Funemployment: Because not everyone is lucky enough to work at a job they can’t stand.
Welcome to Funemployment. The Fun%. Funemployment: Those of us who don’t have jobs and really don’t want one.
With a general lack of disposable income, the funemployed need to be creative to find things to do: Sneak on a free tour, free vendor samples for lunch, and perfecting the art of the “mooch.” Considering NYC’s high prices (lettuce is $2 more expensive here compared to Detroit!), we decided to curate a list of fun, free activities all around the city.
1. Mime Class: “If a mime’s arrested, does it plead the Fifth?” “Mimes keep the best secrets.” “If a mime falls in the woods, does it make a sound?” Originating in Ancient Greece, the pantomime captivates audiences through exaggerated movements, complete silence, and, generally, a French beret. But miming isn’t all about getting stuck in boxes and batting eyelashes. The art applies intricate body articulation and illusions to craft a scene and evoke emotion. Plus, some studios are willing to give a lesson for free. :-0 (*Mime translation: “awesome.”)
2. Attend a live TV taping of Jimmy Fallon…or maybe People’s Court: Who knows what’ll happen at a life TV taping of J. Fall? Maybe a live rendition of Thank You Notes, maybe a dance-off with The Roots, or how about participating in charades with Jimmy and a celeb guest? Realistically, shows like Fallon, The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and SNL sell out fast. So why not indulge in the most real reality show? People’s Court. Take your seat…in a live studio audience. Maybe you’ll get lucky and see a real estate case and figure out why the rent’s too damn high!
3. Groove at The Groove: Whether you’re headin’ to Funkytown, Soul Train, or feeling jazzy, Groove’s the place to, well, groove—think NY Stock Exchange replaced with NY Funk Exchange. With nightly jazz, R&B, and funk shows, Groove gets the body moving. Also, the Internet says your body needs a weekly dose of funk to function. And why would the Internet lie?
4. Enjoy the stories of emerging writers at Renegade Reading Series: Renegade features the best up-and-coming writers, a kindergarten-like story time, and an epic STYX reference. In what way could this be bad? Witness a conglomeration of the written word merging into the spoken word merging into a pseudo-artistic performance. But stay for the STYX references. The Renegade Reading Series is awesome, and it’s one of the top free activities in New York City.
5. Chelsea Art Gallery: Free art. Free art. Free art. From up-and-coming painters to experimental photographers, and everything in between, Chelsea Art Gallery features the finest free art in the city—outside of 5:45 p.m. MoMA, but who wants to wait in line? Oh, by the way, did you know it’s free? It’s free.
6. Don’t spend Hamiltons at Hamilton Grange: Born an illegitimate child to a Caribbean mother. At thirteen, he was an orphan, but eventually worked his way up from a street-child to one of the wealthiest men the U.S. has seen. Is this the story of a musician, athlete, Hollywood type…or founding father? The answer is Alexander Hamilton, founder of the U.S. bank, U.S. Mint, and the Coast Guard. Smack dab in NYC rests the first national monument to the influential politician. On the cheap, dive into 18th Century life.
7. Fight Fun-employment with Krav Maga: Laced with history as a type of street fighting—like the Ninja Turtles except without weapons…and not turtles—to protect the Jewish corner of Bratislava, Krav Maga developed as a defense to end fights quickly. So quickly the Israeli Defense Forces learn it—think Miss Congeniality’s S.I.N.G. Combining boxing, muay thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling, Krav Maga is a massive workout with a self-defense crash course. For free, how can you pass up the chance to literally fight fun-employment?
8. Kayak with Downtown Boathouse: “Downtown, everything’s waiting for you”…such as water, paddles, life jackets, maybe something floating in the Hudson, and some sun burn. For Petula Clark, kayaking must’ve been on her radar. At Pier 96, not really “downtown,” Downtown Boathouse allows anyone willing to hop in the Hudson (bold, yes) and kayak in the sun for twenty minutes. It’s water. It’s sunlight. It’s very refreshing.
9. Beer and Tours at Brooklyn Brewery: Every weekend Brooklyn Brewery offers a free tour to anyone and everyone—beer enthusiasts and Williamsburg hipsters, for the most part. Hop on by and see how your favorite beer’s made, stored, and poured. Of course, once the tour ends, you gotta stay for a few brews.
10. See the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry: Free boat ride + epic view of Lady Liberty = ‘murica at its most beautiful…with spacious skies.