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Learn and network without spending money


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Learn and network without spending money

New York is expensive. Whether you’re looking to cram for an exam or catch up with friends, these spots around campus and nearby are just a few of our favorite affordable options.

Prospect Park

Designed by the same architects behind Central Park, Prospect Park spans 526 acres and is widely known for its wetlands and the bulk of Brooklyn’s remaining native forest. In addition to extensive green areas, there is a zoo, a carousel and dozens of sports and recreational facilities. Events in the park range from concerts and art installations to Brooklyn’s flagship Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza, which is open year-round.

Whether you’re bored of Central Park or looking for a little more green space than Washington Square Park has to offer, Prospect Park is the perfect place to read, study, picnic, or just get some fresh air away from campus.

(Photo by Arnav Binaikia for WSN)

Bushwick Inlet Park

Offering incredible views of Manhattan, Bushwick Inlet Park is located in the heart of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront and has several acres of green space open to the public. Although still in the early stages of development, the park boasts a sports field, community center and monthly events. Past events have included concerts, flower planting and environmental drives.

With a focus on sustainability, the park is a great step towards environmentally conscious landscape design and architecture, making it stand out from the hundreds of parks across the city.

(Photo by Kevin Wu for WSN)

Theater “Angelica”.

The Angelika Film Center in New York – Village East and Cinema 123 – presents independent and foreign films along with Hollywood releases. Although watching a movie in the city is not always the most affordable form of entertainment, Angelica offers free membership program.

Some of the main benefits include one point for every dollar spent at the theater, half price tickets on Tuesdays and free unlimited popcorn for you and your guests on your birthday. By far the most exciting feature are the free mystery screenings on the first Wednesday of each month – attendees are told only the movie’s rating, language and running time, and seats are first come, first served. All you have to do is register and you can discover your new favorite movie.

(Photo by Natalie Kempthorne-Curiel for WSN)

Big bazaar

New York’s Grand Bazaar takes place every Sunday on the Upper West Side and has a diverse array of vendors offering everything from food to one-of-a-kind furniture. All proceeds from the city’s self-proclaimed “oldest, largest and most diverse weekly fair” go to fund arts, education and essentials for four different public schools in the area.

Located just a short walk from Central Park, the market is a great resource for affordable vintage, one-of-a-kind handmade goods, or just to browse curated antiques, from sword tables to vintage costume jewelry.

(Photo by Manasa Gudawali for WSN)

Brooklyn Flea Market

The Brooklyn Flea is held every weekend from April to December in DUMBO and year-round in Chelsea. Established in 2008, the Flea showcases hundreds of vendors selling furniture, vintage clothing and antiques, as well as local artisans specializing in jewelry, art and other crafts.

Brooklyn Flea also hosts Smorgasburg, a giant all-foods market that runs from April to October in New York City. While pieces range from one-of-a-kind inexpensive prints to hundreds of dollars worth of designer vintage pieces, the flea market is a one-of-a-kind window shopping experience. Within walking distance of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Time Out Market New York and everything else downtown Brooklyn has to offer, the DUMBO Flea location is the perfect way to spend a Saturday.

(Photo by Qianshan Weng for WSN)

Artists and Fliese Bedford

Artists and Fleas describes itself as a market for tasters, experienced curators, designers, collectors and curators. A year-round indoor alternative to other flea markets around the city, it has New York locations in both Chelsea and Williamsburg. Williamsburg – just a short walk from the Bedford Avenue station – is also home to Artists and Fleas’ newest “Regeneration” market. New vintage curators debut weekly featuring retailers dedicated to the “recycling fashion revolution.”

Whether you’re looking to expand your wardrobe, shop for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, or escape the oncoming cold weather, Artists and Fleas is the best place to discover what local artists and creators have to offer. The market is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 12:00 to 19:00, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 to 18:00.

(Photo by Andy Lee for WSN)

Hudson Park

Jefferson Market

Mulberry Street


Dozens of libraries in the New York Public Library system are spread across Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island. While the libraries host events like free film screenings and author talks, they also provide accessible, quiet places to study—no reservations are required at Bobst Library.

Whether you just want to admire the cavernous Rose Reading Room on Fifth Avenue or collect research materials in one of the library’s many specialty sections, the NYPL can save you from the cold and get you your next favorite book this winter.

(Photo by Qianshan Weng for WSN)

McNally Jackson

McNally Jackson is an independent bookstore with locations in Williamsburg, Seaport, Downtown Brooklyn, and Nolita. While the store’s main attraction is its rows upon rows of carefully curated books, most locations also offer various forms of seating, making it a prime spot for exploring. Weekly events include book readings and author talks that are free by RSVP.

(Photo by Amory Gao for WSN)

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle is a miniature castle located on Vista Rock, the second highest natural point in Central Park. The Belvedere, which means “great view” in Italian, is known for its sweeping views of the park and surrounding cityscape. The building was completed in 1872 and has since been renovated and modernized.

Inside is a vast collection of natural history artifacts, microscopes, and telescopes designed to give guests an introduction to the study of nature. Special Belvedere tours are available through the Central Park Conservatory several times a month for $25 per person.

(Photo by Shiren Anand for WSN)

Pete’s Candy Store

Located in Williamsburg, Pete’s Candy Store has been a bar and live music venue since 1999. The much-loved pub hosts a range of free events every day, including spelling nights, quizzes and comedy shows. In particular, it has hosted live performances by iconic musicians such as Norah Jones, Sufjan Stevens and Regina Spektor. While a $10 donation is suggested for performances, performances are free and drinks range from $4 to $13 — including several packages at the open bar — making it a cost-effective alternative to the pricey Greenwich Village regulars.


(Photo by Andy Lee for WSN)

Drawing center

The Drawing Center is a non-profit exhibition space in Soho founded by former Museum of Modern Art curator Martha Beck. With a special emphasis on the image as a medium and a dynamic tool for storytelling, it is a great alternative to crowded museums, allowing more focus on each individual work. Currently on display are works by artists such as Ibrahim El Salahi, a 92-year-old man who uses drawing to relieve chronic pain, and Catherine Chalmers, whose miniature drawings of ants celebrate the intersection of art and science. The space is open from 12:00 to 18:00 from Wednesday to Sunday, and admission is free every day.

(Photo by Augustine Langlett for WSN)

Wolman’s rink

Wollman Rink is a seasonal rink located in the heart of Central Park. A New York City staple for more than 70 years, the rink offers ice skating, arts programs and community events. While tickets for adults can range from $15 to $35, patrons with a New York Public Library card have access to a limited number of discounted tickets for $14, which include admission, skates and hot cocoa. Getting an NYPL card is free for anyone who lives, works, or attends school in New York City. This year, the rink is open from October 24 to March 15.

(Photo by Amory Gao for WSN)

Society of Illustrators

The Society of Illustrators aims to celebrate the art of illustration – both contemporary and historical – through exhibitions, lectures and competitions. Located on the Upper East Side, the museum hosts exhibitions of children’s book illustrations, cartoons, and comics from the museum’s permanent collection, as well as artwork Robert Quackenbush.

Artists of all levels are also invited to the museum’s regular sketch nights, which often feature costume or holiday themes. The Society of Illustrators is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and student admission is $10. Patrons with a New York Public Library card can reserve a free ticket using the Culture Pass.

(Photo by Amory Gao for WSN)

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This story Learn and network without spending money first appeared on Washington Square News.

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