwick, Brooklyn/Ridgewood, Queens border.

My point being that this sort of thing goes on all the time. It's the constant background noise of the city. When I was in high school we would head out to NYC and just wander around Greenwich Village because we thought that was the cool thing to do (we were from NJ). Start by doing that. Look at the list of "things going on" each week that you get from various sources and schedule yourself to go to at least a couple of those.
posted by deanc at 11:05 AM on May 31, 2012


Go to the young adults group at Brooklyn Unitarian Universalist church. They are good people and will help a lot with the alienation, plus they attract people who know about religion and philosophy and like to talk about them. It's free and there is often free food! (I am not a UU, I'm an atheist, I just know the guy who runs the young adult group). The Young Adults group at All Souls UU is good too if you want to go to the Upper East Side.

Go a few times, you'll keep meeting the same people, and it'll tap you into a whole social circle which will lead to more social circles...

You're also totally free to come to the Weekly Meetups we have for Metafilter. Typically on Wednesdays, and you are not obligated to buy a drink at all. I will buy you one your first time if you want, though! Keep an eye out for them on the IRL subsection of the site.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:12 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I spent pretty much my entire first five years living in New York doing nothing but going to interesting neighborhoods and wandering around, eating weird stuff, getting caught up in street fairs, browsing at flea markets without ever buying anything, nursing $1 cups of coffee or $2 cups of soup and just soaking in as much as I could.

If one is dead set on "youth culture" (AKA hipsterism? There are a lot of "youths" in NYC who aren't white upwardly mobile transplants obsessed with indie rock and craft beer), obviously your starting point is going to be Bushwick. But the best thing about New York is how diverse it is and all the interesting stuff that happens outside of segregating yourself into safe boxes of People Like You. Especially when you're young, broke, and new.

The self-segregating tends to become worthwhile, or at least unavoidable, when you're more settled and have money to spend pursuing your interests. Because the easiest way to do that is to find a neighborhood you can afford where all your interests are within arm's reach, because you work 60-gabillion hours a week and don't have time to go find the legendary hole in the wall Turkish restaurant in Midwood or cruise art openings for the shitty free wine. This might be why you're meeting people who skew a lot older, now that I think about it.
posted by Sara C. at 11:15 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Chicago and currently live in New York. Chicago and New York are different cities.

There are large aspects of cultural overlap, because any major city will have a lot in common with any other major city. But this is extremely important for you to understand: there are also large areas of tremendous difference, because every major city is unique. Internalize this: You are not going to be able to replicate your Chicago life in New York. This applies for any city you ever move to, from any city. This applies to moving neighborhoods within New York. It applies to growing older in the same neighborhood. It applies to any arena of your life in which there is any change at all. The more you try, the more frustrating it will be.

But most importantly: The more time you spend trying to find Chicago in New York, the less time you will be spending finding New York itself. Read what Sara C. said and then go out and make a life here. It won't happen instantly, but if you don't put in effort, it just won't happen at all.
posted by firstbest at 11:28 AM on May 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


How has the skint only been mentioned twice so far?! the skint is definitely your ticket to cheap funtimes. The skint, the skint, the skint. The skint.

4.) Are there any free classes here? I know about the Brooklyn Brainery, but the classes cost about $22 I think.

That's me! We just released a metric ton of new ones that are in the $5-$11 range - they're lecture-y, though, so maybe not so much what you're looking for. There's a Nietzsche one that starts tonight; it's $27, but philosophy + multi-session classes = good recipe for meeting like-minded people.

Masters of Social Gastronomy and The Society for the Advancement of Social Studies are free and monthly, but do happen up in Williamsburg. Trekking up north every once in a while is good for the soul, I think. Secret Science Club is great and down in Gowanus.

Brooklyn Skillshare events are free, but don't happen all too often.

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research is very philosophy-y, but it's also pretty pricey. They're for if you win the lottery, I guess.

Bikes are far too expensive throughout NYC. Just drop $300 on one from CL or a shop and count your savings by how little you have to pay the MTA.
posted by soma lkzx at 12:10 PM on May 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Newyorkology. It's updated constantly and is a great way to find consolidated info about, for example, pay-what-you-wish hours for NYC museums. Keep an eye on their daily calendar.

Some random things off the top of my head (ie, things I have done recently or typically do in the summer): free Celebrate Brooklyn concerts in Prospect Park. Free yoga in Prospect park. The Navy Yard museum (fascinating and free). First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum. Tours of the Masonic Lodge in Manhattan. Tours of the stunning digester eggs at the waste water treatment plant in Greenpoint.

That's just tippity top of the iceburg stuff. Do you use twitter? Get on there and follow Brokelyn, the Skint, Brooklyn Based, Newyorkology, Serious Eats, Celebrate Brooklyn, and any other interesting blogs/organizations/bars/etc that you come across. It's summer and there is more fun, free stuff to do than you have time for, I promise.
posted by messica at 12:51 PM on May 31, 2012


Idea out of left field:

Get a part time job in a hip and fun coffee shop, and facilitate your video games and coffee idea. There's got to be some cafe in Brooklyn where the owner thinks this would be awesome. You could potentially sell your (hypothetical) boss on this by saying you saw this in Chicago and it was crazy popular.
posted by Sara C. at 1:06 PM on May 31, 2012


Along with what everyone else said, check out Figment June 9-10. It's an amazing, free, huge art thing on Governor's Island, which is a free ferry ride from Brooklyn (Dumbo, so you'd need to get there first). I went last year, lots of young makers/do-ers there! People of all ages, really. The Island is open all summer, and again, FREE to get to.
posted by chowflap at 1:14 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


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