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New York City
Old 06-15-2008, 06:15 AM   #1
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New York City

DW and I are spending the Fourth of July weekend in NYC. Does anyone have any tips on saving money in the most expensive city in the US? We've already booked the hotel and got tix to a ballgame. Plan to find somewhere to watch the fireworks and would appreciate any suggestions on that. Want to pay our respects at ground zero and wander Central Park. Was wondering if you picnic in the park if its legal to bring alcohol? Don't want to end up with municipal accomadations!
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:01 AM   #2
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NYC has an open container law - so decant you wine or liquor and you should be OK.

A good guide book should be able to give you a list of money saving ideas.
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:37 AM   #3
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Depending on what you like to do -

There is an interesting Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side where you tour a building and what it was like in the late 1800s and early 1900s (where the term "sweat shop" likely started). Interesting and gives one a lot of perspective. Cost $17 per adult. Tour about an hour. Some tours fill up so sometimes you have to wait for next available. They have a movie in the museum shop to watch while you wait.

You can save money by getting a daily pass for the subways/buses. About $7.50 per day.

Best tip - comfortable walking shoes!
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:47 PM   #4
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Big Apple Greeter offers free tours by local New Yorkers - I plan to book a tour later in July when we visit but don't have any personal experience to share at this point.

Best wishes for an enjoyable trip!
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:26 PM   #5
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DW and I are spending the Fourth of July weekend in NYC. Does anyone have any tips on saving money in the most expensive city in the US? We've already booked the hotel and got tix to a ballgame. Plan to find somewhere to watch the fireworks and would appreciate any suggestions on that. Want to pay our respects at ground zero and wander Central Park. Was wondering if you picnic in the park if its legal to bring alcohol? Don't want to end up with municipal accomadations!
Money saving tip -- use the subway. It is quicker and cheaper than a taxi.


I wouldn't bother with "ground zero". There is nothing to see there.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:49 PM   #6
 
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Battery Park at the tip of Manhattan is the place to see the fireworks but you have to get there early to secure a prime spot.

A great place to visit is the Museum of Natural History which is within walking distance of Central Park.
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Old 06-15-2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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Its pretty easy to work around the open container laws. Buy bottles of Veryfine orange juice and pour a little and then top it off with vodka, buy apple juice and dump it out and replace with white wine, or cranberry juice replaced with red wine. You get the idea...recap, stick in a cooler and as long as you behave yourself its unlikely that you'll get a 'cooler check'.

By the way, I cant see a thread named "new york city" without putting this up:

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Old 06-15-2008, 06:12 PM   #8
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By all means, go spend an afternoon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can stroll across the park to it and although they ask the moon and the sky for admission, it is a "suggested donation." Unless you are feeling flush, I suggest throwing them a buck a person and walking on in. The collection they have is absolutely world class.

If you feel like taking a trip to the burbs, go to the last true beer garden in NYC: Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden Its a great place for a beer lover.
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Old 06-15-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
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IF the weather is good, and NOT on the evening of the fireworks --

Take the 4, 5, or 6 train downtown to the CITY HALL stop, and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a spectacular 40 minutes or so... Then ask directions to Montague Street, have a bite to eat, and walk the 2 - 3 blocks to the Promenade, where you will have another spectacular view of lower Manhattan.

Turn around, walk back down Montague Street, get the trains back to Manhattan.

Sunny and hot? Wear hats. Carry a water bottle [which usually I think isn't something most people need.]

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Old 06-15-2008, 08:32 PM   #10
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I agree with mews, Dowtown Brooklyn by the promenade is the best place to see the manhattan skyline.

You can also take a ride on the staten island ferry, its free and a good way to see the statue of liberty without going to the actual island.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:27 PM   #11
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Hi Vinny -

the Staten Island Ferry is also a great "what do we do when it's stinking hot" excursion!

It's always better out in the harbor.

ta,
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:41 AM   #12
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The two items that cost the most are hotel and food.

Personally, I would stay in Manhattan as close to time square as possible. Last time we were there, we found a reasonable rate. Of course, we were not too concerned about economizing. We took in a broadway show and went to high-end restaurants. You can get show tickets at half price (shows depend on what was left unsold).


Hotel consolidators are one of the best ways to economize on rooms. Look at frommers for some consolidators names.
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:26 AM   #13
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Museum of art was a good suggestion - i also like the museum of natural history. If youre heading down to battery park - at that end of manhatten is "the village", little italy and chinatown. I like to browse the knockoffs sold around canal/broadway (chinatown) walk through little itally (sometimes eating) in the village and near NYU theres may "watering holes" to pop into. This resteraunt is near central park uptown - churrascariaplataforma.com ($$$) . Maumuns Shwarmas ($) 119 MacDougal St is also addictive. A cold beer here is entertaining - http://www.jekyllandhydeclub.com/home.htm
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:23 PM   #14
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we took one of those free tours through Grand Central Terminal. It was great - -the guy knew a LOT about the city, the terminal, New York Cheesecake, you name it.

You can't go wrong with the MET, and Ellis Island is great too -- very moving.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:21 AM   #15
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Here's an obscure sidetrip if you're game.
Visit the NY Federal reserve in downtown NYC on Maiden Lane.
The walking tour takes you down into the bowels of the bank where they have on deposit one of the largest deposits of gold in the world (more than Ft Knox). I think one of the DieHard movies featured the NYFed as its plot some years ago.
Being so near to so much wealth was a thrill.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:53 PM   #16
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I second the following suggestions:
1. Ellis Island
2. Staten Island Ferry
3. Metropolitan Museum of Art -- it's fantastic.
4. New York Public Library -- worth a look around.
5. Picnic in Central Park -- get some submarines.

Others I'd recommend:
1. Buy a last-minute ticket to a Broadway or off-Broadway show. There are discount ticket stands around town -- the one I used to use no longer exists (it was at World Trade Center One). I saw an amazing tango show there for about $15. Basically, they sell tickets for that night's performance at a huge discount. You may or may not get great seats, but who cares?

2. Go over to Little Italy in the evening and have some gelato or cannoli for dessert.

3. There's a Shakespearean company that puts on free Shakespearean plays in Central Park. You have to get tickets in advance but they're free.

4. Ride the wooden escalator at Macy's (or is it Bloomingdale's?) on Fifth Avenue. That thing made me feel like I was in the 19th century.

5. Eat hot dogs from the streetcart vendors.

6. Get some real bagels at a Jewish deli. (Oh, and pastrami, and lox, and kosher dills, and...)

7. If it's a Sunday or Saturday, why not go to a couple of open houses on the Upper West or East Side? That's gotta be fun.
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:55 PM   #17
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P.S. We've found that the large (or small) dark-colored Nalgene bottles work really well for decanting liquor. We mix Margaritas in our large one and keep it chilled in the fridge. Very few people are lowbrow enough to drink booze out of a 32-ounce polycarbonate Nalgene. Works for us.
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:18 PM   #18
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One last suggestion, although its kind of a cliche: take a ride on the Circle Line. They do a complete circle of Manhattan and show you everything that can be seen by water.
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Old 06-18-2008, 11:22 PM   #19
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You can honestly see a lot and not spend a lot in NYC if what makes you happy is taking in a lot of sights and window shopping.
My sister and I love to go once or twice a year. When I lived closer, we would go for a day trip and my favorite thing to do was to walk around all day, shop and EAT!
I think it's the Circle Line tour that brewer mentioned - you can get on and off of the bus all day long - so if they stop in another part of town, you can get off, look around, and get back on later. It's not "cheap", as in not as cheap as the subway, but it's worth being able to get around the city at your leisure all day long.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:32 AM   #20
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I second the following suggestions:
1. Buy a last-minute ticket to a Broadway or off-Broadway show. There are discount ticket stands around town -- the one I used to use no longer exists (it was at World Trade Center One). I saw an amazing tango show there for about $15. Basically, they sell tickets for that night's performance at a huge discount. You may or may not get great seats, but who cares?
This is called the TKTS booth. They have one at 42nd Street, and sell in the afternoon. Use the one at the South Street Seaport (replaced the World Trade Center location)- they open in the morning, and there are no lines there. That's where the locals buy to beat the crowds.

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2. Go over to Little Italy in the evening and have some gelato or cannoli for dessert.
Puglia's is a good restaurant, but for desert got to the original Feraras, around the block. If you are Italian in NY, that is the only bakery to get your wedding cake from.

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6. Get some real bagels at a Jewish deli. (Oh, and pastrami, and lox, and kosher dills, and...)
For an authentic deli experience, go to Katz' Deli on the Lower East Side. This is where they shot the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally. Also, when you are at the counter ordering your sandwich, tip the sandwich maker, and while he is making your lean sandwich, he will cut you some to eat while he works.
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