One of the problems about being broke is spending time in an expensive city like New York. Sightseeing and exploring the city on foot are fun things to do the first 2-3 times one visits. I've had enough of both over the last few years and haven't budged too far from where I've been staying. Since I've been a student for so many years finding ways to keep busy without spending much isn't that hard. Midtown Manhattan is a very convenient place to live in but there are no cafes or coffeeshops to spend most of the day reading/surfing/working. Starbucks is an option but the ones in New York are very cramped and don't have free wireless internet.
I discovered the New York public libraries for the last 4-5 days. There are 2-3 of them very close to D's apt and they have nice tables, free internet and an atmosphere where one can spend 4-5 hours at a stretch without realising it. I managed to finish writing and reading up on a few things quite comfortably in the libraries and it's safe enough to leave one's laptop and browse their collection of books and music. The one thing it lacks is coffee/tea but 4-5 hours is enough to survive without either. The weather was nice for the last 4 days and in the late afternoon, walking down to central park and hanging around sitting in a nice spot, reading a book, listening to music and watching other bums hanging around was a great way to spend some time doing nothing. Felt tempted to join the frisbee and soccer games going on but didn't feel safe leaving my laptop in the park. Just sat and watched people enjoying the weather.
There are a couple of Barnes and Noble bookstores closeby and I've had a habit of reading books in instalments for many years across various big bookstores. For the last 2-3 years I felt too guilty reading a book at home (thesis stress!) and found reading a book in instalments far more enjoyable and productive. I've spent a considerable amount of time reading all kinds of books I didn't have time for the last few years and I wouldn't be surprised if they banned me from the corner bookshop for not buying anything at all.
I started this blog to stay in touch with friends scattered all over and meet up in case I happened to be in the same city as them. Dr M saw my blog and he's visiting New York and we hung out at night a few times. Went up to a nice bar in harlem playing great calypso music and then the village for a few drinks. Also met another former roomate D and met his friends and brother on the west side.
Leaving for Boston tomorrow for a week. Feels strange going back as a visitor to a place which was home for 5 years.