Washington, DC, like many large metro areas in the U.S., is absurdly expensive. I’ve audibly gasped when learning the cost of apartment rentals, cultural events and many services. But I’m now learning how to find some of the deals to enjoy some luxuries on the cheap.
First, there’s volunteering. I earlier mentioned that I’m ushering at Ford’s Theater, which gets me to a few shows a year. And then I learned about an opportunity to help out with the DC Environmental Film Festival, a spectacle of 150 films from around the world shown at venues throughout the area. I signed up to help out with 5 films: a couple at embassies, one at Georgetown University and another at the American Film Institute, a showcase theater in downtown Silver Spring. All we do is show up 45 minutes early, help settle in the patrons, enjoy the film and then complete an evaluation form at the end.
Then there are the pay-as-you-will nights, staged readings and other offerings at theaters that normally charge upwards of $45 for a ticket. The other day I went to an open rehearsal of a production of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, which was fascinating. We only saw one scene, so I now want to rent the movie to see what happens, but we saw the director in action calling for repeats of stage entrances, moving actors’ places a few feet one way or another and asking for louder projection. It was a interesting behind-the-scenes look.
Then there are all the coupon deals — Groupon, Living Social, the Capitol Dish. I’ve gotten half-off restaurant meals, movie tickets and, most recently, tickets for a harbor cruise. So anyone visiting will be able to help me enjoy the tastes, sights and sounds of DC with these discount coupons I’m collecting.