Any recommendations for a month long stay in Manhattan starting end of February? One female traveling alone, so security is a must.
For a month long stay, I'd look into AirBNB. its your best bet on finding a affordable place in an interesting neighborhood. For Manhattan, to find a good combination of location, convenience, and comfort/safety, i'd look for places anywhere from 86th street and below. Upper Brooklyn is also not a bad place to check out if you're okay with that. Another great spot I'd look into, especially if its a month long stay, is Astoria or Long Island City. It's a surprisingly very short commute to the city, especially LIC, and the prices for places are much more affordable. And its nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan at times. LIC has great trendy restaurants and Astoria has awesome ethnic food spots, and the BEST greek restaurants in the city. Good Luck and enjoy!
Given you'll be there for a month, you can avail yourself a serviced apartment, which will probably be cheaper than a hotel but also give you the opportunity to cater for yourself, instead of eating out full-time. Here's a link: http://www.serviced-apartment-newyork.com/serviced-apartments.html - these require a minimum 30 night stay.
On my last visit to NYC I used Airbnb. I stayed in the East Village for three weeks and absolutely loved it. It's slightly cheaper down there and full of great places to eat and drink. Having said that, I wasn't travelling solo and I'd been to NYC before.
If you're going for the first time, perhaps the security and structure of a serviced apartment which conforms to all the legal niceties in NYC would be a good option.
My former roommate just opened up her former apartment in the upper east side of NY. She is clean, trustworthy and a great person. Check out her rental it's a nice space and great location and lovely low price! https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5114498