One day in three ways: New York

PENNY PINCH

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).

TOTAL: $165

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).

TOTAL: $393

SPLASH OUT

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).

TOTAL: $1264

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