Springtime is one of the best times to be in New York. Every man, woman and child comes crawling out of the woodwork, eager to shed winter layers and enjoy the warm weather. The flowers are in bloom, the humidity is still bearable, and the piano man is once again serenading us with études and Beatles tunes in Washington Square Park.
It’s also a harbinger for the warmer summer months, which mark a slew of activities (and many of them out door), and even more of them at little to no cost. So, without further ado, we present our very own Guide to New York, Springtime Edition:
1. Visit the Botanical Gardens. There are gardens in both the Bronx and Brooklyn, and both are equally as beautiful. Uptown, you can see the annual Orchid Show – which runs through April 22 – and make it across the river to Sakuri Matsuri, a festival of Japanese culture (including food!) on the weekend of April 28.
Prices: NYBG: $5 student tickets for general entry, $18 for special entry with access to special events. BBG: $5 student tickets for general entry, $10 for festival tickets.
2. Outdoor flea markets. New York has some of the best shopping in the world, and flea markets are no exception. Some of the larger ones, like the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, are open year-round, but are much more enjoyable when it’s warmer. The Brooklyn Flea and others are open in the warmer months.
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market: W 39th between 9th and 10th avenues, 9 am-5 pm every Saturday and Sunday.
Brooklyn Flea: 176 Lafayette between Claremont and Vanderbilt avenues, 10 am-5 pm every Saturday (Fort Greene) and East River Waterfront between 6th and 7th street, 10 am-5 pm every Sunday (Williamsburg).
3. Go to a baseball game. Even if you don’t like baseball, tickets are relatively cheap (at least for Mets games) and there is always the promise of greasy food and lots of beer.
Prices: Variable. Some tickets can be as cheap as $13 if you go through Ticket Central, but tickets for Red Sox-Yankees games and other more popular match-ups are only available through big distributors like Stub Hub, which tend to be pricier. Also, keep in mind that while the tickets may be cheap, the food is not. This is one of the more expensive things on the list, but really, who doesn’t like sausage and peppers?
4. Fleet Week. Ah, Fleet Week. Tours of the Intrepid, lectures given by distinguished military leaders, and, of course, thousands of young and eager Navy men. God Bless America!
Date: May 23rd-30th
Prices: Free, except for events at the Intrepid, which require tickets. ($20 for students)
5. The NYC Pillow Fight. This year’s festival of feathers will be held in Washington Square Park, and is also rabbit themed: bunny ears, bunny tails, plastic eggs, and chocolate. If you’re around this weekend, there’s no excuse not to go—as well as giving us the opportunity to smack someone in the face with a pillow, the fight will also donate pillows to homeless shelters in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Date: Saturday April 7th from 3pm-6pm
6. Go fishing. No, seriously. Did you know you can fish at Central Park? There are also a number of other places, including Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn and Baisley Pond Park in Queens, to fish.
Prices: You’ll need a fishing license, which can be purchased online, over the phone, or in person. It’s $5 for a one-day license and $15 for a seven-day license.
7. Do a food truck tour. The food truck craze has been going strong in New York for what seems like eternity, and there’s no better time to sample them all. They can be found all over the city (here’s a map!) and often will line up next to each another. Trucks to keep in mind: Kimchi Taco Truck, the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Taim Mobile, and Wafels and Dinges.
8. The Rooftop Film Festival. Rooftop Films is, according to its website, “a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.” These outdoor locations happen to include a lot of rooftops, like Open Road Rooftop and The Old American Can Factory. The festival screens feature films, shorts and documentaries, and admission at $10 is cheaper than a regular movie ticket. Plus, some of the screenings have live music and after-parties .. with open bars.
Dates: a full schedule can be found on the website, but the films generally run from May to September.
9. Take a trip to Governor’s Island. Though NYU considered adding the shores of Governor’s Island to its campus, those plans seem to be on hold. Instead, pack a picnic, hop on the ferry, and head on over to this small oasis in the middle of New York Harbor, and be sure to grab one of those red hammocks.
Dates: Governor’s Island will open in May.
Price: $6 for a round-trip ferry ticket.
10. Visit a beer garden. Really, what more can we say? Beer and gardens make for happiness and good times for all. Some, like Radegast Hall in Williamsburg, even offer individual specialties like live music and bratwurst. Mmm…sausages and beer.
Studying? Papers? Finals? Nobody wants to think about that, especially when we have all of this at our fingertips. Enjoy the sunshine while you still can!