It recently dawned on me that I'm not all that motivated to go out and do things on my own. It was a startling realization and one I'm not ready to accept as indicative of something beyond a temporary bout of laziness that I'm but one green juice away from kicking forever.
It's almost like I think I deserve credit for having a freewheeling spirit simply because I recognize it as an admirable trait.
Maybe this is because a huge part of my identity — that nebulous set of characteristics I both cling to internally and project externally — is a comfort with and desire for solitude. Introversion is so hot right now! I'm so evolved!
Somehow, though, my independence has translated less to ~SoLo ExpLoRaTiOn~ and more to solo…sitting at home. Or, if I'm feeling particularly adventurous, solo sitting in coffee shops. Or solo walking around the block and being like, "Wow! I totally got out today!"
But now I'm in a new city — one that allegedly never sleeps and is full of strangers I'm an introduction away from calling friends — and the case for solo adventuring is as strong as it has been embarrassingly unrealized. And once I stop spending all of my free time combing Craigslist for a home that's not my sister's spare bedroom, I might be completely out of excuses.
So, with the help of the small group of friends and family I do have in New York (one of which is the internet — she's a real doll), I've compiled a list of fun things to do in and around New York City for every mood, whim and budget with nothing but one's own two feet (and other required body parts).
1. Go see The Frick Collection What: Old European paintings and sculpture Where: 1 E. 70th Street, New York, NY 10021 How much: $20 or free between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sundays!
2. Take a bus to The Met Cloisters What: Medieval European art, gardens, architecture Where: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040 How much: $25 suggested admission
3. Gallery hop in Chelsea What: Download the app See Saw to see what shows are on. Where: Check out this Chelsea gallery map. How much: Usually free.
4. Take the Metro North to Dia: Beacon What: A huge museum in a former factory with modern works from notable artists Where: 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY 12508 (two hours via train) How much: Train fare plus $12 entry
5. Walk around Storm King What: A massive outdoor sculpture park Where: 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY 12553 (two hours via train/bus) How much: Train/bus fare plus $15 entry
6. Go see the The Glass House What: A historical site that features a permanent collection of 20th-century paintings and sculptures Where: 199 Elm St, New Canaan, CT 06840 (90 minutes via train) How much: Train fare plus $25 entry
1. Go to dinner and an old movie What: Curated spaces with movies, events, food and bars Where and how much: Metrograph: 13 Ludlow Street, New York NY 10002 / $13 Syndicated, 40 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206 / $3
2. Go to Russian baths What: Spaces designed to relax the body and mind according to ancient traditions of water with temperature contrasts Where and how much: Russian & Turkish Baths: 268 E. 10th St., New York NY 10009 / $40 Aire Ancient Baths: 88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013 / $87
3. Have a spa moment What: A massage in Chinatown or Greenwich village, budget pending Where and how much: Renew Day Spa: 42 Bowery, New York, NY 10013 / $36 for an hour Shibui Spa in The Greenwich Hotel: 377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013 / $220 for an hour
4. Take a blanket and a book to a nearby island What, where and how much: Roosevelt Island: A narrow island in New York City's East River / Subway fare Governor's Island: 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor / $2 Ferry
5. Wander around Grace Farms What: A large indoor/outdoor space to experience nature, arts and community Where: 365 Lukes Wood Rd, New Canaan, CT 06840 (two hours away via train) How much: Train fare, free entry
6. Take the train to Rockaway Beach What: A neighborhood beach and boardwalk in Queens Where: 8601 Shore Front Pkwy Rockaway Park, NY 11694 (60-90 minutes via train) How much: Subway fare.
1. Shop the Brooklyn Flea in DUMBO What: Ranked one of the best flea markets in the country by tons of mags Where: Water Street between Pearl Street and Anchorage Place, Brooklyn, NY 11201 How much: Free
2. Walk the Williamsburg Bridge What: Get coffee in the Lower East Side and then a snack on the other side in Williamsburg Where: Irving Place Coffee: 71 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003 Freehold: 45 S 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11249