It’s not really fun to be unemployed in New York City – it’s not all that enjoyable to be unemployed anywhere. But, if you are going to be unemployed, you might as well be in New York because there are a lot of cheap – and even free – things to do.
Let’s first begin with the free. You probably watch a lot of TV while unemployed. I don’t blame you – you can’t search and apply for jobs without break or else lose your sanity. Instead of simply watching what’s on the TV you can go to where these TV programs are being made. Many TV shows are produced right here in New York and the best part is they’re all free.
It does take a little effort, though, as the studios are often small and demand quite large. Take a break from job searching every so often and register for tickets with the Daily Show, Colbert Report, Letterman, Fallon, and Seth Meyers at Late Night. Once verified to have reserved a ticket keep in mind that shows often purposely overbook so as to guarantee a full audience. No worry – you have time – just be sure to get there a bit early to ensure that you get in.
Run through all the free TV shows (you can typically only attend once every six months)? Check out a museum! Though most are not explicitly free, many, by law, may only charge a suggested donation. This means that, yes, it says admission is $24 but, in reality, you can slip them a five and waltz right in. Be sure to check and make sure your desired museum is on the suggested plan, as they aren’t all this way, but I assure you the Met and Natural History Museum can be had for little. Of course, once you find a job it might be nice to offer a bit of a donation for their kindness when funds were low. If you aren’t comfortable skimping out on full payment many more museums offer free admission on Friday evenings – outings typically funded by a corporate sponsor.
Finally, Broadway shows are nothing if not cheap but good deals can be had. It again requires some patience and effort but shows normally running near or well above $100 can be seen for $30 or less. The Book of Mormon features a seating lottery that begins two hours before the curtain goes up. Arrive before 5 p.m., place your name on a ticket, and hope you get drawn to win one of the (usually) 20 $32 seats for that night. You can get up to two seats, though your guest has to be present if drawn. If that fails, or if you want an even greater discount, line up a bit earlier for standing room tickets, of which there are also around 20, for $27.
New York is expensive, as everyone is well aware, but there is still fun to be had even if you’re unemployed. So take a break from the drudgery and see your city!