Take advantage of the resources that NYC's universities have to offer and expand your intellectual horizons without setting foot in a classroom--or, more importantly, shelling out thousands of dollars in tuition. Here are three highlights:
Juilliard, arguably the most renowned performing arts school in the country, is where future stars of dance, theater, and music hone their skills. But you don't have to wait until they become famous in order to catch these talented artists in action. Watch world-class performances and recitals featuring Juilliard students, without paying world-class prices. Check out the calendar of events for more details.
If your idea of fun is curling up with a good book, then the reading series at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House at NYU will please you and anyone else with a literary bent. The townhouse hosts readings by some of today's most celebrated writers. Recent guests have included Junot Diaz, Zadie Smith, and Billy Collins--keep an eye out for appearances by Colum McCann, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Anne Carson, among others.
Attention, fashionistas: head over to The Museum at FIT (the Fashion Institute of Technology) and ogle beautiful fashions from throughout history. From Dior and YSL to Halston and Isabel Toledo (who created First Lady Michelle Obama's inauguration outfit), the designers featured in the Museum's exhibitions and collections are fashion's crème de la crème. Even if you can't afford to buy designer frocks, you can still get up close and personal with them (well, you can look, but don't touch).
Why? Give it the ol' college try without hitting the books.
When:Juilliard (varies), Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House at NYU (varies), The Museum at FIT (Tues - Fri Noon - 8pm, Saturday 10am - 5pm, closed Sundays, Mondays, and legal holidays)
Where: Juilliard (155 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023), Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House at NYU (58 West 10th Street, New York, NY 10011), The Museum at FIT (7th Avenue at 27th Street, New York, NY 10001)
Cost:free admission to most events; check websites for more details