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.
Mon Jun 14 2010
Home design stores
The Brooklyn Kitchen
This kitchen supply store's vintage section stocks lovingly preowned cookware culled from flea markets and local estate sales. Many of these items—like Dansk Dutch ovens ($40--$120) and primary color Pyrex bowl sets ($65 if in perfect condition)—are no longer in production and have become cult collectibles. Though such staples aren't dirt cheap, they'll last a lifetime. 100 Frost Street between Leonard St and Manhattan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-389-2982, thebrooklynkitchen.com)
Shoebox-size apartment dwellers can snag modern, space-saving items from Crate & Barrel's budget-friendly spin-off, whose City Barware glasses ($2 each) and elegant cylinder vases ($17--$45 each) are as durable as they are sleek and affordable. 451 Broadway between Grand and Howard Sts (212-219-1454, cb2.com)
After experiencing sticker shock at nearby ABC Carpet & Home, retreat into Fishs Eddy and pick up reasonably priced dishes with a kitschy twist. Plunder the sale section in the back for never-before-used castoffs from restaurant and hotel suppliers. On a recent visit, we spotted discounts on Art Deco stemless wineglasses ($2.75 each, normally $5.50) and five-ounce martini glasses ($1.49 each, normally $4.95). 889 Broadway at 19th St (212-420-9020, fishseddy.com)
Laytner's Linen & Home
The 45-year-old bed and bath institution continues to supply New Yorkers with basics like organic cotton sheet sets ($40) and Ralph Lauren Lawton towels ($15) at prices you'll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. There are also plenty of cheap thrills, like colorful enamel picture frames ($10--$17) and Goldfish vinyl shower curtains ($13), to sass up your space. 2270 Broadway at 82nd St (212-724-0180) * 237 E 86th St between Second and Third Aves (212-996-4439) * 794 Union St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-622-0300) * laytners.com
This tri-level Chinese department store hawks everything from seamless bamboo blinds ($21.50--$53.50) to wooden rice steamers ($6.50--$17.50) and serious-looking stainless-steel cleavers ($7.95), all at a fraction of what you'd pay at the big-box chains. 477 Broadway between Broome and Grand Sts (800-878-2446, pearlriver.com)
Camera workshops at the Lomography Gallery ShopScore a roll of film and use of a funky Lomography camera during the store's weekly photography classes, at which you can experiment with models like the twin-lens Lubitel, or set out on a photo scavenger hunt around the West Village. Before hitting the streets, your instructor will school you on how to load and use your camera, and provide you with hands-on tips for composing gorgeous shots. Afterward, take your film home, or have it developed at the shop for $10 to $20 per roll. 41 W 8th St between MacDougal St and Sixth Ave (212-529-4353, lomography.com). Class schedule varies, check website; $10, students $7.
Gardening classes at Sprout Home
Green up your urban existence by taking one of Sprout's free monthly classes, where you'll pick up eco-friendly skills like composting and terrarium-building. The workshops are small (around five to fifteen people), so you'll get lots of personalized attention from the friendly staffers who run them. Stop by the store after class, it has all the equipment you'll need to maintain your green-thumb lifestyle. 44 Grand St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-388-4440, sprouthome.com). Call for class schedule.
Intro to Improv at Magnet Theater
Test out your comedic chops with this free two-hour improv class, where instructors Megan Gray and Mark Grenier guide you through interactive games and role-playing. You'll learn the fundamental themes of improv while getting to know the quirks of your fellow participants (around 16 per class) in a laid-back, experimental setting. 254 W 29th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-244-8824, magnettheater.com). Thu 24 7--9pm; free.
Tango at Triangulo
Learn the spicy steps of this Argentine dance in an intimate, hour-long Crash Course for Beginners. Single classes normally cost $22, but first-timers dance for just $10, and if you hit the Thursday-night session, you'll get schooled by studio owner Carina Moeller. Most dancers come without a partner—though if things go well, you might just end up going home with one. 135 W 20th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-633-6445, tangonyc.com). Schedule varies, check website for details; single class $22, first class $10.