Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Free in NYC: Monday Adventures

On Monday, I decided to check out The Center for Jewish History on 16th Street near Union Square.

The Center houses archives from five different organizations: The American Jewish Historical Society, The American Sephardi Federation, The Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum, and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The Yeshiva University Museum is the main reason why the general public would visit. The Center is generally used for research, private tours and classes. The YU Museum was closed when I went, but you can visit it for free! Check out the website (http://www.cjh.org/) for more information.

I headed over to the Union Square Farmers Market after the Center for Jewish History, and had fun watching all the trendy (and also regular) Manhattanites shopping for local and organic produce. The market was established in 1976 by the Council on the Environment of NYC (GrowNYC) and is open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8am-6pm.

I made my way down to the Subway, and emerged at Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street and Park Avenue. I was in desperate need of air conditioning, and I remembered that I once discovered a beautiful air-conditioned atrium across the street from Grand Central at 92 E. 42nd Street. I'm not sure what the building is called (if anyone knows, please post in the comments), but it is open to the public and has awesome air conditioning with great seating space.

Here is a Google Maps capture of the building:

My favorite part of the day was on my walk from Grand Central to Times Square passing through Bryant Park. On Monday nights during the summer, a free outdoor movie is shown on the Lawn starting at sunset. People from all over NY bring their blankets and make themselves comfortable on the grass.
Flcikr/Digiart2001 I jason.kuffer

I got there at 4:50pm and noticed hundreds of people in a "ready, set, go!" position around the lawn, and then heard an announcement that the lawn only opens at 5:00pm. I had to see this. At 5:00pm on the dot, hundreds of people literally FLEW onto the grass to set up their blankets to get the best positions possible. All I could see were people and blankets flying. It was hysterical. For those of you in NY on Monday evenings, be sure to check this out. It'll keep you laughing for at least 5 minutes, guaranteed.

I finally made it to the Subway in Times Square and headed home.

All in a day's work!

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