You’ve got the family, the Frommer’s and suggestions from your uncle’s cousin about what to do with your time in the Big Apple. Undoubtedly one, or more, of these things is on your list and you should cross them off.
Strawberry Fields– Fine, go if you need a new cover photo for Facebook, but otherwise it’s a tourist trap packed with people and filled with panhandlers and homeless.
Katz’s Delicatessen– Home to the infamous orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally Katz’s skyrocketed in notoriety. Unfortunately, that has turned it into the Hard Rock Cafe of delis complete with its own gift shop next door. The food isn’t bad, but overpriced and the location is out of the way from anything family oriented. Alternative: Carnegie Deli, though still touristy chances are you’re staying in the Times Square area anyway so save the time and hassle and pop in there for your pastrami fix.
9/11 Memorial– If you lost someone in 9/11 by all means go, grieve, do whatever you need to do. The rest of us that were impacted on a national level rather than personal, feel free to save the memorial for a later trip. The memorial is beautiful: it’s clean and filled with trees yet is surrounded by skyscrapers. Yet as a result I feel a lot of the emotion has been scrubbed away. And from a purely logistical standpoint it requires somehow waiting when times are reserved followed by more nonsensical security measures than a TSA checkpoint. Alternative: St. Paul’s Chapel. Adjacent to the WTC site the oldest church in Manhattan stood strong amongst the debris and served as a place of refuge for responders and workers.
Any location related to your favorite film or TV show– This will be brief. Most interiors are shot at a soundstage so don’t drag yourself or the family out of the way to see an exterior only that you recognize. Alternative: Checkout On Location Vacations and try and catch a shoot while it’s happening.
Broadway play– Broadway and New York go together like peas and carrots. Only problem is, like peas and carrots, you can find Broadway plays nationwide year round. Alternative: Look off Broadway to a small theater like Cherry Lane; the talent is still there and you’ll get to see a play unique to New York for a fraction of the price.