Author Topic: visiting NYC - staying "outside" of manhattan - thoughts? suggestions? bad idea?  (Read 1918 times)

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cicero

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I am starting to plan a short visit to the US - i will most probably stay the first weekend in NYC, arriving from JFK on friday late afternoon and getting myself to one of my siblings (either in LI or NJ, both easily accesible by train) sometime sunday afternoon/evening.

My first thoughts were to stay in manhattan but hotels are (so far) very expensive, even my cheap go-to places. then I started thinking about staying outside manhattan, like in brooklyn, which brought me to thinking about just staying in and spending time in brooklyn as opposed to staying in brooklyn/NJ and coming into manhattan for the day. I haven't been to brooklyn since i was a little girl and i know that it's come a long way since then and there are loads of great fun and trendy things to do there. i love museums, i love ethnic neighborhoods, i love walking around.

so my questions:
1. is this really a crazy idea? is it safe for a woman to be alone in that area? (some of the hotel reviews i read talk about "unsafe" areas and "ghetto".).
2. I tend to get up early and go all day, usually collapsing around 6-7 PM so i'm not too worried about safety issues.
3. is there enough to keep me busy for two days? what are the 'must sees'?
4. any hotel recommendations? what to keep away from ? which areas are the best?

anything else you can think of?

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WillyNilly

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Brooklyn is so trendy right now it might not save you all that much money. Consider that first and foremost!

As for unsafe neighborhoods... in Brooklyn? There might be a few no so nice neighborhoods (as in run down, not so fun and quirky but more poor and dirty), but there aren't really any truly unsafe neighborhoods I can think of. Especially if you don't plan to be out late.

If you plan on Brooklyn, I'd suggest somewhere near the Brooklyn Bridge or in Williamsburg (in Williamsburg I'd suggest north of the BQE/Williamsburg Bridge and farther from the Broadway triangle). That's where you are going to find your lovely walks and quirky stores. Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, (these two are near the previously mentioned Brooklyn Bridge, which you can walk over into Manhattan) or Park Slope and Prospect Heights are nice areas too - quite trendy and full of fun shops and prospect park with the Botanical Gardens.

WillyNilly

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As for what to see in Brooklyn... well the Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful and you can see the Statue of Liberty from the beautiful park built up by the bridge. I would recommend walking over, or at least to the halfway mark of the bridge.

The Brooklyn Botanical gardens are quite nice, as is the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

And if the weather is on your side, I'd suggest a subway ride down to Coney Island. Its a bit seedy (no where near as seedy as it used to be) but still a "must see" IMO. The Aquarium is nice but small, and the Side Show is not to be missed. The original famous Nathan's hotdogs is there (although I recommend their clams over their dogs) and if its baseball season, check out the minor league stadium for a Cyclones game! And speaking of the Cyclone - best roller coaster in the whole dang city!!! (ok... maybe the only roller coaster in NYC but its still a gosh darn good ride!)

LadyL

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If you stay in Jersey City in northern NJ you will be a 10 minute train ride to World Trade Center. Rooms go for about $215/night on the waterfront with views of the NY skyline. The waterfront neighborhood is a very gentrified neighborhood with hotels, condo complexes, a shopping mall, and restaurants.

cicero

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thanks for the ideas. in terms of costs, Brooklyn hotels can be cheaper ( four comparable properties). at thus point, I'm talking about ~150 per night vs. ~250 per night. I wouldn't consider it just to save 30$ but these are big dfufferences. of course, as we get closer to the date, prices may change. last time I got the hotel I wanted in the city food 125 a night, last minute.

and then there is the added bonus of being in Brooklyn and touring that area. I'll keep this in mindm thankja for the tips

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Curious Cat

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If you posted where the hotels were located (or PM'd one of the prior posters who seem like they know the area) you would probably get a more accurate response.  Good luck!  NYC is one of my favorite places to visit, you'll have a great time no matter what you do.

WillyNilly

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To save $100 definitely stay in Brooklyn! Heck, as an 'outter boro' resident I support the idea regardless of price (easy for me to say when it your budget!  ;) )

If you want any more info or tips definitely feel free to post here or PM me, I love my city and would be happy to help you figure out routes and things to see and do. A great thing about Brooklyn is going to be the food. All of NYC has great food, but the boros have better ethnic casual food IMO, because they cater to the community and not to the masses, which also is reflected in the prices.

cicero

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thanks for thelp. as I get closer to my dates, I'll have a better idea of available hotels and prices, as I said, previous trips *my* Manhattan hotels dropped prices at the last minute and I paiud around 150 per night. same hotels are now 250  which ius (apparently) not outrageous in NY terms but out of my budget.

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Teenyweeny

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When I went to NYC I stayed here: http://thenewyorkrenaissancehome.com/

It is in Harlem, but my partner and I were a pair of 25 year old women when we stayed there and never once felt like the neighbourhood was shady. Plus, the owners were absolutely lovely!I don't know when you would be going, but seems like you can get a suite for under $200 if you book through booking.com, so that might be something to consider.



Thipu1

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If you're staying in Brooklyn, Coney Island is a must.  It's more funky than seedy but it was always that way.  If you'll be here in October, Side Show by the Sea Side offers imaginative Halloween programs (think a narrow stairway done up to resemble a collapsed roller coaster).

A short stroll down the boardwalk to the east will bring you to Brighton.  Sometimes called 'Little Odessa', this neighborhood is still quite Russian.  An evening at a 'Pectopah' like the Sadko resembles a raucous Wedding reception without the Bride and Groom. 

Because we live there, I'm partial to Park Slope.  It's full of surprises.  Tucked in among the brownstones are little frame houses that date back to the early 1800s.  Third Street existed before the American Revolution and was a retreat route from the Battle of Brooklyn. 

I know that people from the UK are used to a much deeper history than this but it's impressive to us. 

If you're staying in Brooklyn Heights and feel homesick for traditional British food, the Chip Shop on Atlantic Avenue will make you feel at home. 

The Brooklyn Museum is world-class and the Botanic Garden has what is considered the best Japanese hill and pond garden east of the Pacific coast.

We hope you will choose to stay in Brooklyn for a day or two.  People here love showing off their borough to visitors and helping them have a great time. 


cicero

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thanks again everyone. I keep flip flopping back and forth. i guess i'll decide last minute (as usual).


I know that people from the UK are used to a much deeper history than this but it's impressive to us. 
 

I'm actually from Israel, not the UK, and yeah, I look out the window of my office and see the Old City walls, dated to the 1500s , some parts earlier than that, and churches - some really early...  ;D but I do appreciate the old buidlings, and bridges, and history of NY

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WillyNilly

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cicero

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Thanks again for all the tips. I'm going really soon ( so excited!). At the moment I have a reservation at the Y - totally not my first choice but it got good reviews, it's a good location, it has a pool/saunba which might be nice after all the walking, and the price can't be beat. I'm still hoping something else will open up but if not, I'm fine with this option.

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jaxsue

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OP, I live in Central NJ, an hour's train ride from Manhattan. I tell my friends to save time and stay in NYC. It may be more expensive, but a train ride, while sounding easy, can be a hassle (esp during rush hour).
So much to do in NYC. I love the Met, the Guggenheim, Central Park, and the big Macy's. I really like Greenwich Village, too. It has a nice vibe. If you like history, I suggest visiting Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. It's more than a cemetery - it's full of famous people (dec'd, obviously!) and interesting architecture.
And, of course, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (although, with gov't shutdowns those aren't currently available).
Speaking of gov't shutdowns, I suggest checking places out to make sure they're open.

cicero

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Re: visiting NYC - staying "outside" of manhattan - thoughts? UPDATE
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2013, 03:08:46 PM »
So i ended up staying at the Vanderbilt YMCA. It had slightly better online reviews than the Y on the west side.

It was really fine - totally clean and safe. Yes, its' a youth hostel, but it didn't have that "noisy" vibe i was expecting. rooms are tiny and bathrooms are down the hall, so not my first choice of where to stay, but price and location were amazing.

thanks for all the tips.

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