Where to park in the New York City area?
February 22, 2008 1:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking in to taking my girlfriend up to New York for the weekend in a couple of weeks, and need parking advice.

So over my spring break, which is the first week of March, I'm planning a surprise trip to New York for my girlfriend. I'm trying to find a hotel in Manhattan, but that's not really the question here.

Frankly, I'm terrified at the though of driving in NYC, much less paying for parking. My dad, who grew up in North NJ, and my roommate, who's been to New York a lot more often than me, both suggested that I park somewhere along the PATH or NJ Transit train lines and take the train into town to the hotel. I perused this old thread which seemed to confirm that suggestion. I like the idea of parking near the Harrison station on the PATH, but I'm left with the nagging feeling that this might not be such a great idea. Is this a kosher thing that people do? Is it cool to leave your car in one of these lots for a couple of days at a time?
posted by malthas to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
From where are you leaving? It might be simpler and even less expensive to fly or take a bus, obviating the need for parking.
posted by 1 at 1:59 PM on February 22, 2008

I don't know Jersey as well, but you could certainly park on the street in Brooklyn and take the subway. Use google maps to see where the stops are, around Brooklyn Heights would as safe as any part and as long as there's no street cleaning which is on weekdays you should be fine. For parking in Manhattan, use http://nyc.bestparking.com/
Good luck
posted by tonci at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm going to be coming from the Northern Virginia area, but I can't really afford to take a train or plane. Also, that would kind of negate the surprise factor, because I'm going to take her up to the Philly area and then continue on north from there.
posted by malthas at 2:03 PM on February 22, 2008

a lot of train stations don't offer overnight parking, but somewhere with an amtrak station probably will. you might consider parking at philly's 30th street station and taking the train to new york from there. there is an amtrak train that is kinda expensive ($90 one-way) or you can take the septa to trenton and switch to new jersey transit. the trip takes about 2.5 hours that way, as opposed to 80 minutes, but it only costs about $20. or, if you are visiting friends or family in philly first, leave the car with them and cab it to the train station.

the thing is, there's no cheap way to get INTO new york or BE in new york. dem's de breaks.
posted by thinkingwoman at 2:11 PM on February 22, 2008

You can take the septa then NJT from Philly, if you have a secure place to leave your car there. Return, that works out about $30 pp which is less than you would pay in tolls, gas, parking. Honestly, parking and driving around NYC is a huge pain in the ass. And expensive.
posted by gaspode at 2:13 PM on February 22, 2008

what we have here is a failure to preview.
posted by gaspode at 2:14 PM on February 22, 2008

If you are coming up from Philly, you could take the Chinatown bus. It is advertised as $12 one way, but I have always paid $10.

You could also take the PATH (PDF) train from Newport, New Jersey. There are other towns that have PATH links, but I have always been able to find street parking in Newport.
posted by degoao at 2:20 PM on February 22, 2008

Best answer: There are multi-day lots in Weehawken - you can then take the ferry across to West 38 street.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 2:23 PM on February 22, 2008

The Amtrak from Philly to New York is not $90 one way, unless you are talking about $90 one way for two people (about $45 each).

Otherwise, if you're driving up from Northern Virginia, then have you driven in DC? If you've driven in DC (or Philly), you can drive in Brooklyn (and Manhattan, but I understand wanting to avoid that). Just have a neighborhood in mind. You may need to drive around, but you will find a spot. (I have seen this done many times.)
posted by Airhen at 2:35 PM on February 22, 2008

Before moving here, I once parked in the Hoboken garages, across the street from the PATH/NJT stations, for 3 days. The fees were about $30 a day, but I saw that the maximum cost for a "lost ticket" was $30, so I went ahead and "lost my ticket." (Please no ethics lectures.) I had to fill out an simple form and was sent on my way, no repercussions.

The Hoboken PATH is about as convenient as it gets from NJ to Manhattan's west side below midtown. But, props to the commenter who suggested multi-day lots at the Weehawken Ferry Terminal. Truly a nice grand entrance to a weekend in Manhattan (and links up with the NY Waterways bus system, which will get you crosstown or to any of the major midtown subway stations including Times Sq. and Grand Central).
posted by raconteur at 2:37 PM on February 22, 2008

We park at the Hamilton stop near Trenton all the time, then take the NJ Transit train to NY Penn Station. Parking is relatively cheap and train tickets are @20 each round trip. We've never had any problems leaving the car.
posted by ersatzkat at 2:40 PM on February 22, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to all who responded! The ferry from Weehawken sounds perfect.
posted by malthas at 2:58 PM on February 22, 2008

Harrison is right across the river from Newark, and I wouldn't leave my car there for days at a time. Daytime parking is fine. The parking will cost you about $10 per day.

There is a parking garage that allows overnight parking at the Journal Square station. It's under 15 minutes to World Trade Center or half an hour to Midtown. The parking will cost you about $10 per day.

You can also try the Trenton or Hamilton lots recommended below. Both allow overnight parking, and the NJT train to New York is under $20 round-trip. The parking will probably cost you about $20 a day.
posted by qvtqht at 3:02 PM on February 22, 2008

malthas, if you'd like parking in Manhattan, I can direct you to an area near Columbia University that always has weekend street parking available. I was a summer commuter from NYC upstate and I never had a problem parking my car over the weekend.

Sadly, I cannot share this awesome space with the whole wide googlable Internets, but Mefites: you know how to contact me
posted by onalark at 4:01 PM on February 22, 2008

you should be able to find weekend parking in many neighborhoods in manhattan, including the east village and upper east and west sides. finding a spot that's "good for the weekend" (i.e. won't need to be moved for street-cleaning until monday or tuesday morning) shouldn't be hard at all if you're not particular about a block or two this way or that.
posted by boots at 4:47 PM on February 22, 2008

What Boots said. I've routinely just driven my beatermobile down to NYC, parked it somewhere (anywhere) where I didn't have to move it, then taken the subway to other points on the island. As long as I left the car visibly empty of belongings, I didn't stress much.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 5:16 PM on February 22, 2008

I'm terrified at the though of driving in NYC

I'm always surprised when people who have no problem driving anywhere else express this fear about driving in New York City. It's really no different from driving in other cities; and parking a couple of nights is not cheap, but in general it's still cheaper and less hassle than parking out of town and taking public transportation, in my experience, or only a few bucks more without all the hassle. Check with the hotel about parking rates, and don't subject the GF to a schlep on the PATH, for heaven's sake, or a cold ferry ride. Drive up to the front door of the hotel and throw the keys at the valet parking guys.
posted by beagle at 7:39 PM on February 22, 2008

Like Beagle said, driving in NYC is not that bad. If you can drive in Chicago or D.C., you'll be fine. Driving in Paris, on the other hand....

Depending on the hotel you find, you might get a pretty good rate for valet parking. I've stayed at the Lucerne Hotel (79th and Amsterdam) and their valet rate was OK. (I'm no longer a student, though.)

If you're planning to drive all the way from northern Virginia, it's probably just as economical to drive into the city and park at or near your destination as it is to park at the end of a transit line and deal with the time and hassle of (1) getting into the city and (2) getting from your terminal to your destination. Remember, this is a special treat; if the whole trip is going to cost you $1500 (figuring a few nights in a Manhattan hotel, meals, gas, and tolls), is it really worth saving $50 if it costs you three or four hassle-filled hours dealing with public transit?
posted by brianogilvie at 8:44 PM on February 22, 2008

Oops--just noticed that you were discussing a weekend, not a longer stay. Still, even if it's only $600 for the weekend, you should decide whether an extra 3-4 hours are worth the difference between tolls and valet parking (if you drive) and public transit plus parking (if you do park and ride).
posted by brianogilvie at 8:52 PM on February 22, 2008

Just drive in and find a garage. Most hotels have valet parking and frankly it is worth it.
posted by caddis at 10:00 PM on February 22, 2008

Park at one of the airports. They have multi-day rates. Take the train to the city.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:01 AM on February 23, 2008

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