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Things to See & Do in New York City

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Visitor Information

Visitor Information booths are located at various points throughout the city including the Times Square Visitor Center, at 1560 Broadway, at 47th St, and in Grand Central Station, Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal.  Pick up the free Village Voice every Wednesday at street corner display boxes. Or buy a copy of the weekly Time Out New York Magazine.

Free Things to See & Do

Museum of Modern Art  
Free Fridays 4-8pm (11 W 53rd St)

New York Botanical Gardens  
Free Wed all day & 10am-noon Sat (Bronx, 718-817-8700)

Staten Island Ferry  
Free (Battery Park terminal)

Central Park  
Park Ranger Office (212-360-2726) offers free 1hr tour of the park, stretches from 59th St to 110th St, between Central Park West and Fifth Ave

Bryant Park movies  
Free Monday evenings during the summer (40-42nd Sts and 6th Ave, 212-768-4242)

Tours

Adventure on a Shoestring  
Various city walking tours for only $5. (212) 265-2663

Big Onion Walking Tours  
Tours focusing on architecture and history of New York. Costs around $15/ $12 for students. (212) 439-1090

Central Park Walking Tours   
Sponsor various free walks in the park. (212) 310-6600

Harlem Today Walking Tours  
Tours led by Harlem residents explore various aspects of the area. Costs $25. (212) 280-7888

Kramer’s Reality Tour  
The “real” Kramer takes you on a tour of Seinfeld’s NYC world. Tours sell out 2-4 wks in advance. $37.50. (212) 290-8124

Municipal Arts Society  
$15 tours of New York’s historic neighborhoods. Different walks daily. (212) 439-1049

Central Park Bicycle Tours  
2 hr tour of the park for $30 or rent your own bike by the day or hour. (212) 541-8759

Touristy Attractions

Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island   
The 151-foot-tall Lady Liberty, the American symbol of freedom, stands proudly in New York Harbor on Liberty Island. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum, located on the island, houses the Great Hall, the immigration waiting room, two theaters showing films on the history of the island and America’s immigrants, and a collection of artifacts from the area. The Circle Line-Statue of Liberty Ferry leaves from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan many times a day and runs between the statue and Ellis Island. Get there early in the morning. Lines are huge! $12. (212) 363-3200.

Times Square  
The neighborhood that surrounds 42nd St. is dotted with famous theatres, restaurants and stores. NBC’s giant television screen holds reign in the center of the square. MTV, BMG Music, Disney’s New Amsterdam Theatre, the Ford Center of the Performing Arts and other great attractions are here too. Free walking tours of the neighborhood are held every Friday at noon from the Times Square Visitor Center.

Rockefeller Center  
Take a free self-guided tour. Maps available in the main lobby. 30 Rockefeller Plaza (50th/5th Ave).

Empire State Building  
This National Historic Landmark is over a 1/4 mile high. On a clear day, distances of up to 80 miles can be seen. Open daily to midnight. Cost $18.45. 350 Fifth Ave. at 34th St.

Museums

Many New York City museums offer free/pay-as-you-wish evenings once per week. Call ahead for times and exhibits.

Museum of Modern Art  
Paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, films created by influential artists of the last century.

Museum of Natural History   
Exhibits document the history of life on our planet. Costs $15, $11 for students and includes a tour. Open daily. 79th St. and Central Park West. (212) 769-5100

Guggenheim Museum  
One of the world’s finest collections of modern and contemporary 20th/21st century art. Voluntary donation on Fridays, 5:45 to 8pm. Open daily except Thurs. 1071 5th Ave. at 89th St. (212) 423-3500

Must See & Do

The Village
Harlem
Eat a bagel w/cream cheese
Eat a hot dog in Central Park
Chinatown & Little Italy

Money Saving Tips

TKTS
Half price, same day theater tickets at 3pm for evening shows, noon for matinees (Marriott, 46th St off B’way)

Bronx Zoo  
By donation, $5 min Weds (718-367-1010)

Pick up   
A copy of the free Village Voice every Thursday for events, concerts and goings on

Macy*s
Gives out a discount brochure with 10-15% off purchases if you go to their Visitor Services Desk (34th St and 7th Avenue)

Circle Line Cruises  
Save $3 off one of their cruises

Neighborhoods

Chinatown
East & West Village
SOHO
Lower East Side
Upper West Side
Times Square
Hell’s Kitchen

Shopping Areas

Canal Street  
For souvenirs, electronic gadgets, and cheap food (Chinatown)  

West Village  
Shoes, boots, leather (8th St b/w 6th/3rd Aves) 

SOHO   
For jeans and other clothing (Broadway from 8th St to W Houston St) 

Orchard St.  
Has over 400 shops, restaurants, discount shopping and good leather products

Flea markets  
At W. 76th St. and Columbus Ave. on Sundays and the weekend market on Houston St. between Sullivan and Thompson Sts.

Theater/Cinemas

For up-to-date info on music, arts and street festivals call 212-765-ARTS.  For movie listings and locations call (212) 777-FILM.

New York TKTS
Same-day, half-price theater tickets. Tickets go on sale at 3pm for evening shows, noon for matinees. 47th St. at Broadway.

Off/Off Broadway
Check out the local papers. Some live performances can be seen for as little as $10 to $15.

Parks & Gardens

Central Park
Where would the sanity of New Yorker’s be without this 840-acre park? Central Park stretches from 59th St. to 110th St., between Central Park West and Fifth Ave. and is open 24 hrs – but avoid the park after dark! The park has many trails and rocks to climb, a great lawn, a zoo, statues, a skating rink and carousel, a lake with row boat rentals, great views and lots more hidden treasures. Call the Park Ranger office for free tours and activities. (212) 360-3444
Central Park Zoo $8. 64th St. at 5th Ave.

New York Botanical Garden
250 acres of vast and beautiful gardens. Flowers always blooming; trees and plants from around the world. Free on Wednesdays and 10am-noon on Saturdays. Bronx. (718) 817-8700

Washington Square Park
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, the park is one of the best places to people watch. Musicians, actors and religious zealots frequently perform and draw crowds. Bordered by W. 4th St., MacDougal St., Waverly Place and University Place, near New York University. Open from sunrise until midnight.

Bronx Zoo
More than 4,000 wild and exotic animals, most endangered or threatened species, live at this zoo. Pay-what-you-wish on Wednesdays, $15 at other times. Fordham Rd. and Bronx River Pky. (718)220-5100

Cloisters
Medieval architecture and gardens at Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan. Costs $20, $10 for students. Take the A train to 190th St and walk or take the #4 Madison Ave. bus to the entrance. (212) 923-3700

Day Trips

Woodbury Commons Outlets (1hr)
Woodstock (2.5hrs)
Boroughs - Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island

Nightlife

Dance Clubs/Live Music
New York has an excellent clubbing scene, although it can be a bit pricey. Check out the Village Voice for weekly happenings.

Smoke Jazz Lounge
Small jazz joint, good music, local crowd. 2751 B’way at 106th St.

CBGB
The birthplace of punk rock. 315 Bowery.

Irving Plaza
Wide-open venue, has popular along with other talented but lesser-known musicians. 17 Irving Place

Webster Hall
One of New York’s most popular clubs. They play a variety of music in the many rooms and levels. 125 E. 11th St.

Bars
NYC has tons of bars everywhere. There’s a group of bars offering nightly drink specials on Amsterdam Ave. between 76th and 84th Sts., near many of the hostels, including Alligator Alley, Boomer’s Sports Bar, Bourbon St., Dive Bar, Jake’s Dilemma, McAleer’s Pub, Moonlighting, Mystic Lounge, Raccoon Lodge, and West Side Brewing Company.

Blondies
Backpacker hangout, cheap beer. 79th between Broadway and Amsterdam Aves.

Hogs & Heifers
Rowdy joint, bras hanging on the wall. 859 Washington, Village.

McSorley’s
Irish pub, sawdust covered floors, beers come two at a time. 15 East 7th St., East Village.

Cheap Eats

Food possibilities in NYC are unbelievable. Many Chinese restaurants offer free unlimited wine with dinner. If your cash is low, try pizza by the slice. It’s filling and only $1.50. And then there’s the bagel. Don’t leave NYC without going to Essa or H&H Bagels. They cost from $.50 to $.60 each. Street vendors are everywhere, selling hot dogs, pretzels and soda for $1 to $1.50, depending upon your location. If you are on Canal St. in Chinatown, try the cheap Chinese on offer. Here are just a few suggestions.

Wo Hops
Cheap, dive, lots of locals, long lines. 15-17 Mott St., Chinatown.

Gray’s Papaya
75 cent hot dogs. ‘Nuff said. 72nd and Broadway, Upper West Side.

Second Ave Deli
New York deli and pickles. A must. 156 2nd Ave., E. Village.

Soup Kitchen International
Made famous by ‘Seinfeld’ and of course their hearty soups. Don’t get out of line! 55th/8th Ave.

Tom’s Restaurant
The “Seinfeld” diner. 112th and Broadway, Upper West Side.

La Carridad
Good, hearty Cuban/Chinese. Quick and cheap. 2197 Broadway/78th St., Upper West Side.


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