9 of the Easiest Hacks for Enjoying the City

Downtown Skyline

Our lives are messy enough. But no matter who you are, where you live, or what you're up to, you know you're always looking for ways to make your life just a little bit easier and enjoyable. ALWAYS. How do we know this? Because EVERYONE is.

So it doesn't come as a surprise to us why we're seeing more and more blog posts, magazine articles, and Youtube videos about the "Best Hacks..." around. Hack this, hack that...they're all about spreading the information, shortcuts, and loopholes that may or may not be obvious, but will save you time, money, stress, or a combination of them all.

Yes, we're that friend. The one that gets you in the know. You'll notice that some of these are deals, others are just plain common stinkin' sense. All of them though, will make you see 9 of theEasiest Hacks (ok, more like easy tips!) for Enjoying the City.

And you might think to yourself that these are not really hacks if we're just telling people how to use things the way they're supposed to be used...but if a good portion of the public doesn't know how to read a parking meter, doesn't know how to Google inexpensive travel, or how to get discounts at the places we love the most around here - then these are serious hacks for life in the city - let's call them loopholes for making your life easier.


1. Read the meter!

Parking meter

Yes, starting simple. But seriously, READ THE METER! We can't tell you how many times we've seen good, hard-working, law-abiding citizens paying into the meter after 6pm. And paying anytime on a weekend or a holiday! Listen - for the love of sanity - please don't pay the government any more money than you need to.

For those who say there isn't any parking available in the city, we think that's absurd. There's parking all over this city, and if it's metered parking, it's FREE after 6pm on the weekdays and FREE on the weekends. Period. Boom, we just saved you $5 for a 2 hour show at Geva Theatre.


2. Megabus your journey


Think options for traveling to New York City will cost you hundreds of dollars on Amtrak or the airlines? Not around here. We've seen fares on Megabus as low as $5 from Rochester to New York. I've personally scored a last-minute fare from New York City to Rochester for $25 - on the 20th of December! Whaaaaaaaat!

With only a simple pick-up spot and drop-off area (low overhead, keeps costs low), Megabus can be seen 1-3 times daily over on Broad Street between Chestnut and Broadway.

And in case you're wondering, no it wasn't a scary experience. In fact, in the 7-hour trip I managed to sleep a few hours during the early morning trip, grabbed a cup of coffee on the trip's one stopover, and I got all of my last minute Christmas shopping done online with their FREE Wi-Fi enabled buses. Oh, and no need to worry about going dark - all seats come with multiple power outlets.

Megabus it here!

Food (and more)

3. RYP Perks App

Hart's breakfast sandwiches

Do you ever go grocery shopping? Do you ever eat? Ok, here's one - don't you just LOVE the breakfast sandwiches at Hart's Grocers? We thought at least one of those questions may garner a resounding "Yes!".

So why aren't you taking advantage of RYP's mobile "Perks" app? It's FREE for download on Apple and Android devices, and it gives you a 10% discount off your entire order at Hart's - including fresh breakfast sandwiches and coffee! There's no catch to it, you simply download the app and you're in!

Even better, RYP Perks will give you discounts off of dozens of products and services throughout Rochester. So tell me again, why are you paying full-price for that?

Get the app here!

4. Hart's and the Rosie App

Rosie app

Speaking of grocery shopping (and Hart's!), why not skip this mundane task all together and have someone else do it for you? Hart's Grocers has teamed up with Rosie to offer you a simple, easy-to-use app that can be downloaded on your smart phone or computer so you can have your groceries delivered right to your door.

Save a few minutes of time in a day by ordering exactly what you need and having someone else do the heavy lifting. This would also keep you from spending frivolously on extra's while you're waiting in the checkout line.

Get the app here!

5. City Dining Cards & App

City Dining Cards

You may have heard us mention this before - City Dining Cards and App. Their new App is FREE to download, and it gives you a 20%+ discount to some of the most happening cafes, restaurants, and watering holes here around town. Again, stop paying full price for things you don't have to!

Last call: While the new app takes over, you can still purchase the last deck of cards that City Dining Cards will ever make on our own site. We have them on the Rochesteriat SHOP for the absolute lowest prices sold anywhere. We'll stop selling them after October 31st, the deals are good 'til the end of the year, so get the last of these cards that offer 30%+ discounts to some of the best venues in our city - SHIPPING is FREE too!

Buy clearance Dining Cards here!


6. Geva Theatre Volunteers

Democrat & Chronicle

What's the best way to get FREE stuff? Give of yourself freely! That's right, also known as volunteering. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the local not-for-profits around town need all the help they can get. And the theatres are no exception. Geva Theatre actively looks for volunteers to help them out and in turn, gives volunteers the opportunity to see the shows for free.

Have another favorite cultural institution that you wouldn't mind getting involved with? Contact them directly to see if there's a need for your services, you may be able to save BIG on theirs.

Start here for Geva info!

7. Eastman Concerts

Eastman School, Downtown Rochester

We've said this before, and we'll say it again: world class music + students = FREE concerts here in our city. During the school year, downtown Rochester is alive with some of the world's most talented musicians practicing their works. You get to take advantage of this by simply showing up. Yes, that's right, no tickets or advance anything is needed - just show up.

Most performances take place in the beautiful Kilbourn and Hatch Recital Halls. Come and go as you please. Check out the concert calendar to see what's playing, and make a date night out of it!

8. Your Local Library

the Rochesteriat

Everyone should have a local library card. Period. You know they have books that you can borrow. But did you know that there is an app called OverDrive that allows you to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and videos from thousands of local libraries across the world, and you won't have to step foot inside a library to do this or worry about returning on time to avoid any late fees? Yes, you still need that library card to do this.

Secondly, when you are the proud owner of that library card, you'll have the opportunity to check out what's called the V.I.P Pass at your local Monroe County Library. Checked out like a book, this pass gives you discounts to the Eastman Museum, Geva Theatre, the MAG, and the RMSC - without having to spend a penny for that discount. At the Eastman Museum, for example, the discount is nearly 60% off a regular price admission for up to 5 people - better than a Groupon!

Get the app!

9. BONUS - Halloween Costume Sale! 

Blackfriars Theatre Costume Sale

Still looking for that unique last minute Halloween Costume? Why not buy one and support a great local cultural institution at the same - Blackfriars Theatre! On October 26th and 27th, from 5-8pm both nights, Blackfriars will be holding a theatrical costume sale and you'll be able to snag something great for only $3 or $5 - now that's a deal. Go see their beautiful theatre and walk away ready for Halloween. It's a win-win.

Know of any other great hacks in our city? Share them and add to our list.

Sign up for The Rochesteriat Weekly which is a FREE email sent out every Friday morning informing you of the best/coolest/newest/most unique/vintage stuff going on in the city.

Intro to SHOP: 6 quick reasons you're gonna love it


the Rochesteriat SHOP here! Yes, that's right, SHOP here!

We officially launched our SHOP here at the Rochesteriat on Wednesday, August 5th, late into the wee hours. We've been hard at work building this website, blog, soon-to-be City Guide, and now SHOP for the past 2 years, and we're so excited to be evolving in the way we are. Changes are constantly being made to the site, and we hope you like them. The SHOP is definitely one area where you will see some of the most visible changes, and it allows us to show off some of our local creativity in terms of partnerships, local branding, and of course, our love for the city!

The vision for our SHOP is this: to carry items and deals that we, as city locals, would love and use ourselves - made in-by-for- or somehow having to do with our City. We want to bring you unique goods, special deals, and awesome treasures that you may - or may not - be able to find elsewhere.

So, without further delay, here's 6 reasons you're gonna love it as much as we do.

1. This Cute Lit'l Cart

the Rochesteriat

Let's just start this off with the most obvious...we have an adorable lit'l cart sitting right on the upper-right hand corner now of the site. It's there for you to fill it, so fill it up! You want to know what you're purchasing? Click on this little guy to see what you've added to your cart. It's just so darn cute...

BONUS - Unlike a Wegmans shopping cart, no matter how many items you put in it, this little guy never gets full...keep going, it can take it!

2. Brittany Leigh - Partner from the Get-Go

the Rochesteriat

We spotted Brittany's ROC pendants a couple of years ago out at the Corn Hill Fest which prompted us to track her down to find out how we could sell her items on our SHOP. She then became an original SHOP member with us, friend, and we couldn't be more thrilled to be partnered with her. For this Charlotte, NC native, her jewelry of the outline of ROC city reflects her passion for ROC, her current city, of which she works out of a studio in Village Gate at NOTA.

BONUS - Check out her SHOP items, because Brittany has graciously allowed us to offer some of her ROC necklaces, pendants, and rings for a nice discount - for a limited time! If you think this stuff is good, then you must check out her full line of goods here on her own website.

3. MYDARNDEST - giving you an excuse for that upstate accent

the Rochesteriat

Yeah, see, you know you say it like this. "RAAAAAACHESTER!" Come on, be LOUD and PROUD about it! Now you can put it on your wall. Made by the talented local artist Bill Klingensmith operating out of his studio in Anderson Arts Building, these posters have already proven to be a popular addition to the SHOP. Forget the ROC logo, forget the stuff everybody else does...look for some unique goods to come out of MYDARNDEST in the days ahead.

BONUS - Now you'll have it memorialized for everyone to see why you talk so funny.

4. City Dining Cards - Can you spot a DEAL when you see one?

the Rochesteriat

Our friends at City Dining Cards reached out to us and said, we want to sell what we have for half price...and we were like, um, DUH, yes, we will. So the Cards, originally $20, now just $10, and the Drink Deck originally $10, now just $5 - how can you go wrong? Let me spell this out for you...YOU MAKE BACK YOUR COST USING JUST ONE CARD! The Dining Cards are essentially a deal card: get $30 worth of food for $20 at some of Rochester's best restaurants. The Drink Deck is a BOGO - Buy One, Get One drink deal.

We look at it this way: two people go out, each has a latte or wine - now you only pay for one. At a restaurant, try that appetizer you've always wanted to try before the meal! The two of you will reach $30, and you'll still only pay $20 for it. Makes total sense to us.

BONUS: These are the last of the paper decks to be printed. Get them while they last. All together, for $15, you're saving well over $500 in food and drink costs to amazing places here in ROC. Oh, and some very cool Press from the Boston decks, too.

5. Fahsye

the Rochesteriat

From the amazing little boutique shop in the North Winton Village comes a Rochesteriat exclusive. Fahsye, and good friend and owner Fon, have struck a chord with buyers already by offering these simple, affordable little necklaces that show your heart for the city you love. The charm is made out of a lightweight plastic so as to not weigh you down, and the silver and gold ones nearly sold out in less than 24 hours. At $15 including the chain, you can't go wrong.

BONUS - Look for more stock and items in the coming days from Fahsye. Fon's ROC Collection is a true inspiration to us, and we've seen people go nuts over the bracelets, necklaces - and guys - even cufflinks. Wanna see more? Check out more in her store next to Mayer Hardware!

6. Something Special

Thank (1)

We just celebrated our 2nd birthday in business, we have some great changes coming up ahead in the near future starting with the launch of the SHOP, and you've supported us all along the way. We'd like to say "Thank You" by offering FREE shipping until 11:59pm on 8/9/15 12noon 8/16/15. Hurry, this deal won't last long. (Do YOU know how expensive shipping is these days?! - yeah, we're finding out real quickly.)

We'll be updating our SHOP items constantly, and adding more things in the near future. Make sure to sign up for our weekly email (top right next to that cute lit'l cart!) to stay attuned to any new items, special deals, and all the latest happenings in our city. Once again thank you for following us, and if you have any feedback about the SHOP, the site, or you want to suggest a new item to sell, please send all communications to info@theRochesteriat.com.

Jason2Ok guys, this SHOP is not going to be all jewelry and girl's stuff. We're on the hunt to bring you the best guy's stuff, too! Keep watching, we have more exciting goods and deals right around the corner. Make sure to check out @theRochesteriat and give us a liking on Facebook.