If you want to see a Broadway show and actually want see the whole show, this itinerary isn’t for you. If you can’t stand sleeping through wonton soup fumes wafting up from the restaurant below, move on. If you would rather pay full price than wait on line for 30 minutes…fo-geta-bout-it.
Who’s this itinerary for?
This itinerary is for travelers on a serious budget. It’s for broke adventurers looking to push boundaries and meet locals. It’s for people who want to maximize experiences while minimize costs in one of the greatest cities in the world. Let’s go!
1) 12:00pm – Check Into your Hotel (Price: 35$)
In the heart of China town stands the infamous Sun Bright Hotel. They’re main selling point on trip advisor…the linens are included. Up until 1 year ago, a single room went for just 10$!
Unfortunately today, as a result of increased promotion, the Sun Bright has risen it’s prices to match increased demand. Never the less, at 35$, it remains the cheapest private room that’s not a homeless shelter or church in NYC. Definitely one of New York’s hidden treasures or dumps (can’t quite decide.) (Tip: Get a cheaper rate by haggling with the front desk in person).
2) 12:30 – A Light Lunch In China Town (Price: 2$)
New York’s China Town is so big and so packed with Chinese people that you might actually think you’re in China. When the smells of Pu Pu platers becomes overwhelming, head to any tea shop for a steamed pork bun, a few lotus cakes and Chinese milk tea for just around 2$. But if you’re in the mood for dumplings, nothing beats Prosperity dumplings at Clinton and Stanton. 8 pork dumplings for 1$!
And when you’re dumpling-ed out, head over to Columbus park where you’ll find Kung fu and Tai chi classes, a few old Chinese dudes playing Chinese chess and a stray fortune teller or two.
3) 2:00 – Subway To 81st Street (Price: 2.75$)
From Canal street catch the C train up to 81st street. Duration 30 minutes.
4) 2:30 – Museum Of Natural History (Price: 1$)
Although you could get your entrance ticket for as little as one penny, you might want to donate at least 1$. After you get in, head up to the 4th floor for the largest dinosaur exhibit in the world! Be sure to check out the Marine Life and African Mammal exhibits as well.
5) 4:00 – Stroll Strawberry Fields (Price: Free)
Exit the museum, enter the park, and take the first path south. You’ll wind around the iconic lake and finally into Strawberry fields. Here you’ll see John Lennon’s memorial and hear plenty of acoustic guitars playing beetles songs.
6) 4:45 – Get Grays Papaya (Price: 5.95$)
Exit the park at 72nd street and walk two avenues west to Broadway. Here you’ll find Grays Papaya, home of New York Cities most celebrated hot dog. Get the recession special for 5.95$, which includes two dogs with everything and a pint of the most delicious papaya juice you’ll every wash down greasy hotdogs with.
7) 5:00 – Train To Union Square (Price: 2.75$)
Right across the street is the subway where you’ll head back downtown to 14th street/Union Square.
8) 5:30 – Wait On line For Fuerza Bruta (Price: 20$)
Fuerza Bruta will change your conceptions about going to the theatre. Without giving too much away, let’s just say you will be dancing, slobbering on confetti, and maybe even getting wet.
Ticket prices are 80$ in advance but if you show up at the door at 6pm, two hours before show time, you can get them for 20$/person. I would recommend getting online at around 5:30 on a week night. See here for more info about the show, Fuerza Bruta.
9) 6:00 – Walk to Bleecker St Pizza (Price: 2.75$)
With tickets in hand it’s time for a 15 block walk south to experience the best pizza place in New York, Bleecker Street Pizza! On the way downtown be sure to stop off at Washington Square park where you’ll usually find some street performers jumping over tourists.
10) 8:00 – Get Back For The Show (Price: Free)
Although the show starts at 8 it’s not a bad idea to go early and socialize with other theatregoers at the theatre bar. Keep in mind that it takes about 20 minutes to walk back to the theatre from Bleecker street.
11) 9:30 – Out On The Town
The shows over, you’re potentially soaking wet, and you’ve got a good buzz going.
You could either:
1) Go back to your hotel (Price: Free)
2) Walk back downtown to Greenwich Village/Ludlow St in SOHO and wander into any dive bar/music venue. (Price: Be prepared to pay a 5-10$ cover)
3) Take the L train from Union Square to the ‘Charleston’ on 174 Bedford ave in Williamsburg. They’ve got ski ball, Big Buck Hunter, and a Jukebox specializing in 90’s hiphop. Plus a beer, a shot, and a pizza goes for just 5$. (Price: 7.75)
So how much did the day cost? Just around 75 bucks depending what deal you scored at Sun Bright hotel. Not too bad considering you attended an acclaimed show, saw 100 million year old dinosaur bones, slept inside, and ate all of New York’s finest street foods.
If you’re coming to New York and are on a serious budget, give this itinerary a shot. I always take my out of town friends on this route and no one’s ever disappointed. Fortunately for them, they get to stay with me and not in a prison block above a Chinese restaurant. Don’t let the Sichuan bed bugs bite ;)