Nope. There is no free walking tour in the Big Apple that gives free low fat hazelnut frappe. But this is a good idea for the free walking tour operators out there. (Feel free to give me credit if you decide to push through with this idea).
The moment I arrived in the concrete jungle where dreams are made of as my ‘warm up’ stop before I officially start my Latin America backpacking, I held tight to my wallet. The city is notorious for steep prices on everything. I made it a goal to spend as little as I can while I’m at the city since I still have 9 more months to go on the road. I have to thank my friends for adopting me for a week and taking charge of my accommodation, Broadway experience, fancy dinners and a lot of other things. But it would have been too much if I still have to ask them to cover my daily dose of caffeine and tour.
Before I left my friend’s apartment to start my first morning in the city, I was already determined to settle on the coffee at Dunkin Donuts because back home, Dunkin Donuts is known as savior to the cheapos. Good thing that at the last minute, my friend raised a caution on getting a coffee at the place. She suggested instead to get the coffee from the street food carts which would cost me only $1.00. Hallelujah!
Sidenote: Those thick heavy Russian bread costing around $1.50 for a small piece is a perfect pair for the coffee. It is heavy enough to complete your breakfast. And big enough to have leftovers for lunch. I found one somewhere in Queens.
But what I thought was already a good deal wasn’t actually the best.
One of the items I was much interested to visit in the city is their universities. At that time, the idea of getting an MBA eventually was still looming in my head. So I checked one the business school’s website to check an open house schedule. NYU’s Stern Business School had this daily afternoon ‘Coffee Chat.’ It was basically an open house to the business school with guided tour by some of their current students and free coffee. All you need to do is sign-up at least an hour before the activity.
The guided tour gets you an exclusive inside glimpse of the famous business school, interact with the students and check their facilities. You could even ask some questions. And of course, the coffee was good.
So there you have it: Free coffee, and free guided tour.
For the record, I was seriously interested with the program. The free coffee was an awesome bonus.