Best Affordable Gyms In NYC

affordable gyms in nyc

Summer in NYC brings to mind catching the night view of Manhattan from the park, heading to bars and clubs with your friends, and going to outdoor concerts. But the idea of getting hot and sweaty when it’s 90 degrees and humid is less than thrilling. But you know what happens when you try lots of new restaurants and don’t engage in enough exercise. It could happen to you. And if you look over and see your roommate sitting on the couch with their cheek smushed up against the air conditioner, then it could happen to them too.

There’s a lot of great gyms in NYC. But not all of them fit a millennial’s budget. So you and your roommate should check out this handy list of the best affordable gyms in NYC, where only the affordable choices made the cut. They’re a great way to stay (or get) in shape, meet cool new people, have fun, and let someone else pay the AC bill for once.

Blink Fitness

With no shortage of locations across New York City, there’s bound to be a Blink near you. This isn’t a place to lift a gajillion pounds, slam it down on the ground, then run a celebratory lap around the gym on your knuckles while hooting like an over-caffeinated gorilla. Blink Fitness puts feeling good at the top of the priority list. Everything is focused on building and supporting a more positive mood. Even the colors on the walls have been scientifically proven to improve your mood. Rates are as low as $15 a month with no long term commitment, though several other options are also available. The personal trainer rates are super reasonable too with 30 minute sessions as low as $27.

24 Hour Fitness

24 Hour has three locations in New York City. Midtown, Soho, and Madison Square Park. 24 Hour has different gym “levels,” each with different amenities. All NYC locations are Ultra Sport gyms. Midtown and Madison both have free Wi-Fi, but only the midtown location has an indoor pool. They all offer classes, personal training, and access to popular workout equipment such as TRX suspension systems. If you’ve never tried TRX, it’s sort of like gymnast rings but more adjustable. There’s a ton of different workouts you can do if weights aren’t your thing. But if they are, then they’ve got no shortage of those too.

24 hour fitness offers a flexible approach to working out. If you want to go all in and be intense, they’ve got the tools for that. If you’d prefer to take it easy and go one step at a time, they welcome that too.

NYSC Lab

At the high end of affordable is NYSC Lab. They offer a more individualized approach to exercise and higher-end equipment than the other two, hence the heftier price tag. Expect to spend some time talking about your fitness goals, sports, hopes and dreams with the staff. They can help you build a training program around a particular activity or attribute, such as tennis or stamina. They have locations in Chelsea and Upper East Side. $199 gets you unlimited classes per month, or you can grab a five pack of classes for $150, or single sessions starting from $20 if you’re a member, $32 a class if you’re not.

Shape Up NYC

Totally, absolutely, wonderfully free. You don’t even have to be a member of a rec center to take advantage of Shape Up NYC’s various classes. The opportunity to participate in yoga, Pilates, aerobics, and others abound all over the five boroughs.

Summer is hot and sweaty, but don’t let that turn you into a couch potato. Grab your roommate and friends then check these low cost (and free) workout options to stay in summer shape.

What’s your favorite gym or workout spot in NYC? Post your comments below.

Best Places To Take Selfies In NYC

selfies in nyc

Snag that selfie stick, mount up your camera, and set out for the best places to take selfies in NYC. The Big Apple has plenty of photo ops, and if you just hang around long enough, a photo op will find you. Just one of the many perks of living in one of the most exciting cities in the world. Just a friendly reminder, though, it’s a selfie stick, not a bludgeoning tool for self-defense. So always look both ways before swiping the street.

Empire State Building Observation Deck

If you’re new to New York, this is a must. Yes, it’s a little cliché, but you can get an astounding view of the city right behind you. If your parents are worried about you moving to the Big Apple, this is the best place to put their fears at ease by sending a selfie pic of you sporting your brightest smile with the city of opportunity as the backdrop. Unless, of course, your parents are afraid of heights.

Brooklyn Bridge

If you want to bring more waterfront property and emotionally gripping sunsets into the mix, then head on over to the Brooklyn Bridge and get a shot of the skyline with your smiling mug in it. There are plenty of great shots to be had along the pedestrian walkways. Keep it cool, though. This is not the place to do your personal imitation of King Kong. Two tourists got arrested for climbing out onto a narrow beam and getting a little too adventurous in search of an epic shot.

The Highline Park

The Highline Park is an elevated rail system turned gorgeous walking path. It’s located in the lower section of Manhattan and offers views of the waterfront plus great views of the city. With plenty of native plants growing along the well maintained path, this is a pleasant, natural setting to take a selfie in.

Coney Island

Here’s a place a little more off the beaten path if you’ve already racked up selfies in the more popular NYC areas. Coney Island is a big amusement area with over 50 rides. It’s not owned by one place, like Disneyland. Instead, there’s a bunch of little businesses all operating independently, so it feels more like a bazaar then Six Flags. There is a Ferris wheel on site, which is just screaming for selfies if you can keep it all contained within the safety limits of your seat. There’s never a good time to drop a cell phone. But there are some spectacularly bad ones.

Wall Art And Street Performances

NYC has lots of unexpected photo ops that pop up when you least expect it. You can round the corner and find a masterfully crafted piece of art painted on the side of a wall, just begging for your personal interpretation of awesomeness. While fixed locations have the benefit of being . . . well, fixed, don’t overlook the random events that find you when you’re exploring one of the coolest places on earth.

No time to wait. The next viral internet phenomena could have your face written all over it. Grab your phone and keep courtesy in mind as you travel the city in search of the next big thing to hit the internet since Instagram was invented.

Where do you go for selfies in NYC? Post your comments below.

Fun NYC Meetup Groups

NYC Meetup groups

New York City recently hit a new population high point. 8.5 million peoples. Yup. And the Bronx is growing the fastest. Yet it can be surprisingly tough to meet new people if your schedule is already spoken for. Or maybe you just don’t dig that vibe when everybody knows everyone else. It can make you feel more like you’re trying to get your foot in the door in a company than trying to chill and have a good time.

Meetup.com has tons of groups, and it’s less about forming impenetrable cool kid clicks and more about meeting new people, like, all the time. So here’s a few groups you can try covering a variety of interests, from personal to professional. And if you need a wingman, grab your roommate(s) and get them in on it too.

Hudson Valley Hikers

Boasting their status as the most active group in the country, this meetup crew has nearly 30,000 members and is totally, beautifully free. No fees, just great hiking for active people. While based out of the Big Apple, they go all over New York State in search of challenging, fun hikes with gorgeous views to enjoy. They also have some other activities going on, like indoor rock climbing in case you’re really sick of hanging around on the ground all the time.

I Wanted To Do That Just Not Alone

Awesome name, right? This group of nearly 20,000 friends is the very definition of honesty in advertising. The name says it all. They do a variety of events that people would so totally have done themselves if their friends weren’t busy, out of town, or have been absorbed by the couch and become a permanent lump in the upholstery. Urban athletics, not-so-urban athletics, and movies with a view are just a small sample of all the exciting stuff this group has to offer.

Alternative To The Bar Fun Things To Do In NYC

A lot of social stuff in NYC tends to revolve around bars and clubs. But not even close to all of it. If drinking shots all night just isn’t your thing and you’re at a loss for how to meet cool people and hang out, this meetup group has got you covered. A free summer speaker’s session, billiards, comedy clubs, and more await if you want to try something a little different. With over 22,000 people looking to hang out, you’re bound to find something to chat with during whatever off-beat event you attend. And just a heads up, their might be drinks available wherever you happen to go, so they aren’t anti-alcohol, they’re just looking to shake things up a bit.

NY Tech Meetup

If you are a working professional in technology or aspire to be one, then this group is the right move for your career. Formed by NY Tech Alliance, they have networking events to mingle, entrepreneurs giving speeches, venture capitalist visits, and a whole lot more. With over 55,000 people signed up, there will be someone to brainstorm new product ideas with, talk startup funding strategies, and heck, maybe even hire you or vice versa.

Free NYC! Free Things To Do In NYC + Beyond (Or Very Cheap)

The Free NYC meetup group is all about having fun without spending a ton of money. You shouldn’t have to decide between having a good time and having something, anything, in the fridge. Let’s face it. NYC is expensive enough to make anyone in their right mind think twice. But keep your hard earned cash for rent and food, and let this group show you how to have a great time on a budget.

So, grab a roommate, pack a friend, or head out solo on a mission to meet new people this weekend. Don’t wait for people to introduce themselves to you. If there’s one thing NYC loves, it’s a strong initiative.

Do you go to a Meetup group? Which one? How is it? Post your comments below.

What Introvert and Extrovert Roommates can Learn from Each other

extrovert roommates

It’s no secret that introverts and extroverts struggle sharing the same space. One is often perceived as taking up all the oxygen in the room,  while the other appears uninfluential. Luckily,  both of these perceptions are false, introverts and extroverts have a lot to learn about each other and can often make the most fulfilling and exciting roommate experiences of your young adult life.

Give each other a  real chance

Meeting a potential roommate can be a daunting task no matter how many rodeos you’ve been to. There is a lot weighing on your chemistry with this person – like all the plans you have for your future walk-in closet. You want to like each other for the sake of a good living arrangement. If you’re nervous during a first meeting your personality may be amplified and you may also be overly analytical of your potential future roommate. The extrovert may be overly audacious while the introvert will sink back and observe. Until you two are more comfortable of each other,  don’t give into your preconceived notion that you’re incompatible.

Extroverts will inspire you

An extroverted roommate will be a source of inspiration. This person has no issue encouraging you to study,  meal prep,  or catch the first train to work so you’re on time. If they see you trust them,  they will let nothing get in your way.

Introverts will calm you

An introvert often makes a good listener. They observe you and your patterns more than you realize. When you turn to your introverted roommate for advice or a lending ear, expect the unexpected. They know you better than they let off and their words will often be sincere and thought out.

Extroverts will bring the fun

Even if sometimes the excitement is unsolicited, you can count on your extroverted roommate to bring the energy and fun. If you’re not inclined to an early  Saturday morning pancake and bacon breakfast, it’s time to change your ways. There are times your extrovert roommate won’t respect your space, then there will be times you’ll be glad they didn’t.

Introverts will help you become less reactionary

Your introvert roommate always has a cool head. While you can’t stop talking about your terrible day,  they are still digesting theirs. Introverts often look inward for understanding and coping. These self-reliant practices will help nourish an extrovert who often looks outward for reassurance.

Living with someone exactly like yourself will prove the chemistry to be limited and superficial. By nature the introvert and extrovert need each other. Your roommate doesn’t have to be your soulmate but allowing yourself the opportunity to enjoy the best in each other will make for incredible roommate experiences.

Myths About Moving in NYC

moving in nyc

Moving in NYC isn’t the most exciting of tasks but certainly not as scary as some say. Here are a few moving myths that hold little to no ground.

Movers are all shady

Everyone has this idea about movers, cut rate brutes who will chuck your belongings into a dirty truck, and hope that most of your things are merely scratched. They’d rather pressgang their friends into helping with the promise of pizza and beer at the end of back breaking work.

But this isn’t the case, and frankly, you get what you pay for. You’re more likely to damage your stuff with your buddies who don’t know what they’re doing, than if you get professional movers who have a vested interest and experience in moving people’s belongings in a timely and safe manner. Go to review sites, such as Yelp or The Better Business Bureau to find well reviewed movers and get your items to your new home securely.

Packing is stressful work

Images fill the mind of people in back braces, lifting a person’s weight in books and furniture all day, only to do it all again when you get there. Playing real life Tetris trying to fit as most as possible into the truck so that you don’t have to make as many trips.

There are simple tricks you can do to make this less so. If you have containers, such as jars or empty vases, you can fill them with smaller things, so that you know where everything is. Everyone has a drawer of plastic cutlery and disposable plates, there’s no reason to bring those with you, use them up and start packing your silverware early. Anything you can do to incorporate packing into the normal activities of your life will help make it less stressful for you.

New places bring new problems

You know your super or landlord, and presumably you have an alright relationship with them. Anything you need fixed or dealt with gets a speedy response, generally speaking. But you don’t know your new people from a hole in the wall, and what if they are more lackadaisical in their duties?

Most of the time, your problems are going to be small in nature, though the ego and stress can make it seem bigger. Get yourself a small tool kit and a how-to book of house repairs, and until you can see if your super is reliable, you can have the backup up of doing it yourself, and additionally, a little self reliance is always a good thing.

Fear not your shift from uptown to below 72nd. Myths are just that, you’ll make it just fine to your new stoop.

4 Ways To Workout While Packing

workout while packing

Maintaining a workout regimen is already a challenge in your busy life and now you’ve taken on the delight that is summertime moving. Here are ways to maintain your beach bod while packing.

Make box hunting a part of your jog or run

Everyone needs boxes for their move, and no one wants to pay for them if they can at all avoid it. While in the packing phase, movers are always on the prowl for boxes from retail places who need to get rid of them. Go for a nice cardio boosting run or jog, and weave your path through retail heavy areas that aren’t so far from home so if you are successful in finding boxes, you don’t have to carry them for a too far.

Make a fun playlist

Whether it’s podcasts or music, nearly everyone at the gym is listening to something as they work for those often elusive gains. Working out while packing should be no different. Make a cool Pandora station based on motivational songs like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, or use any of these one hundred song playlists on Spotify found from Fitness Magazine. Your “moving mix” will help keep the blood flowing.

Use proper workout form when packing

No one ever got anywhere by skipping leg day, this is known the world round, but if you’re trying to work out while moving, how can you make sure everything stays firm and tight? When packing the  kitchen where you have empty cabinets of pots, pans, and canned goods, use a proper squatting technique. Do one item at a time, leaving the box on the floor, keeping your back straight -ass to the grass, and you’re successfully doing squats and packing. Increase the weight with more items if you’re looking to build or many lighter reps to just help you maintain.

Do reps every time you fill a box or bag

Topping off your moving box and taping it up means it’s time for a HIIT (high intensity interval training). Consider the weight of the box before you select your workout- safety first and make sure the items packed aren’t fragile. Work your arms and shoulders with an upright row by lifting the box and winging out your elbows. Overhead tricep extensions can be done by lifting the box behind your head, arms at 90 degree angle, elbows at your ears, and slowly lift the box straight up. Bags with handles make for an easy dumbbell curl. If you typical work muscle groups to failure, try not to, you’re still on a mission to finish packing.

With these tricks, fitting a workout in while packing for your move is entirely possible. Look for opportunities every time you have to lift or bend and you’ll be well on your way to staying fit while meeting your move out deadline.

You Know You Live in Brooklyn When…

live in brooklyn

There really is no place to live quite like Brooklyn. If you were raised here or you’re a newcomer, here are a list of things that will remind you where you’ve been once you’ve been to Brooklyn.

You Speak (or at least recognize) Brooklynese.
When outsiders ask for a “New York” accent- you know what they’re really lookin’ for.

Positive media around living in Brooklyn makes you nervous.
Gentrification is the worst.

Biggie and The Beasti Boys are icons.
Correction, legends. And you know most if not all of their lyrics. And no matter where you are if “Juicy” plays, you’ve gotta dance.

You’re super chill.
Brooklyn raised you to keep your cool but deep down you know you’re the best because of where you’re from.

You are obsessed with artisanal cheese.
You may even loath when Manhattanites crowd your favorite cheese shop so you’ve got their timings down to a science and no when to steer clear.

You may not be a sports fan…
But you always welcome the Nets with Brooklyn pride.

Stoop sales are where its at.
Some call it a yard sale, Brooklynites know best though. You’ve wardrobe and apartment may be littered with goodies from stoop sales.

Italian ice holds a place in your heart.
Outside of Brooklyn you haven’t been able to find enjoyment in the frozen imposters. Italian ice sold in the streets of Brooklyn is irreplaceable.

You were hella old when you got your driver’s license.
You’re still not entirely sure why they gave it to you because you have zero tolerance for pedestrians.

You know there are places much better than Brooklyn…
FUHGEDDABOUDIT!

Brooklyn is truly one of a kind and not only to those who were raised there. It’s never too late to become a Brooklynite.

 

Cool Off This Summer With The Best Smoothies In NYC

best smoothies in NYC

NYC is freaking hot right now. And while the chance to wear flip flops, shorts, and sunglasses is more than welcome, having said sandal stick to the sidewalk because it started to cook while you were waiting for the bus is not. When you and your roommate are so hot you can’t even think straight enough to plan your evening, refer to this list of the best smoothies in NYC.

Blossom Du Jour: Vegan smoothies galore. Tasty and healthy, these smoothies offer a great alternative if you need something quick but find ground up Grade Sub-Z meat served at other fast food chains to be unappetizing. As it turns out, fast food doesn’t have to be unhealthy, unethical, or absolutely disgusting.

On their menu, you’ll see tons of options. Try the cookie dough shake if you want something sweet. Or the Blue Velvet, loaded with acai, blueberry, strawberry, banana, vanilla, and soy milk. They’ve also got totally vegan burgers, sandwiches, wraps, philly cheesesteaks, and more. Even cupcakes. You read that right. Vegan. Cupcakes. They’ve got four different locations for you and your roommate to check out.

Taïm Falafel and Smoothie Bar: Taïm, as the homepage so courteously explains, means “delicious” in Hebrew. It was started by a husband and wife team who missed the amazing eats of Tel Aviv. Taking matters into their own hands, they opened up a shop and brought amazing falafel and smoothies straight to NYC.

The smoothie bar offers a host of different options. You can get the old-standby’s, like strawberry or banana, but also kale, Thai basil, mint, and others. Add-ins to boost your nutritional intake are available as well. They have shops in West Village and Nolita. A great place to try something a little different with your roommate.

Liquiteria: For those record breaking hot days, stick to the shade and make your way over to Liquiteria with your roommate. You’ll find some of the best smoothies and cold press juices in New York City. Their menu has nine different flavors of smoothies, and even more types of cold pressed juices. Several of their smoothies serve a specific purpose. The Hangover Cure has liver-kidney-lymph detox in it. The Skinny has a fat burner. The Berry Powerful has whey protein and flax seeds. They’ve got five locations in NYC, and some in Boston too.

Juice Generation: Juice Generation’s website is enough to send any rational human being into a smoothie frenzy on a hot day. They do a masterful job of showing the quality of their drinks and ingredients in a way that just screams “refreshing.” There are fifteen smoothies on the menu. Some are nutrition and fitness oriented, others are just plain delicious. They have a big focus on the superfood acai, so if you want to try a bowl along with your drink, go for it.

They’ve been independently owned and operated since 1999, and have a solid track record of delivering healthy superfoods and amazing drinks. Salma Hayek, the famous artist, producer, and activist, is the co-founder. There is no shortage of locations in NYC, so find the one nearest you and try it out.

Summer is fun. Passing out face first from the heat in the middle of Times Square is not. Stay cool and use this list to track down some of the best smoothies in NYC and enjoy them with your roommate before you melt into each other’s arms.

And not in a good way.

What’s your favorite smoothie flavor? What’s your favorite smoothie shop? Post your comments below.

3 Of The Best Ways To Beat The Heat In NYC

best ways to beat the heat in NYC

With Summer in full swing, it’s time for flip-flops, shorts, and sleep deprivation. If the sweltering heat is keeping you awake at night, rest easy knowing that relief is on the way. Take a look at three of the best ways to beat the heat in NYC and plan a trip with your roommate to cool down.

Visit one of NYC’s free pools.

NYC has free pools in all five boroughs. The Astoria Pool is often reputed to be one of the absolute best. It’s pretty epic. At 350 square feet, it’s the largest swimming pool in America. While you might think that means it’s totally trashed, it’s actually quite clean. Just a heads up, there can be a wait on hot days. So grab an umbrella and get started relaxing early if you plan on showing up at midday.

For something a little different, try the floating pool at Barretto Point Park. A barge was repurposed to hold a pool and bring the cool to you. It’s a pretty neat experience, and definitely worth bragging to your friends over who are stuck with everyday holes-in-the-ground to swim in.

Chill out in a cryosauna.

If it’s hot enough, then being in temperatures that plunge down to -240 F doesn’t sound so crazy anymore. The company Kryolife has a cryosauna service that subjects your body to cryogenic temperatures for 2-3 minutes. It’s followed by some light cardiovascular activity. It can be used to cool off, but is also used by athletes to recover from strenuous workouts more quickly. That’s because it releases toxins, replenishes oxygen, and renews your energy over a 48 hour period after you’ve done your imitation of a human popsicle. That’s just a joke, the liquid nitrogen used to control the temp never actually touches your skin. If you’ve got questions about how cryotherapy works, check out their FAQ section here.

Go to the coolest bar in town.

The Minus 5 Ice Bar is made entirely of, you guessed it, ice. Like, the whole thing. Chandeliers. Seats. Even the glasses you drink out of. Ice sculptures are always on display and perpetually under revision, so you never know what you and your roommate will get the chance to see. The light show is built in to the frosty spectacle, and they’ve got music going, so it provides a warm ambience that compliments the frozen interior nicely. While there is more than one Minus 5, the New York location is inside the lobby of the New York Hilton Midtown in downtown Manhattan.

New York in the summer can be a lot of fun, but let’s face it. With so many people packed into what amounts to a giant concrete oven blistering under the sun, local residents are excused if they get a bit cranky at times. But if you find yourself asking work for a transfer to Antarctica, take a deep breath and try one of the three best ways to beat the heat in NYC instead. You and your roommate could be sipping frozen cocktails from stylish glasses sculpted out of pure ice before you know it.

How do you beat the heat in NYC? Post your comments below.

Moving When It’s HOT

moving when it's hot

It’s. So. Hot.

Your sweat hisses when it hits the sidewalk. Pigeons lay in the shade at the parks, unwilling to cross the line between light and shadow, even for a tasty morsel of bread. You’re pretty sure you just saw a cockroach wearing a straw hat, sunglasses, and a Hawaiian t-shirt carrying a miniature suitcase down into the sewers.

Okay. That last bit may have been a heat-induced hallucination. But then again, it’s New York City. Anything could happen.

And the worst part of it all is? Now you have to move. It’s enough to make a perfectly grown adult throw a temper tantrum, but that would involve way too much flailing around for these kinds of conditions. It’s an especially bad idea if your apartment has hardwood floors instead of carpets.

So here are a few tips from the Roomi team to stay cool when you find yourself moving when it’s hot.

Timing is everything.

An old bit of advice that still holds true today. And probably forever. Schedule moving for early in the morning or late in the evening when the heat is at its least miserable. If you have a choice between the two, always do it early.

Yes, getting up early is a giant pain in the butt. But moving day almost never goes as planned. If things go awry, but you got an early start, you’ll have more time to fix it. Also, the hottest point in the day is typically 3 pm, not noon. So you’ve got more cool hours to work with early in the morning that don’t involve stumbling around narrow metal staircases in the dark. Farmers get up at the crack of dawn for a good reason, as it turns out.

Hydrate.

There are a lot of different opinions on how much water you should drink in a day. There isn’t a hard and fast rule that everyone can agree on. But according to this popular article, the fluid intake for guys is about 3 liters per day and gals is around 2.2 liters per day. The word fluid didn’t slip in by accident. Lots of beverages contain water and can count towards your hydration efforts. But keep in mind that moving is tough, sweaty work and you’re doing it in conditions that would make a camel wince. So it’s a good idea to drink extra beverages.

And by the way, slamming a six pack of Bud Light then wrestling a couch up a flight of stairs is so not a good idea. So don’t let anyone on your moving team get too crazy with their interpretation of “beverages.”

Use utilities to your advantage.

Wherever you’re moving to, have the utilities turned on and ready to go before you get there. If you’ve got AC at the new place, the apartment can be cool as you move in. You might be tempted to save some money and turn off the utilities at your current residence on move out day. Understandable. But if you can keep them going for one more day, you can run the AC at your place while you pack. Even if you don’t have AC, you can run fans. And more importantly, the fridge. Which brings us to our final piece of advice.

Cool, damp towels are your new best friend.

A cold, damp towel that’s been hanging out in the fridge can feel like pure ecstasy when you slap it on the back of your neck on a hot day. Or stick it under a hat, so it covers your head and hangs down over the back of your neck. If you don’t have power to the fridge, then cool water will still work wonders.

Have you ever had to move in the heat? What happened? Post your comments below.