4 Ways

How Would You Spend $100 in NYC on a Friday Night?

A night at the theater, a celebratory seafood tower, cigarettes, a martini, and a few more expenses.


4 Ways is a monthly column that asks four people how they would do one specific thing.

When deciding the prompt for our first-ever 4 Ways, we considered a few options. In life, and more specifically, in New York City, there are endless ways to do one menial activity. Whether considering how someone takes their coffee or how they spend money and time, there are one million ways to slice the pie. Everyone is different, we just want to know how different they are.

We landed on how someone spends $100 on a Friday night in NYC because, well, it’s far too easy to do and the options are both fun and limitless. Below, Brock Coylar, a features writer at New York Magazine, Su, a bar back at Clandestino, Kareem Rahma, an entrepreneur and comedian, and Ruby McAllister, an actress, share how they’d spend it in four distinct ways.

“How would you spend $100 on a Friday night?”



It’s so simple to spend $100. Hmmmm. It’s so terribly embarrassing.

There’s nothing more embarrassing than realizing I spent $100 on a Friday night! And yet!

I should spend $100 at the theater but instead…

It’s $100 to take a car anywhere and have a conversation over mediocre food avec any sort of ambience.

Go anywhere for good company and conversation. Conversation costs a lot in New York.

I enjoy dropping cash at the Campbell bar in grand central.

Or at a pharmacy. Or the Russian Tea Room.

But we should all be spending more money on cultural events. Live events. In this economy, I'd spend anything to be genuinely moved. 🖤


IMG_8583.jpegPhoto by Matt Weinberger.

Cigarettes ($16): If I’m going out then chances are my friends are going to steal my cigarettes and I’m going to need an extra pack to supplement my nicotine addiction. I could walk an extra couple of blocks from my apartment to buy $12 cigarettes from a deli that sources them from Kentucky but more often than not I’ll opt for the closer bodega, where the employees always greet me, “Hey beautiful.” I need that.

Other things I might accidentally buy from the deli: A vanilla-flavored Hal’s seltzer, to hydrate, if I’m being good ($3); a mango-flavored White Claw, to pregame, if I’m being bad ($4); poppers ($10); a Miami Mint Air Bar ($25).

Nair ($8): Oops! I’m wearing a tiny dress and it’s summer now and I forgot to shave my legs, so I also pick up Nair from the CVS and give my whole body a really bad chemical burn before going out. Thankfully, the rash won’t show up for a couple of days. Tonight, I’ll look great.

Martini 1 ($15): My favorite place for a pre-game cocktail in the city is The Immigrant in the East Village. There is admittedly absolutely nothing special about this bar. But, the bartenders always compliment me (I’m noticing a pattern) and they make a perfectly acceptable, not-that-expensive vodka martini. Also, there’s outdoor seating where you can smoke, which is all I ever really want in a bar.

Fanellis Spread ($39): Oops, again! Look, I know Fanellis is kind of a predictable place to go, and maybe TikTok is ruining it, but I still think it’s perfect. Again, you can smoke in the outdoor seating area, the martinis are great, and so are the burgers. And I need to eat, so that I don’t get mean-drunk later in the night. Though, honestly, if someone gave me $100, I’d probably go have that burger everyone talks about at Minetta Tavern. I spend a lot of money I don’t have in this city, but have never been willing to spend $38 on a burger.

Cigar ($22): Ok, I mean, more likely than not after Fanellis I’m heading to another bar or a party or my boyfriend is dragging me to a rave, but let’s pretend like it’s a quiet evening. My latest kind of embarrassing addiction is going to this cigar bar, Hudson Bar and Books, in the West Village. It’s decorated to look like a library and not chic in the least. It’s always swarming with bald guys in Rolexes and their unfortunate-looking girlfriends, but if you pay for the cheapest cigar on the menu you can also smoke cigs inside –– a true pleasure. The bartenders wear suits and there’s something sort of uncomfortably colonial about the whole place but I LOVE IT. I'm actually really into going out in the West Village lately. It's so fucking stupid, and at least I lose all the self-consciousness of going out on the scene or whatever. I could sit at St. Theo's and watch influencers take photos of themselves all night long.

Misc.: The reality is this is New York and on any given really good night out it’s not not likely I’m going to blow more than $100, on a couple more martinis ($30), an Uber back to Greenpoint ($20, conservatively), and a final stop at the bodega, where lately, I've also been addicted to buying raspberry-flavored Oatly ice cream ($8), which I truly believe is better than normal ice cream and I like to eat in bed after partying. On one particularly boozy recent late-night bodega run, I tried buying lube ($9) from my bodega guy by shyly asking for “WD-40, but for humans.” He didn’t call me beautiful for a week.



I'll tell you exactly what I would do with $100 on a Friday night in NYC. I’d call up a few of my rich friends (freelance landlords, old money folks, etc.) and ask them if they wanted to have dinner to celebrate “a big gig I booked.” I’d tell them to meet me at Balthazar. I would order the LE BALTHAZAR Seafood Tower for the table. It would be an opulent and wonderful night. They would keep congratulating me and cheersing me for my fictitious accomplishment. When the check came, they’d say “Don’t worry about it, king. We got you. This is your night!” and then I’d say “Oh, man. You guys are so kind. Can I at least leave the tip?” And then I’d pull the $100 out of my pocket and put it on the table. We’d step outside and they’d say “Let’s grab a nightcap?” and I’d say that “My stomach hurts…must have been a bad oyster.” And then I would hug them goodbye and ride a white electric Citi-bike over the Williamsburg bridge to my apartment in Bedstuy and watch a movie in my bed.



@@ Friday “” Subiiiii take hundred “ Roll dice 🎲 game “” no “ Hard Feelings “” 💕// Saturday “ Paolo music 🎶 night “ Clando “” I would always enjoyed Bacaro “ Dinner “<> Drinks 🍹 before Time “” punch 🤛 in “” works ///

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