My cousin Micah e-mailed me about visiting New York. I wrote him a novel, so thought I would adapt it for my blog ... This may become a series or something because I continue to find NYC things that would have been SO HELPFUL to know about when I moved here (the easiest way to get to Target, stores in the city that carry Target-type stuff ... other than K-Mart, etc.).
Shawn and I saw Wicked and LOVED it - definitely recommend it as a Broadway show to see. If you want to be SURE you get tickets you can go online - probably Ticketmaster. But if you feel like taking a chance you can go to the box office when you get here - the prices should be the same as online, but you save any Internet fees. I'm not sure how popular Wicked is (probably pretty popular?) but some of the shows that need help getting the theater filled will have tickets on sale at a couple TKTS booths - there's one at South Street Sea Port (which is a cool place to check out in general - it's near the Brooklyn Bridge). Anyway, short-notice tickets to shows are available at those booths (I think the other is in Times Square?) and should be cheaper.
I definitely love the Natural History Museum - and if you like art the Met and MOMA. I enjoyed taking a bus tour - and getting to see the city from a double decker bus (ask Owen about it - he liked it too). Citi Sights (?) was the one we did last summer - the cheapest I think.
My favorite thing is the Staten Island ferry - it's free and takes you by the statue of liberty and gives good views of the city from the south.
There are also street festivals around on summer weekends - those are fun and have lots of cheapie souvenir shopping and great NYC street foods.
I like China Town for souvenirs (walking distance from us) and then Soho is in the same area w/ lots of higher end shopping.
The views from the Brooklyn Bridge are great, although in August it might be too hot.
We got engaged at the top of Rockefeller Center - it's less expensive to go to than Empire State and has shorter lines/gives ticket times so you just buy them, show up and go to the top (whereas the Empire State you have to stand in lines no matter what) - but either way you should try to get an aerial view of the city.
Central Park is fun to walk around - they have a zoo (really tiny/not anything special except that it's IN CP and in August it's very unoccupied/the animals all stay inside).
The Bronx Zoo is famous though and has way more animals - Shawn took Beth, Mama and Owen there last year and they really enjoyed it.
There's tons of great food - Little Italy is chock full of stuff and anything outside of Times Square/the really touristy areas should be "authentic" and tasty. We really like this diner in our neighborhood, but it's probably more because of location than anything else.