New York City is the largest city in the State of New York and perhaps in all of USA. To understand its areas, we may consider that the State of NY (New York) is similar to the Governorate of Menya in Egypt which is divided to Qisms inside City of Menya (Arabic: أقسام أو أحياء) and surrounded by Markazes (Arabic: مراكز) outside the City. State of NY is divided to "counties" inside and outside the City of New York.
Each county may have one or more Cities like New York (but rarely on the same size). Because it is huge, NYC (abbreviation to New York City) is in fact made up of several counties: Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens and Richmond. Other cities in State of New York is Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse, Albany (actually the Capital of the State), New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, etc.
The locals (called New-Yorkers) call affectionately the New York City: "the Big Apple". and the State of New York which used to be entirely called "the Upstate" now refers mainly to the rest of the State outside NYC.
NYC has a long history of serving immigrants to USA and has hosted the Statue of Liberty and has acted as the main gate of long decades of immigrants who are mainly European.
Where to Stay
There are a few options.
1. hi international youth hostel. i did not try the one in nyc, but i tried two of them in the states and i really like them. they offer clean, safe, yet cheap accommodation. of course this is if the person does not mind to share a room with other room mates. but it is a very good venue for socializing. one good about the hostel, is that breakfast is included, there is free wifi, and they have discount coupons for activities in addition to the activities that they already offer for free for the lodgers. also the hostel is just two blocks away from the subway which believe me is a GREAT asset. also the hostel gives you free maps and inside tips for the city. i vouch for high hostels anywhere. i tried the one in dc and boston and this was the best thing that happened to me in the bad visit i had to the states.
2. YMCA, but i dont recommend it. the place is pretty plain and boring. rooms are very tight, but they are clean. although i had a room by myself, but i would rather choose a hostel. but again it is a matter of preference.there are two YMCAs in Manhattan, one in midtown and another in the upper west side.i was in the midtown one called Vanderbuilt, it was pretty much close to everything.
3. there is a website called www.airbnb.com where ppl advertise apartments or rooms in their apartments. the good thing about this website is that ppl write their comments, it is managed via the website and payment is done via the website. pictures are posted for the apartment and the outside view for the street and facilities are posted. when you get to open it you will understand. i personally wanted to take an apartment from it, but the person got back to me really late so i took the YMCA.
my advice, is to stay away from harlem taba3an, close to midtown or the west side, since this is where the subway stops are genrealy close. I suggest when your friend rents the place to see how close it is for the subway, coz the last thing you want to do is to take along walk after you have already walked the whole day.
The trick for NYC is the subway, if you get to know how to use the subway, then it will be a total time saver and money saver.
There is a weekly ticket for $45 which you can use on the bus and subway. A per ride ticket is for $2.
For those who do not want to waste their time to ride to the Statue of Liberty ferry boat, there is another option which is pretty close, there is the Staten Island ferry boat which runs every 15 minutes. and it goes across the Statue of Liberty.
For those who love Broadway, there is also a ticket booth which opens from 3-5 everyday where they sell discounted tickets for Broadway show. The discount is between 40 sometimes up to 70% if you are lucky. Just be prepared to stand in the loooooooooong queue up to 40 minutes or an hour and also have backup plans for shows to attend if you find them too expensive or don't find them at all.