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BA of the Week: Jessica Tiare Bowen from UsedYorkCity

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Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit — probably not.

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Jessica Tiare Bowen

A former Air Force Brat, Jessica Tiare Bowen has lived in ten continental states and traveled to fourteen countries…all of which pale in comparison to her beloved Big Apple. Coming to New York eight years ago with nothing more than a suitcase, a dream, and a whole lotta Ramen, she now claims the proud title “New Yorker”, sans the accent. In order to share her love of NYC (so much of which can be enjoyed for free!), she created the blog…featuring the best of New York, as used by New Yorkers.

Name: Jess

Age: 30

Occupation: Education and Blogger

What neighborhood do you live in?: Midtown

Best money saving tip: If you stand approximately 10 yards away from Central Park Bootcamp classes and mimic their movements, you can get your sweat on, sans the cost.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: See above: A gym membership.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?: A plane ticket to Tokyo.

How’d that feel?: Totally worth the pre-Japan 6 months of living off white rice and tap water. And the post-Japan 6 months of Ramen and Two Buck Chuck.

Favorite cheap eat: I could live forever on $1 pizza slices. Thank you, NYC.

Favorite dive bar: Vintage in Hell’s Kitchen is divey and dark with suspect bathrooms, but still makes you feel classy when you sip a glass of cheap Happy Hour house vino on their red velvet couches. Just be wary of the stains…

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: Being a blogger. Not only is it my personal therapy and happy place (saving a ton on a therapist, alone!), but I’ve been extremely fortunate to be given press passes to some truly unforgettable events.

Favorite free thing to do: A self-proclaimed theater junkie, I see shows for free by being a volunteer usher. Who knew black pants, a white button down and a toothy smile could get you into the best shows on earth?!

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: After gifting money to my parents and charity of choice, I’d splurge on an exposed brick apartment in NYC that I would turn into a boutique “Bed and Brunch” and rent to tourists. With me as their personal on-call concierge, of course.

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Abso-friggin-lutely.

Do you own my book?: It’s on my to-buy list, Stuart!:-)

Best hangover cure: A cold bathroom floor and a tall glass of ginger ale.

Are you a hipster?: Oh heavens, no. I own an embarrassing amount of Brooks Brothers polos (all purchased on super sale, of course) and thoroughly believe in monogramming. Everything.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.


  1. Jess @UsedYorkCity
    March 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Thanks so much for featuring me, Stuart! Such an honor!

  2. May 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Jess underplays herself, she is one hard working gal and in a short time has managed to take quite a gnaw of the Big Apple with her blog….. but this is merely an appetizer……what’s next on your menu, Jess?!? Looking forward to your next step forward.
    Classy choice, Stuart, featuring Jessica.