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8 Broke-Ass New York Summer Traditions

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About 20 years ago Michael Jordan was winning his second NBA championship, people used beepers to stay in contact efficiently, and riots broke out in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict. Nowadays LeBron is just winning his first NBA Championship, people have smartphones that can keep them updated on who just used the bathroom and Rodney King is dead. Still, some things never change—especially in New York. Here’s a short list of broke-ass summer fun that true New Yorkers continue to do in order to cool out and enjoy the summer:

1. Mr. Softee Ice Cream -The original cone head, Mister Softee has been treating New Yorkers to ice cream for over 50 years. You know it’s a Mister Softee truck because it’s that same trademark jingle that you hear every summer. Sure, you can have ice cream anywhere and even at these new trendy ice cream shops, but nothing beats Mister Softee. He’s a certified staple in New York tradition—even if his prices did go up. Damn, that greedy bastard!!!

2. Italian Ices – For just $1 you can find your local icy provider on a corner and treat yourself to an Italian icy. When I was a child I used to order cherry, but I used to ALWAYS spill it on my clothes. My mom would then have to clean me up and wipe my face and that was annoying. Now, as an elder Italian ices connoisseur, I usually go with the Coco flavor. If I’m feeling exotic I’ll have the mango and if I’m feeling a little crazy, I’ll take the elusive rainbow flavor.

3. Piragua – If you’re lucky enough to live near a heavy Latino community, you know what these are. It’s a cup of shaved ice covered with fruit flavored syrup. I’m a huge fan of the strawberry flavor and this year I plan to give my taste buds something new to try. I think I’ll have Melao (Sugar Cane flavor) soon.

4. Head to the Beach – Any beach can do, really. Coney Island offers some more attractions, but a day at the beach is a day at the beach. Bring a cooler full of liquor, a couple of friends and some reading material, and you should be fine. Get a tan and enjoy the sun.

5. Hang out in Central Park – Visit the zoo. Watch Shakespeare in the Park. Walk your dog. You can even lie out on the grass and get a tan. Whatever floats your boat, folks. There’s plenty to do in the biggest park in the city and this is the perfect weather to do it in.

6. Go See A Concert – There will be plenty of outdoor concerts in the city throughout the summer. Music is life’s soundtrack, so make that one song the song of the summer!!!

7. Crash a Barbecue – Who isn’t throwing a barbecue this summer? It’ll most likely be you. So crash a barbecue and eat as much FREE food and drink as much FREE beer as possible before anyone notices.

8. Play at an Open Fire Hydrant – If you have lived in New York for at least five years and you have never played or cooled yourself off at an illegally open fire hydrant, please move out of my city. Before air conditioners, before fans and even before the pyramids existed, New Yorkers would open up a fire hydrant for the kids to play in, for the car owners who needed a quick car wash and for the old folks who’d just sit there to take in the cool breeze from the cold water gushing out. If you have never participated in this rite of passage as a New Yorker, do yourself a favor, and go have some fun.

The summer has just begun broke-asses. Remember to get drunk, get high, get laid and most importantly, get the most out of life!!!

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Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

Enrique Grijalva - Mr. Minimum Wage

My father came, my mother saw...and I conquered. I encourage children to do drugs, I buy alcohol for teenagers, and I drink beer with the homeless. In my spare time, I attend art galleries for the FREE booze while rubbing elbows with modish elephants. I also hammer six-inch nails into small penises. Stuart knighted me as Broke-Ass King of New York. You've been warned.