Free fun in New York
It's ironic in a city with some of the most expensive hotels and restaurants in the world, but many of New York City's best attractions...
It's ironic in a city with some of the most expensive hotels and restaurants in the world, but many of New York City's best attractions are free. Among them:
Times Square: A vibrant public space like no other, even better in person than it looks on TV. Plenty of things here to buy, of course, but the lights, sights and people-watching are free, 24 hours a day.
Central Park: Central Park is the city's communal backyard, a green space where New Yorkers and tourists skate, bike, jog, picnic, walk a dog or climb a rock. Stroll the winding, leafy paths and consider how well the park fulfills the goal of its 19th century designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who sought to create the illusion of nature in an urban environment.
Staten Island Ferry: This humble, utilitarian boat takes commuters between Manhattan and Staten Island 24 hours a day, and it's free. It also offers classic views of the Statue of Liberty, harbor, and skyscraper canyons. Take the No. 1 subway to South Ferry or No. 4 or 5 to Bowling Green to board the boat on the Manhattan side. Be ready for crowds at rush hour.
Brooklyn Bridge: When it opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was an engineering wonder, the longest suspension bridge in the world. It remains a beloved symbol of New York, with Gothic arches worthy of a cathedral and a delicate filigree of cables whose patterns change with every step along the mile-long walkway. Take the A or C train to High Street, Brooklyn, and walk back to Manhattan for the best skyline views.
High Line: One of the city's newest attractions, the High Line has quickly become a favorite. It's a narrow park built on an old elevated freight railway along 10th Avenue on Manhattan's West Side, from Gansevoort Street, just below 14th Street, to 31st Street.
It offers a unique look at the urban landscape from 30 feet up, with a peek at adjacent apartments, the Hudson River, vestiges of the neighborhood's industrial past — meatpacking plants, auto shops — as well as signs of a trendy rebirth including postmodern architecture and art installations. The northern half is more parklike with plantings, benches and birds.