A list of great things to do, see, & eat for UNDER $5!!!!
- Go for dumplings then walk them off
Drop into Sweet Spring Restaurant (25A Catherine St at Henry St, 212-766-1777) in Chinatown for delicious cheap treats. Five dumplings with pork and bok choy are a mere $1.25, and four panfried pork buns cost the same. Apart from bargain chow, the takeout spot’s other claim to fame is being featured in Flight of the Conchords, so why not follow the first eight stops on this Flight of the Conchords walk? If you don’t overindulge at Sweet Spring, you’ll have change left over for a $3 High Life at Arlene’s Grocery (95 Stanton St between Ludlow and Orchard Sts; 212-358-1633, arlenesgrocery.net), where Bret and Jemaine hang out. If you’re nowhere near Chinatown at lunch, see if any of these spots for the best cheap dumplings in NYC are close.
When you’ve had your fill of the brown sludge your employer generously provides, head to one of these ten best coffeeshops for some liquid gold. Midtown workers will give thanks for Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Ace Hotel, 18 W 29th St between Fifth Ave and Broadway; 646-214-5749, stumptowncoffee.com), especially its cold brew (12 oz for $2.75, 16 oz for $3.25), made from a floral, nutty combination of Latin American and East African beans and cold-brewed for 12 to 14 hours.
- Go to the library for exhibits, jazz and more
You’re already paying for the service via your taxes, so take advantage of the free exhibitions and performances citywide. See the New York Public Library’s website (nypl.org) to find out what’s on at your nearest library, or head to the heavy hitters like the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (Fifth Ave at 42nd St; 212-930-0830, nypl.org/locations/schwarzman) by Bryant Park. The current exhibition “Recollection: Thirty Years of Photography at the New York Public Library” (through January 3) features portraits by luminaries like Diane Arbus, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank and more. Or if you have time to take in a performance, check out the schedule at the Bruno Walter Auditorium (111 Amsterdam Ave between 64th and 65th Sts; 212-642-0142, nypl.org). The schedule varies (see the website for details), but every Tuesday through December 28, you can enjoy one and a half hours of irresistible, toe-tapping Dixieland jazz tunes with the seven-piece Gotham Jazzmen (Tue noon–1:30pm; free).
- Listen to stories
Catch celebs, literary and otherwise—like Jon Stewart, John Hodgman, Nick Hornby and, um, Russell Brand—reading from their latest at Union Square’s Barnes & Noble (33 E 17th St between Broadway and Park Ave South; 212-253-0810, barnesandnoble.com; free). Consult our Books listings each week for a slew of other free happenings, or wait for these best reading series in NYC.
- Reserve Thursdays for the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
Block out one day each week until the end of the year for Target Free Thursdays (61 W 62nd St at Broadway; 212-875-5350, lincolncenter.org/atrium; Thu 8:30pm; free), at one of the Lincoln Center’s newest spaces. There you’ll see free performances from an eclectic variety of musicians, ranging from chamber music from turn-of-the-20th-century Paris by Canta Libre (Sept 30) to a bill combining the funk, punk and hip-hop mix of South London’s the Fish Police with the party sensibilities of Brooklyn’s Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! (Nov 4). DJs also hit the Atrium on select Fridays and Saturdays, the highlight being the Bunker’s Spinoza spinning in front of a backdrop of artist Seze Devres’s projections (Oct 15 at 9pm). It’s also worth stopping into Tom Colicchio’s sandwich shop, ’wichcraft (The David Rubenstein Atrium, 61 W 62nd St at Broadway; 212-780-0577, wichcraftnyc.com; Mon–Fri 8am–10pm; Sat, Sun 9am–10pm), although since you’re on a budget, you’ll have to keep it to one drink, like a glass of the house wine ($5) or a Geary’s Pale Ale from Maine ($5).
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