Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Museum Hopping on the Cheap | Skint in NYC

NYC is not a good place for living that frugal life. But alas, here I am with a few cents in my pocket and dreams bigger than I can afford. I thought, why not blog about it? Enter my new blog series: Skint in NYC. Check out the first of the series, Bagging a Free Haircut

I may be counting my pennies, but that shouldn't mean I can't get my fix of culture every now. Luckily, New York City is chock-a-block full of iconic museums and art galleries that you can do on the cheap. The trick is knowing when to visit, and knowing when the admission prices are just suggestions. So let's get into it...

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What: Pay what you wish

When: Any day, any time

If you're headed to New York, a visit to The Met is probably pretty high up on your to-do list. Thankfully, it's completely affordable, because it's pay what you like! Though you can be easily fooled into coughing up $25 for an adult ticket, as the signs state this as the admission price. Look closely at the sign though, and you'll see in smaller print that this is only a recommended price. In actuality, you can play as little as a dime if you wanted to! Don't worry about the cashier judging you when you hand over a measly dollar bill. Honestly, they get cheapskates thrifty people like me and you all the time. They won't bat an eyelid.

Once you're in, you'll have access to pretty much all the collections on display, save the odd members-only exhibit. A must-see is of course the Anna Wintour Costume Center, to get nerdy about fashion. Next head to The Sackler Wing for the photo ops next to those huge windows... Oh, and the history too I guess! Finally, I always make a trip over to the modern art wing, as it's my favourite style. Whatever kind of art you dig, you're bound to find it here - this place is massive! Be sure to etch out a full day in your schedule for The Met if you really want to see it all.

Where: The Museum of Modern Art

What: Free

When: Fridays from 4pm

Unfortunately, it's not as easy to get into the MoMA for cheap. However, if you're willing to queue for a bit, you can get in for free on Fridays at 4pm! You'll only have a few hours until it closes at 8pm though, so if you're hoping to see it all you better have your walking shoes strapped on tight.

You'll find recognisable work by iconic artists here, including Salvador DalĂ­'s The Persistence of Memory, Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, and - of course - Andy Warhol's Campbell’s Soup Cans. But it's not all about the well-know pieces. The museum is dedicated to showcasing work by emerging artists too, so you're bound to stumble upon a new favourite while you're there.

Where: American Museum of Natural History

What: Pay what you wish

When: Any day, any time

I have to admit, this museum is not one of my favourites, because it is very focused on natural history (duh). That's not really my thing. But, I had some time to kill and I love me a good outing, so it was fun to wander around. And it's pay what you like, so why the hell not?

Bonus: it's where Ross worked and also hooked up with Rachel(!) - is that not reason enough to visit?

Some deal as The Met, simply hand over your donation and you'll get your ticket. While there is usually a special exhibit that you'll have to pay full price to see, you can skip it and still have plenty to peruse.

Where: Brooklyn Museum

What: Pay what you wish

When: Any day, any time (they're closed on Mondays and Tuesdays though)

Brooklyn Museum is definitely an underrated New York City spot. It's not in a part of Brooklyn that many tourists would wander to, but they should! I mean, for the interior alone, just look...

Seriously had such a great time exploring this museum... It was when I first arrived in the city, when I had no one to hangout with and could only have a date with myself, so that's exactly what I did! Loved it.

Despite all these tips, I'm not saying you should pay the bare minimum to get into these museums. If you have a bit of spare cash then by all means, donate what you can, I'm all for supporting the arts! I'm just letting you know that it is possible to do these museums even if you're on a really tight budget.

This is just a hand-picked selection! There are many free and low-cost museums on offer, check out this list if you're looking for more things to do when you're skint in NYC. Or for something completely different, read about how I bagged a freebie haircut in this costly city.

Until next time, you stay thrifty, NYC.

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