Monday, August 4, 2014

Poor Person Culture Guide




As I mentioned before, I have no job and I’m leaving mid September so getting a new one is not feasible.  So for the past 2 weeks and another 6 to go I will be doomed to the boredom of me, myself and I.  Luckily, it is summer and even more luckily I am still living in the NYC.  Living here makes having innumerable hours a day full of potential and vivre if you are savvy and a bit prepared even if you have little play money. 

Besides the possibly life fulfilling aspects, we have jobs to make money so that we can have lives, do things, and experience life.  When that is stalled, put on hold or not cycling back into itself as it usually does, you have to be creative so that you can maintain that delight of living which is necessary for existence. I have experienced this in some ways before but this most recent period has me pondering on money and culture and how to go about that.  This has lead me to share with you some tips and guides of places to see, things to do and general small things that may help entertain me/you when we have to save our money.


Galleries - Of course most know that galleries in NYC are free.  This is still true and even though August is the dead month for this, it is still nice to peruse the spaces even if they tend to be conglomerations of group shows.  Though openings are basically over until September, they are still a good place to get that social buzz and a free drink or two if you need.  I hate doing this but hey, it’s there if you want it. 

Museum - The Met is thankfully still suggested donation as is their uptown Cloisters.  This is always a relief albeit tourist filled in the summer.  Most other museums patronizingly grace the masses with free slots of time at least one day a week.  If you want to wait in line and try to squeeze in to see a show, then this is an option but summer is a drag for the big spaces like MoMA and the likes.  Instead use this time to visit less visited places like The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria Queens.  I did just this thing last Friday, when they have free admission and then after had a lovely Greek meal.  There are many many off the path places like this, I recommend visiting these versus the mega museums.

Free Bar Food - There are a few places that give you free food with drink.  The one I love the most is Spain, a relic of a restaurant off 6th Ave that has shabbily tuxedoed waiters, Estrella and a seemingly unlimited supply of potatoes with hot sauce and tiny meatballs.  It’s not the best bar, it’s definitely not the best food but it is a hovel of a time warp that you can feel the decades have rolled over.

Beach - I luckily have a car and I drive to Jacob Riis as many days as I can.  I purchased a season pass for $65 and I just lounge about, read if I can and swim in that ever changing ocean.  It is the cheapest, most relaxing, fun way to spend an afternoon with friends, loves or just by yourself.

Books - I love the public library, as I have mentioned before, and I use it in spurts as I desire but there are times that it just doesn’t have what you want or need, especially if you are trying to read art theory and that lot.  So the first place I go to is my friends, after that there is the crazy internet which if you search well and search correctly will enable you to find downloadable versions of almost anything.  A true wonder that is as revolutionizing as the printing press. (I am a boob with ‘getting’ technology so was told that putting “.epud” after a title is the easiest way to find it, duh to most but wow to me)

Panels/Screenings etc. - There are a lot of sites and such for cultural events calendaring.  I myself have not found any that I really “like” or use but they are there.  Some like, Art Haps and Platform for Pedagogy are helpful in one’s quest to find that brainy thing to do this week.  Also, I subscribe to New School’s events calendar, as I tend to like some things they do and they have diverse subjects covered.  Other universities have these listings as well and most are free and open to the public.

Food/Drink - Eat at home, make your own food, it is fun and I have to admit I like my cooking way more then most restaurants.  Cooking for and with friends is also super fun and way better then that awkward, let’s go to a restaurant with a bunch of people and you get the bill and somehow everyone owes $75 even though you only got a salad, situation.  Drinking is a money pit for sure so balance this by investigating local happy hours and also there are great places that have wonderful wine and spirits at discounted cost.  It is worth the extra trek to stock up on things you like that you can share with company. 

Walk - It’s free babies! Walking in the city is the best if you have the time to do it.  It shows you and reminds you why you live here in the first place and it bumps you into new people, places and wonders.