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Thrill to Winter's Chill in NYC at Considerable Savings

You could start the new year with a trip to Seville, Mexico City, or Moscow. Or you could save airfare and sample a little of each and more on domestic soil with a long weekend in New York. January alone is host to "Flamenco Fest" at City Center, "Aztec Treasures" at the Guggenheim Museum, and "Revolution 1905," featuring the works of Stravinsky, Shostakovich, and other Bolshevik-era composers, at Lincoln Center. This is not to mention the scores of Spanish, Mexican, Russian, and other more obscure ethnic restaurants in town -- or the number of workers, artists, and professionals from all over the world who jockey for space and clamber to make a living on this 34-square-mile island with an unrivaled multicultural verve.

Many Manhattan hotels, restaurants, and cultural outlets are sweetening deals to lure visitors into the colder temperatures of late winter. What's more, the Museum of Modern Art has reopened, with its long-awaited, new addition by Japanese architect Yoshio Tanaguchi. Skating at Rockefeller Center continues until April. And, if you're really lucky, you'll be caught by a blizzard while you're in town -- as it's heavenly when the city that never sleeps is whitewashed and hushed into an implausible quiet by snowfall.

You'll save on the aforementioned concerts and museum shows through New York & Company's "Paint the Town" promotion (tel. 212/484-1200; Through February 28, Paint the Town features discounts of up to 50 percent on music performances, museum exhibitions, plays, hotels, restaurants, and food and history tours. The Guggenheim, for example, is selling two admissions for the price of one. Theaters are cutting ticket prices by up to 20 percent. Roughly one hundred top Manhattan restaurants, such as the Rocking Horse Café, Blue Smoke, and Aquavit, are serving three-course, prix-fix lunches for $20 and dinners for $35. And additional dining establishments are offering discounts and two-for-one specials as well.

Paint the Town's hotel rates are bested by other deals on the market right now; its lowest prices are $99 for the most basic lodgings. If you don't need airfare, the best hotel-only offers come from Expedia (tel. 800/218-1082;, good until January 31 for travel through March 1. Their "We love New York" sale is peddling rates as low as $79 a night at the Hayden Hotel and Newton Hotel. While the Hayden has received some forbidding reviews on Trip Advisor (, the Newton fares very well among budget travelers, who say the place satisfies its claim to being "cheap and cheerful." Eight premium hotels, including the chic but economical Marcel, run from $120 to $139 a night. Seven high-end places -- including the innovative Dream and the stately Benjamin, whose luxurious amenities include a pillow menu -- run from $149 to $199. You can also purchase air/hotel bundles: Three nights at the four-star, prism-shaped Westin Times Square, for example, are $510, including airport taxes and fees, from Atlanta. Call to inquire about alternative departure cities.

The best airfare-only deal is Jet Blue's "Take Five" promotion (tel. 800/ 538-2583; In celebration of its fifth anniversary, the groundbreaking budget carrier is slashing its already bare-boned fares in and out of JFK International, its original hub. Flights under $100 each way are available between JFK and more than twenty U.S. cities, mostly on the coasts: One-way hops to Burlington, Vermont, Rochester, New York, and other cities are just $45. Cross-country hauls to Oakland, Denver, Las Vegas, and other cities are only $85.

The cheapest air-hotel package is United Vacations' (tel. 888/854-3899; "Getaway to the Big Apple" promotion. Airfare and two nights at the tourist-class Wellington Hotel, steps away from Carnegie Hall, are $344 from Boston and Washington, D.C. (add $35 from Chicago and $95 from Los Angeles or Seattle). The Wellington gets slightly mixed but overall favorable reviews, but for $454, you can upgrade to the 4-star Millennium Broadway in the theater district, which is normally a $200 to $400 value. And for $479, the five-star Essex House, on Central Park South, features beautifully appointed rooms in the most desirable location. Fares are good for travel through February 28, but don't include taxes and fees.

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