Recently returned from a whole week in NYC, my first visit since 1990. My first visit was 1980 and that was kind of grim city, lots of graffiti, litter, and urine stink. Things were much better by 1990, and even better today.
Safety: I had some people who asked about safety, honestly, took the subway 15 times and walked everywhere else and always felt safe (because I was safe, never saw or experienced anything). It's a let your cell phone sit on the restaurant table and keep your wallet in your back pocket kind of place. I've spent 28 days nights in Manhattan over the years and never an incident of any kind, personal or seen. Note that I have spent less time in Paris, Rome, Madrid, and Barcelona combined and have had lots of person experiences in those places: 2 attempted pickpocketings, 1 attempted scam at the metro ticket machine, 1 petition/pickpocket scam, and seen several other attempts, plus stories from friends. To me it's a no brainer that New York is safer than those four cities, at least for tourists doing touristy things.
Day 1: I always get the window seat and sometimes flying into LaGuardia the payoff is huge. Flew out past Staten Island and did a 180 turn and then the slow fly up the Hudson, all the bridges, all the skyscrapers-- it's magnificent. Saw the parked Trump plane while landing. I am a transit guy (and the last time at was at LGA and used a taxi he got lost!) so skipped the taxi/Uber line and took the free shuttle to Jackson Heights. If I knew the address where George Santos (supposedly) lived here as a toddler I would have walked by, but didn't have it. Saw on Google Maps an Indian restaurant called Angel with a 4.8 rating right at the bus stop, so we headed in with our bags and I experienced my first NYC dining shed, those temporary covid era shelters erected right in a driving/parking lane and still standing, allowing al fresco dining all over the city. The Indian food was just wonderful, so spicy and authentic (as authentic as non-veg can be). Then it was into the subway, much cleaner than I have ever experienced, no odors. They have contactless payment so no special plastic cards or tickets to buy, really handy. Arrived at apartment in the East Village. Ate at a French restaurant, it was good and expensive. The expat French community is really big in NYC. We even visited a bakery near the apartment that ships in French flour (we watched it unloaded, a lot of time in NYC is spent watching deliveries being made) for a very authentic baguette and pain au chocolat.