Please advise on apartment for museum goers

Old Oct 6th, 2009, 05:43 PM
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Please advise on apartment for museum goers

My husband and I are going to be in New York from November 7-15. The main draw is the Kandinsky exhibition which marks the Guggenheim museum's 50th anniversary. We'll also go to other favorites, like MOMA, Cooper Union and the beautiful Folk Art museum.
I have been trawling on vacation apartment sites, mainly HomeAway, which has been a good resource in the past. I'd hoped for something in the Upper East Side, but what I liked was either unavailable or too expensive.
We'll buy transit passes, and plan to get around by bus or subway.
So far, two apartments look good, and here they are:
The location of the second one is 61 Lexington Avenue, on 25th and Lexington.
The last time we were in New York we stayed in an apartment next door to the Empire State Building, which was fine as a transit hub, but we had to take the subway to the Whole Foods in Chelsea to buy provisions. We actually use the kitchen in the apartments we rent. We have a splendid Whole Foods here in Oakland, and I appreciated shopping at the one in Chelsea, and would also explore the Chelsea Market and Dagostino's, but I'm unfamiliar with them. We like to eat organic produce.
Sorry to seem so clueless, but both apartments look inviting, and are well priced. I hope to get some inside knowledge from New Yorkers about their locations.
marisylvia is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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There have been many threads on here about short term apartment rentals in NYC; many are illegal. Here is a recent thread [for a bigger apartment] that might be worth reading:

Also try doing search for NYC apartment rental here.

Be careful.

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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 09:40 PM
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Try and stay on the Eastside where most of the art museums are located. While you are in NY please visit art galleries as well, the slogan of our art coop is "Support Living Artits."

Lex and 25rd is near Baruch College and many Indian retaurants. It is basically a residential area. Our favorite Indian restaurant in that neignborhood is Saravanaas.

And some great pizza at Tontonno's at Second Ave and 26th Street,

Turkish Kitchen on Third Ave is a great food value, as is La Marca on Third and 22nd.

Do not bother with D'Agistino's it is just another supermarket.

The Greenmarket on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat at Union Square is generally considered the best in the City.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 06:21 AM
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The location at 25th and Lex is relatively convenient for shopping at the Whole Foods on Union Square (14th Street/Broadway, about a 15-minute walk from that location or two subway stops). The Green Market is across the street. There are a couple of unique and wonderful places nearby, including Lamazou Cheese that makes the most wonderful smoked duck and Brie sandwich, and a really good Vietnamese banh mi shop. I have to admit that I live near this area, so I'm familiar and comfortable here. There is a D'Agostino nearby (the only regular supermarket close to this location and one of the better D'Agostinos in the area, I have to say).

The Chelsea apartment is likely within walking distance of the Whole Foods as well as the Chelsea Market. It's kind of a toss-up in terms of location, though I think you might enjoy staying in a different part of town than last time. There are probably more restaurants near the Chelsea location, but if you stayed at the Lexington Avenue apartment you could jump on one bus and go right up to the museums (or jump on the subway and do the same thing).

I'd actually recommend avoiding D'Agostino entirely unless you have no choice. One of the worst and most overpriced grocery store chains I've ever had the misfortune of encountering. And the produce there is generally abysmal.

As long as you are in Manhattan, I don't think it makes much difference where you stay as long as you are not on the far east side or far west side of Manhattan, both of which don't have very good public transit connections.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Thank you all for your suggestions. I've been corresponding with Christine, the owner of the Chelsea loft, and have decided to rent it. I complimented her on having a Le Corbusier chaise, and she fended off other possible renters for me. She also emailed me a link for a show of Georgia O'Keefe's abstract paintings at the Whitney.

Deb, I've used HomeAway several times, and know it is a good agency. They have got in touch with me for reviews, which I've submitted, so I know the reviews are legitimate.

Good friends and neighbors are planning a New York visit soon, and I passed along the link for the Gramercy Park rental. The hotel they normally stay in raised rates to $350 a night.

After thinking about it and talking with John, we realized that we like the arty vibe of Chelsea more than the more sedate Gramercy Park.

Now I have to line up walking tours and other activities...
marisylvia is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Chelsea is a great area. Besides the Whole Foods and Chelsea Market, there are dozen of restaurants, many galleries, and you can stroll the highline.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 03:09 PM
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HomeAway is NOT an agency but merely a website where ANYONE who pays a fee can list an apartment--legitimate or not. You may be fine, but don't be lulled into a false sense of security because of guarantees or the fact that the website worked for another location. Most if not all apt. rentals for shorter than 30 days are illegal for one reason or another in NYC.

You have no recourse if the apt. is not the same as it's portrayed online. All you have for either of these is a phone number (which may just be a cell phone.) Don't be surprised if right before your visit you're told the apt. you booked has had a flood or is not available for some other reason and get offered something else more expensive or less desirable.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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Agree - Home Away is not the owner of thee apartments - just a place wher anyone can list what they choose with photos taken who knows where.

These apartment may exist and you may be able to stay in them - or not. It;s true that short-term apartment rental is illegal in most buildings (co-ops and condos typically don;t allow it and rental leases usually ban it). It can be legal is the owner of a single-family townhouse rents out one of the bedrooms - but still doesn't comply with hotel fire and safety laws.

If you've had good experiences in the past - I would use those to compile a list of questions to which you should have answers before assuming this is legitimate. And to determine specifics on elevator versus walk-up, type of security the building has - and who is available 24/7 if some sort of problem (plumbing?) should occur.
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