As many times as I have been to NY, I never thought to look into free or almost free things to do, until I brought a friend with me for a quick weekend trip, as my friend was on a limited budget. It turned out to be a GREAT experience as we got rather creative and decided, why not try to see if we can see some sights and enjoy the city for under $30. So I decided to think of spots that would satisfy my friend and still give an authentic feel of what NYC has to offer. So our first stop early in the a.m on this journey was good ole central park!
Central Park is just beautiful, it was early fall when we visited, but the flowers were still out and the weather was gorgeous. We took a stroll around and took in the landscape and skyscrapers and watched the many joggers along the way.
We then headed for some breakfast at WestWay Diner. We sat and had a western egg breakfast sandwich ($5.19), some granola and bananas ($6.19), and all were delicious and the service was good.
ENJOY THE SKYCRAPYERS
Next we walked to Chelsea Market, now for some, this might be abit of a hike from the heart of Time Square area (shy of 2 miles), but for us we were happy to get our steps in! We stopped and checked out famous buildings along the way such as the Chrysler Building and went into various shops that peaked our interest, so the walk didn’t seem that much to us.
Chelsea Market is one of the most popular shopping areas in New York. It is filled with crafty shops, local, farm to table food options, chocolate shops, basically anything you can imagine you can find here in a really comfortable environment. We spent a few hours just walking around and going into the shops and just people watching, as we grabbed a quick bite to eat for lunch at Beyond Sushi. We had the piece sample ($5.95) and the green root noddle salad ($6.25). You can enjoy the good unique taste of New York City food culture without the huge expense.
ARCHITECTURE AND THE ARTS
We then headed back to see some more sights and made a stop at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and landed at MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) as we discovered that they offer FREE admission on Friday evenings from 4pm -8pm. This was a highlight as we got to see lots of famous artwork including Van Gogh’s Starry Night, without having to pay a dime!!
GRAND CENTRAL STATION
After leaving MOMA, we walked towards Grand Central Station, a spot that is seen in so many NYC based movies, my friend had to visit it just for some kicks. Grand Central Station was still a hustle and bustle as it was a Friday evening, but it was fun to see my friend reference the many movies of which this spot was a backdrop. We then left Grand Central Station and started our way back to Times Square area.
NY PIZZA AND GELATO
After quite a bit of walking we thought we would treat ourselves to a greasy bite, yes, some NY pizza! We were staying at the ROW NYC so we stepped across to Patzeria Perfect Pizza Pasta & Grill and grabbed three slices of Ricotta ($1.75) and one slice of pepperoni ($0.75). They were fast and friendly and this spot was probably some of the best pizza I have EVER had!! Typical large NY slices and just cheesy deliciousness. Patzeria also offers pasta dishes and items off the grill but we just enjoyed the pizza on this trip. After the pizza settled a bit we then grabbed some dessert from Amorino. I was still stuffed but my friend tried some authentic Gelato ($3.75) and enjoyed it immensely. Amorino has over 20 flavors of gelato made with organic ingredients like Ecuadorian chocolate and Madagascan vanilla and they also offer colorful French macarons, gelato cakes, waffles, crepes and hot drinks.
All in all, it was an eventful day that didn’t dip too deep into our pockets ($29.83 for two of us- tax excluded) which to me seemed like an impossible task at first, but I love a challenge. We were creative enough to make it work. My friend was able to take in the sights, have some great memories all on a very low budget, which then allowed her to be able to shop more than she anticipated. So yes folks, it can be done in good ole New York City and if you happen to be in the area, give any of these spots a try as you definitely won’t regret it!