New York City is the most diverse places in the world. The lights, non stop parade of yellow cabs, accompanied by the infinite, abundant sea of people walking, running, sightseeing, pushing strollers, or standing fill every crevice of every corner in every block. The appreciation deepens when you realize the less than zero chance of running into the same person unless fate intervenes. The magnificence surrounding NYC lays in the plethora of things to do. However, most tourists visiting NYC usually gear their visits towards the major leagues of attractions. These include and not limited to the Statue of Liberty, Empire State and Chrysler buildings, famous restaurants, Broadway shows, and club venues.
However, those who are on a budget or are “experienced” tourists or New Yorkers, they know there are plenty of free things to do. One of them is Times Square and here is where the magic of New Years Eve takes place. Times Square is always filled with a never-ending supply of entertainment. In the past, I had the pleasure of indulging in the New Years’ Eve festivities and it was a great experience and regardless of the weather, people from around the world pilgrimage to Times Square to join others in inviting the New Year. Once the ball has reached its destination and the countdown is over, the energy around you is an indescribable feeling. Recently in September of this year, after a long day of walking around, I headed towards Penn Station to catch the train back home. Suddenly, I heard melodious harmony piercing through the streets while I approached Times Square. I walked towards the beautiful, strong, and inviting voice only to join other onlookers who were detoured as well in their travels.
A sea of people were seated on the newly renovated stadium seating alongside rows of comfortable leather chairs overlooking the jumbotrons. On display was the opening night at the Metropolitan Opera House featuring Anna Bolena. Granted I was in a hurry to return home however, I decided to stay and watch the performance until the end. Regular tickets to the opera would have cost close to three hundred for two people, however, another free, spontaneous event of NYC. Other additional free things to do are watching the Macy’s day fireworks on the FDR drive or from your apartment if you are lucky enough for such prestige exclusivity. The fireworks take place annually on Fourth of July and are launched off the East River. If you are an avid running fan, the NYC marathon is another free event and the Thanksgiving Day parade and both happen in the month of November. You can also visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center Ice rink, (however skating is not free) or schedule one vacation to experience the tree lighting.
Additional free things to do include museums as well and some require advance tickets and planning. The Museum of Natural History is free admission, however if you care to make a small donation( even a dollar) that is all up to your discretion but keep in mind the exhibits are not free. Perhaps you choose to people watch instead. There are several options including the famous Central Park that includes a skating rink as well, and a zoo, however that is not free. There are plenty of things to do and more than enough space encompassing both the Upper West and East side of Manhattan. Bryant Park located in midtown Manhattan is another great place. On some occasions, you may be lucky enough to participate in free tai chi, crocheting, or swing dance classes. There is plenty of seating to people watch or you can participate in free table tennis. There are endless and unexplored sources of free things to do, however, transportation including subways and cabs can be costly therefore, the best and free form of transportation is walking. Aside from the benefits of exercise, it is the best free way to submerge yourself in the abyss of NYC.