Thursday, December 31, 2009


A new episode and a new season are coming for the New Year! Stay tuned!

Monday, December 7, 2009

11201: I Fell In Love With a Borough in Brooklyn Heights(ish)

Our lovely guest host, Sarah, takes us through the neighborhood she fell in love with in the borough she fell in love with.

For the full review, LISTEN to the podcast or SUBSCRIBE via iTunes.

CoFi: Tea Lounge She's a little smaller than her Park Slope sister, but you can crack open your laptop and split the tea for one just as easily.

Bobo Tapas: Waterfalls Cafe Get full on four bucks? Please DO go chasin' these waterfalls.

Sanctuary: Cobble Hill Park. Strollers, benches, and a little bit of Buddha. No turf wars here.

Public Bathroom: Trader Joe's. Conveniently located by the coffee and samples counter.

Meetup Spot: Tazza on Henry Street. Warm, inviting, yum on the go and delish for a cozy night out.

Jen's Bonus Track: Sahadi Importing Co. The best fresh hummus in Brooklyn. Hands-down.

Sarah's Bonus Track: Bookcourt. Roomy indy bookstore with a knowledgeable, highly- literate staff.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

10002: Movin' On Down to the (Lower) East Side (to a deluxe tenement in the sky?)

For full reviews on all of our recommendations,
Do you feel rad? I mean, like really rad? Even on the Lower East Side? Chances are, unless you're Jim Jarmusch, you probably don't. Well, enter The Basics. We'll show you how to pass for rad or, at the very least, help you to avoid a frenzied panic looking for a public toilet.

***Educate Yourself***
The term "hookers" comes from The Lower East Side. It's true! Way back when this area was known as Corlear's Hook. The "hook" was a naturally occuring landmark in the shoreline for navigators along the east river but has now been obscured by landfill. The street walkers here were known as hookers. Knowledge is power.

Co-FiRoasting Plant Coffee lets you blend your own cup of awesomeness. Beautiful atmosphere. Individually-roasted cups of coffee.  Closer to radness then ever before. MAP

Bobo Tapas: The Dumpling House (aka Vanessa's Dumpling House). Not quite white tablecloth but we don't mind. One of Meghan's all time favorites. The sesame pancake is almost perfect, pile on some Sriracha and you'll understand why millions of our ancestors fled their home country to live in cramped tenements a few short steps from this very location.

Sanctuary: Clinton Street If the economy keeps at it, we may all be living here some day soon!

Public Bathroom: A virtually deserted and placid Whole Foods. This means no competition for samples.

Meetup Spot: Clandestino great wine selection amongst other things at this perfect first date bar. MAP

Bonus Tracks:
Jen finally feels securely-rad enough to suggest Economy Candy! Try the Mozart Kugeln!

Fun interactive tours. Learn a little something, why don't you?! MAP

Remember, if you have a recommendation for us--Whether it's a great neighborhood to cover on the podcast, or even a little bookstore that nobody knows about, you can email us, tweet at us, leave us a comment below, or you can leave us a voicemail using the "Call Me" button at the top of the page.

Next week, a special guest host takes us through one of Brooklyn's most historic neighborhoods.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thankful in NYC

This Thanksgiving week, we've asked you to host the podcast. For the full reviews, you can listen to the podcast here, or subscribe to us on iTunes here.

Here are the top-notch recommendations you called in with:

Joe The Art of Coffee
9 E 13th St‬
‪New York, NY 10003‬

Blue Smoke

116 E 27th St # A‬
‪New York, NY 10016

Fez Cafe

240 Prospect Park W‬
‪Brooklyn, NY 11215-5842

Pita Joe's

2 West 14th St‬
‪New York, NY 10011‬

Rainbow Falafel
26 E 17th St # A‬
‪New York, NY 10003


202 Mott St # C
New York, NY 10012

Famous Ben's Pizza

177 Spring St‬
‪New York, NY 10012

Japanese Hill and Pond Garden @ Brooklyn Botanic Garden

‪1000 Washington Ave‬
‪Brooklyn, NY 11225

Callen Lorde Community Clinic
356 W 18th St
New York, NY 10011

Signature Theatre Co
‪555 W 42nd St‬
‪New York, NY 10036‬ Alice's Teacup
102 W 73rd St
New York, NY 10023

Stella Maris
213 Front St
New York, NY 10038

Winter's Eve @ Lincoln Square

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone, and thanks so much for coming back to us each and every week.

A HUGE thanks must go out to Joe at The Forum for the Google Voice invite, without which, this podcast would not have been possible.

Friday, November 20, 2009

What NYC establishment are you most thankful for?

Hello, everyone! Please tell us what nook, cranny, business, park, theatre, etc. that YOU are most thankful for! Your message will be featured in our Ultra-Fantastic Super Grande Listener Thanks Episode on Nov 22, just in time for Thanksgiving!

Use the "call me" button directly to the right of this post. You will be prompted for your phone number and name.  Standard long distance rates apply to your phone call, and  you will NOT be spammed for using the service-It's a brand new Google Voice feature, so it's very sound!

We've gotten some great and unexpected NYC picks already, so please let loose, and don't be shy!
We're looking forward to hearing from you!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chinatown, 10013: It's All About the Experiences

When Meghan's friends come into town, they only have one thing on their minds: Shopping! While everyone loves the deals that can be found in Chinatown 10013 on bags, clothing and lots and lots of stuff, Meghan's out to find some deals of her own: basics style. If you think it'd be super easy to find everything on her list without breaking the bank or losing her mind, you'd better think again! 

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Co(ffee): When in know. And when in Chinatown try the bubble tea at tai pan bakery. Located at 194 Canal between Mott and Mulberry. Meghan is one up on her friends in the deals deptartment already.

Wi(reless internet): Oh, we tried and oh we failed, sort of. Please let us know if you have any luck at the Barnes and Noble at 40 Worth St. Technically the New York Law School Bookstore. The Basics does not condone nor can be held responsible for any disguises or decievement of the book store staff. Especially attractive future lawyers.

Bobo Tapas: Meghan's friends are still shopping! This little thriftster needs something to tide her over so she heads to Hong Kong Station located at 45 Bayard St.For $3, you get a generous portion of soup complete with ingredients of your choice. It's a steal even for chinatown!

Sanctuary: All this exploring of new tastes can make a girl need some quiet space but we'll settle for the somewhat bustling Colombus Park located at 67 Mulberry St. Fortune tellers, cobblers and a basketball court make this a truly unique experience.

Public Toilet: Believe us when we say: we tried. Oh! How we tried...but you'll have to settle for the Chinatown Starbucks. The less we say, the better. Though, the authentic chinese decor does make it feel like no other starbucks in the world. Atleast on the outside.

Meet up Spot: What we lack in public toilets, we make up for AWESOME BARS. Winnie's is located at 104 Bayard St.$1 Karoke, strong drinks and no nonsense bartenders make this well worth the long line at starbucks. It's a total eclipse of the heart....

Meghan's Bonus Track: Totally Jealous of her friends' new clothes, Meghan suggests Built by Wendy. A bit out of her price range, but a girl can dream, or at least enjoy this amazing local designer, can't she?

Jen's Bonus Track: Jen suggests something more practical, but just as luxurious. Fishon Herb Center at 107 Mott between Canal and Hester is much more than meets the eye with $40/hr massages.

 Tell us what places in New York City YOU are most thankful for! Record YOUR Bonus Track and be featured in our very special Thanksgiving episode by using the "Voicemail" button at the top right part of this page. Please leave the name, address, and any details about your pick that you find exciting or unique. Don't forget to leave us your name and where you're from!

Monday, November 9, 2009

All Roads Meet in 10017

Grand Central. The place where all roads meet. In a perfect world, every weary traveler would have all their needs within arms reach. But this is not a perfect world: this is one of the busiest thoroughfares in New York City: 10017. Lucky for all you weary travelers, Jen used to temp around here and can help us navigate this complex area like the pro she is.

(and one of the best real life stories of all time!)
Subcribe Via iTunes or Recommend us to a friend! (Leave us some love in the reviews section!)

Co-fi: Cosi. Also known as “not starbucks”. Cosi has a reliable and everflowing wi-fi policy. The s’mores platter alone raises it above the average chain. MAP

Bobo Tapas: Grand Central Market Look at this stuff! Isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think...oh, wait. I've just been informed we can't use the appropriate song that expresses our emotions about expressing our emotions about this awesome land of food. Located within Grand Central, it's a whole new world.

Sanctuary: Fittingly, this atrium is located at 420 Lexington. A restful place with little known  side effects.

Public Bathroom: The toilets at Grand Central are really, really lovely. All roads and streams meet here.

Meet up Spot: Campbell Apt. located inside the terminal is a classy, classic joint any one would be lucky to drink in. Make sure you've got the proper attire. It's dressy-casual! MAP

Bonus Tracks: Meghan suggests some art deco architecture at the Chrysler Building.

Jen is a huge Superman fan (see pictures from comicon)and suggests the Giant Globe at the Daily News Building. It was the model for the Daily Planet building in the first two Superman movies. MAP

Alright, friends---Enjoy your reverse commute! Most likely it's Westchester.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

11238: Prospect Heights: We're Going (going) Back (back) to Brooklyn (Brooklyn)

11238, Prospect Heights is a wealth of secret treasures. For instance,  did you know that the hit film Notorious based on the life of rap superstar Biggie Smalls was, in part, filmed on these very tree lined streets? Well it's true! Jen's here to walk the swag and talk the rhymes, but can she afford to do it without having to hustle? Let's find out!

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Co-fi: Jen's out here a little early for a player, so she needs a bit of a pick me up. Outpost Lounge is a great coffee shop with an backyard, local art, and in the evenings, beer and wine. Whether you need a cup of joe or something stronger, make sure you find your way to 1014 Fulton St. MAP

Bobo Tapas: All this coast to coast feuding can sure make a girl hungry! Jen decides to head to another place made notorious by music, Tom's Diner. As heard in this Suzanne Vega song. It is always nice to see you and the miles upon miles of kitsch on the wall. We suggest the sweet potato pancakes. MAP

Sanctuary: Jen needs to figure out a way to use the "doo doo doo doo" of Tom's diner as the back beat to her next chart smashing hit, and to do that she needs a place to gather her creative thoughts. She heads to the fountain near Grand Army Plaza. Who knows, maybe in her next video she'll use mermaids like the ones in the fountain! MAP

Public Bathroom: The sound of rushing water is starting to have an effect on Jen. For our most high culture public bathroom to date, Jen heads to the Brooklyn Museum. Located at the corner of Eastern Parkway and Washington Ave, the museum has rotating exhibits focusing on modern and feminist art...and really, really nice bathrooms. MAP

Meet-up spot: Jen wants to try a drink called "thug passion" she heard about in a song by SOME OTHER RAPPER so she heads to Soda Bar located just down the street from the fountain at Grand Army Plaza at 629 Vanderbilt. The Soda Bar has movie showings, a backyard and a full menu. A great place to bring your entire entourage. MAP

At the end of the day, Jen may not have any gold records to show from following in Biggie's footsteps, but she does have a new found love and respect for the streets where he was raised....or at least where they filmed the movie about the streets where he was raised.

Jen's Bonus Track: Jen recommends Brooklyn Flea  every Saturday in the summer and into the late fall. Make sure to say hi to Shawn the bike guy. MAP

Meghan's Bonus Track: Big surprise.  It's a bar. Weather Up is a great place for old timey cocktails and third dates. YOWZA!!! MAP

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Basics 10019: Upper Midtown West Side, Represent!

Meghan and Jen have just spent a beautiful fall day lounging in the Sheep's Meadow at Central Park. They are going to see a fantastic Broadway musical tonight, but there's still some time to explore lands south of the park. The choices seem to appease the many tourists in this neighborhood, but don't appeal to us locals. Good thing we've got a link to The Basics, NYC saved in our smart phones. How meta are we?

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Printable Maps and List!

CoFi: Bis.Co.Latte Hand Made Biscotti 
667 10th Ave between 46th and 47th Streets 
MAP Who knew there were so many different kinds of biscotti in the world?

Bobo Tapas: Bouchon Bakery 
10 Columbus Circle 
MAP This ain't your momma's bag lunch.

Sanctuary: The Atrium at 1 WorldWide Plaza 
MAP A wide open space with tons of tables and chairs

Public Toilet: The Mandarin Oriental Hotel 
80 Columbus Circle 35th Floor 
MAP You just might want to move in.

Meetup Spot: West Side Sushi (AKA Sumee Sushi) 
717 9th Avenue at 49th Street 
MAP Super fresh rolls, not super costly.

Meghan’s Bonus Track: Ars Nova 
511 W. 54th Street between 10th and 11th Ave 
MAP Let them entertain you: cabarets, theatre, 
and music with a friendly vibe

Jen’s Bonus Track: Paley Center for Media 
25 W. 52nd Street between 5th and 6th Ave 
MAP Geek out on some television and radio history.

Thanks for visiting, guys! If you want to show your love, please give us a review on iTunes, and as always, leave your comments  and suggestions below!  

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You, my fellow traveller, are amazing. Yes, you.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

10001: No Man's Land/Where the Heck Am I?

Jen. Meghan. Caught in void.  Caged bird. Trapped between Midtown and Chelsea in a nebulous neighborhood with no name. Need help. Please respond.

Not to fear, lonely listener. The Budget Conscious New Yorkers are on the case.

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Subscribe Via ITunes! (It's like magic!)
Printable List and Maps!

Co-Fi: The Antique Café 234 West 27th ST. MAP
     clean, calm, laid back, great coffee

Bobo Tapas: Pizza Suprema (AKA Il Mare Pizza) 413 8th Ave MAP
          good slices, 1970’s roller rink-inspired

Sanctuary 1: Fashion Institute of Technology: 7th Ave at 27th Street MAP
quiet and indoors

Sanctuary 2: Various 10001 Plant Shops around 27th and 28th Streets MAP
tranquil and green
Public Toilet: Macy’s 151 W. 34th Street MAP
Try the 7th floor bathroom, and chase your thrills on the wooden escalators.

Meetup Spot: Witchcraft 555 5th Avenue MAP
Simple ingredients yield yummy results.

Jen’s Bonus Track: 32nd Street Between 5th and 6th Aves in Koreatown MAP
private karaoke rooms and  an international experience

Meghan’s Bonus Track: The Magnet Theatre 254 W 29th St MAP
$5 for 2 improv shows, $1 PBRs, Free Pizza on Thursdays!

NAME THIS NEIGHBORHOOD CONTEST: Get creative, dear listener! If you can name this No Man's Land, there will be a prize in it for you. Honestly, we don't know what it is, but there will be something, AND, you will acheive world fame when we announce your name  in an upcoming podcast! Leave us a comment or shoot us an email!

Thanks so much for continuing to spread the word about The Basics, NYC! Please keep it up!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Basics 10021: Bobo in SoHo

It’s a late summer Friday and Jen has a temp job at a non-profit on Broadway and Bond.  It's the last summer Friday of the year, and she is super-excited. Of course, with half day Fridays come half day paychecks so she needs to be smart with her coins in this schmancy neighborhood. Can she kill time for the afternoon before meeting up with her date without spending a bajillion dollars? 

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HERE to subscribe to us on iTunes. 
Printable Lists and Maps!

Co-Fi: Housing Works Book Store 126 Crosby St. MAP
Good coffee, great staff, awesome cause.

Bobo Tapas: La Hore 132 Crosby St. MAP
Food so good, it doesn't need a website. Taxi driver endorsed.

Sanctuary: Desalvio Playground  Mulberry St. and Spring St. MAP
Relaxing, plenty of seating, and close to Rice to Riches

Public Toilet: The Apple Store 103 Prince St.  MAP
The great lighting and big mirrors may inspire you to take a podcasting workshop when you’re done.

Meetup Spot: Lure Fish Bar 142 Mercer St. MAP 
You can live like the jet set at half the price during happy hour. 

Jen’s Bonus Track: Balthazar Bakery 80 Spring St. MAP
If your date doesn’t want to kiss you after this dessert, move on.

Meghan’s Bonus Track: Pomodoro Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria 51 Spring St. MAP 
Two words: vodka slice.

Have some more suggestions? Have a burning question you want answered? Please leave us a comment or email us HERE. Also, for more Zip Tips throughout the week, subscribe to our Twitter. Thanks for visiting!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Way We Get By.

Allow us to introduce ourselves: We are Meghan O'Neill and Jen Katz, The Budget Conscious New Yorkers (BCNY). We're two artsy-types who often find ourselves doing the strangest things to get by, financially and creatively.

Like most artsy-types, we're rarely in one zip code for very long. A typical day for us might include waking up at 6 am to sign up for an audition on the midtown west side, a temp job in SoHo, teaching an acting class on the midtown east side, a rehearsal for one gig in Chelsea, and possibly a performance of another back on the midtown west. A busy day for sure, but what about those random snatches of time in between all of these events?

Small, but common examples of time snatches:

*The mandatory lunch hour at a temp job in 10012

*The non-manditory 2-3 hours between interviews for two temp agencies in 10021

*The awkward 75 minutes between the sign-up time and actual audition time in 10036

*The overwhelming need to pee after an overpriced and bland latte in 10023

* A place to meet a friend to rant about an audition, a temp job, or to decompress in 11215 after a long day

The art of wallet-friendly time fillage for a New Yorker is one of the hardest things to get the hang of, and since we the are experts in that, please allow our bank-breaking trial and error be your easily-learned non-lesson.

So, if you know you're going to visit one of the strange and faraway lands that we've covered, print out our weekly list and take it with you. If you're out and about, ask someone what zip code you're in (we New Yorkers actually do love to help), open your smartphone and visit our site . If you know you're going to need to something to do on the train besides read the really lame SubTalk ads, download us. Follow this here link to iTunes, subscribe to us, and we will magically float into your ipod every week.

The BCNY can help. We're here. We're cheap. And if you buy us cocktails, we'll make you laugh.

This is the way we get by.

My Podcast Alley feed! {pca-aedca51358bd8c6501bd44fa4c947a30}

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Basics: 11215 The Way We Get By in Park Slope

Meghan is the consummate good friend and she’s cat sitting again in beautiful Park Slope, Brooklyn. She’s taken the
F Train to 7th Avenue for the key exchange, but her friend is running two hours behind. Nannies and Mommies are pushing double wide strollers into her shins and she hasn’t even had her first cup of joe. Clearly, she needs a hand. 

Co-Fi: Gorilla Coffee 95 5th Avenue@Park Place MAP
Strong, fair trade coffee, tasty snacks, multiple places to plug in,
good people watching

Bobo Tapas: Joe’s Pizza 137 7th Ave at Carroll Street MAP
A very tasty plain slice runs you $2.50, and served up by the last guy that broke
Meghan’s heart.

Sanctuary: Green Space President Street at 5th Avenue MAP
“Community-kempt” garden with a few benches for eating reading, and relaxing.

Public Toilet: Barnes and Noble 7th Avenue at 6th Street MAP
A covert, sanitary bungalow, nestled downstairs. Hang a left after the Lit Section

Meetup Spot: Great Lakes Bar 284 5th Avenue at 1st Street MAP
Great jukebox, relaxed atmosphere, 3rd beer is usually free because the bartenders
are awesome

Jen’s Bonus Track:
Alta Voce 318B 5th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets MAP
Italian, gorgeous atmosphere, garden dining, average meal (enough to split) is $9,
bottle wine specials, killer desserts

Meghan’s Bonus Track:
Kinara 473 5th Avenue at 11th Street MAP
Indian, Lunch Special: appetizer, entree and naan for $11,
fantastic chiken tikka masala