New York on a budget: How to eat, drink and remote work for $100

Can you still save while visiting one of the most expensive cities in the world? I found out.

(Alan Berry Rhys for The Washington Post)

Our new diary series explores remote work on a budget in major cities.

The destination: New York City

The budget: $100 for two days

What it covered: Meals, drinks, transportation, some street charity and a zoo ticket

The working spaces: The stately New York Public Library, a gimmicky juice bar, a hectic coffee shop, a kitchen table and an Amtrak

My trips to New York have always involved a delicate dance between what I’d like to do and what I can afford. The city regularly ranks as one of the most expensive in the world — you don’t go there because it’s affordable. I’ve been lucky to make it work since I started visiting in my early 20s, usually by staying on a generous friend’s couch, bed or air mattress to avoid paying for hotel rooms and Airbnbs.

And that’s exactly how I’m going into this trip: crashing at my boyfriend’s family’s apartment, a move that saved me hundreds of dollars — but I recognize not everyone has this option. Over the next two days, I’ll try to spend as little money as possible while attempting to maintain a normal work schedule and some semblance of my usual travel style — that is, enjoying food that’s emblematic of the destination, going out with friends and experiencing local culture.

9 a.m., a walking breakfast

It’s a 48-minute walk from the Upper West Side to my remote office for the day: the flagship New York Public Library. Stepping into the 23-degree chill will save me taxi or subway fare and will double as sightseeing through some of the city’s most iconic (read: cheesy) points of interest, such as Central Park and Fifth Avenue.

Breakfast is a bacon, egg and cheese from one of Manhattan’s many coffee carts. Is this traditional…

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