New York is one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world with approximately 8336697 million people. After graduating high school I knew New York would be the place I’d call home so I packed my bags in 1998 and headed for the big apple. Brooklyn is my home borough now and I encourage you to get out of Manhattan and visit Brooklyn but if you must stay in Manhattan I’ll share a list of things I would consider a must do while in New York City
New York is a expensive place but Manhattan is not only famous for the bright lights of Times Square and Rockefeller Center, Manhattan is also known for being very expensive. Below are incredible cheap/inexpensive experiences that won’t break your bank while in New York City.
1) While you’re visiting New York City you must go see a Broadway show. New York City Broadway shows are expensive but if you are flexible with the shows you want to see and maybe don’t mind standing on a line then you can snag tickets to a Broadway show for half price or even less. I was able to get tickets to the Broadway show Fela for half price, the only catch is you can only purchase the tickets the day of the show so you will get whatever seats are available. For a list of the shows and where to find the booths where to purchase tickets.
2) Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is not only a great way to see New York but it’s FREE, and a great way to get your exercise in for the day. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest and longest suspension bridge in the United States spanning 1,595 feet. Before you head to the Brooklyn Bridge be sure to pack your comfortable shoes and camera because the view is phenomenal. To get to the Brooklyn Bridge in Manhattan you will take the pedestrian walkway which accessible from the end of Centre Street or through the unpaid south staircase of the Brooklyn Bridge City Hall subway station.
3) New York City Groove Lounge is “Home of Rhythm Blues and Funk”. If you’re looking for a soulful funk filled night then this is a Manhattan must do. I frequent The Groove Lounge and have never been disappointed. The Groove Lounge is open seven days a week and is the only place in New York City where you will hear live funk. In addition to the great live music The Groove Lounge also offers one of the best inexpensive/cheap happy hours in New York City. So if you’re looking for a great night out filled with live music go to The Groove Lounge and have the “Real New Yorker Experience.” Note there is a 2 drink minimum per set as well as a $5 cover to enter. For full details click here.
4) Times Square is a definite tourist attraction and locals like myself stay far away but if you are visiting NYC I wouldn’t deprive you of experiencing the bright lights of the huge bill boards and maybe even fantasize of one day being on one of them as so many of us do. I’d advise going during the day time and then go at night so you can fully appreciate the bright lights and magical feel of Times Square. Now that you’ve absorbed the magic you have to go grab a drink and dinner at Dallas BBQ this restaurant is SOOOO cheap and the drinks are a must have by New York locals. The food is good but the drinks are great and a great value. BBQ’s 42nd street. Also note that you’ll see your favorite or not so favorite disney characters and they will ask you to take pictures, if you do not have money to tip them please politely decline the photo op as they aren’t working for free and you don’t want to be put in an uncomfortable situation.
5) For all of my art lovers there is never a shortage here in New York City. I’m a huge art lover and while you’re here you should visit these New York Art Galleries but note art galleries aren’t open on Mon and Tue. Rush Arts Gallery is a NYC gem that showcases the more progressive/non mainstream artist featuring a lot of local artist as well. The Gogosian Art Gallery showcases contemporary as well as modern art, you never know who they have hanging. Met is a donation based museum so no matter your budget you can get your art fix and with the ticket you’re provided access to the beautiful cloisters
6) Cecily’s favorite park to visit during the Summer is Washington Square Park. Located directly by NYU this park attracts a very diverse and cool crowd ranging from hippies to photography students working on their finals. In Washington Square park you never know what type of live entertainment you’ll get to experience for FREE while at the same time you can dip your feet in the water fountain.
If you’re staying in Manhattan for a week or so and want to experience all of the main tourist attractions I’d suggest purchasing a city pass. This pass gives you access to pretty much every NYC tourist attraction you can think of for a flat rate. For info on the New York City Pass click here.