Summer in the City: Drinkin' on the Cheap

[This summer a dream internship with Lucky magazine moved me from Austin, Texas, where I’ve spent all 21 years of my life, to New York City for the summer. Come along for the ride and follow me through this column as I take on all that the city has in store for me. I’ll share tips I’ve picked up along the way about everything from how to pack (stop, drop and roll people!) to dating to fitting in (or standing out) and so much more.]
It’s safe to say that coming from the land of Thirsty Thursday nights, where $5 liquor pitchers and $1 beers reign, to the land of $12 mixed well drinks has been an adjustment. It’s enough to wonder whether the experience from my unpaid internship is worth as I dish out more cash in one night than I do in a month at the bars from my university town. Of course I love my internship, but my drinking habit is hard to maintain in the city.
Tip #22 – Scope out bars by the universities around town.
Lately my friends and I have been spending our weekends (and some of our weeknights) at the bars around St. Marks Place because, whether the atmosphere is pleasant or not, the drinks are cheap. At The Continental $10 buys you five shots of anything and when you’re living on next to nothing, you cant be picky about minor details like the douchebag drenched in Cool Water pressed up against your back. We passed the NYU flags draped on buildings as we made our way to the street of bars. Though the ambiance doesn’t fit the hipster NYU stereotype- opting for more of a frat-tastic vibe instead- we were perfectly happy doing the stanky leg with our $4 drinks in hand…regardless of the fact that every guy was wearing the same Polo, just in different colors. Overall, you get what you pay for and most of the time, the value (judging by our BAC levels by the end of the night) is worth it.
Tip #23 – Make B.Y.O.B places your new favorite.
If the thought of strange men dressed in Affliction tees sweating on you as you squeeze your way past a crowded club makes you cringe, opt instead for a B.Y.O.B restaurant. has a great list of B.Y.O.B spots, organized by neighborhood, that’ll tickle the taste buds of even the pickiest eater. Panna II, an Indian restaurant in the East Village, has a great $10 dinner special and even includes dessert. Grab a bottle of two-buck chuck, your friends and you’ll have the perfect intern budget-friendly Friday night. Next on my list of B.Y.O.B restaurants to try is Cube 63 sushi with a six-pack of Kirin beer, courtesy of the liquor store around the corner.
Tip #24 – Pregame. Hard.
The best part about public transportation is that no one has to play designated driver. Take advantage of the subway and bus systems by pregaming at home, while the drinks are free and the playlist includes songs you actually like. Though we should all aim to retain consciousness at all times while drinking, there’s a definite sense of liberation in not having to worry about who’s going to be the responsible (read: sober) one to drive home. Most of the best parts of my nights out happen at the beginning while my girls and I are getting ready and people are just starting to arrive. There’s nothing quite like being greeted with a beer and “Racks on Racks on Racks” upon arrival. The internships are unpaid, the days are long, and the money is tight, so drink up and toast to being young, broke and fabulous in the city.
Seeking a little more guidance? Get the first 21 tips for living it up in the city right here!

Hot or Hot Mess: HP Cast at the London Premier
Hot or Hot Mess: HP Cast at the London Premier
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