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There Is Such a Thing As a Free...

(not lunch, necessarily, but other stuff to do between noon and 3 p.m.)


Quitting Smoking
Bellevue and a dozen other hospitals in New York City’s Health and Hospital Corporation offer eight-week programs (with weekly individual or group counseling sessions) that claim a 32 percent success rate—impressive, given the high recidivism rate—and include all the nicotine patches, gum, or Zyban you need (212-562-4748).

Sea Kayaking
From May to October, you can kayak on the Hudson—once you’ve signed a waiver and donned a life jacket. Volunteers will help you onto the water at the Downtown Boathouse, accessible via Pier 26 or the Promenade at 72nd Street (646-613-0375), weekends and weekday evenings.

Beauty Products
Express interest in any product at the Kiehl’s Since 1851 flagship (109 Third Ave., nr. 13th St.) and you’ll get a decent- size sample along with extensive advice. Most people leave with a bagful of creams, lotions, shampoos, and styling products. Never buy travel-size toiletries again.

Wine Tastings
You might want to wait until Saturday if you want to quaff at lunch, but Union Square Wines and Spirits (212-675-8100) dips into its 4,500 selections three times a week, K&D Wines and Spirits (212-289-1818) lays out a cheese plate Thursday through Saturday, and Sea Grape Wine & Spirits (212- 463-7688) hosts regular Thursday tastings.


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