New York City Travel Question
May 25, 2014 11:14 PM   Subscribe

Will be traveling to NY this summer for work for a week. Need to spend days on upper east side (5th and 104th). Nights I am free. Like to be able to walk to restaurants, windows browsing, perhaps some jazz. Any advice on what neighborhoods to look for hotels? I realize with the transit options perhaps this question doesn't make much sense, but I would rather not spend a lot of time or money in transit. And if you wouldn't mind suggesting some favorite gems of neighborhood restaurants, places that might be worth the trouble to get to?
posted by dougiedd to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Upper East side, a bit north from where you are (and into El Barrio), is actually pretty affordable. I'd stay there. Transportation in NYC is dirt cheap. The only caveat is that it is MUCH easier to go north / south than east / west. So for example, the commute from the Upper West Side to Upper East Side is a pain.

You will be zooming along the 456 line, which means easy access to East Village. Check out the Stone and NUBLU. If you ever make it to central / West Harlem, visit the Shrine, Sylvana, Paris Blues, and Showmans for some real off-the-beaten track gems.
posted by soyiuz at 11:44 PM on May 25, 2014

Is price a consideration? Is it a minor consideration? If so, midtown and northern Chelsea or the upper west side have slightly expensive options. If it's no object just stay at the Thompson in the LES or the Cooper Square Hotel.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:12 AM on May 26, 2014

The area around Columbia University (which has to accomodate a lot of non-tourist visitors) is on the west side, but it should be easy to zip across town by bus.

A quick search turns up pages like this, or even this. How about this or this?
posted by zaelic at 3:39 AM on May 26, 2014

Just to follow up on what zaelic says, there is one crosstown bus on 110th, the M4. There are far more bus options along 125th Street. A few blocks south of 104th, you could catch the M96 for crosstown travel to the UWS. However, it has been documented that walking can be the same speed as a crosstown bus line. Walking through Central Park is a real delight on a summer's evening.

You won't be that far from Frederick Douglass Blvd, which has many new restaurants and bars, such as Bier International and Bad Horse Pizza. If you get over to Broadway, there's Mel's Burgers (cross streets 110 and 111) and Henry's (106 and 105).

If you are working along 5th Avenue, you will be three avenues west of the 4/5/6 line. That line gets very, very crowded during rush hour, so bear that in mind for downtown excursions.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:38 AM on May 26, 2014

Are you on a budget for lodging? If not, I would recommend staying on the upper east side, which has everything you're looking for (even jazz, at the Carlyle), The hotels there are much, much nicer than anything you'd find west of the park, and while it's hard to gauge without knowing your preferences, there isn't really much interesting window shopping on the upper west (products-wise, anyhow. Culturally there are definitely cool storefronts around Columbia and Harlem, but it's not what I think of when I think of window shopping). If someone else was paying my bills, I'd choose The Mark hotel on the upper east side, or if you want a different neighborhood, the Soho Grand downtown. If you're on a hotel budget, I've found that hotwire does a good job of getting you the best deals (you pick by neighborhood and amenities).

No matter where you decide to stay (presuming it's in Manhattan), the subways run 24 hours and are very safe, and the buses are great though they are more infrequent (that's why west/east makes less sense). If you're not going to be out late drinking there's no reason to spend money on taxis, which is the only time a transportation budget would be an issue.
posted by Mchelly at 7:11 AM on May 26, 2014

Also on the Upper East Side: Museum Mile. You're right near two of my favorites - El Museo and the Museum of the City of New York.
5th and Madison have good buses and in addition to the m110 referenced above, there's also the m96 and m106.
I'm not far from that area, so ping me if you need additional info now or whle here.
posted by TravellingCari at 8:11 AM on May 26, 2014

Make sure you check out the Conservatory Gardens. It's right by where you'll be working [or, are you working on something in the park?] and it's gorgeous.
posted by the twistinside at 6:23 PM on May 26, 2014

posted by dougiedd at 12:44 PM on May 28, 2014

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