For Philly college students, New York City is like a magnet in the summer. The banks, the law firms, Broadway, the music industry, pretty much everything in our northern suburb is liable to pull you in with the promises of an internship. Of course, if you get one, just be ready to spend all the money you make as an intern on rent and booze. New York City isn’t cheap.

But it can be a little more manageable and obviously fun. Here are a few tips for how to survive your summer internship in New York City.


This map tool illustrates how much areas of several major cities, including NYC, cost, depending on your job. The summary for New York City: pretty much anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn, you’ll be spending like 70 percent or more of your salary on rent. But oh well, it’s just for the summer.

Greenwich Village

Yes, this neighborhood is one of NYC’s most expensive, but it’s also home to NYU. Students leaving the city for the summer are liable to be subletting their apartment. You might find a good deal. Same goes for the Upper West Side and Harlem, with Columbia students possibly away for summer break.


You’ll be a bridge-and-tunneler, sure. You’ll also be paying half the rent and living in a wonderland of bars and restaurants. Think Manayunk but for New York.

The Lower East Side

Best place to live if you’re a yuppy. Rent isn’t quite as high as many other areas of Manhattan, either. 


Gentrifying, diverse area of Brooklyn that is not quite as hipster or as expensive as Williamsburg. Kind of like the Point Breeze of New York.


Probably the hippest place for young people in Queens. Less expensive than anything you’ll find in Manhattan and just across the river from Midtown.


It’s New York. Restaurants abound, so many of them it’s difficult to make a list and plenty of other people do it on a regular basis. Best advice: Don’t go to a restaurant where they post pictures of the food on the outside or hustle to get you to come in. Anyway, we’ll keep it simple and list one good option for each of the five basic food groups: pizza, burrito, burger, food trucks and brunch, as well as link to a bigger list for each of those items.


Di Fara, 1424 Avenue J, Midwood Brooklyn

Mayor Bill de Blasio called it the best in NYC.


Mission Cantina, 172 Orchard Street, Lower East Side

Come here for lunch and grab a burrito with vegetables, pulled pork or chicken and a Mexican Coke. Mission Cantina’s versions of guacamole and queso are also well worth it.


P.J. Clarke’s, 55th Street and Third Avenue, Midtown

P.J. Clarke’s won’t always make the top lists these days, but it’s a New York City classic. The restaurant has been around since 1884, long enough for celebrities ranging from Nat King Cole to Andre Agassi to declare their love for this burger.

Food trucks

Smorgasburg, 90 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg on Saturdays and Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridger Park on Sundays

An absolute must. Smorgasburg is open every Saturday and Sunday from April to November. Food ranges from fries to grilled cheese to BBQ to vegan to oysters to Chinese to pretty much everything. The view across to Manhattan isn’t bad either.

A photo posted by Mark Dent (@mdent05) on



V Note, 1522 First Avenue, Upper East Side

Great vegan dishes and great non-vegan dishes. In a city where brunch exists everywhere, it separates itself from the pack.


Like restaurants, New York City has so many bars it’s a wonder anyone is ever sober. In keeping with the theme from above, we’ll name a top bar in five specific groups — dive, rooftop, beer garden, college-y and sports bar — while also linking to a list with other options.


East Village Tavern, 10th Street and Avenue C, Lower East Side

This is a real dive on the very edge of Lower Manhattan. Not one of those, oh keep me away from yuppies, fake dives that you’ll find on other lists. This is a tavern that lives up to the word in every way. But don’t be intimidated — the regulars are nice.


Pod 39, 145 E. 39th Street, Midtown

Prices aren’t bad for NYC, and it’s pretty quiet, considering its Midtown location. The view is as good as you’d imagine.

Beer Garden

The Standard Biergarten, between 13th Street and Little 12th Street, Meatpacking District

Lots of space, good beers and a young crowd. Bartenders are really, really slow, though.


Hair of the Dog, 168 Orchard Street, Lower East Side

College bars are kind of tough to come by because New York City is super fancy. But don’t worry, Hair of the Dog has you covered for any time you want to get hammered on a weeknight with a good-sized crowd and low prices. It’s not officially a college bar, though it certainly has the right spirit.

Sports Bar

Radegast, 113 N. 3rd Street, Williamsburg

German-themed bar with plenty of TVs. Good place to watch soccer but accommodating for all sports.

Other things to do

Walk around. That’s the best thing to do in New York. There are endless blocks to explore, and places like the Empire State Building, Central Park Zoo, Times Square and other tourist traps should be avoided. Aside from walking, here are a few surefire bets to check out. 

Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th Street, East Village

Catch a concert here. They have live music just about every night, largely featuring high-quality up-and-comers who don’t yet demand high ticket prices.

Upright Citizen’s Brigade, 153 E. 3rd Street and 307 W. 26th Street

The best improv you’ll see on the East Coast. An SNL pipeline that still features occasional performances from Amy Poehler, Sasheer Zamata, Tim Meadows and Jason Sudeikis among others.

High Line, Chelsea with various entry points

Probably the most touristy place worth recommending. It gets crowded, so try to go shortly after it opens (7 a.m.) or before it closes (11 p.m.). Like the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk on steroids.

Mets game

Screw the Yankees. Phillies fan are enough used to suffering, so the Mets are a better fit. The Fightin’s actually play there in late May and late August.

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...