Tag Archives: NYC

Free and low cost Events in NYC this weekend 9/16-9/18

Exploring the world in our own backyard

1.  120 artists and galleries present works in individual rooms at the 4th annual 4 heads art fair at governors island.  http://www.4heads.org/

2.  Movie Screenings:  dusk: free outdoor movies 9/17 women on the verge of a nervous breakdown (big screen plaza, 6th ave bet. 29th + 30th), 9/18 the good, the bad and the ugly (habana outpost), 9/20 2001: a space odyssey (big screen plaza, 6th ave bet. 29th + 30th), 9/21 the devil wears prada (stuyvesant town oval)

3.  Apple picking an hour or less from nyc: http://alturl.com/jc9mx

4.  Thru 9/18: get $20 tickets to off-broadway shows 20 minutes before curtain during ‘20at20’:  http://www.20at20.com/

5.  Value Deal:  Good till end of day 9/14.  Two movie tickets and a large popcorn at cinema village for $12 ($27 value, limit 3/person)  http://alturl.com/fj4x2

6.  Sunday, September 18th – The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City presenting an array of literary stars and emerging authors who represent the exciting world of literature today. One of America’s premier book festivals, this hip, smart, diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages.  http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org/BBF/Home

Tips to NYC travel

Once you have completed your Work and Travel program successfully you may choose to travel in the US before returning home to University.  For many LifExchange participants NYC is on your list of places to visit.

Here are some tips to assist you with your planning

The Basics:

Buying a metro card:  We recommend you but an unlimited 7 day pass for $29.00.  This allows you to travel 24 hours per day for 7 days anywhere I the city for one cost.  Find out more at the MTA.  Taxis are not cheap – with the heavy New York traffic and the compulsory tip, expect to pay $10 for even a short cab ride.
Accommodations:  For cheap accommodations look up http://AirBnB.com for in home stays, or for a little less visit http://Hostelworld.com.  Both of these options are cheaper than a hotel unless you are traveling in a group and willing to share a hotel room.  Depending on the dates, Hostels can be found for around $30 – $45 a night, depending on whether you want a private or shared room. Book your accommodation before you travel, especially in peak season.
Food: Most hostels don’t serve breakfast, so a diner breakfast will set you back about $10 – not including the tip. New Yorkers don’t do things by halves – and this includes their food portions.  Try the street vendors, there are a lot of great meals you will find for less then $5.00.  China town and the East village are also great neighborhoods for great finds.  Want to splurge and treat yourself to something great?  Visit Open Table for suggestions and reservations.

Things to do:

The Statue of Liberty – (http://www.statueoflibertytickets.com/) ferries for the Statue leave every 25 minutes from 8.30am-4.30pm from Battery Park. Perhaps the most recognizable icon of the USA, expect a long wait with queuing and security checks before boarding the ferry.  The ferry continues on to Ellis Island, where you might find a long lost family member on the Immigrant Wall of Honour.
The Staten Island Ferry is free- and while there is not much to see on Staten Island you will get stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline. This ferry runs 24 hours a day.
Central Park – Probably the only place in the city you’ll find some peace and quiet. It would take a week to view the whole of this park, but try and fit in a few of the highlights during your stay. Strawberry Fields, dedicated to the late John Lennon, is worth a visit and the Jackie Onassis Reservoir is beautiful on a sunny day.
New York Public Library – Worth a visit if only to view the two famous stone lions sitting outside – said to represent Patience and Fortitude. Oh, and it’s free.
Ground Zero- For decades, the World Trade Centre was the most visible tourist attraction in Lower Manhattan. Post 9/11, the site is surrounded by a Viewing Wall, that allows visitors to see the rebuilding that is now underway. The names of the 9/11 victims are included within the wall.

Cheap Stuff

Although New York is an expensive city, there are plenty of things you can do for free or cheap. The city is best seen on foot. In addition to the most current cheap options listed below, check out The Skint for day to day activities and options for great stuff to do in NY.

Among the free things to do are Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry, most national park sites many of the museums, some guided tours, and all TV show tapings.
 Studio tickets for SNL, Daily Show, Letterman and more
Tickets to other shows taped in NYC are easier to snag and usually for free. Here’s an updated list of shows that tape with a live audience in NYC:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Colbert Report
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Late Show with David Letterman
Good Morning America
The Early Show
The View
Live! with Regis and Kelly
The Martha Stewart Show
The Rachel Ray Show
The Dr. Oz Show
The Wendy Williams Show
MTV studio audience
Who Wants to be a Millionaire
The Marriage Ref
The Tyra Banks Show
Comedy Central Presents
Other resources:
On Friday mornings during the summer both Today Show and Good Morning America offer free outdoor concerts. Usually no tickets are required.
The automated Twitter feed @DailyTix tweets when new tickets are available for the John Stewart or Stephen Colbert shows.
Free hours at NYC museums, zoos and gardens
Museums with free or pay-what-you-wish hours in 2011
Museum at Eldridge Street – Free 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (normally $10)
Yeshiva University Museum – Free 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $8)
McKim rooms of the Morgan Library & Museum – free 3 to 5 p.m. (full museum access is $15)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden – Free all day (normally $10)
China Institute Gallery – Free 6 to 8 p.m. (normally $7)
Staten Island Museum – Free noon to 2 p.m. (normally $3)
Bronx Zoo – Pay-what-you-wish donation all day (normally $16)
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust – Free 4 to 8 p.m. (normally $12)
El Museo del Barrio – Free 6 to 9 p.m. (normally a suggested $9)
Staten Island Zoo – Free 2 to 4:45 p.m. (normally $8)
Yeshiva University Museum – Free 5 to 8 p.m. (normally $8)
NY Botanical Garden – Free grounds access all day, but excludes the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, Rock and Native Plant gardens and tram tour (grounds-only access normally $6)
Van Cortlandt House Museum – Free all day, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (normally $5)
Queens Botanical Garden – Free from 3 to 6 p.m. (normally $4)

11 Safety Tips and other Tidbits for International Travelers

1.     Use the same safety precautions you would at home!  I live in NYC and there are everyday precautions I use when I travel and at home – Avoid walking alone on deserted streets after dark, keep your money in a secured location, carry a cell phone when possible.  Most mobile carriers have international plans or you can buy a prepaid cell phone at many airports to be used for local or emergency calls.

2.     Learn about the local culture – pick up a travel book before you depart home.  Read about the place you are going to visit.  Some great travel guides will tell you where the best local pubs and eateries are.  Don’t just visit the designated tourist site’s, go to a coffee shop and chat with a local to learn more about the city you are visiting.  One of my best travel days many years ago was when I found a group of tourists from Sao Paolo on the same tour as myself in Curitiba.  They were local to the country but we were on the same adventure.  We quickly became friends as they taught me how to order brigadeiros with my coffee con leche and what stops were worth seeing with my hop on hop off bus pass.

3.     Know the local currency and understand the exchange rate.  The quickest way to loose money is not to understand it.

4.     Transportation – Before you even depart check out the public transportation routes and schedules.  Find out if you need any special license or an IDP to drive.  Want to travel by taxi? Find a Taxi Stand – You can usually find a taxi stand on the street in any country in a large city — even if you can’t read the words, you’ll notice taxis congregating near the sign. Generally, only taxi’s authorized to carry passengers are allowed to stop at these taxi stands, meaning the taxi is as safe as that country mandates, and the cab driver licensed. Look for these cab stands at foreign airports, too.

5.     Have copies of everything – It’s a simple rule, but a wise one.  I always find it useful to copy my passport, travel itinerary and tickets, driver’s license, and other pertinent paperwork.  I keep a copy on me and leave a copy with someone I trust back home.  If you have your belongings stolen or lost your trusted friend or family member can fax or email you copies to assist in retrieving lost bags, visiting your embassy for emergency passport replacement, etc. – this can save hours of headaches.

6.    Do you know how to pack smart?  Take advantage of those “hidden” spaces – For example, place small items inside your shoes or the pockets of shirts or jackets you pack.  Pack extra bags in your bag – Packing a duffle bag in your luggage gives you extra space to bring things home with you. It’s also a good idea to bring plastic sandwich or grocery bags for laundry or other items.   Don’t pack what you can get at your destination – many hotels have a hair dryer in every room, along with many toiletry items, so you don’t need to pack them.

7.     Learn the laws and customs of the land you’re visiting – you are responsible for your behavior and knowing local rules and regulations.

8.     Crime can be found anywhere – “It’s about body language, awareness and intuition,” says Robert Siciliano, a personal security expert and the author of “The Safety Minute.” If you look like you know what you’re doing and where you are going — even if you look like a tourist — you’re a lot less likely to be targeted.

9.     Travel with less cash.  Most countries these days have access to ATM machines; pack your debit card.  It is worth the piece of mind of not carrying loads of cash and less hassle then travelers cheques in many locations.  Naturally when you hit the streets in NY, Rio or Rome you will want to carry cash for a little shopping, or street food just be thoughtful about your plans for each day and plan accordingly. Some ATM machines even offer better exchange rates than the airport or your hotel. Just be cautious of ATM fees as they can add up, and avoid using a credit card.

10.     Want to take an extended trip on a budget?  Try a Work and Holiday Adventure. With many countries to choose from this is an opportunity to make some pocket money while living abroad.

11.  Travel is about having an adventure of a lifetime – having new experiences, visiting new places and creating new memories.  I wish everyone a safe journey as you head to your next destination.