In 2016, I decided to commit myself to something I've been unofficially practicing for years: eating free food. I'm not only cheap but also have incredibly low standards for what I'll put in my body so it seemed like the perfect New Year's resolution.
I scoured the Internet, joined mailing lists, and bothered friends to find all the events so unloved they had to bribe attendees with free food. There were hackathons, comedy shows, movie screenings, and one very awkward award ceremony that I accidentally crashed. And for every fellow New Yorker that offered me free food, I donated $5 to Food Bank for New York City.
Throughout the year I attended 91 different events. It was an honor to get a brief glimpse into some of the many communities that call New York City home—from the francophiles of the Alliance Française to the amateur comedians at Bunga's Den to the camera whizzes at AbelCine. I was humbled by the inclusiveness I felt by each of them even as a self-proclaimed pest and outsider.
New York, thank you for putting up with this roach. See you in 2017.
- 91 events attended
- $455 (2,275 meals) donated to Food Bank for New York City
- 15 slices of pizza
- 11 cheese plates
- 1 Peking duck
See the map below for all the places I visited in 2016.