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From free to inexpensive to great bang for your buck, the city that can take all your money and then some also offers endless options to the budget savvy.
On Fridays from 4pm-8pm, the world-renowned MoMA is free to the general public. Sure, it may be a bit more crowded, but the usual steep $20/pp admission that you save can go a long way toward other city indulgences.
Subway down to the Flatiron neighborhood's most famous restaurant, but instead of getting all dressed up to spend big bucks on a reservation you made weeks ago, have a drink or two at the bar while you wait for a table in the more casual front tavern room. Reservations aren't accepted, but for moderate prices you get to sample the great kitchen and service for which Gramercy is known.
Want to see the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline but don't have the time or inclination to battle the crowds on the Circle Line and Liberty Island? Right next door you can hop on the continously-running Staten Island Ferry which may just be Manhattan's best bargain at the affordable price of FREE. When you board, just head upstairs to the outside deck front, rear, or right side decks (left side when returning back to Manhattan) for the best views of the Statue. When you get to Staten Island, just get off the boat and hop right back on again for your return trip. Figure an hour roundtrip.
After getting off the Ferry, walk up either along the Hudson River promenade of Battery Park City or through the financial district to the solemn site of the former World Trade Center. The 9/11 exhibit inside St. Paul's Chapel across the street is not to be missed.
Feeling a bit depressed now? No worries because perhaps the greatest retail bargain in all of Manhattan is literally across the street. Top designer brands at drastically reduced prices are the prize for savvy -- and lucky -- shoppers.
A short walk northeast past the Courts will take you to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan's chinatown where as you wander through the crowded street and markets you'll be forgiven for thinking you were thousands of miles away in the Orient.
Don't let the hole-in-the-wall appearance of this Chinatown gem scare you off. The crowds are there for the food and not the ambience. Soup dumplings, scallion pancakes and just about anything noodles are tops.
Ready to walk off lunch? Good, because the Brooklyn Bridge is a short walk away. If you're only going to walk it in one direction, take the subway one stop to Brooklyn and then walk back to Manhattan as the views of the skyine are better in that direction.
Now that you've walked across the bridge, reward yourself with some great ice cream down at Fulton Ferry State Park on the Brooklyn waterfront between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Don't worry, you can walk it off going back.
Subway to Times Square to catch the TKTS booth's 3pm opening for discounted evening Broadway performances. You never know what will be available, but with some flexibility and a little luck you're bound to find something you like at a great price.
Rather than put up with the crowds at the generally overpriced and mediocre theater district dining offerings, head a bit west to Hell's Kitchen for some low key but delicious and easy-on-the-wallet Peruvian. The weekend ceviche is tops.
Still have energy after your Broadway show? Subway down to The Living Room lounge on the Lower East Side for reasonable drinks and great music in a cover charge-free hip setting.
This has to be one of the finest museums in the world. And despite what many think, the admission charge is only a suggestion. Pay what you want and see what you want.
Tired from all that running around? Stop at one of the many delis and gourmet grocers and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in Central Park.