Holding Hans with Brian Hansbury: Poor Person Summer Linksplosion!

Dear Hans,

My girlfriend and I both just lost our jobs.  We weren’t necessarily jetsetters before, but we’d still like to be able to afford to go out in NYC this summer, especially with the great weather right now.  Any tips?

Empty Pockets in the East Village

Disclaimer: Unlike most of my posts, the following is filled with lots of useful information.  Unfortunately, there are a few curse words.  I hope your virgin ears can stomach my “reality diction.”  Follow the hyperlinks!

Ah, summer (pauper) time in the city.  The trees are in bloom (but might need to be cut down for firewood if you can’t afford your gas), women wear less clothing (because they’ve lost the ability to purchase more) and the reek of uric acid emerges from its wintry slumber (this occurs regardless of economic cycle).

I really feel like a jerk.  Here I've been blaming drunks and bums for years
I really feel like a jerk. Here I’ve been blaming drunks and bums for years

First off, no daily commute means you probably won’t be buying any more monthly Metrocards.  Feel good about yourself.  You picked the best possible time to get canned as the price is about to get jacked to over $100.  Save even more money by denying public transit altogether.  Going out for a night of drunken revelry in a neighborhood far, far away?  Ride a bike.  Saves the environment and the ride back is one hell of an adventure.

If you're sauced enough, you're ride home can be this magical.
Depending how sauced you are, your ride home could feel this magical.

Plus, it’s (drunken) bike month!

I hope these two know each other.
I hope these two know each other.

If you’re the type of couple that enjoys places with a cover, purchase an inkpad and some various stamps.  Good bets are stars and smiley faces.  Invest in a multi-colored pack of construction paper and start cuttin’ bracelets like so many angst-ridden teen arms.  Alternately, Victoria’s Secret is advertising a new push-up bra.  Buy one for your girl and offset its cost by relying on her boobs to gain you free access to the bar.  Sure, you might feel ashamed at pimping out your girlfriend just to avoid a cover charge, but be thankful the economy has yet to force you to do actually degrading things.

Is this degrading or awesome?
Is this degrading or awesome?

Happy hour used to be your enemy, making you way too hung-over to properly perform your job on a Thursday morning.  Now happy hour is your best friend.  And since you’re unemployed you can finally get there at 3 pm, when most happy hours start, thus maximizing your dollar to poor-guy-in-the-summer enjoyment ratio.  Here’s a list of some bombed-tastic happy hours.
In a throwback attitude to the halcyon days of, well, last summer, drinking and partying with your girlfriend should always take precedence over being able to afford to eat.  Enter freeganism, your new best friend.  I don’t know much about the folks who engage in this behavior, but I admire the cajones they have to shirk the shame society associates with finding ones dinner in a dumpster.  If you think about it, they actually shame us with their courageous and practical approach to saving the planet, one barely moldy chicken salad sandwich at a time.

My colon is made of steel.
My colon is made of steel.

If you can’t stomach the freegan lifestyle, at least start bringing a bag from home when you go to Whole Foods.  You’ll save 5 cents!  But Hans, you ask, what good is 5 cents these days?  Dummy, your girlfriend can redeem that nickel for a mustache ride from you, an inexpensive thrill (that’s my second mustache ride reference in a month, some would say two too few).  But way more importantly, you’ll help to save us from killing off our species.  If nuclear armageddon doesn’t get us first, plastic will.   No, seriously, watch this documentary, all 12 parts.  Sad, inspiring, and also very sad.

But, hey, I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer.  I mean, c’mon, it’s the summer!  Awesome.  And you lost your job!  Double awesome.  Who likes work anyways?  Only type-A weirdoes.  Below are some great links to NYC summer pleasure/savings!

Do you like crappy movies?  You do when they are shown for free in Bryant Park and everyone sits on blankets and drinks wine and eats hors devours.  Get there early when it’s still light out and chill out, then leave when the movie starts.

Although they are basically really shitty strip malls that grow overnight on a street then slowly disappear around 5 pm, street fairs offer free entertainment galore and $1 Pad Thai!

Central Park Summerstage appears to be doing all these concerts for free.  That sounds nuts.  A personal highlight is Pablo Francisco on June 19th.  Dude does all kinds of zany voices that punch you (in a good way) in your laughter gut. (Writer’s note: After going back and clicking on these links there is some confusion as to which shows are free or not, but the best thing about Summerstage is that you can just sit outside the fence with some friends n’ booze and hear the shows free, regardless.)

Finally, I submit for your summer pleasure the mother lode link of where to see and be seen this summer in NYC.

El Hans

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