Sunday, July 21, 2013

How to avoid (or gladly welcome) the New York heat wave

In case you haven't already heard, New Yorkers are desperate to figure out how to wipe sweat from their brow while holding an iced coffee and a bagel at the same time. It's a common problem holding up crosswalks all over the city. And don't even get me started on the pedestrian traffic in the trains. I'm convinced everyone is taking the F train as a joyride. Sure, I'd pay $2.50 for an air conditioned train car, too. And since the heat wave was enough to drive customers away from leisurely shopping 5th avenue, I found myself with 35 free hours of a 40 hour work week. So after a solid 9 days of dealing with disgusting humidity and temperatures well into the triple digits, I had gained a combination of restlessness, and unexpected time.

Now, as much as I wish work cuts meant something similar to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, it's unfortunately not the case. It's expensive to live in New York City. You can't really afford to just... sit. Ever. I don't need to go into the logistics of this one, but trust me when I say it's nigh impossible to live without 35 hours in my paycheck.

So what do you do with no work, no money, lots of heat, and plenty of time?

1. The MoMA Rain Room exhibit.

In a setting that serves to give man control over the elements, the rain room was designed to sense your presence, stopping the rain all around you, and providing a sort of bubble of dryness. We waited for 8 hours to get into the renowned exhibit that closes next Sunday, and we were 5th in line for general admission. See, the MoMA members get priority viewing to the Rain Room at all times, which means any general admission-ers don't exactly stand a chance. 

If you go: bring something to read, an umbrella, a case of water bottles, and a bucket of sunscreen. 

Cost: NYU students get in free! (Thanks, John Sexton)
All other students: $14
Regular Admission $25

2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This may start to sound like I'm just advertising every museum in New York City, but that's not the case. I've been here two years and I've never seen the Met Museum! They had this amazing free classical music event on the balcony, and once I heard about it, I was sold. My roommate, Christina and I headed over to the Met Museum, and (by donation) paid a $1 entrance fee. I didn't even feel sorry that I only paid a dollar. 

We enjoyed chocolate covered strawberries on the balcony and listened to this amazing string quartet called Ethel and friends. Afterward, we made our way to the European Painters and stumbled upon a free drawing course. Naturally we stayed. 

Maybe I should have been a renaissance painter. 

If you go: find a free drawing class!

Cost: By donation only! 
$6 chocolate covered strawberries optional

3. Do free yoga. 

Yoga to the People. Cost is by donation only, and the only downside is how crazy crowded their weekend classes get. Go throughout the week during your "my shifts were just cut" time, and experience the freedom. 

If you go: bring a mat, or rent one for $2, but that just sounds sweaty to me. 

Cost: by donation only!

4. See an opera encore!

The Met: Live in HD shows one of this past season's operas in select theaters - and for the price of a New York movie ticket (which is not cheap, I'll admit) you too can see Natalie Dessay play the always timeless Violetta in La Traviata. Amazing. 

If you go: buy your own popcorn ($2 at Trader Joe's)

Cost: $12.50 (average) 
Sometimes AMC members can save. We got our tickets for $6.

5. Spend a day in Strand

Take an entire day, find that secluded corner in the "fantasy/science fiction" section of Strand, and finish A Dance with Dragons. Or... whatever other book tickles your fancy.

If you go: be prepared to be spend hours in the best book store in the world.  

Cost: free. Unless you buy the book.

Disclaimer: I don't guarantee that after the third or fourth hour you won't get kicked out. 

6. Go to a sunset rooftop party!

This one is a little trickier. You have to know someone who knows someone who has a rooftop that wants to have a party watching the sun set. But if you do know that someone who knows someone, you're golden. 

If you go: take pictures.

Cost: free! 

Lookin' good, NYC. 

Your week is set! Cheapest total cost: $8 unless you buy the Trader Joe's popcorn, or feel extra generous when those kind yoga people stand next to their kleenex-box of donations. 

My total cost: $20 + a coffee break before the MoMA.

Keep it classy and cool,

♥ Em

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