If you open your eyes, you'll see chess boards everywhere in NYC parks. There are even tables with inlaid or painted chessboards on top. Old men gather and set up their beloved boards, then wait and wait for some friendly competition.
Are you brave enough to play chess with a complete stranger? "I don't know how to play" is always my excuse, and it's generally met with a "sit down and I'll teach you!" One of these days I'll be brave enough and try.