New York, New York

ee4itpro used Ask the Experts™
I'm going to be going to New York, New York in about a week, for pleasure and I don't know much about the "MUST SEE" spots in the area and I wanted to know you could assist.  I also wanted to know how to move around town on a budget as well.
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You can get an all day pass to the subway for a reasonable rate. I believe the subway is by far the best and cheapest way to travel around the city. Especially if you want to see a lot of different sites.

Also, the Staten Island Ferry is the best way to get to NY that I have found. It's on the NJ side; parking is free to cheap; the ferry ride across the water into NY is free; and the subway is right there.

Having no idea what you enjoy I will just list a few things that I have found while there.

Metropolitan Museum of Art: A lot more than just art. Lots of old artifacts, etc. Huge museum. Tip: the entrance fee is a 'suggested donation.' You can give them $1 and they will take it and let you in.

Statue of liberty: A technical 'must see.' You get a pretty good view of it from the ferry though. That may be good enough for you. They don't let people up in the arm anymore anyway.

Central Park: A nice stroll. Mostly just cool because it's a huge park in the middle of Manhattan. They have some shows and activities there, you should look into what's happening while you will be there.

China Town: Best Chinese food I've ever had. Probably the most authentic you can get without crossing an ocean.

Eat a hotdog from a street vendor.

Barter for something.

A lot of the beggars are professionals and are just really good at looking poor. If you really want to help the needy, donate to the local soup kitchen or something.
The subway is indeed a good way to get around. One of the best systems in the world.
other things
Top of the empire state building for a good view (not free)
New York Public library. Photogenic lions in front.
The zoo if you like that sort of thing.
An evening show. Not cheep but probably quite memorable.  try
     New york tickets - Save more at the Official NYC site  1 (877) 402 9213
     Concert, Sport and Theater Tickets
Museum of Modern Art
Been there twice, it has just about everything so some of what you do will depend on your interests.
There are some obvious things: Go up the Empire State building - make sure you get a ticket right to the top, you can get tickets to the lower observation deck and although this is well worth a visit you are still a few floors away from the top.
Statue of Liberty - If you are from outside the States then book on-line some weeks before you go so you can visit the museum inside the statue. Otherwise you can get to the island and walk round , but can't go inside. Be aware that the security there is similar to airports, you can't take any sharp objects etc. to the island  so leave anything like that in your hotel.
You should spend some time in Times Square and get some pictures of all the advertising signs lit up with plenty of yellow cabs in the foreground, if you are careful there is a shot you can get with a big advertising sign and just see the Empire State building through a gap in the buildings.
There are some great places to eat on Times Square, and all the prices seemed quite reasonable considering you are in a big city.
Use the Metro it's quite a good way to get around, make sure to see Grand Central Station.
Visit Manny's Music (where all the stars you ever heard of have been at least once and they gave me a five dollar magazine free because I had already bought some guitar strings).
Greenwich Village has lots of interesting looking places, but unfortunately I didn't get to spend much time there. I only went down to see the site of the Electric Lady studio's which was disappointing, but at least I've been.
Financial district is an interesting place too, with an old fort or something you can pay to look around, the site of the World Trade Centre, and a really good electrical goods shop (forgot the name, something like J&M).
Tiffany's, Macy's, Saks, all those shops that girls like so take some cash to treat the wife with. Certainly in Macy's, not sure about the others, if you are a foreign visitor you can show your passport and get a discount card, something like 10% off so it's worth doing.
Catch a show on Broadway, there's a lot to choose from, but book earlyish as some of the popular ones are sold out a few days in advance.
Look up any films you have seen that are set in the City. It's fun finding the locations, there are loads in Central Park eg. the bridge from Stuart Little, the fountain from The Producers, several parts from Enchanted and many more. Take a look on the web as most of them are listed and pinpointed for you.
Another interesting way to see the city, possibly first day, is to take a bus tour. They had what they called the Upper and Lower Loop tours when we went. Upper goes around North Manhattan and up into Harlem and the lower goes down to the Financial district and through Greenwich Village. They point out loads of things on the way that you wouldn't know about otherwise and it helps you decide where to go for the next day or two.
oh, and don't forget the museums, The Natural History (as featured in Night at the Nuseum, and the curators don't mind if you ask where some of the film characters/exhibits are), the Guggenheim and others but I didn't get to see them.
Take the 4 or 6 line to Spring Street, walk 2 blocks east to the corner of Spring and Mott. Have a slice of pizza from the first pizzeria in the US. It rocks. Lombardi's, 32 Spring Street -

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (4,5,6 lines)

Go hang out in Washington Square Park on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. There will likely be plenty of entertainment. (A,B,C,D,E,F,M lines, walk one block east.)

I prefer the view from the Top of the Rock ( around sunset. If you time it right, you can get the day and night view. It'll cost you though. If I remember right it's about $20. 30 Rockefeller Plaza (B,D,F,M lines).

If you like jazz, walk through Greenwich Village at night. When you walk past something that sounds great, go in. Garage ( is a good bet. 99 7th Avenue (1 or 2 lines). I saw Akiko Tsuruga there. It was an incredible show.

A couple tips:

Take a subway map with you:

Get an unlimited ride metro card.

Sometimes the subway trains don't stop at all stops. Pay attention to the signs.

The express trains also don't stop at all stops. Make sure you don't get on one accidentally. For whatever reason, they usually look newer, but not always.

Wear comfortable (walking) shoes.

Don't carry a purse. Wallet in front pocket. Some resources left in hotel room. Some resources in shoe. Be aware of your surroundings. NY is safe, but there are of course a ton of people there.

The electronics place Robin D is talking about is J&R, and it is as awesome as advertised if you like that kind of thing.

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