It’s no question that New York is the best city on the planet. Biased much? Yeah, I admit I am biased a bit, but it’s true! Anything and everything you could want or imagine from any part of the world is at your fingertips! I mean, for the cost of a train ride – $2.75 – you can travel throughout four of NYC’s five boroughs. (Sorry Staten Island — I still have mad love for the ferry, though!)
With that being said, how many of our students in NY are loading up their metrocards and experiencing all the great sites that our beloved City has to offer? Not nearly enough, I’m sure. So many of us have never been to the very places that others travel halfway across the globe to behold. The Empire State Building. The Statue of Liberty. Ellis Island. They are all here just waiting for our NYC students to walk into this summer.
I realize that these venues do not have free admission and that might be a very real hindrance for some. Don’t worry! There are tons of free things to do in NYC that require only train fare, an exploratory spirit, and one’s imagination! Central Park — FREE! The Bronx Zoo — FREE (on Wednesdays)! Almost all of the museums — FREE! My favorite museum is the Schomburg Center for Black Research in Harlem, a must experience! For all my boys and girls who love basketball and agree that #ballislife, take a trip to Rucker Park in the Bronx and see some of the greatest street basketball on the planet be played – FREE! It really doesn’t get much better than that! The list of possibilities goes on and on.
I grew up and still live on Long Island and so going into the City was always a big treat. There’s always something to do, see, smell, taste, feel, and hear. This week I’ve been attending a work conference at NYU which is located in one of my absolute favorite Manhattan neighborhoods – the West Village. Hanging out in Washington Square Park is in and of itself a life-changing experience all for the low, low price of — you guessed it – FREE!!! Since I was in the area, I met up with my nephew, Jordan aka AKARI, a rising music producer, visual artist, and NYU student. We sat in the park for a bit, walked around the village, laughed, talked, and had the best time. I learned so much just by sight-seeing.
The Village was the best backdrop to Jordan’s and my time spent together and it cost nothing except a desire to hang out and explore this city we both love so much.
I encourage our students to get up and get out. They will learn things via their five senses in dimensions that a school classroom can never deliver and believe it or not, these self-directed, seemingly innocuous summer excursions will enrich their knowledge-base and thus experiences when they return to the classroom in September. According to Educational Tourism, domestic and international travel “is as much about self-improvement as it is about relaxation, that learning can be fun, and that learning is for people of all ages.”
Here’s a list of free things to do in NYC this summer: https://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/free-things-to-do-today?package_page=35793