17 And Living a Frugal Adventure in The Big Apple

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Susan Dromey Heeter photo

Maria in NYC

By Susan Dromey Heeter
Joyful Musings

Full disclosure as I muse joyfully this week on celebrating New York City on the cheap – my 17 year old daughter Maria helped enormously with the writing of this piece.

She is at the tail end of a six-week internship with the Academy of American Poetry and has given me permission to use her experiences in creating a fun, adventurous and frugal Manhattan. Thank you, Maria, you are sweet – and for your help – I’ll give a treat! Wow, perhaps I ought to be in the Academy of American Poetry; I am, indeed, quite good.

Susan Dromey Heeter

First things first. I love Broadway and delight in anything with lights, tap shoes, grand finalies. I am not a fan of paying huge prices so I love lotteries. There are two lottery options to afford the Great White Way, one is to go online and sign up for a lottery.

This is exceedingly popular but truth be told, I’ve never heard of anyone winning. I’m sure they do; I’ve just never met a winner. I prefer the “Live Lottery.” That is where you simply go to the theatre where a show is due to be presented and write your name on a piece of paper and see if your name gets called.

Yes, it’s very old school, but exceedingly exciting and nail biting. I’ve participated in several – Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Newsies, Hamilton. And I’ve won in four of the five plays. The joy in this activity is the thrill – and price – of the win. Two weeks ago when Maria and I won tickets to The Book of Mormon, we had front row seats. Front row. And it was sixty bucks for two tickets. The show itself was ridiculously funny but the joy was exponentially increased due to the joy of being one of the “chosen.”

We sat between other winners – a couple from Korea and two blokes from Ireland. We all basked in the glory of our proximity to the stage – all giddy with our wins. I suspect we felt like those who made it onto one of lifeboats in the Titantic…maybe not so dramatic a seat but fabulous nevertheless.

Eating in New York can be pricey but does not have to be outrageous. Maria told me she’s become quite adept at making her own lunches and dinners and even found a bagelry that after two pm, discounts the bagels significantly. While her internship came with a generous stipend, she found the vast majority of that income went into her rent. So, she learned to walk – a lot – and make her own meals. She also had the ability to get a NYC Library Card. And here, my dear friends, a shout out to libraries – the greatest deal around, anywhere – even in Gotham.

As I’ve had a reason to spend several days here in NYC this summer, I have utilized my favorite place: the Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Airman’s Club located on the corner of 37th and Lexington. For a song, I can stay here with my guests and it’s ideal. As I am a dependant of my husband who spent twenty years in the Air Force and have a military i.d. Card, I am eligible to stay for less than $100 a night. What a deal. I am entirely grateful.

So, dear Joyful Musers, enjoy yourself where you are, If it’s in NYC? Hey, go play that lottery – you might just win. And a bagel in NYC tastes even better after two pm.

 Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters.  Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal  in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.

For more information about InDepthNH.org, which is published online by the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, contact Nancy West at nancywestnews@gmail.com or call 603-738-5635

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