See art on the cheap
New York State is loaded with artistic masterpieces, but you don’t need to be a gallery owner or private collector (or willing to pay a $20-plus museum entry fee) to spend the day admiring these works. The Frick Collection, an art museum housed in an Upper East Side Gilded Age mansion that carries works by Rembrandt, normally costs $22 per person to take a peek, but on Wednesdays from 2-6pm, it’s pay-what-you-wish and on the first Friday of every month, it’s totally free. If you’re upstate, take advantage of a similar deal at the Albany Institute of History & Art, free on Thursday evenings and federal holidays. Also upstate, Omi International Arts Center -- a 300-acre sculpture garden surrounded by lush greenery, in the town of Ghent -- is free and open to the public year-round. Back in the city, modern art galleries line West Broadway in Soho, and they’re an easy way to escape the tourist crowds while taking in some original Keith Haring paintings. (Call it window shopping for your future estate, if you will). In Chelsea, Thursdays are always gallery night, where more than 50 of the neighborhood’s galleries open their doors to the public (and even offer complimentary drinks and cheese). Free food and top-notch art? Definitely a victory.