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We are in NYC for only a few days, mostly to catch up with friends and family, but also to check out a few of the sights. For me it seems that the best sights are found just walking through the city, though by the end of a day wandering through the city we have covered quite a distance and our feet are pretty sore. The city is much safer and cleaner than it used to be and Yellow Cabs are regulated to make sure that they provide safe service at a reasonable price, which makes them a pretty good way to get around. If you are in Manhattan though, I would definitely recommend walking. The architecture on the city streets and the people walking past make up the best sights.
There are an overwhelming array of museums but I would recommend the Metropolitain Museum of Art most of all. If you are interested in Broadway shows, you can get tickets to many on the day of the show for half price from a booth in Times Square. The Empire State Building is worth the $9 price tag, and don't be alarmed by the line to get tickets, it moves quickly and you are 86 stories above the city streets in no time. East Midtown and the Greenwich Village have some great restaurants pretty cheap, I'd recommend Soho for shopping and the East Village for going out.
Next stop: Roma!