I was born and raised there, but haven't been since my 20th class reunion. Will be going this September for my 35th, but won't be spending any money other than the cost of the reunion, which I've already paid. We'll be staying with friends and leaving the next day.
Good for you that you're staying with friends (who I'm sure are taxed to death, living in NY state!). Do not park on the streets - I can almost guarantee you'll get some sort of parking "violation".
The NYC hotel prices have truly hit the insane levels, from what we've seen over the years. Maybe I'm not clued into the deals on hotels.com, Priceline, etc. I don't know how tourists can afford to stay in NYC these days.
Fortunately (I guess) we live close enough to NYC so we can drive down and back in one day (or take Metro North).
The past few times we needed a hotel in the NYC area, we stayed across the Hudson in Fort Lee, NJ. It's more fun to stay in NYC, but we don't have endless $$$$....