Sometimes we forget the benefits of being in your own hometown. It isn't until you have visitors come and stay that you are reminded of the good things about the place you live. I can go on about the painful commutes into the city from Brooklyn, the relentless noise from traffic and the masses of humanity everywhere when all I want is a bit of peace and quiet and the annoyance at how expensive it is do anything in this town.
However, there are many free or nearly free things to do in my fair city that not only give you a sense of place but provide excellent shots to annoy your friends back home.
In general, I tell my friends who come for a visit to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, take the Staten Island Ferry for excellent water views of lower Manhattan. Go to Times Square but leave quickly and meander through the beautiful neighborhoods of Chelsea and the West Village. Walk the Hi-Line for a different perspective on the city - go in the evening when it is less crowded and us local New Yorkers walk our dogs and gather on the benches for a quick chat with a fellow neighbor. The Whitney Museum has moved to the Meatpacking District. It is a gorgeous museum that has free entries on one Friday a month. Not only is the art great, there are free and informative tours and the outdoor spaces provide yet more great views of our city.
Travelers Tip: Avoid chain restaurants and go to a local place in Chelsea, the West Village or Brooklyn- Williamsburg and Park Slope have many amazing places to choose from. Our city boasts cuisine from every country in the world - all at varying price ranges. Here the world is literally your oyster, or taco, or dumpling!
You can have an amazing time in New York City and Brooklyn without breaking the bank.