Monday, July 24, 2006

I never really thought about NYC as a rough, tough city that kicks your ass to the curb. I grew up in NYC on the weekends so I never was afraid of the big, bad city until now.

NYC is kicking my butt! I lost my apartment and job and have not found replacements. Finding an apartment is crazy hard.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Baby, it's boiling outside

Yes I know that I haven't posted in ages and don't know if anyone still reads this but here goes.

There is a heat wave in effect right now and it is really hot. I mean the temperature is in the high nineties but it feels like 104. In many other parts of the country, there are ways to avoid being outside for long periods of time. There are air conditioners in cars and buildings and on buses. But the one thing that New York has that not all other cities have is most of the population walking to get to their destinations or worse, taking the subway.

For the past two days, I have tried to avoid the heat by either staying indoors at all times with the a/c blasting, or trying to get to where I needed to go using the buses. The buses are almost always air conditioned and unless it is an obscure hour a bus will be at the stop in less than 10 minutes.

This morning I had to take the subway all the way downtown. To get to the subway, I had to walk three avenues and four blocks. At 9:30 am the sun was already blasting through the building and cooking my poor skin. I descended into the subway and started to wait. It was really hot below ground but I was lucky the subway came and even luckier that the air conditioning was working. There was just an article in the AMNY about the percentages of trains that actually have working air conditioners. This was a small number and I really felt lucky. After my half hour ride, I came up to the ground level of the city and began to sweat. Walking around for more than 5 minutes has reduced most NYers to puddles of sweat.

Right now I am sitting in a nice office with the a/c on and I am actually quite chilly. Too bad in 10 minutes when I leave I will be super hot all over again. Yuck!

My advice: Wear a skirt and tank top, gulp down some water and sit in front of your a/c all day!

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Yesterday, as I was exiting the subway at Prince Street, I noticed a crowd at the intersection right in front of me. There was someone screaming and horns beeping. Usually I don't have time to stop and look at everything going on in the street but I had some time to kill. I wandered over to the crowd and took a peak.

I saw a black Mercedes in the middle of the street with an older man in the drivers seat. Another man was standing at the window screaming at the driver. I couldn't understand what they were saying. Right on the ground in front of the car was a bicycle splayed out. The man had obviously been knocked off his bike by the car but not hurt enough to be still on the ground. He was yelling and not letting the man drive away by having his bike right in front of the front wheels.

The crowd had their opinions of whose fault it was ranging from the driver to the cyclist to the street for being narrow. I surveyed the scene and wondered how this would end. The man was clearly blocking traffic and the cyclist wanted the man to do something because he had been hit by his car. I turned around for one second and when I looked back the car was gone as well as the bike. In the distance, I could hear the sound of sirens. The police showed up as well as a fire truck. I was not sure why it was needed but liked that the city felt the need to send all emergency vehicles to the scene. There was nothing for them to do but talk to the witnesses. They did this quickly and left to go to the next NYC issue.

It's always an adventure. Thats what I love about my city! :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006


I love saving money and finding deals. Living in the city can get expensive but there are little things that can make you feel like you are living the life, yet saving a bit of money.

I have inherited the coupon cutting trait from my mom. Everyone Sunday when I was little, my mom would sit on the phone with my grandparents and clip coupons. They came in the Sunday Newsday and she would have a nice pile by the end of the phone call.

I do not receive a paper everyday from a subscription and instead choose to read the free AM NY that the nice man at the train station hands to me. Because the paper is only published on weekdays, there is no Sunday section with coupons. During the week, some coupons find their way into the newspaper and I always find them hidden between the recipes and neighborhood spotlight.

Cosi, the crazy expensive sandwich and salad shop has a coupon when the seasons change. This coincides with their new products but they publish a coupon for about 2 weeks that runs in the paper. The coupon is for $2.00 off any salad, soup or sandwich. Now Cosi is seriously overpriced. It is almost $9.00 for a sandwich. Two dollars off is a treat. I do not go out to lunch at work but a co worker has a Cosi salad every day for lunch. (I really wonder how she can afford it.) I am the Cosi fairy and appear in her office with the clipped coupon in hand. She loves that I think of her. Sometimes I pick up two copies of the paper and treat myself to a Cosi salad because I just cant resist using a coupon!

Another lucky find in the AM NY is a coupon for a sushi place that my friend and I love. We stumbled upon this place on night while in the West Village and enjoyed a platter of sushi. A month later I found that they had a coupon every week in the paper for 50% off any sushi! It also had a deal for $1.00 sake! I figured there would be some special menu to use and some day old fish but alas it included the whole menu! Cheap, non- supermarket sushi, is a hard find and yet I have found a great place and a way to make it affordable!

I look for other coupons in random publications that I find by my mailbox. You never know when a chance to save money will appear so have a pocket pair of scissors ready to clip.

Moral: Don't ever laugh at the power of a coupon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

$40 a day? Try $12.50 in NYC!

I suck and am sorry I have not posted in a long time....

Something I love about NYC is that you can find alternatives to crazy expensive food. I think that I could eat for under $15 dollars a day. None of this Rachael Ray $40 a day crap! Let's face it who really has the money for that?


I am not an expert on cities but I do know that NYers love their coffee in the morning. I don't partake in this ritual but if I did I don't think I could afford to have a steaming $4.00 cup of joe everyday from Starsucks! An excellent alternative is coffee or tea or even flavored coffee from the guys in the silver carts! I am in love with one of these carts. On 23rd street, there is a man in his cart who LOVES his job. He is cheery everyday, asks about you, smiles (are you going to get that at Starfucks, I think not) and remembers your order even if you aren't a regular. Everyone in my office loves him and when he went on vacation we all cried about missing him. I actually feel bad about not knowing his name. So anyway back to the cart. Not only does he have a dollar cup of coffee and tea, he has a large collection of pastries and bagels and juices and sodas!

Now I do not go to the cart for breakfast everyday because I usually bring my breakfast (and lunch) but on those rare days that I forget I just stop at the cart and get a croissant and apple juice. For $2. What a deal! The croissant is huge and he remembers what I get! This makes me feel that I am in a small town when in fact I am on the street in NYC! He also sometimes gets Ruby Red juice which I love as a treat. He then remembers that tidbit about me and offers it to me! Talk about excellent service, that is hard to find!

So there was my $2 breakfast. On to lunch.


Since I usually bring lunch, which costs close nothing but when I forget I head down the block to a deli that has everything. It has a hot table and cold table and sandwiches, soups and sushi. All of these items can add up to a normal $10 NYC lunch. I found a daily special that is $4.50, yes you read that right, less than $5.00! There are 5 pre made sandwiches on hero bread that you choose from. They are not just plain sandwiches. They have nice ingredients such as alfalfa sprouts or Brie cheese. Not only do you get a nice sized sandwich but you also get a plastic clamshell filled with salad. In the salad are lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and red peppers tossed in an Italian dressing! Yummy and filling for less than $5.00.

Now dinner is a bit harder to find something cheap unless it is a slice of pizza. But what I am talking about is lots of good food for cheap :)


So dinner is from Teriyaki Boy. It is fast food like Japanese cuisine. You can get chicken teriyaki over rice with a salad with yummy ginger dressing, and a California roll. It is a TON of food and the price is just $5.99! What a deal. I never am able to finish all of the food. It is freshly made and put into a bento box to go home.

So there you have it! NYCbean's guide to eating cheap, yet real yummy food! Comment with your ideas and places you know where you can score a deal.