High rent, high transport fees, high grocery bills, and way too highly priced cocktails are what you expect and undoubtedly encounter in the city that never sleeps. But despite the ever-climbing prices and cost of living, there is something the city offers often for free if you actively seek it out, and that’s culture!
Last weekend we went to the Lincoln Center Campus for an amazing day of free performances. Lincoln Center hosted a ‘block party’ to celebrate their the 60th Anniversary; it was fabulous.
It made for such a lovely weekend activity and at no cost (I really mean no cost, we even resisted the gelato stand!). From the morning to the afternoon we enjoyed multiple groups and solo artists who were stunningly talented and beautifully engaged with the diverse audience, which ranged from young to old, families to singletons.
From opera, to a 30-piece band, to a wind quartet were some of what we got to enjoy and engage with on a rainy Saturday. It was perfect.
Even some of the pricier Broadway shows can be seen for a lot less if you’re willing to explore the different ways of getting tickets. There are so many programs available if you take the time to do a little digging. I recently got to enjoy the some of the best dancing I’ve ever seen in a musical theatre production. Kiss Me, Kate at the Roundabout was absolutely fantastic! I truly could have watched the second act opening number of ‘Too, Darn Hot’ over and over – the precision, athletiscm, and stamina of the dancers were jaw-droppingly incredible. At the climax of the number, everyone around us seemed to be buzzing with the same energy that was coming from the stage.
As much as I wanted to see Kiss Me, Kate, I was skeptical that I’d get the chance. Broadway shows are notoriously expensive, and it would be quite a sacrifice to buy two full priced Broadway tickets.
I poked around Roundabout’s website and found the “Hip Tix” membership page. It was the perfect program – totally free to join, and if you’re between 18 and 35, you can get two tickets for $25 each, no matter the age of your ticket companion! There seemed like there had to be some kind of catch, and I was waiting to be denied my tickets at Will Call due to missing one part of the fine print. But as I approached the Box Office window, I was greeted by a smiling worker who graciously handed me our tickets.
I’m learning that the trick is to not be frustrated by the high prices, but to explore what a city full of culture and enjoyable activities has to offer. If you can’t beat the system, join it!
Reflecting on my experiences with the world, my neighborhood, and my home.