As a former Manhattanite whose wallet wasn’t always full, I learned of some great but reasonably-priced things to do in New York. Here are my suggestions:
1. Have a Drink at The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station
Tucked away in a remote corner of Grand Central Station is The Campbell Apartment. Sophisticated and historical, this lounge is the perfect place to meet for drinks during a busy, Manhattan day. The lounge was the former office of business tycoon John W. Campbell. The wait staff is the most refined I have seen in Manhattan; when I was last there, the waitresses wore pearls. The lighting is ambient and invites lingering no matter how busy it can get.
2. Attend MetFridays at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
On Fridays, the balcony overlooking The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s elegant, main lobby turns into the best bar in New York. With live entertainment, often chamber music, you can enjoy cocktails and appetizers in one of the world’s most renowned museums. Purchase tickets early to avoid waiting in line.
3. If You’re a Literary Lover, Attend the Barnes & Noble Author Events Throughout the City
Some of the best authors in the world do readings at New York City Barnes & Nobles. The Barnes & Noble at Union Square attracts a particularly sophisticated array of authors which have included Oliver Saks, Joyce Carol Oates, Frank McCourt, and Jane Goodall just to name a few. Admission is free, and often includes author signings.
4. Visit The Morgan Library and Museum
On the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Street is the former residence of financier J.P. Morgan. During his lifetime, his collection of illuminated manuscripts and other artistic treasures was vast, and it was decided that after his death these treasures needed to be shared with the public; his home is now a museum. If you’re a bibliophile as I am, The Morgan Library and Museum is a must-see; the elegant library is so beautiful and has so many historic books, I actually had tears in my eyes during my first visit. Of special note are Morgan’s Guttenberg Bibles; he also favored medieval art which is prolific in the museum. While perusing, stop for afternoon tea at The Morgan Café in a modern setting or have lunch at The Morgan Dining Room, the Morgan family’s original dining room for a more formal setting.
5. Ride the Staten Island Ferry for FreeNew York’s Staten Island Ferry is free! Ride in winter or summer past The Statue of Liberty, and view downtown Manhattan at night—truly worth the ride.