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Discover New York For Free

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by Dora Bona (subscribe)
A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at
Published May 7th 2011
Who says it's expensive to live (or play) in New York! You'd be surprised how much you can do in the Big Apple without having to spend a cent. The following is a list of 5 things you can do when you're feeling strapped for cash.

1. Go to a museum on a FREE or PAY-WHAT-YOU-WISH day:
Almost every museum in New York designates a couple of hours each week as free, or "pay what you wish". It's a great way to visit a certain collection or exhibition without feeling like you need to spend the entire day there. Some, like the Museum of Arts & Design offer free programs and performances during these times.
Museum of Arts & Design
Location: 2, Columbus Circle, NY

2. Pay what you wish any time at YOGA TO THE PEOPLE
At YTTP's four Manhattan studios, you can pay whatever you want every time you show up. Each studio has a particular focus.
East Village/St. Marks has power vinyasa
26th Street has traditional hot yoga
27th Street has traditional hot yoga
38th Street has traditional hot yoga & power vinyasa

3. Get free haircuts for life at BUMBLE & BUMBLE
If you're willing to give up some control, and pampering, you can become a head model for Bumble & Bumble, one of the most famous hair companies in the industry. They run a training school in the Meatpacking District and are always lookiing for head models. To become a model, you fill out the online application, and when you're contacted, you attend a model call, where your hair is assessed for one of the cuts being taught at the time. The cuts are free, and all models receive free samples of Bumble & Bumble products. Better still, if you're unhappy with the outcome of being a guinea pig, you're offered a cut with a professional. Once you're in, you can come back each time you need a new cut.
Location: 415 West 13th Street, 8th Floor (between 9th Avenue Washington Street)
Hair by Bumble & Bumble

4. Hang out in the "cold room" at FAIRWAY
This activity will help you keep your cool in the middle of August when it's 100 degrees in the shade, and you don't have air conditioning. The 10,000 square foot "cold room" in the Fairway market is a continually refrigerated section of the store, where meat, fish, dairy products and fresh pasta are kept. It's really, really cold in there and you don't have to buy anything. But if you do want to shop there, the prices are fantastic.
You'll never lose your cool in here

Location: 2127 Broadway, near 75th Street

5. Gorge on Food FREEBIES
There are some great places that hand out free nosh. At Dean & Deluca, you can get generous samples of breads, pizzas, prepared food, cakes and pastries. Both Gourmet Garage, and Garden of Eden also put out trays of free samples sporadically and both almost always have cheese and bread bits to nibble on. At Williams-Sonoma stores throughout the city, staff members whip up tasty concoctions that you can wash down with small cups of coffee, mulled cider and hot chocolate. Trader Joes and Whole Foods provide bite-sized samples too, although you need to be prepared to queue. The Streit Matzo factory on the Lower East Side hands out fresh matzo (straight out of the oven). And on the Upper East Side, you can sample some caviar at Sable's.

See the websites for store locations.

So, that's a lot of food for thought and proof positive that you can do stuff, eat stuff, look good and feel great for nothing.
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Why? Because everyone loves a freebie
When: All day every day
Where: Manhattan, NYC
Cost: Free
I love Yoga to the People. They provide an awesome service to people who don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a class. They're actually nice too -- you feel so much better after you leave.
By L.R. - senior writer
Friday, 20th of May @ 11:04 pm
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