OK, New York may be one of the most expensive places in the world to live, but it's also a city with an AMAZING amount of really freakin' cool things to do for FREE.
Duke Ellington Day in NYC was filled with such free events. First of all there was a free performance by Paul Ellington and the Duke Ellington Orchestra on the Mezzanine of the 125th Street Station in Harlem. Afterwards, the crowd descended down into the subway and waited for a vintage 1930's subway train, where the whole band boarded, along with Alex LoDico Ensemble. Both Jazz bands plaed live music aboard two seperate cars while the train made its regular route from Harlem to Howard Beach and back. Since my girlfriend and I already had weekly MTA passes, it really didn't cost us a thing to joyride a vintage 1930's train while hanging out with the friends and family of Duke Ellington and listening to really good live jazz music. I just can't tell you how cool it was to listen to the Duke Ellington Orchestra play "Take the A Train" while riding in a vinage A Train!
After taking the A train I made it to 110th Street just in time to catch the tail end of the Brass Band procession through Central Park.
My favorite quote of the day is when legendary Apollo dancer Jacquie "Tajah" Murdock told my girlfriend Liberte that she would gladly pay a fare increase if there was live jazz music on the trains. Seriously. I'd never get off the train.
from the subways to the rooftop gardens, from brooklyn to the bronx, from queens to staten island and manhattan, from washington heights to crown heights, from the beaches to the parks, from the faux dive-bars to the real dive bars, the brooklyn museum parties, vegan pizza by the slice, falafel from a cart, bodegas and the cats that live in them, street vendors and the vendy awards, the vegan dosa cart at washington square park, the turtle pond and the shakespeare gardens in central park, fair-trade cafes, the mud truck, the brooklyn brewery, vegan dim sum in chinatown, the transit museum, celebrate booklyn in prospect park, the koi pond at the brooklyn botanical gardens, the coney island museum and the freak bar, the free water taxi to red hook, joyriding the staten island ferry, going to the top of the rock even though i'm scared of heights... i fucking love new york city.