Take a Stance: Budget Friendly NYC

New York, New York…though I’ve never lived in the city, going for a visit always feels like going home. The bustling energy, the stench of the warm air puffing out of the subway vents. If it weren’t for the irrational way I flinch whenever a pigeon is flying even remotely close to me, I would even go as far to say I can pull off looking/ acting like a true New Yorker. Last time I was in the city, I was asked for directions twice.

Luckily, I live close enough to the city that I am able to head up for a visit every few months…but this wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t learned how to navigate the city on a budget. Some may argue that New York is expensive no matter what…but that doesn’t have to be the case. I’m here to stand up for you–and the other budget travelers out there.
We might not have had seats, but we did have a padded ledge to lean on!
Seeing a Broadway show is my favorite thing to do when visiting the city. When people hear how many shows I’ve seen (more than 20), the next thing out of their mouths usually has something to do with how much money my family has probably spent on shows. Since I’ve started seeing shows, the cheapest option for tickets has always been standing room seats…er, spots. These tickets, available for purchase at the box office on show day, typically cost about $30. It’s important to note that not all musicals and showings offer these tickets, but it’s always worth a shot: especially if you aren’t picky on what show you want to see. I’ve stood for Mamma Mia, Fun Home, and Come From Away. Standing for a show can be exhausting after a full day of walking around the city, but I think it’s the ideal way to see a matinee. Standing behind the last row of orchestra seating, sneak a peak at the tickets for the people sitting a row in front of you…the view is the same and chances are you paid much, much less.
Gooey cheese and under $5…the perfect lunch.
If you know me, you know that there is no way that I could possibly last until after a matinee without eating lunch; I’d be in tears and probably yelling about the fact that I wasn’t hungry. While my dad wrapped up a business appointment and made his way uptown, I secured our tickets and realized that there was only twenty minutes until curtain. I needed food, fast. I power walked my way to the corner of 40th and 8th. Not losing my sense of urgency, I entered the pizza shop and called for a slice of plain. A bottle of water and a huge, fresh slice of pizza cost me $3.80. For $5, I could have gotten two slices and a drink. By the time I paid, the pizza was warm and I stepped over to the counter where I stood and ate the slice. No need to fear….I got a slice to go for my dad. 
We were both fed and standing in our spots for the show with more than five minutes to spare. In the end, we paid less than $75 for two broadway show tickets and lunch. The next time someone tells you that New York on a budget isn’t possible, stand up for yourself…literally.

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