October 1, 2008 : Laura Meadows
So you’ve packed your bags and headed to the largest city in America. You bring a little extra cash, a camera, and an adventurous attitude. Now what? Well, I’ve found myself living in Staten Island for the summer doing an internship. While the idea of living in the Big Apple is exciting, I just didn’t know what to do with myself when I visited the city. So, I’ve come up with a few of my favorite places to visit in the city, and I decided to share them with you, if you ever venture to the concrete jungle!
First, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a lot of fun. That’s the biggest misconception there is. The subway system is great, and as long as you get a map, you can pretty much get yourself anywhere you need to go. So, go to the turnstiles, and, if you think you’ll be riding the subway a lot, buy the Unlimited Ride Fun Day pass. It’s $7.50, and you can ride the subway as much as you want that day.
Times Square is of course one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. The few blocks containing the Square offer restaurants, shopping, and photo ops galore. Once you’ve visited the Hershey Store, and mixed your own bag of chocolate goodness at the M&M shop, you might want to grab a cup of coffee at one of the MANY Starbucks in the Square.
Fifth Avenue offers shopping like you wouldn’t believe! There are high end stores, like Gucci, Prada, and Juicy Couture, as well as the more affordable every day clothing like Hollister, American Eagle, and a 5 story Disney Store sure to please any kid at heart. Take a break from your shopping though, and enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s a beautiful Cathedral nestled in the heart of the city, and it really is a sight to behold.
The Statue of Liberty can be visited for about $15 a person, if you only go to the monument. The ferry will take you to the island, and then you have as much time as you want. But be forewarned. If you are going to try to go, the last ferry over to the island leaves at 3:00 pm, and the last ferry back leaves at 5:00 pm. So, try to do it earlier in the day, and you can pack some other sightseeing in the day as well.
Central Park is beautiful, however, I would suggest going with a group, and going during the day. While there, stop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There’s a great little café, and wonderful artwork that will truly blow you away. I’ve heard from the New Yorkers that admission is a “Suggested Donation”, so you can give them $5 or less, and still get in. However, remember, your dollars are going to preserve the great art you’ll see, so just consider that before you give them a penny!
Broadway Shows are great, however, they will cost a pretty penny. There are ways that you can get cheaper tickets. TKTS is a booth located in Times Square. They offer tickets to the shows for sometimes up to 50% off the regular ticket price.
There are tons of other things that you can find to do in the City. It’s a ton of fun, and you are safe. Just be careful, and be aware of your surroundings. There are usually policemen nearby, and if you see anything suspicious or you need some help, they’re willing and ready to assist you. Otherwise, enjoy yourself! It’s amazing how much you’ll experience!