Monday, December 14, 2009

Soho on a Budget

Ah, Soho. The watering hole for execs, fashionistas, and tourists lost on their way to Lombardi's for a slice. After spending an entire summer at an office on Crosby St, I have grown to love the pretentiousness and the ridiculousness of the neighborhood. While it's often difficult to survive in the land where peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from 'Witchcraft can set you back $8 or more, the hidden treasures of the neighborhood make the struggle just a little more worth it. Here's how you can enjoy on of our favorite neighborhoods on a budget, just in time for our 100th post!:

EAT/DRINK:
1. Calexico Cart (wooster st & prince st): stop by this local favorite street cart for a mexican treat that won't break the bank. well-known for some of the most budget-friendly, Mexican food in the entire city, the Calexico Cart specializes in California-style rolled quesadillas. We'd recommend the pollo asado taco ($3) or the black bean and avocado quesadilla ($7). Monday-Saturday only, 11a-4p- make it an early lunch!
2. Whole Foods Bowery(95 East Houston St): One of my personal favorites, Whole Foods advertises the best free samples on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6p-7p. It's for a short time only, so make the best of it- you won't be disappointed. Come prepared to eat your way through a parade of cheeses, vegetables, hors d'oeurves, and baked goods, and bring an extra large purse for when the employees manning the sample tables aren't looking.
3. La Nueva Conquista (236 Lafayette St) has no menu, with the exception of a single printed, posted review that is proudly displayed in the shop's window. A hidden treasure with only a few aluminum stools and a cafeteria-style counter, La Nueva Conquista is perfect for a cheap, filling dinner for under $7. The rice and beans are enough to keep you full til dinnertime tomorrow. This neighborhood fixture for yummy Dominican food won't let you down- or hurt your wallet.
SEE
1. Kid Robot (126 Prince St)- We'll always maintain that a girl can't have enough toys, but we prefer to window shop at this urban hipster favorite. If you happen to feel financially stable, feel free to indulge in an uber-exclusive, ultra-limited robot of your own. This place is really a ridiculous and amazingly fun way to piss away your hard earned cash- but a little window-shopping never hurt anybody.
2. Art galleries are free and open to the public. Feel free to walk in, take a look around, and fantasize about all the art you'd buy with a million dollars. Better yet, don your most fabulous black ensemble and give your best melancholy pose- maybe you'll be discovered as the hottest new artist's muse.
3. New Museum (235 Bowery) has an excellent . We're dying to see the latest Urs Fischer exhibit (the first large-scale solo presentation in an American museum), on display until February 7th. Students pay a flat $8 with valid ID, but the museum is free on Fridays.

DO
1. The Morrison Hotel gallery (124 Prince St) has a fabulous collection of black and white photos at all times. Founded in 2001 by former record company executive and producer Peter Blachley, former independent record store owner Rich Horowitz and music photographer Henry Diltz, The Morrison Hotel Gallery has grown to become the major brand in fine art music photography. Currently on display are works of fantastic contemporary hipster bands like Animal Collective.
2. Housing Works Bookstore is a place where you can support a great cause just by flipping through a coffee table book about the history of high heels. Located at 126 Crosby St, Housing Works Bookstore is one of our favorite places to spend time with old friends- books!- in a cozy, old-library environment. Special events and a fully stocked cafe make this a great place to hang out and search for out-of-print editions of all your favorites. Still need another reason to visit? Housing Works is committed to ending the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness.
3. 60 Thompson (60 Thompson St) is a favorite hangout for models during Fashion Week, so it's a great place to people watch. People watching, one of our favorite free activities to indulge in, is especially prevalent at this ultra-exclusive hotel. Fellow Bitches on a Budget be warned- the rooftop bar is ultra exclusive!- but we've never been ones to shy away from a challenge.

SPLURGE: Flourless chocolate cake at Balthazar. At $25-36, we can promise that each bite will be everything you ever dreamed about- but better.

TOTAL: $10 (not including $2.25 Metrocard)
Enjoy Soho and feel just like a supermodel, without spending bank.

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