If people ask me what they should see in New York City, I tell them that there are two routes you can take…
The route I suggest skips out Times Square and lots of lower Broadway (too many T-shirt shops) and Chinatown (nightmare crowds), although there are probably elements in all three places that are worth seeing – just to say you’ve been there. But here’s a couple of places to go and things to do that might not always be apparent. Bryant Park (42nd and Sixth Avenue): Just go hang out there, buy a coffee from wichcraft and people-watch. The Staten Island Ferry: It comes free with your Metrocard (another essential, either daily or weekly) and is best taken across to Staten Island and back, viewing the Statue of Liberty along the way. The small coffee shops: 9th Street Espresso, Joe, Gimme!, Third Rail (Google them for addresses). Rent a bicycle at Columbus Circle and go through Central Park (it’s a six-mile loop in total) or along the Hudson River. Check tripadvisor.com for cheaper hotels. Get some takeout lunch at Whole Foods, the wholesome supermarket, and go sit and eat it in a nearby park. For a couple of my local favorite cheap eateries: Gazala Place (Middle Eastern, Hell’s Kitchen), Sapporo East (East Village), El Paso Taco (Mexican, East Harlem). And that’s a start!
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