©Val Douroux 2022


Updated: Mar 22

I have always dreamed of living in NYC or LA.

I love big city living! I love the energy of a million things happening at once. I love all the diversity, and I love the events and opportunities that come with it! Most of all, I love the big cities have a respectable market to value art. I am currently living in LA, but before I moved here (14' - '15) I lived the hottest minute of my life in New York City.

I lived in SoHo off Avenue of the Americas in the middle of Prince and King St. I worked any job to thrive, lived on a modest budget, and experienced everything the city had to offer. If you're a 1% man, then you can do whatever you want in New York City, but if you're humble, trying to stretch your dollar and experience as much as you can in the city that never sleeps, then

Here's My Guide to make the most of your trip to NYC

& The Best Cheap Things to Do in NYC

& a Bonus Map at the end!

Plan Your Trip:

Once you know your timeframe, take a quick look at the calendars to see what's happening in New York City while you're here! I like to check: NYCgo, Time Out, Thrillist, NYC Guide, Village Voice, Gothamist, and Eventbrite.


The 3 major New York City airports are JFK, LGA, and EWR. Cheap flights go to EWR because it's far OUT THERE. JFK & LGA have direct connections to the subway and metro system. You'll pay an estimated $7 - 15 to get to of from the airport using public transportation.

On the subway or bus, each ride costs $2.75 local or $5-6 express.

Buy MetroCard. It's the subway and bus system, and it's the most efficient way to get around New York City. Use the machines located at the entrance of the station. When you press the screen, you'll have the option to add time or value, add time. Buy "unlimited weekly" for $30. Even if you’re only here for 2-3 days. You'll get a lot out of it, and it's the best bang for your buck. When I first got to New York, I took a lot of trains in the wrong direction. It's nice to have unlimited weekly because those mistakes don't literally cost you.

I don't always like to travel underground, so I also take the bus. It's nice to have an unlimited MetroCard because it comes with the option to do both.

There's also UBER, LYFT, and taxis.

Taxis are nostalgic New York, but psycho and expensive. I once took a taxi 2 blocks for $20 and the driver screamed at me through bleeding gums because I only gave him a $2 tip. It was a 2 kind of day. What do you want me to do? Tip you for a drive that almost took my life and increased my blood pressure?! If you're new to LYFT, ask your friends if they have a promotional code for 5 - 10 free rides.


New York City has an incredible artscape. Street art, major museums, and a thousand galleries. The art alone makes Manhattan a major cool city.

There's the big museums:

The Met


Natural History



& a thousand galleries.

My favorite part about living in SoHo was all the art galleries.



Louis Meisel

Kate Werble

Stayley Wise

Anita Rogers

Artists Space

Ronald Feldman

The Drawing Center

Morrison Hotel Gallery

Pop International Galleries

National Geographic Gallery

By all means, patron the arts! If you're broke, here's a guide to visit the museum on a free day.

Apple Store SoHo has a ton of neat events! Free events! Celebrity panels, classes, and cool things! I walked in once to get my iPhone fixed and happened to see one of my favorite filmmakers Frederick Wiseman (above).


Restaurant Week is a super cool time to try ZAGAT rated restaurants at an affordable price. If you're not here that one week in January, then you'll enjoy Happy Hour! 3 - 6 or 7pm restaurants around town offer a select handful of drinks and quick bites for $3-11/each.

Pack fruit.

Spend on brunch and dinner. I love Hotel Chantelle and their cheap AF drinks. I love every where in Manhattan during Happy Hour. Happy Hour by far is the greatest deal and way to dine at a variety of restaurants. There is also restaurant week that happens towards the end of February. Here, you can wine and dine Zagat rated restaurants (sometimes) at $25 for a 3 course meal.

In addition to our world-class restaurants, New York is known for it's pizza and bagels. Talk about constipation. People of New York be eating bread and cheese all day.

Travel to the West Village for New York's best bagel, pizza, and cupcake joints! All $2.50 - $5ish an item. Bagels on the Square offers a variety of spreads to slab between those fluffy bagels or you can have a sandwich. Joe's Pizza is one of the hottest joints in town. Take one look at their Hall of Fame and you'll know you're in a dignified celebrity hot-spot! People like Leo DiCaprio, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sean White, and The Olsen Twins get their slices from Joe's and you can too!

+ Fun Ideas:

Think about Pete Davidson and take the

Staten Island Ferry. It’s free and offers delightful views of the Downtown and the Statue of Liberty).

Day of Broadway Tickets

92 cent drinks at Hotel Chantelle

Lounge in the Parks

I hope you enjoyed these tips for your trip! Contact me. I'd love to provide suggestions curtailed to your courageous spirit.