NYC: a mix of cultures, a center for media, a home for the arts, and something I don't take advantage of.
Iona lies in New Rochelle, about a 20 minute drive from Manhattan, and I only go in about once every two months. I went to high school in the city, and my Fridays were spent wherever my school ID could get me a discount. One week I'd go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the next I'd just sit in Central Park -- all things that were affordable to a kid with no money.
Commuting in and out of Grand Central gives you a certain disdain for tourist traps, so there were days where I'd fail to look up from the steps where I waited for my train, and forgot about the gorgeous expanse painted on Grand Central's ceiling.
Now that I go to school in a suburban area, I miss what I would ignore. I miss the access to public transportation, with all of its sweaty, uncomfortable mornings. I miss the conductor laughing at me as I missed the early train by one minute. I miss the man who sold breakfast giving me a "student discount", which was really a free bagel. I miss having to look at whatever irritating cover the NY Post has put out that day. And, God help me, I almost miss having to cut through times square to switch trains.
So, over winter break, I gave myself a mission to do things in the city I would normally never do, over the course of one week. And it was fantastic. I booked free tickets to a taping of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which resulted in a free third-row seat to a Billy Joel performance. I spent an entire day in various comic book shops and coloring a coloring book at a table in Grand Central with a friend. I went to sit in the park. I went to the Museum of Natural History and almost fell asleep beneath the giant blue whale.
It was an incredible week, and all I paid was for travel expenses. So, take a week, or even a day, and do something you would normally never think to do, because it's all right there. It might be phenomenal. And if it's awful, at least you've got a story.