I've probably been to Manhattan 50 times or more and my favorite thing to do is just pick a neighborhood and walk. I'm not there often enough that I get tired of exploring. It's been a few years since I've been down to the Village area, might try to go there. You should definitely check out High Line. It was an abandoned elevated freight railway now converted into park, phase 1 runs from Meatpacking District up to Chelsea. It's extremely popular both amongst locals and tourists. It gives you a completely different prospective of Manhattan street lifes. Tons of shops to explore and dining options, including del Posto, in the area. Village is immediate to the south. Or you could go to L'Ecole at the FCI (Broadway and Grand), dirt cheap classic French made by students and a fun time. L'Ecole is a very good value, especially the 5-course option. Do they let non-professional students like yourself cook there?