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Posted on | March 31, 2010 | Comments Off on bathroom camera hidden spy bathroom video camera,A New York City Weekend for $100

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A New York City Weekend for 0

HOW much spending money should you set aside for a weekend in New York City that includes taking in some theater, museums and experimental film, dining out at restaurants for every meal and having a few beers, too?

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RelatedFrugal Traveler Blog: Where the Money WentReaders’ CommentsShare your thoughts.Post a Comment »Read All Comments (138) »Does 0 sound reasonable?

Perhaps not, but it should. Manhattan may seem like the most expensive place in America — you could make ,000 disappear in a weekend if you really wanted — but it can also be cheap. Even with just 0, you can paint the town red without going into the red.

A few weekends ago, I did just that, imagining a budget and itinerary I might recommend to a cash-poor friend crashing on my couch during a first visit to New York. The budget: for food, for culture, for the subway and for drinks. The result was an exhausting, exhilarating weekend that mixed classic tourist spots with unusual stops. All you’ll need is a free place to stay (Couchsurfing.com works, if you don’t have friends here) and a good deal of energy.

Here’s how I spent my time (and money).

FRIDAY NIGHT

The plan: pizza and theater, followed by a microbrew. One hundred dollars wouldn’t even cover a Broadway spectacle, but on most weekend nights, the city’s theater scene offers plenty of riches for or less. I combed through listings at nytimes.com/theater and Time Out New York magazine, and found that the Public Theater was putting on “Measure for Measure” at Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village for . It was the first production of its new Mobile Unit, which had performed the show at prisons, senior centers and elsewhere. It was an unusual performance — done in the round with house lights on — but the cast made it work even for philistines like me who never read the play in high school.

The show’s run has ended, but cheap theater tickets can usually be found by scouring the listings that I did.

I found my pretheater dinner just a few blocks from Judson, at Joe’s, where I ate two thin and crispy slices for .50, and I had a post-show beer (Sixpoint Righteous Rye Ale) nearby at Blind Tiger Ale House for .50, including tip.

SATURDAY

I chose the Lower East Side as my first destination because it seemed to offer so much New York in one place: diversity (Chinese, Latinos), gentrification (coffee shops and boutiques) and history (old tenements).

And, of course, doughnuts. I was joined for much of the day by my Chilean friend Valeria Martínez, and we had breakfast at the Doughnut Plant (fattening New Yorkers with pillowy yeast and dense cake doughnuts since 1994). After that we took a walking tour led by the Lower East Side Business Improvement District’s excellent podcast. (The organization offers free tours led by live guides April through November.)

We quite enjoyed our disembodied female narrator as she talked about the architectural details of surprisingly ornate tenements; told us the story of Sender Jarmulowsky, a Russian banker whose name still adorns his 12-story bank building at Canal and Orchard; and even led us to the chic Roasting Plant coffee shop.

As we were walking on Orchard Street listening on our ear buds, we noticed a Chinese man unloading green, mesh-covered crates from a graffiti-covered delivery truck. Something inside the crates was moving: hundreds of softball-size, ugly frogs!

After we recovered from our frog fright, we continued the tour, which ended at Katz’s Delicatessen, about a mile and little more than an hour after its start. Then it was off to South Ferry and the Staten Island Ferry, a freebie with views of the Statue of Liberty. Unlike Statue Cruises, which takes visitors to Liberty Island and costs , the city’s ferry doesn’t offer much room to stand outside, and you don’t get to stop at the Statue of Liberty or at Ellis Island. But there’s also no line and you can go 24 hours. (The round trip takes just about an hour.) The crowd was divided between bored commuters and excited visitors who pointed out the statue to their children on the way out and snapped endless photos of the Manhattan skyline on the way back.

After debarking, we took the subway up to Times Square and headed over to Margon, a hidden lunch counter on 46th Street that serves Cuban specialties. We split a Cuban sandwich () and pork chops with a huge mound of rice and beans () (and the check) and added two Coronas for .50 each, which exhausted my alcohol budget. Lunch ended past 4, and Valeria took off for other (less frugal) engagements.

I hopped the subway to the Guggenheim, where late every Saturday afternoon, crowds line up for the pay-what-you-wish admission period, from 5:45 to 7:45. Folks usually pay a dollar ( less than general admission), according to the woman who took my . Though several New York museums have a permanent pay-what-you-wish policy (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History), you feel sort of weaselly doing it. But because the Guggenheim publicizes its temporary pay-what-you-want admission, you can hand over your guilt-free.

At the museum, throngs of young people made the coiled rounds of the museum to see the exhibition “Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy & Germany, 1918-1936,” which focuses on artists’ partial return to classic forms after World War I. (It closes Jan. 9.)

After a bite, I decided to blow of my remaining culture budget (and another MetroCard swipe) on whatever was at the Anthology Film Archives. I got there for Lou Castel’s “Pyramidial,” which I would have renamed “Guy Leaves His Low-Quality 1990s Video Camera on by Accident.” I may have missed the experimental point, but I wasn’t alone. Or rather, I was. By the time I walked out halfway through, I was the last of the original eight audience members. It was a few dollars cheaper than a new release, but the bargain came at a cost.

SUNDAY

This seemed like an ideal day to explore contemporary Manhattan coffeehouse culture and to fulfill a New York weekend dietary requirement, the bagel with cream cheese. The dose of coffeehouse culture would come from Grounded, in the Village. I can vouch for its bagels (from Murray’s) and cafe bona fides (comfy sofa, plants, artistic brown-and-white patterns topping their lattes). It’s on a side street, which filters out passers-by and leaves a crowd of mostly regulars.

I had great intentions of lounging for an hour and then wandering the Village and Chelsea until lunchtime, but rain and sheer inertia left me hunkered down at Grounded for a few delicious hours before I hauled my remaining .46 over to the East Village for lunch at Streecha, a basement Ukrainian spot open only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I spent on an excellent cup of borscht, two dumplings and stuffed cabbage. The crowd was mostly gray-haired ladies chattering in Ukrainian but there was a slow, steady stream of outsiders the women seemed to like.

I was clearly not the first unaccompanied man to be told by the septuagenarian crowd that they could find me a “good Ukrainian girl” to marry.

“Wonderful” I said. “Which of you is available?”

I suspect from one woman’s quick response they’d heard that one before: “Oh, no, we’re too young for you.”

And maybe too rich, I thought. I had 46 cents left in my pocket.

An earlier version of this article misstated the years covered by the Guggenheim exhibition “Chaos and Classicism: Art in France,

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