Originally Posted by ABEsolutely
Baseball, of course, and I guess mostly the touristy things. I've done the normal tourist spots in other cities and been disappointed in some, so I was just trying to get a feel for what's can't-miss (especially since I only have a day).
Well, just to give a shout-out to some beautiful landmarks that people haven't mentioned: Grand Central Station (not much to do around it but chain restaurants and stuff, but beautiful to see), Trinity Church downtown, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Washington Square Park (someone did mention this, but it bears repeating; in beautiful weather it's incomparable, and a nice area to walk around as well, with little shops and a couple of old side streets that look like old France; also close to Two Boots Pizza which is an institution), the Public Library (if there's one great building in New York that ALL TOURISTS miss, it's the Library -- with the famous lions outside -- every corner breathtakingly beautiful and FREE, and right next to Bryant Park), the Boathouse at Central Park, Union Square for the street performers alone, and the Theater district.
As far as baseball goes...if the Yankees are away, the Mets are in town. Shea is nearly as great an experience as Yankee Stadium is; the fans are great, and it's a quick shot into Flushing on the 7 express train. If you can't make it, though, I'd still stop in some of the Yankees club stores. You can find neat little trinkets there, and it's fun to ogle the more expensive stuff
There are about four or five of them -- on in Times Square and my old last-minute ticket purchase place on 59th between Park and Lexington, I think (very close to Fifth Avenue shopping).
I think the Empire State building is worth it, just get there early. I'm in agreement with those who say the Staten Island Ferry because it's a great (and, again, free) way to see the Statue of Liberty. It can be time-consuming, but plan ahead so as not to wait for the ferry and you should be able to squeeze it in. The best way to see the Statue of Liberty, in my opinion, is to go to Brooklyn and walk up and down the Brooklyn Promenade. The neighborhood is gorgeous (all those old brownstones) and vibrant, and the view of the Statue, the skyline and the brooklyn Bridge (which ends there) is incomparable. But you likely won't have time for that unfortunately. Brooklyn is quite a destination in itself -- Coney Island, Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Historical society, the neighborhoods, the pizza...someday maybe