- East 54th Street Parks and Recreation Center
348 East 54th St., 212-754-5411
The East 54th New York City Parks and Recreation Center is a quirky little gym where for $75 a year—not enough to cover the cost of one training session at the glitzy nearby megagym—members run, lift, and swim with no pretensions. Built in 1911 to provide public showers for the city’s working poor, the recently renovated center now has a lap pool, a basketball court, and an indoor track as well as its own minimalist takes on weight and cardio rooms. You can forget flat-screen TVs and towel service, but for $6.25 a month, you will, gladly.