Three days in New York, any ideas of what to see?

My mother, through her new job, is getting a chance to go to new york for a few days. She found out yesterday that she could take one person with her if she wanted, so I am getting a free ride to New York!

We will be staying somewhere in the Financial District, I honestly have no clue which hotel. Shes going off to classes during the day, so I have until around 6ish to do whatever I want.

I am 17 and thus dont have a ton of money to spend on taxi’s and events. Im hoping to keep my personal expenses as low as possible. Ive already seen Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and went to the top of the WTC a year before they were gone.

Anyone have any ideas? (I already have Canal street and the Museum of Jewish Heritage planned)

Im going up july 13-16, if there are any special events going on

Well you can get a Metrocard for the subway and bus. It may be a good deal to get a weekly card for $24 and that will cover you for seven days. I don’t remember how much a one day pass costs. I’m not sure that three of those will cost less than a weekly.
If you are down in the financial district you will probably run into ground zero. Seeing it after visiting the WTC may have some extra impact for you. Personally I’m amazed at the buildings that were basically across the street are still standing.

There are two nice churches down there and the Brooklyn Bridge (there is a pedestrian walkway) and the South Street Seaport are right there as well. Chinatown and Little Italy as well as SoHo and Tribecca are all fun neighborhoods to explore.

With the metrocard you will be able to subway anywhere you want to go. Oh and New Yorkers love to tell people where to go and where to get off, meaning that you can ask anyone for directions.

What’s your favorite NY movie?

If you like Art, we have the Cloisters, The Met, The Guge, The Whitney, MoMA, The Brooklyn Museum of Art and countless small galleries (many of which are free).

I believe it’s 401 Bleecker Street, where it intersects with West 11th - Magnolia Bakery. It’s in a beautiful part of town, so the walk itself is very nice, depending on whether you need to snag a subway to 14th (123 to 7th or ACE to 8th) and walk down or whether you want to plan out a trip to Washington Square Park and follow 5th Ave up to 11th Street and head west from there. (I definitely think Washington Square during the day is worth a trip, since the peoplewatching is just fantastic.) I always take my out-of-town guests to Magnolia, which is apparently famous from Sex & The City or some damn thing, just because the area’s so pretty.

In that same area there’s also a pretty nice jaunt up 5th, which is full of character (read: cheap merch vendors), to the Flatiron building.

If you do make a trip up to the Village, feel free to drop me an email and I’ll point you to a couple of interesting (read: cheap) spots to eat.

Take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. It’s near Battery Park and free. Plus you get a great view of downtown.

The ride lasts twenty-five minutes. To get back to Manhattan just walk around the ferry terminal and catch the next boat back.

Battery Park is also the place where you can also catch a ride to visit the Statue of Liberty. The statue is small but has an island all to itself.

We went up the Empire State building last time I was in New York - sorry, I don’t remember how much it cost, if anything. The view from the top is amazing, and they let you stay up there and take pictures for as long as you like.

A trip to the Strand Bookstore at 12th & Broadway is always interesting. It’s right down the street from Union Square.

I always tell people that if it’s a clearish day, they should definitely walk over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. (Take the A to the first stop in Brooklyn, which is right near the bridge.) There’s a walkway a level above the cars, and you get a beautiful view of pretty much everything. When you get into Manhattan, you’re right by Chinatown, which you mentioned you’d like to see.

Skip Times Square and the various touristy things there, except for the theaters if you like Broadway-type stuff. It’s all fake, designed for the tourists.

For cool, cheap fun in the financial district there is the very cool tour of the New York Stock Exchange. There’s a small museum (informative, if you’re into that sort of thing) but mostly you just stare through the window at the crazy stock traders just like you see on TV. Free! Security is tight – do not enter with anything you wouldn’t bring on an airplane.

Very near the WTC site (across the street in fact) is historic Trinity Church. Gravestones in the churchyard date back to the Revolutionary war. Sit on a bench and ponder the fact that it was the tallest building in NYC in 1880.

Another cheap thrill is to check out the lobby of the WoolWorth building. It has really amazing tilework and gargoyles made out like the architects and things. Stop in (it’s near City Hall and can be seen from far away as the gothicy building with the green pointy roof), usually the security guard has a pamphlet he can give you.

Up at Union Square on wednesdays there is a very large Farmer’s Market. It goes until the early afternoon – if you arrive in time, buy some fruit for your walking tour!

Waaaay on the other side of town is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the world’s largest (as yet unfinished) Gothic Catherdral. They’ve been working on it since the 20s. It’s impressive in its own right, and is the host to frequent free performances and exhibits. You can see current exhibits here:
http://www.stjohndivine.org/Exhibits05.html and
http://www.stjohndivine.org/pe_forthcoming.html
Take the #2 Train 110th street and you’re just a block or two away. There’s a super fab pastry shop/coffe shop (filled with Columbia University students doing their thing) directly across from the cathedral too.

I very much enjoyed:

The American Museum of Natural History

The Cloisters Museum

Just get out and start walking! Think about what you could never see in Houston–I’d walk around the lower-rise neighborhoods, like Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side. Invest in a week-long $24 pass and you can hop on and off the trains at will (the subways are just fine, just don’t flash money or look too naive).

From Battery Park and the Jewish Museum, walk up the Hudson River Park Esplanade all the way to Chelsea Piers (great burgers there, and you can sit and watch the golfers play on the pier that the Titanic was supposed to dock at.) Downtown you have to visit Fraunces Tavern for early Americana, although NYC is very restless, not to mention fire-prone back then, so that and Trinity Church and St, Paul’s, across the street from the Woolworth Building, are some of the few relics. For early-19th century NY go to Tribeca’s Staple Street.

Where is Mom’s business–a conference or what? Arrange for her to meet you someplace different for dinner every night (make sure your cell works up here, of course); try the Upper West Side, Flatiron District, West Village, downtown Brooklyn, etc.

Have fun!

Thanks for all of your ideas! I have done many of the touristy things, been to New York twice with family, but I still have yet to go on the Brooklyn Bridge or eat one of those hotdogs from the street vendors. Moms done with her stuff early enough for us to meet up for dinner, and while roaming charges apply on my phone it does work in New York. Thanks again for all the ideas, it’l be a challenge seeing everything I want to see in so few of days!

They won’t even let you into the lobby of the Woolworth building without an ID. ID from a company that is in the building. They shooed me and my brother there a few months ago.

Well drat. It wasn’t like that when I was 17. (only 13 years ago).

That sucks!

Two things I forgot to add: cell phones don’t work in Subways! Don’t plan to make any calls when you’re underground.
Also, the Farmer’s Market is open on saturdays too, and there is a teensy cousin of it near City Hall.

In walking up the Hudson River, you’ll go past where I (and at least a handful of Dopers I’m aware of) went to High School – Stuyvesant HS, just 4 blocks north of the WTC site. School just got out in NYC on the 28th, so you would have seen lots of kids hanging out in the park on a normal weekday. That’s too bad, really.