25 Cheap Things To Do in NYC

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01/20/2010 3:30 AM |

Things to do for $1
1. Even though Guss’ Pickles (85 Orchard St.) has been embroiled in legal battles with another Guss’ out in Cedarhurst for some time now, it’s still possible to get two of their barrel pickles for a buck.

2. It takes a little bit of searching, and an amazing grasp of the space-time continuum, but you can get a Bolt Bus (think Chinatown Bus, but with WiFi, boltbus.com) from Sixth Avenue and Canal Street to the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia for $1. What to do in Philly when you get there is a whole other story.

3. The Mahayana Buddhist Temple (133 Canal St.) is very beautiful, calming, gilded, and basically free to enter; if you’ve got a one-dollar donation laying around in your robe, we hear the monks can be persuaded to give you a rubber band, and throw in a pre-printed fortune rolled up inside of it for free.

4. Ever since we were young boys we played the silver ball… well, we never actually played anything because we were raised by moose in Canada, but if you’re a fan of Tommy’s favorite pastime check out Zablozki’s (107 N. 6th St.); they’ve got a pinball machine called Fun House dating back to 1990—the oldest living pinball machine in New York. And you get four games for a buck.

5. The suggested donation on Pay What You Wish to See the Friday Fish Day is a whopping 13 bucks at the New York Aquarium at Coney Island (Surf Ave. & W. 8th St.). But having been there and seen the fish-type creatures, we suggest you only pay a dollar, Friday or not, thus slowly bankrupting the institution. (Down with aquaria and pescaprisons!)

Things to do for $2
6. The M5 Bus from Riverside Drive meanders all the way down to Greenwich Village and passes landmarks like Grant’s Tomb and… other stuff. And its only two bucks (and an extra quarter), which will save you approximately one million dollars off the double-decker buses that all the tourists take.

7. Our favorite OTB is the one on Graham Avenue just before Metropolitan (333 Graham Ave.), because it’s always filled with people who make us feel ok about our shaking hands. Remember, the Straight Bet is only two bucks and pays almost double.

8. You know you really want to pretend you’re in a Spiderman movie. For $2 you can hop on the Roosevelt Tram (59th St. & Second Ave.) and do it in style, while heading to a place that we’ll never understand.

9. Yeah, we know The Nets are in New Jersey (50 Rte 120, East Rutherford, NJ), and that they’re terrible, but if you enjoy the NBA, you can totally find tickets for under two bucks on StubHub, if you look about ten games in advance.


10. Monday Night Bingo with Linda (“Not Lisa”) Simpson is at the Bowery Poetry Club and is free to enter, with Bingo boards costing $2 apiece. Linda can be hit or miss, but if it sucks you can always get drunk at Slainte next door—a little more money but a lot less Bingo.

Things to do for $3
11. If you live in New York and you haven’t yet been to the New York Transit Museum (at Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street), you might as well go and find out just exactly what events and historical circumstances bred the terrible mutant that is the MTA today, and give yourself some context for complaining.

12. You’re so close to launching your modeling career: you have the looks, you have the addictions, now all you need are the headshots. Treat yourself to a Bushwick Country Club photo shoot (618 Grand St., Brooklyn) for $3 in their old-fashioned photo-booth that features real chemical developing. Or just go get drunk and snog with somebody in it.

14 Comment

  • I found L Magazine

  • Sorry, #7 is off the board. That charmingly ramshackle OTB is now a slightly overpriced, slightly dodgy Thai place. Neither really helped the block out too much, and I like curry puffs more than nicotine tarred old men, on balance, but it did give the hood a bit of old timey short story grit.

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    Cheap Cruise

  • TriviaTryst hosts pub quiz nights all around the city. It’s free to play and you can win money off of your bar tab, making for a potentially very cheap night.

  • Check out http://www.clubfreetime.com if you are a culture connoisseur. You’ll find 30 to 50 of free events per day: free classical concerts, comp theater tickets, free readings, free tours, free yoga and tai chi classes, and everything you can imagine – free cultural thing to do in this glorious city of ours – New York!

  • Check out http://www.clubfreetime.com if you are a culture connoisseur. You’ll find between 30 and 50 free things to do A DAY! From free classical music concerts to complimentary tickets for off Broadway shows, to free tours and free tai chi lessons and tons of other free things to do in this glorious city of ours!

  • I will definitely have to try Linda (not Lisa) Simpson out. Lets hope I get bingo. Another idea for cheap things to do in NY is take advantage of the deal on aviloop.com and go to the Cradle Aviation Museum. Its 2 for 1 this week so you will save about $20. Even includes a movie, nice little escape from the scorching sun if I do say so myself.

  • If you bothered to pay attention when you visited the NY Aquarium, you would know that the aquarium is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society

  • The Aquarium is NOT ‘pay as you wish’ ALL day on Fridays…
    “Friday Afternoon Special – Admission on Fridays beginning at 3:00 p.m. is by pay-what-you-wish donation. Every dollar you give supports our work in caring for animals here in New York and around the world. Recommended donation is $5 per person. “

  • Just being anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and occasionally Staten Island is enough to bring great pleasure.

  • awesome!

  • This was a fun read. Now I have some ideas of what I want to do if I ever go to New York City! Instead, I’m going to Boston! Does anyone know of things to see and do in Boston? I would love to hear things so I can plan a fun trip!

  • The Nets are not in New Jersey. Did I read that wrong?

  • This article was published in 2010, at which time the Nets still played in New Jersey.