A lot of people ask me, if I booked an accommodation yet and where I will stay. Well, my project is staying in six different neighborhoods and I will not stay in hotels. For getting an insight into New York life I’m looking for rooms in private apartments. No, I did not book any accommodations yet. Doing so requires decisions first. I have to select neighborhoods to stay.
New York City has five boroughs and hundreds of neighborhoods. So choosing six is not an easy task. Not all are in the run however. A neighborhood should not be too far away from Central Manhattan. What is Central Manhattan? Most people will consider Times Square to be the heart of Manhattan. Let me define it is Union Square for me – because Strand Books is just steps away from there. So a neighborhood should have a good subway connection that can take me to Union Square in not more than 30 minutes. It should be considered safe day and night. And it should be interesting somehow, not just residential. These criteria do exclude two boroughs completely. The Bronx may have nice and interesting neighborhoods but it is way out. Staten Island is only connected by ferry. So just Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens are in consideration. Several neighborhoods there can be excluded as well, because they are too far away, not well-connected, not safe or just not interesting. My budget excludes several of the remaining ones, especially most of those in Manhattan. But the list is still longer than six.
My idea is to spend two months in Manhattan, two in Brooklyn and two in Queens. I think it’s a good idea to end in Manhattan because of Christmas stuff. But where to start? And should I choose and book all six in advance or just one or two or three? Booking in advance would give me the security to have a place to stay. But opportunities might come up when I’m in New York. A classmate’s roommate might just be travelling. Or my first hostess might know somebody who just has a gorgeous spare room in a tremendous neighborhood. Who knows? So again making decisions is all but easy.