If you’re coming to NY, guess about $50 each way for airport taxis. You can take the train if you’re coming into JFK and that will be less than $10 each person, each way.
As for restaurants, you can sign up for groupon, living social, thrillest, etc and they will have tons and tons of really awesome restaurant deals, as well was restaurant.com. This way, you can avoid some of the nice high-end restaurants, without spending $150-200/dinner.
Tax is about 8.75% in the city. Some people tip on food based on doubling that, which is about 17%. Or, you can just do 20% of the bill.
The good thing about NY, though, is that there are tons of really awesome small cheap places with delicious food and that’s really want NY is all about. yelp.com to find the reviews for great places in the city. I would reserve 1 night for a fancy dinner, but the rest – try all the “hole in a wall” joints for a true NY experience, imo.
Instead of taxis, you can take the subway. Subway is $2.25 a ride. And, people CAN be helpful in NY – just ask how to get somewhere and there are lots of MTA people in booths to help, as well.
Also, the new trend is eating from food carts. They have some really awesome food carts you have to try. Definitely if you love meat, try one of those halal carts – the white sauce is seriously to die for. Street meat for the win! Those things used to really skeeve me out, but they’re so delicious I just don’t care anymore lol.. and it’s like $6-8 or so for a meal and a soda and you will be STUFFED at the end (per person).
As for things to do – you can take the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty instead of paying for that ridiculously overpriced and overpacked tour. Definitely walk the Brooklyn Bridge – it’s a part of NY you cannot miss and it’s free! And so is Central Park, which you cannot miss. Grab your street meat halal cart deliciousness and go sit outside in Central Park and enjoy a perfect NYC picnic. You can also rent bikes if you’re into that and it’s not that expensive – groupon and living social often have deals for that sort of stuff.
Also, if you’re into theatre, there are TKTS booths.. you can go in the morning, get 2 tickets at a ridiculous discount for a show, and then come back later that night to watch the show. You don’t know what shows they’ll have available until that morning, but it’s worth a shot. Otherwise, broadwaybox.com if there’s a specific show you’re dying to see and don’t want to risk it not being on TKTS (the lion king for instance).
And either in NYC or in LV, if you haven’t already seen it, you must go see the Blue Man Group. I saw them in LV and LOVED it. It’s such a great show and not as expensive as some other ones.
Good luck and PM me if you want more info. I live in Queens, work in Bayside, and commute through Manhattan every day! 🙂