The Official Ram Guide to Not Looking Like a Tourist


New York City offers a host of fun things to do. (MICHAEL TAPP/Flickr)


To quote New York migrant Taylor Swift, “Welcome to New York — it’s been waiting for you!” You’ve made it to NYC, cross that off the bucket list. But what now?  How do you live like a New Yorker? Especially as a pretty broke college student, who may have never been here before. Here’s the scoop on how to become a cultured local without blowing the bank.

Read up.

When I was a freshman, I quickly realized how expensive books are. And I’m not talking textbooks; we all know how pricey those can be. I’ve always enjoyed reading a good book, and while the deals online can be unbeatable, there is nothing like the feeling of stepping into a bookshop to find your next great read.

Big chain bookstores typically have huge markup prices, which hurt the wallets of consumers, especially broke college kids. So leave Barnes & Noble in the dust; NYC has loads of quaint and affordable bookstores. Of course there’s The Strand in Union Square, where you can buy new editions or used books at a discount, as well as attend funky book-related events you won’t find anywhere else. Book Culture has a few city locations, the closest one to campus being 450 Columbus Ave., which is within walking distance from the American Museum of Natural History and plenty of places to eat. For those looking for a fun excursion, just a few blocks from Little Italy is McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince St.), which even has a lively café.

Go thrifting.

Thrifting is quintessential New York — it is not only an affordable way to shop, but it lets consumers find unique pieces that aren’t easily found elsewhere. Plus, there’s nothing better than walking down the street feeling good in a power-outfit, something with a history that you’ve discovered and repurposed for yourself.

Most people will tell you to hop on a train and visit Brooklyn’s Williamsburg or Greenpoint (Monk Vintage, Fox & Fawn, Dusty Rose, etc.). Or even some NYC classics, like Beacon’s Closet all over Manhattan and Brooklyn and No Relation Vintage at 204 1st Ave. (which was even featured on Buzzfeed).

In my experience, some of the best finds are down in the Financial District. Not only is there the high-scale thrift shop Buffalo Exchange at 114 W. 26th St., there’s a sizeable Goodwill at 103 W. 25th St., the lauded Crossroads Trading Company at 24 W. 26th St. and The Thrifty HoG (Hearts of Gold) at 11 W. 25th St. At Crossroads, you can sell your current on-trend pieces for cash or store credit or add new in-style pieces to your closet; at Thrifty HoG, all proceeds made at the upscale resale boutique directly benefit homeless mothers and children supported by the store.  There are plenty of options here (and most everywhere) for those on the hunt for their next eclectic piece.

Skip Starbucks.

Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are fine for those in a pinch, but let’s be honest — their coffee doesn’t hold a flame to real-deal cafes in NYC. Not only can you explore new areas, but who can resist an aesthetically pleasing Insta post with open-brick walls, foliage, etc.?

One popular joint is Joe’s Coffee at 187 Columbus Ave. and right next door is Vive la Crepe; both offer tasty brews and savory baked goods. Box Kite Coffee at 128 W. 72nd St. offers specialty coffees in a cozy setup. Blue Bottle Coffee, with locations all across Manhattan, offers premium coffee, yummy snacks and a trendy environment.

If tea is more your thing, we’ve got you covered. Aside from Fordham’s own Argo Tea (with a location in Columbus Circle as well), check out Cha Cha Matcha and Bibble & Sip at 253 W. 51st St.

Get cultured

Life hack — lots of museum admission tickets are on a pay-as-you-wish system with recommended donations, since they are funded by New York taxpayers. However, some popular spots, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, now require general admission payments for anyone that is not a New York resident or student… which is good news for new Fordham Rams with their student IDs fresh off the presses. So be sure to do some research beforehand and (if need be) flaunt that 10023 ZIP code for those admissions perks! Additionally, many NYC museums offer free admission with presentation of a New York Public Library card; be sure to check for further details.

Aside from the traditional hotspots like the Met (which is hosting its Heavenly Bodies Fashion exhibit until Oct. 8), NYC is home to many quirky museums. The Fashion Institute of Technology boasts a free collection of student work as well as authentic historical pieces. The New Museum on the Lower East Side hosts rotations of offbeat modern art that carry impactful meaning and make for an amazing photo opp. The Museum of Food and Drink in Williamsburg is one of the coolest and pretty unorthodox, encouraging viewers to touch, smell, and even taste its exhibits!

Watch it LIVE.

Why sit at home (… er, in your dorm) and watch Netflix when NYC offers a host of live entertainment? Obviously, the first thing you think of is live theatre, the lights on Broadway. If that’s your jam, be sure to take advantage of discounted ticket opportunities through TKTS booths in Lincoln Center, Times Square, and the more reliable apps like Today Tix. Be sure to rush student tickets for select shows the day of a performance.

But the city has so much more than Broadway musicals and plays. One hidden gem is the Upright Citizens Brigade, or UCB. It provides a platform for up-and-coming comedians (and has cultivated the talents of Aubrey Plaza, Kate McKinnon, Amy Poehler, etc.) for tickets starting at $5.

Additionally, many late-night talk show hosts are based in New York and offer free tickets to the public for live tapings. Tickets for comedians like Seth Meyers, John Oliver and Jimmy Fallon can be obtained via lottery on While spots can’t be reserved or guaranteed, there are plenty of tips to increase your chances; be sure to check out the full article on getting those tickets on our website.

Not to sound like your parents, but your studies obviously do come first. After all, you’re in NYC for a reason! But follow these tips for some well-deserved study breaks and you’ll shake that tourist reputation in no time.