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A Semi-Sober Saturday Night

Scale a wall. Spot a nebula. Circle the park. Then have a nightcap.


Biking by moonlight.  
  • Take a bike ride.

  • The second Saturday of every month, the biking advocacy group Time’s Up! rounds up a peloton for Saturday-night rides through Prospect Park. Go to times-up.org for times and meeting spots.
    Afterward: Sip a cooldown beer on the spacious patio at Soda Bar (629 Vanderbilt Ave., nr. Park Pl., Prospect Heights).

  • Get your ping-pong fix.

  • Invent new ways to spin-serve at the New York Table Tennis Federation in Tribeca (384 Broadway, at White St., lower level; 646-772-2922), which stays open until 11 p.m. on weekend nights.
    Afterward: The lights are dim enough at Anotheroom (249 W. Broadway, nr. Beach St.) that no one will notice your pong sweat.

  • Climb a REALLY big rock.

  • Gowanus’s warehouse-size, graffiti-covered climbing gym Brooklyn Boulders (575 Degraw St., at Third Ave., Gowanus; 347-834-9066) is open until midnight on weekends ($20 for a day pass).
    Afterward: Catch a show a few doors down at barcumunderground performance space Littlefield (622 Degraw St., nr. Fourth Ave.).

  • Stimulate your synapses.

  • The Mela Foundation’s Dream House art installation (275 Church St., nr. Franklin St., third fl.; 212-925-8270) invites you to remove shoes, lie on a carpet, and stare at colorful light sculptures while listening to trippy music.
    Afterward: Rouse yourself with a Dark and Stormy at Smith & Mills (71 N. Moore St., nr. Greenwich St.).

  • Stargaze. In Manhattan.

  • The Inwood Astronomy Project invites the general public to join it every Saturday at 8 p.m. to examine the night sky from the island’s highest natural point, in Inwood Hill Park. Telescopes provided. Go to moonbeam.net for dates and times.
    Afterward: Shake off the cold at lively Dominican restaurant Mamajuana Café (247 Dyckman St., nr. Seaman Ave.).

  • Score a peak-time lane.

  • There are nicer bowling alleys, but authentically kitschy Melody Lanes (461 37th St., at Fifth Ave., Sunset Park; 718-499-3848) is more likely to have Saturday-night slots. Late-night perk: From midnight to 3 a.m., the lights dim for glow-in- the-dark bowling.
    Afterward: Stick with the retro-kitsch theme at Brooklyn’s Tiki Bar (885-B Fourth Ave., nr. 33rd St.).

  • Take the best medicine.

  • The Peoples Improv Theater, otherwise known as the Pit (154 W. 29th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-563-7488), has four Saturday shows, none of which will set you back more than twelve bucks.
    Afterward: Elbow your way through the Breslin Bar (Ace Hotel, 16 W. 29th St., nr. Broadway) for one of the local cask ales.

From the 2010 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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