East Village Backyard Spaces You Can Use for a Pittance (That Aren’t ‘Timeshares’)


It might be tempting to fork over $350 for the right to grill and party (but not imbibe) for four hours in an urban “backyard timeshare” like the one we wrote about earlier today. If, however, you’re looking for more recession-friendly options in the neighborhood, we’ve compiled a few of our own local favorites in the $25 to $50 range.

Steve Cannon’s Backyard
Price: A $50 donation for the duration of the party, but potentially less for a “good cause” (like the ukelele-banjo jam session Steve hosted recently). Call Steve to discuss.

Veteran Nuyorican heckler and LES poet Steve Cannon, aka “The Blind Man,” holds court at his home, which doubles as an open door non-profit art gallery, musicians’ jam lounge, and writers’ salon. Glass doors at the back open on to a classic LES backyard of leafy vines, tiki torches, and a flagstone clearing.

Open container and liquor license laws cannot touch you in this private space. Musical instruments are encouraged; there’s a piano inside for public use. Want to bring a kiddie pool? “Be my guest, especially in this weather,” Steve says.

There’s no grill, so BYO.

Green Oasis Community Garden
Price: $25 donation to the garden, for an afternoon.

In the Voice‘s neck of the woods, you can’t really walk from your building to the closest bodega without passing by a community garden. We especially love Green Oasis on East 8th between C & D, which features a colorful gazebo and an open dining space complete with a barbecue pit, long tables and chairs. Just drop by on Saturday or Sunday and chat with the member who’s tending yard to reserve a time for your shindig. Non-members welcome.

Each garden has their own rules about letting non-members host parties; find the community garden to suit your needs (grill? fish pond? gazebo?) and check their policies.

East River Park
Price: $25, for a special events permit.

Grass under your feet, the sounds of baseball and the FDR behind you, and a grill by your side as you gaze out over the East River and into Brooklyn, a land of ubiquitous private green space. But be forewarned: you’ll need to apply a month ahead with the NYC Parks Department.

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