I love New York. I will never wear one of the t-shirts, but I post on this site multiple times a week to shout about the reasons why I think this city kicks ass. Despite my infatuation with it, it’s a tricky
place to be when you’re in a mopey mood. The crowded subways, loud streets and dismissive store clerks don’t exactly exude the warm fuzzies, and your grocery store may not carry your favorite comfort foods. But don’t fret, here’s a list of my favorite FREE ways to drown your melancholy gremlins. Comment with any additions you have.
Read Children’s Books
Walk into any bookstore or library and head to the children’s section. Most of the classics you read as a kid are still in print. It turns out, the page in Richard Scarey’s I am a Bunny where Nicolas says “I chase the butterflies and the butterflies chase me” is still just as magical and soothing as it was when you were five. As is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, The Little Critter series, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (despite its scientific inaccuracies), Dr. Seuss, Tiki Tiki Tembo and any other titles whose spine you wore out as a kid. Or check out some new classics, like I’d Really Like to Eat a Child or Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus. And kids books are short, so you can read just enough of them before you start to look creepy.
Look at Animals
I’m not talking about going to the zoo, that’s a full day excursion that costs money. Instead, go to your nearest big park and find their dog park (McCarren Park and Union Square both have one). Stand at the fence and watch the puppies run around and play. It’s most of the fun of dog ownership, minus having to follow them around with a bag to grab their poop. Not a dog person? Go to your nearest PetCo. They’ve got cages and tanks filled with adorable hamsters, lizards, snakes, toads, turtles, mice and chinchillas running in their wheels and eating crickets. I dare you not to giggle at least once when you watch a bunny scrunch up its little nose.
Go on a Bodega Scavenger Hunt
One of the many magical things about bodegas is how each one carries a completely different inventory of products. And some of these products you’ve never heard of you haven’t seen for five years. Example: the one closet to me had several boxes of FiberOne brand muffin mixes, but no cans of plain black beans. Once in Bushwick, I saw a pack of Squeezits. And if for some reason you can’t find anything on the shelves that makes you say “What the fuck?”, you can always pet the bodega cat.
Go to Free Museum Days
Most museums in the city have a day with free or pay-what-you-wish admission. When you pay full price admission, you feel obligated to spend a few hours to really absorb the whole institution. When it’s free, you can just pop in for an hour until you’re in a better mood. If you’re bummed out, maybe you just need to laugh at corn coming out of a violin at Moma, find a shrunken head at the Natural History Musuem or just zone out on some classical pieces and unicorn tapestries at the Met. Or go stare at designer ball gowns at the Museum at FIT, it’s always free.
photos from knightsbridgeinvest.com, disc.wisc.edu, dogparkmom.com, clintonhillblog.com and vmunix.com