I arrived in New York after a long 25 hours worth of flying. It was a sunny summer morning and I was ready for a simple trip to my accommodation, after all it is known as an organised easy to navigate city. The airport is very basic and my initial feeling was that everyone seemed unfriendly. I bought a sim card which didn’t work with data and set off on to skyway. The skyway is easy to use, just jump on and when you get off you can purchase your ticket. From there you get on the subway. Make sure you go the right direction (West) or you will end up in a not so good suburb.
Getting in to Manhattan is pretty simple, the only problem was that I had no idea where my stop was and there was no reception plus my data didn’t work. I jumped off way too early, and luckily ran in to some backpackers who let me use their phone. After walking for about 2km with my backpack on I found my accommodation, which was right next to the subway.
New York has a great subway system which will take you almost everywhere. It is cheap and I recommend getting an unlimited week pass if you are there (was $30 when I was there) as you will most likely get on and off multiple times per day. I found that food was good in the South, average and expensive in the middle, and good in the North. Maybe this is because mid Manhattan is the tourist area. In my opinion you only need to go in to mid Manhattan once to see all of the tourist attractions.
Lower Manhattan has plenty of great things to see and you can stumble on many things. The skyline park, ferry to Statan island, the financial district (which is worth going to even if you are not interested in Finance), China town and Little Italy are just a few of the places I enjoyed. This area also has good food, and good shopping. The people are generally friendly and very international. One tip if you are planning on buying in China town: Barter!