Dear reader, Pause your pop-happy headphones. Stop playing Taylor Swift’s new single blasting on repeat. (Seriously, stop.) Turn off “Real Housewives of New York” for one second. And maybe notice the wear-and-tear in your coffee table stack of outdated tabloids.
You’re better than this.
What’s awesome about fall is that it is a time when culture is at your fingertips—especially for New Yorkers. For those of you who have recently caught a case of the culture bug, here are five fun and frugal ways to fall into highbrow this season.
1. Opt for the Right Opera. Fall season is prime time for the opera, so luckily there are a lot of options. If you’re an opera newbie, make sure you start with the lighter stuff. Italian productions like a Puccini will put some pep in your step, while German dudes like Wagner will make you want to look at your phone—which is a big faux pas, mind you—wondering, are we there yet?
2. Save on your Seat. If you’re not a regular, don’t risk breaking the bank on one performance. Snag your tickets at a discount by going for the seats with slightly obstructed views. Worse comes to worst you crane your neck to see one character almost die, but at least you saved 50 percent on tickets. You can also steal a standing room spot for under twenty bucks to quite a few shows out there.
3. TGIFineArt. New York City is ripe with deals (as are most other major cities) when it comes to highbrow culture. Target Free Fridays at the MoMA and “Pay What You Wish” Fridays at the Whitney are your back door to Basquiat’s world and the best way to kick off your weekend. Similarly, Dark After Dark at the Guggenheim is a series of exhibition parties that are free for members and super affordable for non-members. In celebration of the exhibitions “Picasso Black and White” and “Gabriel Orozco: Asterisms, and Now’s the Time: Recent Acquisitions,” the next Art After Dark event will take place on Friday, December 7th.
4. Exit through the Auction House. Although you may not be in the market for an original Banksy, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a connoisseur. Auction houses are bringing graffiti-inspired contemporary artists uptown and inviting us all along for the ride. Feel free to swing by exhibitions or sit in on the live auctions to scope out the street art space. In fact, Doyle New York will introduce geniuses like Sheperd Fairey, COPE2, and Mr. Brainwash to the Upper East Side. Stay tuned for auction results here.
5. Become a Young Patron. It’s not as yuppie as it sounds. Organizations like the New York City Opera Young Patrons Circle, the MoMA’s Junior Associates, and the Young Patrons of Lincoln Center (YPLC) make it easy not only to learn about the performing and fine arts industries but also to contribute to the community that surrounds them. For a relatively affordable and active option, the YPLC has a series of 101 sessions where you get to meet jazz musicians, songwriters, ballerinas, and more, in a really intimate setting. Plus, you get major discounts to big parties like the annual fall gala. If you’re into it, you can snag your ticket to tomorrow’s gala here.