There may be a point 1L year, during finals, when you have a food problem. There is little time to go grocery shopping, much less prepare anything more complicated than a sandwich. At the same time, eating out is expensive, especially in New York, where everything costs more. (Except pizza, but we’ll get to that. If you’re procrastinating, you can read more about the pizza price war here.) If you are borrowing to finance your education, every extra dollar you spend to get feta cheese on your chopped salad will transmogrify into $3.45 or whatever, with interest to repay after you graduate.
Fortunately, you can eat your way through finals without breaking the bank. It is not a sustainable strategy; it involves more pizza, caffeine, and “eating ingredients” than is healthy for a sustained period. But hopefully you can, after finals, throw yourself upon the kindness of friends or family to cook for you and reestablish a non-emergency diet. Until that day:
Free food. There’s a lot of it in law school, usually left over from student group events. Like the superabundance of size-large T-shirts your student group ordered in college, they always order too much food. The never-ending price wars between pizza places means there will always be a lot of middling-to-poor pizza-ish things available to eat. But beggars can’t be choosers. If you’re lucky, Thai food or falafel may appear sometimes. To capitalize on the free food, take a stroll through Golding occasionally between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., peak event-ending hours. The deftest move is to set up phone alerts for every email through Coases with the word “food” in the subject line. You may get some false alarms from food justice events, but otherwise it works well. The pizza cornucopia diminishes vastly as finals actually begin, but at that point the Law School begins providing free bagels and pastries throughout the day.
Nearly free food. It does exist in Greenwich Village. There are, however, rapidly diminishing returns from dollar pizza and falafel sandwiches. If there is no free pizza (see above), do not choose the first place you see; not every slice of dollar pizza is made equal. The heartiest slice (there is some evidence of tomato sauce, even) is from 99¢ Fresh Pizza on 6th Avenue. After that, Percy’s on MacDougal is a solid option. If pressed, there is another place closer to NYU on MacDougal that sells meager slices. (It may not have a name. You will find it underneath the awning that reads, “$2 BEER $1 PIZZA.”) Mamoun’s and Turkiss offer largely identical falafel sandwiches for $3 or so. Yelpers have strong feelings about the two, but neither is a clear winner. Opinions and gross misjudgments of taste are the author’s.
Cooking. If it comes to this, rice cookers and slow cookers will set you free without your sacrificing sleep or other vital activities. You may not have time for recipes that involve pots, pans, stovetops, or utensils.
Total surrender. Your body is equipped to survive on energy bars and coffee for some time. There are vending machines in Furman and Vanderbilt, and, failing that, there is always Seamless. Most of the delivery people in the area are familiar with the Law School lobby at this point.