Getting Around: Use Public Transportation
Before we left for New York we looked into possibly buying a 7 day pass for a hop-on-hop-off style bus. We have them all over San Francisco and it seems like the easiest way to get around in the city without getting lost. However due to the higher cost we decided against it and went with the 7 day unlimited metro card for $30 each.
We found that getting around in New York was very easy with the aid of our friend Google Maps. We did a lot of walking which is made relatively easy due to their grid like numbered streets and avenues. And with the help of Google Maps we always knew which subway or bus we needed to take to get to where we wanted.
Attractions: Buy Online and Go Early
We considered buying one of the many city passes available for New York. However, after careful consideration of the attractions we actually wanted to go to it was cheaper for us to pay the individual entry fees instead (especially when you take into account that many museums offer discounted/free entry days, student discounts, or are donation based).
We purchased most of our attraction tickets online a day ahead of time which meant we didn't need to stand in line at the attractions to buy tickets. This ended up saving us a lot of time. We also tried to go to the attractions earlier in the day. We went to the Top of Rockefeller Center as soon as they opened and because we bought our tickets online ahead of time we had no lines to wait in to get up. Not to mention that it was so nice and peaceful up there since there were only a few other people at the top while we were there.
Tapings: Only if You Have an Extended Stay in NYC
The tapings we went to were great and definitely a ton of fun. But if you're only in NYC for a few days don't waste your time. Going to the tapings was a huge time investment between standing in line to pick up tickets and then standing in line to get into the studio. Attending the live tapings we went to took up a good 5-6 hours of our day. If you have a short stay in New York don't waste it all by standing in line. There's so much more New York has to offer.
Broadway/Off-Broadway: TKTS for Deep Discounts
Tickets for almost every Broadway and off-Broadway show are available at the TKTS booth in Times Square. There are only a handful of extremely popular shows you won't be able to get there (ie: Wicked and Book of Mormon). I think it'd also be safe to assume that if a show has won any Tony awards this year (especially best musical or best play) you'll need to buy your tickets ahead of time.
While I'm no travel expert hopefully those of you who may be visiting New York for the first time will find these little tidbits helpful.