It's still possible to visit Manhattan without causing your own financial crisis. Start with eggs and coffee at the charismatic Tom's Restaurant, which featured in Seinfeld (tomsrestaurant.net; $6). Then meander through Central Park, which won't cost you a dime. For something edgier, jump on the Metro ($2.60), head to the Lower East Side for a Tenement Museum tour (tenement.org; $26.25). Grab lunch nearby at Russ and Daughters (russanddaughters.com; $8.20). Since you're in the area, fill your evening with hip-hop at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (nuyorican.org; $10.50), then sup at Vanessa's Dumpling House (vanessasdumplinghouse.com; $8.45). Retire to the cheerful Bowery House (theboweryhouse.com; $103).
EASY DOES IT
New York does brunch better than breakfast, so save your appetite for a North American bison burger at the sublime Gramercy Terrace (gramercyparkhotel.com; $20). Then jump in a cab for a short ride ($10.50) to the Morgan Museum, built in the astonishing private library of financier J.P. Morgan (themorgan.org; $19). That evening, turn your attention north, where Harlem is dishing up unexpected surprises, where you can grab a martini somewhere such as Corner Social (cornersocialnyc.com; $12.50), then cross the avenue for comfort food at the mega-hit Red Rooster Harlem (redroosterharlem.com; mains about $28). When the music finally stops downstairs at Ginny's Supper Club, head to the Hotel Beacon (beaconhotel.com; $303).
New York is tailored for indulgence. Start the day with a game at the uber-exclusive Vanderbilt Tennis Club, hidden in Grand Central Station (vanderbilttennisclub.com; $79-$237 an hour, depending on the time of day). Then satisfy your hunger with a long lunch in the legendary Algonquin Hotel, where many a literary star has dined at the Round Table (algonquinhotel.com; $22 for a sandwich). Later that afternoon, use a town car (exectownlimo.com; $63 an hour) to reach MoMA for an after-hours private tour (moma.org; $79). Dinner is nine courses at the sensational three-Michelin-star Per Se (perseny.com; $311), and your suite is at the Carlyle, grand dame of New York hotels (thecarlyle.com; $710).