“New York is expensive!” We probably heard this complaint a lot already. However, as a poor college student with an unpaid internship in the city for two months, I need to tell you the truth that this wonderful place is not that expensive if you know how to first, control yourself from buying everything (this happened to me before) and second, to find cheap or even better, FREE, places to go to. After visiting tons of shops, restaurants, bakeries and attractions, I have made a list of free (or somewhat free) things to do in the city that I feel the need to share for future or returning visitors of the city.
Picture 1. A Sephora store on 5th Ave and 19th Str, only a 15-minute walk from The New School dorm
If you are into the beauty world just like I am, Sephora is definitely a place to go for you. Not only because this place offers you free testers (which most cosmetics products selling places now do) but also because they do complimentary makeup for you. Well, you might say that they offer it because they want to sell their products afterwards. True! But it does not necessarily mean that you are forced to purchase those products. You can just politely say “I will save it for next time” and there, you have your makeup done. Check out my transformation created by a makeup artist at Sephora below.
Picture 2. No makeup
Picture 3. With a natural- look makeup on, my face was flawless and glowing :)
Some Sephora stores (the big ones) also have Nails Studio, which include different stations that will show you how to do different nails designs. Of course, you can copy or create your own nail design right at the station…for FREE by using top nail polish brands such as O.P.I, NARS, Dior… I love coloring my nails so usually, I go to Sephora at least once a week to get my nails done. The awesome part is that there is a Sephora three avenues down from the dorm that Elon in NYC stays in this summer (Picture 1). A nice walk to get nice nails that cost nada.
Picture 4. Nail studio at Sephora
Picture 5. Tutorials for nail desgins
Another shout out for free beauty in New York is StyleCaster’s DailyMakeover Try On!Tool. I was introduced to this technology when I applied for an internship at the company and got addicted to it since then. The bonus is that I am officially a Junior Team Member of StyleCaster this summer in the Big Apple; this makes me love the technology even more. DailyMakeover Try On! Tool is where you can upload photos of you online and try on different hairstyles and makeup looks virtually. If you are in love with Anne Hathaway’s new short hair and want to see if it will fit your face, the DailyMakeover Tool is where you should test that out first before you spend your bucks for a new hairstyle that might not turn out not as nice as you think. The technology is online and free for everybody so you do not have to actually be in New York to use it; but because the company’s base is right in the never-sleep city so it is worth mentioning.
Picture 6. Try On a new look yourself!
Picture 8. My makeover with Alex Chung’s hair. Should I style my hair like this for real?
Picture 7. Alex Chung
Three paragraphs dedicated just for beauty above are probably enough to prove how much I love the beauty world. However, as a “long-term tourist” (because I get to stay in the city for two months), I also spent my time on other tourists’ attractions. If you are interested in museum and modern arts, MOMA (the Museumf Modern Art) is of course the one to check out. MOMA usually costs $14 for students to get it but good news! If you go on Friday after 4p.m, you will not have to pay a cent.
Picture 9. I don’t know where I put my free ticket anymore so I had to steal this from the Internet
Who does not want to see the Statue of Liberty when they visit the city? Not me for sure. However, I did not want to spend $20 to just see the Statue, so I found a free way to get a good view of her, Staten Island Ferry. This ferry runs 24/7 and free for anybody. Here are some pictures of the amazing views that Brianna and I were able to capture while taking the ferry.
Picture 10. Bye Manhattan, will see you in 30 mins!
Picture 11. There she is!
Picture 12. The FREE ferry
Want to see Broadway show for free? Make friends with your fellows on the program (a lot of them intern at entertainment companies), be nice with the program’s professor and…check your emails. My friend, Brianna and I had a great opportunity to see a dress rehearsal of the brand new Broadway musical comedy, First Date, thanks to the kindest and most awesome professor, Bill Webb. He got three tickets from his friends and sent us an email about it. Brianna and I were the first ones that responded to the email and yep! We were going to the show as VIPs.
Picture 13. First Date with Bill and my lovely friends
Food lovers, it is hard to find free food that actually will give you a full meal or full size but if you only have to pay $1 for a large cup of iced coffee or tea in this boiling weather, it’s the equivalence of being free. Brooklyn Bagel, located three blocks from The New School dorm, is the place that will offer you this amazing deal every Tuesday in June and July. If you are looking for a wake-up call that is cheaper but still tastes as good as Starbucks (or even better because you pay much less), Brooklyn Bagel is the place to go.
Picture 14. Yum yum and cheap, who doesn’t want that?
Two months in the city seem too short; I still think that our first day was yesterday. Now that I only have five days left here and have enjoyed all the free deals of it, I do not really mind spending a little money for all the delicious international food that the city offers.