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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    City Fun for Less

    Winter break is very paradoxical.

    By early December, all students can think about is the moment they finish bubbling in that last answer on that last final.

    Two weeks into break, and the boredom factor is on the rise.

    By week four, many are staring longingly at the calendar, wishing the days went by faster and thus return to school and see friends again.

    And by the end of the first week of class, all anyone can think about is how relaxing break was.

    It is a bit of a masochistic phenomenon: only appreciating what you had after it is gone. But, fear not. There is something you can do to recapture some of that vacation spirit, and a way you can do it on a budget.

    This something is called New York City.

    The list of things you can’t do in the five boroughs is short, but there has always been the perception that in order to enjoy yourself you have to have deep pockets.

    Fortunately, there are ways around the obstacle of bills.

    For starters, there are more neighborhoods and villages than any person would like to count, all of which are excellent places to explore.

    A cheap $4 Metro Card gets you into every corner of the city.

    Then there are places like Central Park, where you can spend an afternoon in a quiet and free location to just hang out with friends.

    But if you need to be entertained, there are places to go for that as well.

    Broadway is never a cheap endeavor, but if you are willing to wait in a line for a little bit, you can get seats – good seats – for $20 or so.

    Student rush tickets are almost always available for every major show on Broadway and they are offered a few hours before show time.

    You may not get tickets to the show of your choice, but the number of shows out there play to your favor.

    Sunday matinees are your best bet, with shows usually starting at around 2 p.m and student rush tickets going on sale between 10 a.m. and noon.

    If Broadway isn’t your thing, how about a museum?

    The American Museum of Natural History is a bit pricey, but the prices the museum gives are suggested donations.

    While we don’t want to say you should exploit that fact, we also understand why you might.

    If your conscience is standing in the way of a free or steeply discounted trip through the halls of the Museum of Natural History, rest assured, we have a place for you: The Museum of Modern Art.

    The museum moved recently to a new building in midtown Manhattan, and they brought with them a unique opportunity: free admission for Stony Brook students.

    That saves you $12 that other less fortunate students have to pay.

    The deal covers all SUNY and CUNY students, but it’s nice to think that we Seawolves are privileged in some way.

    One of the more exciting options for poor college students is the music scene.

    Sure, if you are living off of Ramen noodles you may not want to shell out the dough for the big names performing at places like Radio City Music Hall.

    However, for relatively cheap prices (think $8-$20) you can see up-and-comers and B-listers perform at venues like the Knitting Factory, B.B King Blues Club, or the Bowery Ballroom.

    As for food, like everything else in the city, most good meals come with a laughably large number printed on the check.

    But venture a few subway stops south of Houston St. and you find yourself embedded in Chinatown, where you can stuff yourself full with Dim Sum on Sunday afternoon for not a penny over ten dollars. Some people may not be taken by these ideas, and that is understandable.

    When most people think of New York City, cheap is not a word that comes to mind. But if you are willing to settle for great and not outstanding, then you can do quite well for yourself in the city.

    In fact, perhaps the biggest expense in a weekend trip to the city is the train ticket to get you there.

    But I digress… that issue is a whole separate situation.

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