Posts Tagged ‘Governors Island’

Free Things to Do This Summer

If you think everything in New York costs too much, well, you’re right—almost. In fact, the city has tons of free attractions and activities; here are some summer faves.

Brooklyn BridgeWalk across the Brooklyn Bridge (or part of it) for a spectacular view of the Financial District and One World Trade Center, Brooklyn, the seaport, and Manhattan. If you’re still energized, you can visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, a beautiful setting blessed with unobstructed city views.

Grab a distinctively different park experience by hiking the High Line. Where else but in New York could you smell the flowers, admire art and score some superb people watching along a former railroad track? If you happen to be there on Friday between 7 and 9:30pm, stop by the new Whitney Museum. Admission is free (you can pay what you wish).

Ride the Staten Island ferry (and back) to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the southern tip of Manhattan from the water.

Catch a free outdoor movie screening in Soundview Park (Bronx), Bryant Park (Manhattan), on Pier 1 in Riverside Park (Manhattan), Brooklyn Bridge Park, Sunset Park (Brooklyn), Willowbrook Park (Staten Island), Simeone Park (Queens) or at the Socrates Sculpture Garden (Queens). Schedules are posted weekly.

FishingGo catch-and-release fishing at Harlem Meer with free poles and bait to borrow from the Dana Discovery Center.

Wander Battery Park City’s waterfront promenade. The breeze, occasional concerts, fun parks and playgrounds, and passing boats will make you forget you’re in the gritty city, although the view of the Statue of Liberty will remind you that you couldn’t be anywhere but New York.

TrapeseWatch wannabe trapeze artists swing and soar at the New York Trapeze School along the Hudson River at Pier 40 in Manhattan, or at 3029 Stillwell Ave. in Coney Island

Island Hop to Governors Island by ferry. In this historic and expansive park setting you can bike, take a tram ride, and absorb the great views of the city.

Taste the treats at the Union Square greenmarket (Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat.), where farmers offer samples of organically grown produce, hand-pressed juices, artisanal cheeses, and fresh bread.

Stroll the Coney Island boardwalk and play on the beach for some old-school kitsch. Although the outrageous Mermaid Parade and the gluttonous Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest have passed, there’s plenty to see to keep you entertained.

Check out the street performers around New York’s parks: break-dancers in Union Square and by Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain, nutty unicyclists in Washington Square, and Statue of Liberty clones in Battery Park and Times Square along the pedestrian-only Broadway promenade. The entertainers situated near the subway (or in the subway – enter for only $2.75) are better than you’d expect—to perform, they must first be vetted by committee.

Conservatory GardensStroll among the paths in the Central Park Conservatory Garden for gorgeous, gorgeous flowers, and idyllic formal gardens.

Attend a storytelling hour or author talk at Barnes & Noble. You can check schedules and store locations online.

Visit a museum. Many, many of New York City’s best collections offer hours, days, or nights when admission is free for all. You can view the complete schedule here.

Foodie Events for Labor Day and the Weeks After

Labor Day weekend and the weeks beyond means all sort of fun foodie events in New York City.  Here is a compilation of some that you might want to sample:

Pig IslandPig Island, September 6, 11:30am-4:30pm; Showcasing the best of New York State local farmers, chefs, brewers and vintners all dedicated to bringing home the bacon, Pig Island returns to the Red Hook waterfront, a.k.a. home to exclusive beer provider, Sixpoint Craft Ales.

Pig Island pairs NY State hogs with NYC chefs to bring the best of New York State to NewYork City. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/pig-island-2014-tickets-11423697587 , Waterfront at Erie Basin Park, 1 Beard Street, Brooklyn

TASTE Williamsburg GreenpointTaste Williamsburg Greenpoint, September 7, 1pm-5pm,; TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint is an outdoor celebration of North Brooklyn’s local flavor. Featuring more than 40 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries, along with live music and more all with beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop. http://tastewg.com/ , East River State Park, Brooklyn

Vendy Awards, September 13, 12:39pm-5pm; The Vendy Awards presents the 10th annual Vendy Awards at Governors Island. Cheer on and sample from New York City’s best food trucks. http://www.vendyawards.streetvendor.org/newyorkcity

Beer for Beasts, September 13, The 4th annual Beer for Beasts charity event hosted by BeerAdvocate and Sixpoint Brewery will take place at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. The celebration will feature dozens of exclusive beers, some of New York City’s best food vendors, and creative entertainment to promote compassion toward animals. All net proceeds go to the Humane Society of New York. A day session and a night session are offered.  http://www.beeradvocate.com/b4b/ 149 7th Street, Brooklyn

Exploring Latin American Jewish Cuisine, September 14, 2:30pm-5pm; Latin American Jewish cuisine is heating up restaurants and kitchens throughout the Americas. Hear a lively and mouthwatering conversation about the cuisine’s journey from early Sephardic influences to the Jewish food landscape of today. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, https://webformsrig01bo3.blackbaudhosting.com/898a/tickets?tab=2&txobjid=a5870498-401e-4ac7-a135-287ffbe9eb16

Nordic Hot Dog ChampionshipsNordic Hot Dog Championship (part of the North Food Festival), September 15, 6pm-10pm; This is your chance to have some of the best chefs in the world cook up delicious Hot Dogs for you in the comfort of the bar at Brooklyn Brewery. At this first ever Nordic Hot Dog Championships, Chefs battle it out for the prestigious title of Nordic Hot Dog Champion.

Wash down the delicious dogs with equally delicious craft beer courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery and their Swedish sister brewery Nya Carnegiebryggeriet – and vote for your favorite creation. May the most creative, delicious and exciting dog prevail! 1 Brewer’s Row, 79 N 11th St., Brooklyn, http://www.eventbrite.com/e/north-festival-hot-dog-championships-at-brooklyn-brewery-tickets-12434009457 Tickets include sampling of all participating hot dogs and open beer bar.

Downtown Activities for All Ages through August

If you’re not heading to the Hamptons this summer, downtown Manhattan with its cool river breezes is the place to be.  Check out some of these wonderful, mostly free activities happening throughout July and August.

Sunset Jam on the HudsonJoin a drumming circle every Friday through August 22 in Battery Park City’s Wagner Park for Sunset Jam on the Hudson. Along with a master drummer, you can add your own rhythm to a mix of African, Caribbean and Latin pieces. Drums are provided. Wagner Park. 6:30-8pm. www.bpcparks.org

Board the ferry to Governors Island for a day outdoors and a chance to see an exhibit featuring Trisha Brown’s early career as an artist and choreographer.  Located at the Manhattan Cultural Council’s arts center, “Trisha Brown: Embodied Practice and Site-Specificity” includes videos, photographs and installations, all highlighting Brown’s community of performers and artists, and the Lower Manhattan in which they lived and created. The exhibit shows Brown’s investigation of movement and performance occurring in non-traditional spaces. Through September 28. Friday and Sunday, 12 Noon-5pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm. http://lmcc.net/event/trisha-brown-embodied-practice-and-site-specificity/

Governor IslandAlso on Governors Island, kids will love “From Drills to Drums: Civil War Life on Governors Island, ” a program specifically designed for them, with first-hand depictions of the lives of soldiers, civilians and prisoners on the island in the 19th century. No tickets or reservations required. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the summer, 10:20am and 11:20am. http://www.nps.gov/gois/planyourvisit/things2do.htm

For adults and kids alike, “Hike through History” is a comprehensive tour of Governors Island. No tickets or reservations required. Wednesday and Friday. Meet at Soissons Dock, 2pm. http://www.nps.gov/gois/planyourvisit/things2do.htm .

Museum of the American IndianAnother favorite for all ages with no admission charge, the National Museum of the American Indian is open daily from 10am – 5pm. The museum offers free films, docent-led tours of its exhibitions and premises, the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House designed by Cass Gilbert. The 1907 building is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One Bowling Green. 212.514.3700. http://nmai.si.edu/home/

South Street Seaport MuseumThe South Street Seaport Museum’s lightship Ambrose and its sailing ship Peking welcome visitors Wednesdays – Sunday, 11am-pm on Pier 16 (on the East River at Fulton Street). The Ambrose, launched in 1908, was used to guide large ships through the Ambrose Channel into New York harbor. Peking was launched in Hamburg, Germany in 1911 to carry goods from Europe to South America. The museum’s Visitors Services associates explain the importance of the ships to the history of New York as a port city. $12 (adults); $8 (students, 12-24 and seniors); $5 (children 2-11); under 2, free. http://southstreetseaportmuseum.org/tickets/?utm_source=May+Newsletter&utm_campaign=June+2014+Newsletter&utm_medium.

“Defining Lines: Maps from the 1700s and early 1800s” at the Fraunces Tavern Museum. Twenty-seven maps provide a perspective on the evolving nation’s place in history. A map from 1804, never before exhibited, shows the U.S. postal routes. Noon to 5pm, daily. Admission fees: $7; $4 (seniors, students with ID, children, 6 to 8 years old); active military and children 5 and under, free. 54 Pearl Street, 2nd floor. http://frauncestavernmuseum.org/exhibits-and-collections/

Free Things to Enjoy in New York City This Summer

There’s a reason why New York City is the #1 vacation destination in the US.  Both visitors and locals appreciate its diversity and energy – actually, that’s why those of us “locals” live here all year.  But, to live here all year, it’s important to know how to enjoy the city while going easy on your pocketbook.  When it’s warm outside, New York City shows off its finery with concerts, recreational activities, art, and more.  And the cost of public transportation to enjoy them?  Well, it’s a mere pittance in reality, and you can also enjoy the entertainment value of what’s happening underground as well.

Here are some of our favorite things to do that are absolutely, positively free.
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