Where to stay in NY that’s not Times Square
July 16, 2017 12:31 PM   Subscribe

My husband and I will be in New York at the end of August and we’re having trouble deciding where to stay. Where should we stay that’s not Times Square/midtown?

We usually stay in the Times Square/midtown area but are bored of it—it’s super convenient for easy access to the train, or walking back to the room after shows, but we’re looking for suggestions for other areas. We pretty familiar with the city but are drawing a blank. Any suggestions on neighborhoods? I’m leaving this fairly broad because we’re up for anything, but we’re looking for neighborhood that are near train stations and “interesting,” however you define it. Non-Manhattan boroughs? We’re both 33, will be seeing Broadway and off-off-Broadway shows, a couple museums, and other TBD things, depending on location.
posted by jroybal to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
You don't say anything about your budget, but I'd recommend the Hotel Giraffe if you're not concerned about dropping some coin. It's a lovely boutique hotel on Park Avenue South at 26th -- nice neighborhood near a lot of good Indian restaurants and very close to the 6 and R/W lines, the latter of which will take you to the theater district in about ten minutes. You're also within easy walking distance to Union Square, and relatively easy distance to SoHo and the East Village.
posted by holborne at 12:44 PM on July 16

I just spent a week staying at my friend's place in the Village and it was perfect. Walkable to everything downtown, super-convenient for the subway, a million great places to eat and drink.

If you're interested in one of the boroughs but doing a lot of Manhattan stuff, I'd suggest Brooklyn Heights or Boerum Hill in Brooklyn, or maybe Long Island City in Queens.
posted by lunasol at 2:01 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]

I suggest Harlem. The W hotel Aloft is nice, not extremely pricey, and right next to the A/D train which takes you to midtown in one stop and downtown quickly. The neighborhood is safe, beautiful (Brownstones! More trees than Times Square!), and historic (you can eat the best soul food you've ever had and see a show at the Apollo!)
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 2:07 PM on July 16 [5 favorites]

I've stayed at the beacon on the uws, which has full kitchens, an onsite guest laundry , is across from a fairway market and near the 72nd st 1 stop.
posted by brujita at 2:22 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]

Tribeca is pretty well connected but Canal St isn't particularly scenic. We ended up with a Priceline deal at the Sheraton Tribeca once after a name-your-own-price search gone wrong, and it turned out to be surprisingly convenient (6 train to my employer's NYC office, just a few blocks one way, 1 or 2 to Broadway two blocks the other way). It was a decent walk from Pegu Club, and on another trip we walked right by it on our way to get soup dumplings at Shanghai Cafe Deluxe. The room wasn't what I'd call cramped but it was … efficient, maybe?

Wall Street is even better connected than Tribeca, but it's a little farther from the nightlife we prefer, aside from Dead Rabbit or Coup.

We almost booked in Union Square on our last trip (better proximity to bars we like in the East Village) but it would have required cross-town connections after shows we were seeing, and we ended up just sticking with midtown.
posted by fedward at 2:37 PM on July 16

If you're up for a splurge, I'd suggest The Beekman. It's a block from the subways at Fulton Street (plus nearby Cortland), so you have nearly as many subway lines as you do in Times Square, making it easy to move in any direction, especially if you're visiting the other boroughs and don't want to be tied to one area. If budget is more of an issue The Millenium and Marriott tend to have lower rates.
posted by icaicaer at 2:50 PM on July 16

There are a ton of boutique hotels around the Lower East Side and Nolita. Easy train access back up to midtown for your shows and infinitely more interesting neighborhoods to stay in.
posted by windbox at 3:46 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]

We were happy to have picked downtown Brooklyn. (Even hotel, which was fine.) Downtown itself isn't an amazing neighbourhood in terms of food/sights (eg the Fulton Mall area) although a few minutes of walking opens up a lot more food possibilities. And every damn train goes through there. Plus, the transit museum, Juniors cheesecake, and a reasonable walk to Brooklyn Bridge park which is a great park with amazing views.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:32 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]

On a recommendation from AskMe, during my last visit to NYC I stayed in the Colonial House Inn in Chelsea and loved it. It's been a few years, but if the reviews on Tripadvisor are anything to go by, it's still as good as ever and reasonably priced.

The rooms are small, and most have a shared bathroom, European style, but the bathrooms were (and apparently still are) spotless without big waits. Breakfast is free--when I was there, they had freshly baked scones and muffins, plus lots of fruit, eggs, coffee, tea. The staff were super delightful. The one drawback is there's no elevator, so you have to be able to climb stairs and haul your suitcases up.

The location was great, in a charming leafy green neighbourhood, with very easy access to everywhere I wanted to go by subway or walking. I think I had to walk about one or two blocks to the nearest subway station and it took at most 10 minutes for me to get to my conference downtown.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:00 PM on July 16 [2 favorites]

Airbnb a brownstone apt in Fort Greene. Trust me.
posted by jessca84 at 10:13 PM on July 16 [1 favorite]

Since I don't have an apartment there anymore (sigh), I've been cruising the hotels myself lately.

I like the Giraffe and Beekman, both mentioned above, but if you're not sick of central midtown location and the right mix of happy and quiet, I prefer the Library, 41st and Madison.

Down south it's hard to go wrong the The Roxy in Tribeca, Kerouac's Marlton in Village, or The Bowery in... well, you know.
posted by rokusan at 4:34 AM on July 17

2nding Chelsea.

I hate Times Sq with a passion. Even if you don't, you'll see New York in a totally different light if you stay elsewhere.
posted by redlines at 5:12 AM on July 17

2nding lunasol's Long Island City recommendation. Madame_Spin and I really enjoy The Paper Factory in LIC - fairly large rooms and almost always a deal to be had. It's within walking distance of Kaufman Astoria Studios and The Museum of the Moving Image. The 36th St Station is in very close proximity and we just found it to be a great place to experience NYC without really experiencing NYC.
posted by Tardis_Spin at 9:13 AM on July 17

I stayed in the West Village last time I was there and it was very convenient for the subway to the theater district, plus lots and lots of restaurants. And very nice for walking around.
posted by interplanetjanet at 11:38 AM on July 17

I stayed at a place called The Chelsea Pines recently for a work trip, and enjoyed it. Just a few feet from what seemed like a well connected subway station, pretty close to a few other popular tourist spots, and a fairly nice (if small) room with a very nice staff and set of amenities. Affordable (for my travel budget) as well. Only downside is that it's a walk-up. I was on the fifth floor, which didn't bother me, but was a lot of climbing just to get to my room.
posted by codacorolla at 7:50 AM on August 7

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