Seven days in New York City is just enough time to taste the best and still have plenty of energy left to play hard in the city that never sleeps. It may be a very busy visitor attraction but you couldn't visit New York without seeing the Empire State Building. The Top of the Rockefeller Center probably has the better view and who's arguing at more than 250m up, but expect to queue and be prepared for times when you cannot see anything in bad weather. Taking a ferry trip and stopping off at the former immigration center on Ellis Island will allow great views of the Statue of Liberty without the long delays that have been normal since 9/11.
As an alternative why not go to Staten Island via the free ferry and look at the Statue of Liberty from there; it is also worth walking around the terminal as well as there are many excellent street performers there. Without going to the site of where the World Trade Center Towers used to be no seven day visit to New York would feel right. It's strangely moving location and the terrorist struck World Trade Centre site covers a huge area but it is a peculiarly unfriendly subject for the photographer. An emotionally lighter attraction is to visit some of the famous stores like Tiffany's or the Lower East side area where there are numerous bargain warehouses to look around.
Whereas there are stores like Macey's who are happy to take your tourist discount card and give you an eleven percent discount to the very exclusive Bloomingdales who probably won't. An excellent tourist location is the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum which is likely to be closed until the end of 2008; once the refurbishment is complete it will be worth visiting when it re-opens. Many special (and large) craft are located here including a number from World War II, namely the aircraft carrier the USS Intrepid. Although it is actually free to enter, the NY City Police Museum is funded by donations from visitors (five dollars is the recommended amount); because it's about New York's finest (and some not so fine), it has some really excellent NYPD souvenirs.
The Lower East Side also has a very large time capsule called The Lower East If Central Park is on your list of places to see then there is another museum aptly named the City of New York Museum which has exhibitions exploring the city's past, its present and the future. The building's pretty grand and the shop sells quality souvenirs and whilst admission to this venue is free, a nine dollar donation is recommended.
There is a huge amount to see and do in this city and if you are staying anything less than seven days in New York, you will hardly scratch the surface!