I am so excited to try out the closest thing to Florida in NYC – ((305)) Fitness! This Miami-themed studio has a reputation for being an absolute blast. They use dance cardio, interval training, and isolated toning – sounds like my heaven. However, if 5-6-7-8 means nothing to you, their website says it’s great for dancers and non-dancers alike, as the teachers break everything down step-by-step. And, in true Miami fashion, there is even a live DJ to bring the party!
Well, I have some terrific news for you! The studios, located in the Village and Midtown East, are offering free classes with brand new teachers over the next few weekends. All you have to do is sign up and they will contact you by next Tuesday, July 25th to let you know your class time. This is a #steal since classes are usually $32! Who’s coming with me?!
It feels like I’ve tried a million different workouts since moving to New York, but one sticks in my mind the most: F45 Training. Imagine a playground for adults (but kids at heart) that makes you stronger. That’s what you get here. This is an Australian studio that just opened in Flatiron/Chelsea that is a 45-minute workout of functional training, meaning that you strengthen your body for everyday tasks.
Philosophy. Fitness is important not because it’s “bikini season” or because you want a hot butt. Yes, working out consistently and properly will make you toned and lean, but the way we look is really based on what we eat. Fitness is important for our hearts, our joints, and our bone density, for example. I don’t want to use a walker when I’m older, and my scoliosis gets in the way of my youth. Something that I love about F45 is the “functional” part. They don’t tell you to squat for looking hot; you squat because it is a full-body strengthening exercise. YES. F45, you are the best.
Best trainers in the world. The two trainers I worked with the most, Gareth and Dina, are not only extremely knowledgeable and helpful, but WOW are they supportive! I went to their classes before work every day, and their uplifting and motivating personalities made my mornings. They would cheer me on, they would correct and improve my form, and they would stand by me to make sure not only I understood the correction but that I implemented it. The classes are small training sessions, so it feels like you’re getting nearly individualized attention even in a group class.
Switching it up daily. Each day is themed differently than the next. For instance, on Sundays, they only have “Brooklyn” classes, which are focused on boxing. Each day’s classes have a different name and a different focus for the 45 minutes of exercises. Not only that, but the day’s workout has many different components. You cannot get bored, and the only way to get through the 45 minutes is by having fun (seriously). You only have to do this one hard exercise a few times and then that’s it, you’re done!…until you begin the next hard exercise!
FYI. I did their two-week trial after they opened in May, and I am STILL thinking about it every single day. Let me warn you before your heart breaks like mine: it’s $400+ a month for unlimited membership. That is the ONLY reason I stopped going because if rent and food weren’t essential to living (water is free in New York), I’d just give them all my money. But that doesn’t work for those of us broke in New York!
They also have a great shower/locker room, fully stocked with everything you need. This is an excellent small business and I could sing their praises all day, every day.
Email email@example.com and let them know Julianne S. from “How to Be Broke in New York” sent you for your free trial. Good luck not getting too addicted!
What is your favorite kind of exercise? I love bootcamp/HIIT classes, but most of all, I love diversity in my fitness! That’s why finding great free fitness opportunities has been so much fun for me – I have learned so much and am so excited to share the new wisdom!
When I am given the amazing gift of a free trial at a fitness studio, I take full advantage. CorePower Yoga, a west coast-based studio, recently opened on the Upper West Side, and I barely missed a day during my two-week trial. It is seriously THAT good – and after talking to other students after class, the addiction is rampant!
Their classes actually focus on the important stuff. As their name would suggest, CPY is very focused on the core, and as someone who uses fitness to thrive with scoliosis, I so appreciated this ongoing component in every single class (yes, there was an entire ab section in their hot yoga class!). Even during the quick portions of their classes, the instructors check and ensure students are always in proper form and alignment.
CPY’s classes are varied enough, even if yoga isn’t your “thing.” f you’re reading this and thinking, “but I’m not a ‘yogi'” or perhaps even you don’t do/like yoga, that is totally fine. I actually only went to one true yoga class this entire time (Hot Power Fusion, and it was awesome). All the other days, I took Yoga Sculpt. If you are trying to get longer, leaner, and stronger, this is for you. It starts with some basic yoga flow then adds hand weights, and then comes a full body low-weight/high-rep workout. You will be so grateful for shirvasana (the “am I dead or alive?” section at the end). This is in a heated studio, and you will feel so great sweating out every lil’ toxin in you. Bring a mat-sized towel and a big cold water with you. Shirts are overrated, leave it off for this (something I’ve never done before).
Their employees are eager to help. The in-person staff and the employees manning the phones at their HQ in Colorado were accommodating and kind, and my teachers offered constructive feedback during and after class.
I am so excited to share this opportunity with you all, and am EVEN MORE excited that CPY is going to open late summer/early fall in my lovely home of Williamsburg! *More details to come later – look out for a blog post in the future!*
If you want to try it out at their Upper West Side location, they are now offering post-opening free week trials, which you can sign up for HERE or by calling (917) 636-4440. IMPORTANT: You will have to put down your credit card information. If you are not wanting to become a member (perhaps at a discounted rate), make sure you call and CANCEL your membership before the last day of your trial.
I just returned from Montréal, and in preparation for my trip there, I researched their local Lululemons. Why? Well, if you think Lululemon is only a high-end athletic brand, think again!
Lululemons all across the world offer free fitness classes for the local community. Lulu in Montréal hosted a sub-festival within a festival (honestly the entire city was one big festival!) of a variety of fitness classes in Le Parc de Portugal. #ProTravelTip!
I clearly got lucky to be in Montréal at the right time to participate in their fitness festival! Otherwise, I would have just attended one of the store’s weekly fitness classes.
A great majority of lulus in New York are either run clubs or yoga meet-ups – which is great considering running through Central Park is AMAZING – but I’m more of a HIIT (high intensity interval training)/bootcamp kinda gal! Because of that, I am loyal to the Lululemon SoHo store because of their incredible “Workout Wednesdays.” Nearly every Wednesday they close down the store for shopping, clear the merchandise, and transform the store into a fitness studio!
Each month, lulu SoHo showcases a different local boutique fitness studio and brings in one of their instructors to lead an intense and fun workout class. The ones I’ve tried so far have been with SoulCycle, ICE CrossFit, and Box+Flow. To make this even sweeter, Lululemon has even paid for its fit friends to take classes at these studios (yes, free SoulCycle DID happen!). The classes are at 8pm and there are usually snacks and drinks after too! I am excited for the new Lululemon to open in my home neighborhood of Williamsburg this summer, but joining the lulu SoHo community has been incredible. Let’s hope Williamsburg decides to do a different night of the week, right? 😅
Lululemon New York is offering free outdoor workout classes each Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the summer! You have to RSVP in advance for each session. Here you can find out more info and sign up!
The weather will determine which Lulu class I’ll be taking Wednesdays. My two amazing gal pals gave me a great birthday gift – my first pair of Lululemon leggings, which I can’t wait to wear to my next #WorkoutWednesday! Let me know if you want to workout with me & lulu!
Winter is over, which means free fun outdoor events! WHO’S EXCITED? Mondays are the slowest day of the week, but I am excited to share an event I just found to kick off the week in style!
Head downtown tonight to Hotel Hugo’s rooftop cocktail bar Azul for their first movie screening of the summer. Tonight they’re playing Scarface (what a classic!), and they will have a different movie starting at sunset every Monday this spring and summer.
Check out the list of movies and let me know if you happen to go! I will update the blog with all the free summer movie screenings I find, so stay tuned!
The average age in Williamsburg is 28. Of COURSE there are awesome bars every 2 feet. Here are my two favorite neighborhood bars – both right off the Montrose L!
🦆🦆 ! For anyone who knows me – local and visiting friends alike – this is my meeting place. They have 2-4-1 drafts and cheap wells from 4-8pm EVERY DAY! Yep- buy a $5 beer and get a second one free. They also have $6 beer-and-a-shot special all the time. As if this wasn’t enough, they give out cheese puffs. I didn’t know cheese puffs were the perfect bar food until Duck Duck. The music is perfect, the decor is great, it’s a crowd pleaser.
I don’t think a more perfect place exists (besides Duck Duck, of course). So. Many. Drafts. AND a full cocktail bar. The inside is a nice lounge but the outside is what gets me – a huge patio beer garden that could only be found in industrial Williamsburg. This is my go-to spot on Tuesdays – they have $2 beer Tuesdays! – or after work on a beautiful day. Their happy hour includes a list of BOGO beers. Hang with friends on a picnic table while playing corn hole or check out one of their board games. It’s always a blast here!
Living in New York generally means sacrificing large living spaces – so where can you unwind with friends? Your neighborhood bar becomes your living room. Every good New York sitcom friend group has their neighborhood bar, and so do I. And so will you!
How I find great bars: Google Maps has become my handy companion while walking through my neighborhood. If I pass a cool bar, I open Google Maps, click on the bar/restaurant, click “SAVE,” then add it to the “Want to Go” list. I have an extensive bucket list, organized in map form, of all the bars and restaurants I want to try in Williamsburg. Not sure I’ll ever finish, especially since I am a routine kinda gal (and have the entire rest of the city to share my time with!), but here’s to trying!
Don’t break the bank. If you’re going to relax after work in your “living room,” you can’t spend all your money there – after all, you still need to pay rent on your actual apartment. It will always be cheaper to drink at home, but you can unwind in this city without frantically checking your bank account later.
Find a bar with good selling points. Happy Hour? Free snacks? Daily deals? These are 🔑. It’s New York, after all. Don’t settle!
Don’t consistently splurge or it won’t be fun anymore. No, that cool speakeasy with $13 cocktails is not your home base. That is not sustainable. Make it a special occasion place. In fact, #protip, find a cool local speakeasy that you can bring your parents to when they visit. It’ll make you look like a put-together grown-up to your parents, and, since these bars tend to be dark, no one will judge you for bringing parents to their bar.
Tip your bartenders. If you found a spot and want to make it “yours,” get to know your bartenders. Tip them well and often. Seriously, tip 👏 well 👏. That means you tip on each drink – even the free ones. Be a good, courteous customer that they want to serve and enjoy serving. Having a good relationship with your bartender is the best – speaking of, Charlie at Duck Duck is the best. Treat Charlie like a queen.
Ready to make 6:30 on a Tuesday fun? Check out my post about the two best bars in my neighborhood to get you started. Let me know how it goes! Cheers!
Having a bike is great because it’s yours…to break, lose, and find one day that it’s been stolen — or, in my case, a hornet’s nest is growing in your bike basket (yeah, that happened, I’m from Florida). So what do you do? Get a Citibike membership, of course!
Here are some pro-tips to get you started:
Keep it under 45 minutes, or you’ll get fined. This is so people only have bikes out when they’re actively in use. If your ride is going to be longer than 45 minutes, dock your bike during the ride, wait two minutes, and check out a new one. If you go over, the fee is $2.50 per 15 minutes.
When you’re docking your bike, push it ~real good~. Make sure the dock beeps and lights up green so your ride is marked complete (you’ll also get an email from Citibike saying your bike was successfully docked). Otherwise, someone could steal it and you’ll get charged a $%# ton.
Make sure where you’re going has Citibike. It’s not in every neighborhood yet. You can use this app to find all the nearby docks, and it will even show how many bikes and open docks are available.
Sit comfortably. Adjust your seat to hip level. I’m 5’7″ and keep my seat at level 5.
Check out Citibike events. This past summer, they had a “Bike-in Movie” in Prospect Park. They even have a “DJ bike” for making organized rides even more of a party!
If you really like it, spring for the annual pass. It works out to $15 per month, whereas a day pass is $12.
Sign up with my referral to get a whole month free! Also, if you are a Citi Cardholder, you get 10% off. Use that as your payment method to save $$$$.
I love my Citibike experience so much and hope you will too! Please let me know if you have any questions or want to meet up for a ride. Come join my biker gang!