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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to not spend money in Manhattan...

So here's some information that might be of use to other unemployed types in New York City that I have gleaned from my own experiences here so far. Remember how a few blogs ago, I was complaining, before I started the job with Technicolor, that I kept ending up with long stretches of time to kill while in Manhattan waiting to meet people, or waiting for appointments or whatever? Killing time in Manhattan? Oh, whine, whine, whine. Life is so hard, Tim! You try trudging up and down Avenues in the biting cold wind pretending to enjoy sight-seeing when the only consolation that you're stuck out in the cold for however long is that you're not spending any money by stumbling into the closest Starbuck's and buying a muffin and a tea just so you can sit down and rest your aching feet. Yes, the idea is to kill time without spending any money.

During my copious free time before being employed, while far away from my home base and without anything to do, I started to think, this is a good opportunity to figure out what one can do in this city to pass the time during the winter months without spending my money. Coffee and a muffin every time you have extra time and can't go home to sit because it's a half hour to forty-five minute train ride and you have other things to do while still in the city could get expensive.

I think that particular thought, about amassing ideas for free (and warm) places to sit, occurred to me while I was outside the public library on 42nd Street and Bryant Park, in a chilling wind blowing up 6th avenue, kicking myself for thinking that I could have sat in the library if I arrived where I was meeting my friend too early. I failed to realize they'd be closed at that hour. It was 8 in the evening.

So, any list of places to go and sit in the winter, for free, while killing time between appointments and meetings, would also have to be sensitive to the hour of the day that the window of time occurs. And, of course, when the winter is over this whole list is moot because of the sheer number of public parks in the city (at the very least, there's one at every avenue that Broadway crosses below Central Park...and then there's central park).

But now, while the wind tunnel effect persists, we must have a list of save havens where loitering is not frowned upon, or at least not noticed.

Yesterday, I was with a friend around the 60's on the east side and, after our drink, we strolled over to Bloomingdale's and Banana Republic (incidentally, this was one thing I tried for killing time, pretending to clothes shop. After a while you get sick of looking at clothes you neither intend to try on, nor can afford) so he could buy a new shirt. After that, we went to the Apple store where you can check email and loiter all you want. The place, on a Sunday afternoon, was totally swamped, so if that's not your bag, then, perhaps, avoid. But, it was a good way to kill a half hour. So that's on the list. Now, it came across my radar that there a few hotel lounges in Midtown that don't mind you hanging out. I haven't tried any of these out, but here's the article. It's actually a profile of one of the editors for a fabulous site called Not For Tourists, that has similarly titled guide books for several of the biggest Metro areas, including New York City. This site is money.

Other things include, as previously mentioned, department stores. Some have benches or chairs. In Union Square, the Filene's basement (which is several stories high and not anywhere near the basement of the building it's housed in) has a few cushy chairs at the top of each escalator facing the wide windows with a view of the square below.

I've not tried this yet, but Barnes and Noble in Union Square is yet another place to go, but yet again, as a side effect of being in New York City, it's also crowded at most hours of the day and it closes around 10pm. If you're still in the city that late though and you have nothing to do, I'd say go home.

As for me, I'm going to sleep. I'll keep on this topic to add some diversity to the roster of things to do that are free and warm during the winter months.

1 comment:

  1. I knew about the Marriott. That's a great lounge. As for Filene's, that's much nicer than DC's which actually was in a basement!