So, you’re spending the summer in New York. Before you begin your awesome internship that may require 12-hour workdays and some weekends, take time to get to know the legendary city you’ll be living in. This is the greatest city on the planet, after all, the City of Dreams, the City That Never Sleeps, the Capital of the World!
It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to have a lot of fun in New York. In fact, many of these MUST DO activities are completely free. Just give yourself enough time for each one.
1. Get to Know the Neighborhood
Living in Lower Manhattan at 33 Beekman puts you in close proximity to Wall Street. Not only is the financial center of the world in your backyard, it’s also the historical center of Manhattan and worth getting to know in its own right. On weekends Wall Street is relatively deserted which makes it a perfect time to explore. A local tour guide can be a great asset, divulging Manhattan’s best-kept secrets ($35 for a four-hour walking tour), like Lovelace Tavern, Stone Street and lots of underground spaces, tunnels, quiet streets and alleys.
2. Take a Walk—New York Style
You’ll be arriving in NYC in time to soak up some sun and fresh air with all the natives, walking down these sections of pedestrian paradise along the river.
Did you know the longest riverfront park in the U.S. is Hudson River Park? Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary and stretching almost five miles from Battery Park to 59th Street, this popular walkway crosses neighborhoods from Tribeca, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and Midtown all the way to Hell’s Kitchen. On a sunny day, you’ll pass urban joggers, bikers, and speed walkers—all doing their thing in a uniquely New York way.
A more recent entry to the NYC pedestrian scene is the High Line—a spectacular elevated walkway on old train tracks, starting at Chelsea and stretching north almost two miles. Lined with impressive greenery and artwork, the High Line is part of the new New York that includes roof-top gardens and mid-town farmer’s markets. On a warm Friday night, the High Line is nothing short of jubilant.
3. Check Out St. Mark’s Place
St. Mark’s Place, the eclectic jewel of the East Village, is still the place to find counter-culture in all its glory. The history of the three-block-long stretch of the renamed section of 8th Street from Astor Place to Tompkins Square Park has been dominated by young people from Beatniks to Hippies to Punks throughout the decades. At any point along this rambunctious street, you may find a piercing or tattoo parlor, a gathering of Hells Angels, an indie band giving an impromptu concert, or the best assortment of cheap sunglasses in the world.
4. Catch a Jazz Show
Don’t miss the chance to make a lasting New York memory at an authentic jazz club live show. Looking back on your summer in New York, the timeless sounds of soulful jazz music will define your NYC experience, especially when you are sitting elbow-to-elbow with impassioned jazz lovers.
Down some stairs in the West Village are two legendary clubs: the Village Vanguard (tickets $35) and Smalls ($20 cover), the kind of club that James Baldwin could have been describing in Sonny’s Blues. For over twenty years, this is the club that serious jazz musicians and fans have flocked to for the ultimate musical experience.
5. Spend the Day at a Street Fair
Every weekend in the summer, you can find an outdoor street fair or festival happening somewhere in the city. Streets are blocked off to traffic to allow vendors to set up booths where you can scan and purchase their wares. And street fair food is a must. This is a great excuse to get to know many different neighborhoods in the city. Check out this calendar for neighborhoods and dates that will be holding a street fair near you. (You’ll also find discount tickets to all sorts of attractions here, too, throughout the five boroughs!)
6. Take a Selfie at a Vintage NYC Location
Steer clear of tourist traps like the Stature of Liberty and Empire State Building that scream New York and find a more nuanced backdrop for your Instagram feed. Coney Island can’t be beat for that old New York vibe that will never go out of style. From downtown Manhattan, take the N or Q from Canal Street to Brooklyn and exit at the end of the line. As you walk along the colorful streets replete with carney culture and Sideshows by the Seashore, take your pick of iconic photo ops.
Invite Your New Friends Along
Get to know the city with a few new friends at the student intern apartments at one of our three locations around New York City! You’ll have a lot in common with other young people who have also recently arrived in the Big Apple!