March 13, 2009 / 10:09 AM / in 8 years

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in New York on a shoestring

<p>An aerial view of the New York skyline is seen as the sun sets November 11, 2008.Jim Young</p>

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore New York? There are plenty of things to enjoy in the Big Apple without burning a hole in the pocket. Despite the economic recession, bargains can still be found in the city.

FRIDAY

6 p.m. - Soak in the bright lights at Times Square, where you will find dazzling billboards, gawking tourists and perhaps the Naked Cowboy, a busker who wears only underwear, a hat and boots. If you are eager to see a show buy discounted Broadway tickets for same-day performances at the TKTS booth on Duffy Square.

7 p.m. - For a good view of Times Square climb to the top of the red glass steps adjoining the booth. Watch the world go by while having a pre-theater meal from a nearby kebab stand or one of the many restaurants in the area.

11.30 p.m. - Head downtown and enjoy old-world charm and intimate jazz at Arthur's Tavern downtown in Greenwich Village at 57 Grove Street.

SATURDAY

9 a.m. - Feast at an authentic New York luncheonette at Eisenberg's Sandwich Shop at 174 Fifth Avenue. Grab a seat at the counter and get an egg mayo sandwich or one of the other deli classics.

10 a.m. - Stroll down to Union Square to find organic produce at the farmers' market. Munch on a freshly baked cherry pie while watching people hunt down home-made cheese, hand-crafted candles and purple carrots.

11 a.m. - Greenwich Village oozes charm with its meandering streets, historic townhouses and arty atmosphere. Wander around Grove and Bedford Street to admire the 19th century feel of the buildings in the area.

12.30 p.m. - Have something to eat at Mustache at 90 Bedford Street. The authentic Middle Eastern shop serves delicious and affordable "pitzas" that make the wait for a table worthwhile.

2 p.m. - Head east by walking along Bleecker Street toward the East Village and Lower East Side to enjoy a grittier more bohemian vibe.

<p>A pigeon flies over New York in this file photo from March 3, 2009.Gleb Garanich</p>

4 p.m. - Enjoy the panoramic views of Manhattan and the East River by crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. For a bit of culture, browse through art exhibitions at the Dumbo Arts Center at 30 Washington Street.

6 p.m. - Check out the buzz surrounding Williamsburg and see if the neighborhood lives up to the hype. Stop for a pint at Brooklyn Brewery at 1 Brewers Row, 79 North 11th Street, where fresh brews are always on the menu.

8.30 p.m. - Ride the L train back to Manhattan and refuel with classic American comfort food at goodburger (www.goodburgerny.com), a fast food joint that impresses with its juicy beef patties and delicious milkshakes.

10 p.m. - End the day at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater at 307 West 26th Street, where there are plenty of laughs. Whether it is a comedy sketch, improvisation or stand-up, the giggles come fast and furious courtesy of the talented comedians.

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SUNDAY

8 a.m. - Grab a donut and coffee from a street stand before heading to Central Park, the oasis in the middle of the urban jungle. Popular destinations include Strawberry Fields, a memorial to Beatle John Lennon, and Bethesda Fountain, a fixture in movies set in Manhattan.

10.30 a.m. - Head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue. From an extensive Egyptian collection to countless European paintings and sculptures, there is something for everyone with approximately 3 million works on display.

1 p.m. - Have a hot dog while window shopping along the flagships shops of designer labels, retail chains and department stores that dot Fifth Avenue.

2.30 p.m. - Spend some quiet time remembering the victims of the September 11 attacks at Ground Zero. The best viewing points are from the adjacent World Financial Center.

4 p.m. - No trip to New York is complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty. Hop on the free Staten Island Ferry to glimpse a view of this enigmatic lady, Ellis Island and lower Manhattan.

5.30 p.m. - If you're looking for bargains visit Century 21 at 22 Cortlandt Street. With bargain basement prices for designer goods, the store's motto "Fashion worth fighting for" rings true.

7 p.m. - Venture to the bustling streets of Chinatown, a truly Asian district where Cantonese, Shanghainese and Hokkien are heard everywhere. There are plenty of restaurants featuring regional Chinese, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisines.

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