- By Kevin
- On Jul 10, 2017
- North America
- Travel Tips
Public boathouse kayaking
Kayak for free from public boathouses such as the Downtown Boathouse and Long Island Community Boathouse in Queens.
Rockefeller Center Public Art
Built in the 1930s Great Depression, the 22-acre Rockefeller Center is more than the setting for NBC's Today Shows (lines appear by 6am often) and a giant Christmas tree in December (not to mention to $24 NBC tours or $27 trips to the observatory deck!). But do pop by to see the slew of art commissioned under the theme of 'Man at the Crossroads Looks Uncertainly But Hopefully at the Future.' A bit wordy, but the pieces pack a big punch, such as the statue of Prometheus overlooking the skating rink, or Atlas holding the world at 630 Fifth Ave. Jose Maria Sert's murals in the (main) GE Building used the likes of Abe Lincoln to replace the original 'communist imagery' (eg Vladimir Lenin) by a snubbed, outraged Diego Rivera. Between Fifth & Sixth Aves, around 49th & 50th Sts, Midtown.
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Part of the city's library system, the country's largest collection of documents, books, recordings and photographs related to the African-American experience, the Schomburg Center also hosts free exhibits and self-guided tours. Guided tours are also free, but must be booked at least one month in advance. 515 Malcolm X Blvd at 135th St, Harlem.
Socrates Sculpture Park
On the East River, overlooking Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side, the Socrates Sculpture Park, a former dump site, now has interesting art installations, light shows and movies on Wednesdays in summer. Broadway at Vernon Blvd, Astoria, Queens.
Staten Island Ferry
Everyone wants to see the Statue of Liberty. Ferry tours there start at $12. But the Staten Island Ferry for commuters, cutting across the New York Harbor, is absolutely free and has long held the distinction as the single greatest free attraction on the Eastern Seaboard. Around since 1905, the ferry carries 19 million across the harbor each year. Technically for transport in between Staten Island and Manhattan, most visitors simply hop back on to get back to New York. It never gets old. East end of Battery Park, Lower Manhattan.