Cheap thrills

By ELLEE DEAN  |  June 14, 2006

Block Island roundtrip traditional ferry, $13 (a game of naked wiffle ball will cost you those gonads.)
Resident island hero and co-inventor of the reverse face chug, Andrew Dodwell tells us about Block Island’s unofficial nude beach, his favorite book, and how to eat and drink gratis in New Shoreham. On the southwest corner of the island, below 150-foot bluffs, is Black Rock — the locals’ name for the nude beach. Dodwell recommends playing naked wiffle ball or naked football, and reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises on the beach for these three reasons: “it’s my favorite book, Hemingway was a nudist (at least, he was in the shower), and when the really fat woman sunning herself next to you bends over to dust the sand off her towel, you could make a funny joke to your friends, like ‘Hey, the MOON also rises,’ or some derivative of that.” Off the beach, Dodwell explains that girls can get anything for free by flashing. “If you’re a guy,” he says, “just bring a really hot, morally flexible girl with you.” Doable. For free dinner, Dodwell suggests Champlin’s. His advice: tell tenant drunks how much you like their boat (even though most boats in the marina are identical). “They will eventually invite you on for drinks, followed by dinner, if you play your cards right.” Too chump? Ballard’s hosts a Wednesday-night volleyball tournament; winner takes home the $100 dollar pot — enough to buy you and the hot Eastern European waitress a room. Nastrovia!
Block Island Ferry | State Pier, Gaililee, Wakefield, RI | 866.783.7996

WaterFire, free (house fire, apartment fire, or car fire will cost your home, your hole, or your ride.)
Once learned in organized crime, the city of Providence now plays at organized fire. Seasonally, Barnaby Evans’s Waterfire installation sets alight the city’s navy-blue waters with a heavy perfume of pine, oak, and cedar. While wary of gaudy romance like Venetian-style footbridges, cobblestone walkways, and La Gondola ($79 for you and La Girlfriend), we can’t help but stare at the Woonasquatucket, Providence, and  Moshassock Rivers’ raging midnight glow. Could be we always wanted to play with matches. Could be we could really go for a s’more.
WaterFire | Providence, Rhode Island

CONNECTICUT
Drinks at Mohegan Sun's penny slots, free (fifty pulls will cost you $.50)
Summertime gambling, drinking, and general debauchery happen one penny at a time with a glazed Krispy Kreme in hand and a free drink perched between the knees in Uncasville, Connecticut. Free drinks? Check. Free live music in the Wolfden? Check. The “world’s largest, most spectacular” free planetarium dome? Check. The penny slots aren’t nosebleed seats; we sit next to Rose and her nosy oxygen tank . . . Remember, a hit of O2 is also free if you ask nicely! Free drinks abound, the room spins, and Rose recounts last week’s $96,000 win on the penny slots. Yes, the penny slots. Pockets empty, we stumble into the parking garage looking for Lincolns.
Mohegan Sun | 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT

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