52 cheap things to do

Make the most of your cash-and your time. Get the best bang for your buck at these events and stores.

  • Whiplash

  • Antique Garage



Big Terrific
Friends Max Silvestri, Gabe Liedman and Jenny Slate (who recently joined the cast of SNL) have helped put Williamsburg on the laugh map with their weekly stand-up show, which features touring comedians and local all-stars like Onion editor Joe Randazzo and Flight of the Conchords' Kristen Schaal. Cameo at the Lovin' Cup Cafe, 93 N 6th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-302-1180, cameony.com). Wed 8:30pm; free.

Tearing the Veil of Maya
When this series resumes in September, toss a few bocce balls at Union Hall's indoor courts, then settle in for Michael Showalter and Eugene Mirman's weekly stand-up show. You'll feel like you've infiltrated a coterie of New York's funniest friends (past guests have included SNL writer Hannibal Buress and Delocated's Jon Glaser), and while your gut will be hurting, your wallet won't. Union Hall, 702 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-638-4400, unionhallny.com). Sun 7:30pm; $7.

Leo Allen—who spent three seasons writing for SNL—hosts this weekly showcase of New York's hottest alternative stand-ups. Normally you'd pay upwards of $50 to see big-name talent like Sarah Silverman, Janeane Garofalo and Colin Quinn, but here, you get the rare opportunity to guffaw for free in an intimate late-night setting. Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, 307 W 26th St between Eighth and Ninth Aves (212-366-9176, ucbtheatre.com). Mon 11pm; free.


Antique Garage
On Mondays, Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra perform at no charge at this chandelier-lit bar that oozes sultry charm. Your $10 glasses of cava might seem steep, but you'd be shelling out just as much for drinks elsewhere, minus the romantic overtures. 41 Mercer St between Broome and Grand Sts (212-219-1019, antiquegaragesoho.com). Mon 7--10pm; free.

Chelsea Market + The High Line
Even the most hard-to-please date will go weak in the knees for the golden light and city views you'll take in while ambling arm-in-arm along the High Line at sunset. Pre-stroll, get in the mood with some spicy cioccolato peperoncino gelato (chocolate with cayenne pepper, $4.50) from L'Arte del Gelato in nearby Chelsea Market. They may both be cheap, but ice cream and hand-holding never seem to get old. Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave at 16th St (212-366-0570, chelseamarket.com) * High Line, 16th St at Tenth Ave (thehighline.org)

Crooked Tree Creperie
If you can't whisk your amour off to Paris, settle for crpe-induced romance at this low-lit eatery, where everything on the menu is $10 or less. Order ones stuffed with spinach and goat cheese ($8) alongside glasses of cabernet sauvignon ($6)—you'll feel spoiled without going broke. 110 St. Marks Pl between First Ave and Ave A (212-533-3299)

If you think you can't find romance in Hell's Kitchen, you've clearly never been to Kashkaval, a candelit restaurant tucked in the back of a cheese shop. Its remote location helps keep crowds at bay and prices low, so you can sample a selection of high-quality imported fromage (three for $14) and a range of sinfully cheap wines by the glass ($7--$11). 856 Ninth Ave between 55th and 56th Sts (212-581-8282, kashkavalfoods.com)

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden
Hop the free Staten Island Ferry and take in swoon worthy views of the Statue of Liberty, then fork over a fiver to get into Snug Harbor's 83-acre grounds. You and your beloved can steal kisses in the beautifully maintained maze in the Connie Gretz Secret Garden. 1000 Richmond Terr between Harbor Rd and Tysen St, Staten Island (718-448-2500, snug-harbor.org). $5.




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