10 NYC Happy Hours Where You Can Eat For Free

NYC happy hours that provide food for free were an essential survival tool for me when I was younger and in college in New York. Notoriously an expensive city, New York isn’t without its budget secrets. Happy hours that will feed you for free are among those secrets. Whether you’re visiting or living in New York, if you’re trying to make a little bit of money stretch while still having a good time, these 10 NYC happy hours that provide free food will help you to accomplish the seemingly impossible: to eat and drink incredibly cheaply in New York City.

1. Agozar, 324 Bowery
Buy a drink between 5 p.m.-8 p.m. and get free tapas.

2. The Charleston, 174 Bedford Ave. (Brooklyn)
Free personal pizza with a drink purchase between 12 p.m.-8 p.m.

3. Aurora Soho, 510 Broome St.
Puff pastries, flatbreads, tomato paste and cookies are put out between 5 p.m.-7 p.m.

4. Tarallucci E Vino, 15 E 18th St.
Snacks like quiche and pizza are put out for drinkers on weekdays between 4 p.m.-close.

5. Crocodile Lounge, 325 E 14th St.
Free personal pizza with the purchase of a drink.6. Levee, 212 Berry St. (Brooklyn)
Free cheese balls or Twizzlers available for drinkers upon request.

7. Yum Yum 3, 658 9th Ave.
Free appetizer with drink purchase between 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays.

8. Keen’s Steakhouse, 72 W 36th St.
Free snacks like Swedish meatballs, shrimp and wings at the bar between 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

9. The Watering Hole, 106 E 19th St.
Free food buffet between 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

10. Darbar Grill, 157 E 55th St.
Free appetizers in the bar between 5 p.m.-8 p.m.

New York Eats: How to Get Free Food

Baby On Board: Babies Born In Train Stations

MTA train station baby
MTA Police Department

Last week, the hashtag #MetroBaby was trending after a Washington, D.C. woman gave birth to a baby boy on a Metro platform. Despite many humorous suggestions for the baby’s name (my favorites: Stan Clear and Doris Closing), Amir Mason was born a few weeks early and delivered safely.

Yesterday, New York got its own Metro Baby when police helped deliver a baby boy in Penn Station. On her way home from a doctor’s appointment and waiting for a Long Island Rail Road train, the mother was overcome with labor pains and taken to the police station office inside the train station. Paramedics from St. Luke’s Hospital were on hand to deliver baby Oscar, and assisting MTA Officer Melissa DeFrancsco noted, “It was awesome.”

The D.C. Metro baby got a train-themed gift basket and $100 transit card from the agency. The New York MTA is presumably still picking out a card.

Are train station babies a new trend? What station is likely to be next? I’d vote for somewhere like London‘s airy and renovated St. Pancras station, with plenty of restaurants and shops, a luxury hotel, and an easy hop to Paris by Eurostar.

Fashion Do’s And Don’ts From The TSA


When talking about airport security, we generally focus on what travelers are carrying, not what they’re wearing. But thanks to the TSA recently cracking down on passengers’ fashion choices, style is now a part of the airport security conversation. Forget regulations on liquids or weapons: the TSA’s new security threat is clothing, accessories and hairdos, or so they seem to think.

On July 16th, a TSA spokeswoman tweeted a photo of black pumps that had small replica guns as heels. The shoes were confiscated by the TSA at New York’s Laguardia Airport despite the fact that they could have been easily verified as non-weapons. Also in the tweeted photograph was a black belt lined with mock silver bullets. While mock weapons aren’t ever supposed to be admitted on planes, I have to wonder: how far does that regulation extend? Would a charm bracelet with a mock handgun be permitted?

The TSA’s fashion crackdown has also come to include dreadlocks. Numerous reports have surfaced involving hair searches if the passenger sports dreads. Other style conflicts include an instance in which a male TSA officer recently told a 15-year-old traveler to cover herself in a criticism of her tank top, leggings and button-down shirt (not that it matters; it’s not appropriate for a TSA officer to remark on the perceived modesty or lack thereof in regard to passenger clothing).The TSA’s Fashion Dont’s include (or seem to include):

  • Don’t wear accessories that include mock weapons or accessories for weapons, no matter how small or obviously fake.
  • Don’t wear loose head coverings, religious or otherwise.
  • Don’t wear body piercings.
  • Don’t wear thick shirts.
  • Don’t wear studded clothing.
  • Don’t have dreadlocks.
  • Don’t wear tank tops.

Do’s include:

  • Do wear slip-on shoes.
  • Do wear comfortable, layered clothing.
  • Do remove as much jewelry beforehand as possible.

Have your fashion choices been judged by the TSA? Share your stories in the comments below.

How To Avoid Getting Attacked By A Mockingbird


Reports of mockingbirds attacking people who were walking through Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn started coming in over the last couple of weeks, but mockingbird attacks aren’t limited to New York City. That’s because mockingbird attacks aren’t contingent on a specific location but are instead determined by the time of the year and the creatures within closest proximity to the nest. Mockingbirds breed during the spring and early summer months and they defend their nests vigorously during this time.

A 2009 study published in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences described the ability mockingbirds possess to recognize individual features of humans as well as other species. Individuals who come too close to a mockingbird nest are subject to an attack within a couple days should they continue frequenting the area, according to the study. The best way to avoid a mockingbird attack? Never get too close to a mockingbird nest.Mockingbirds aren’t the only animals to watch out for when you travel. Check out the following stories about animal attacks:

Urban Camping: Pitch A Tent In Central Park

urban camping in Manhattan
Flickr, Sarah Ackerman

High Manhattan hotel prices ruining your summer travel plans? If you’d like to try urban camping — sleeping under the skyscrapers of New York City — you can try your luck for a spot at one of the city’s summer Family Camping sessions. The Urban Park Rangers lead programs in more than a dozen city parks in all five boroughs, including Manhattan’s Central Park (August 24) and Prospect Park (September 21) in Brooklyn. The campouts are all free, starting with an early evening hike, cookout with food provided (don’t expect anything fancy, but you might be surprised with s’mores) and even a tent — you need only bring sleeping bags. The catch? There’s a lot of competition to join, with only 30 tents available for each night. Each event is open to online registration for 24 hours, with the “winners” chosen by lottery and notified about two weeks in advance. Find all the details and get lucky here.

Where else can you pitch a tent without leaving the city? Here are a few other urban areas with camping options.Austin: Emma Long Park offers campsites for $10-25 per night, depending on utilities, in addition to the $5-10 park entrance fee charged to all visitors. Set beside Lake Austin, the Texas city park is less than a half-hour from downtown. Check out the our adventure guide to Austin for more ideas.

Berlin: An innovative use of “fallow” urban space, the Tentstation project is unfortunately not open this season, but you’ll find other options in and around Berlin to pitch a tent or park an RV, even with a group. In typical German efficiency, some are within a few minutes’ walk to public transportation.

Honolulu: The Hawaiian capital has over a dozen campsites, many on the beach with fishing and surfing opportunities and views to rival expensive Waikiki resorts. Camping permits are issued for 3 or 5 days, and cost $32 and $52, respectively. Interesting note: several of the campsites warn that “houseless encounters are likely,” so look out for beach bums.

Japan: One of the most notoriously pricey countries also has a strong tradition of urban camping. While not officially sanctioned, it’s tolerated and generally quite safe in public parks. It might be hard to actually pitch a tent in downtown Tokyo, but you’ll find many guides online to finding a place to sleep al fresco.

Would you want to camp in a city? Have you done any urban camping?