The 6 best resources for finding things to do in New York City

When I first moved to New York City, I used my keen powers of observation to determine that there was a lot going on around me. Initially, in order to track down these things that I intuited were happening, I might visit the website of some music venue, study the New Yorker listings or (I blush at the thought now) go to the Time Out New York website and try to sort through like 1.3×10^25 events they list new every day (and those are just the editors’ choices). Over time, and possibly through employment at an event-centic company, I used my also keen powers of discovery and research to unearth some of the resources that the true New Yorker—the hipster, the bro, the socialite and the grotesque unsightly mutant hybrid of the three—uses to stuff the holes of his or her free time.

And today my friends I share that knowledge with you, that you might be spared a few minutes of trying to decipher what exactly the hell is going on on the Village Voice website. Let’s party:

1. The Skint
The Skint—maintained in the true spirit of today’s employment market by two young, underemployed friends who started a blog—has the philosophy that “you don’t need to be rich to enjoy the best of the city.” In that spirit The Skint is heavily focussed on free and inexpensive activities, namely in the realms of film screenings, classical music, bar/pub events, performance art and other financially accessible concerts, classes and ongoing exhibits.

2. New York Social Diary
If The Skint thinks you don’t have to be rich to enjoy New York, the New York Social Diary maintains just the opposite: if drinks are less than $18 or tables less than $3000 or the drama anything less than telenovela-caliber, the evening is a bust. “Your link to [high] society,” NYSD provides a nicely curated list of charity balls, gallery receptions, fashion-y events and fur coat maintenance seminars.

Okay so don’t close this tab yet—stay with me on this one. I recently navigated over to the Events section of my Facebook and found that incorrigible Zuckerberg had crammed my calendar full of “suggested” events. But lo—as I perused more of these suggestions I found they were things I could actually be interested in checking out, and were furthermore based on the events I had been invited to in the past. Fair enough Señor Z, you may stay CEO.

2. Gary’s Guide
Aimed at the technology and startup communities, Gary’s Guide‘s forte is what might be called the educational gathering—a big trend in tech culture where people who don’t really have the tenth of the first idea about starting their own business gather to try to learn how to do exactly that. The good thing about the educational tech gathering is that there’s usually some serious free drinks and food involved, so if you’re homeless and even partially groomed you’ll be able to thrive off these things.

5. No Nonsense NYC
No nonsense is a lot like The Skint—small, community oriented and Brooklyn heavy—but with more of an emphasis on the 9pm-4am range of events than the 7-10pm ones. So No Nonsense is a great resource for dance parties, silly bar nights and similar shenanigans. But No Nonsense also has other dimensions; their weekly newsletter, already notoriously long and unnavigable, will once a month list ongoing events and educational and volunteer opportunities. No nonsense gets a ton of submissions for their list, and the owners do a knock-up job of sorting through them and being the matchless “discriminating resource for independent art, weird events, strange happenings, unique parties, and senseless culture in new york city.”

6. Free Williamsburg
This last one is kind of a “further reading” sort of resource. Free Williamsburg has compiled an even larger list of websites and publications that list all manner of events in NYC, though with a strong focus on live music. F Dub also has a handy Editor’s Choice section, where a few particularly choice shows for the week can be perused.

Well that about does it. If you feel strongly about other resources that have been looked over in this post, by all means add to the list in the comments. And a bonus resource!: you can always check the Featured Events section of our own site, where you’ll find the absolute most superlatively excellent events happening in the entire US of A right now.