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Please help us choose the right NYC neighbourhood.

Please help us choose the right NYC neighbourhood.

Old Jan 21st, 2010, 10:02 AM
  #1  
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Please help us choose the right NYC neighbourhood.

Greetings! My husband and I are taking a short (4 night) trip to NYC at the beginning of March. We have been there several times mostly staying mid Manhattan. This time we are thinking of a private rental in Brooklyn! (VRBO or HomeAway) We are mid 50's, big walkers, we love all kinds of music (came of age in the Punk era), small and large art galleries, museums, food, farmers markets etc. Is Brooklyn a good choice for us? and if so which neighbourhood should we concentrate on? We would love to hear your opinions.
menomineegal is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Apt. rentals are usually illegal or scams. Drop the idea and get a hotel.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 10:15 AM
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With the subway system as good as it is, I would not concern myslef about one particualr neighborhood. Look at Time Out NY or Village Voice on line for music venues and listing of galleries and that will give you an idea of what's happening where.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 10:49 AM
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STaying in Brooklyn, and not knowing your area, might be a bit dicy at night, when there are fewer people on the street. I can suggest some nice B&Bs in the city that you might want to consider, if feeling like a local is your goal.

I live uptown, way uptown and there are a few really cute B&B's close by like the Harlem Landmark Inn on W. 147th St. You are close to 2 subway lines here, the A/D (express) and B/C (local) and the #1 Broadway local lines. On the A/D you are 10 minutes to 59th St. W147th St is also a National Landmark street, so really pretty. There's also a large grocery store right around the corner and a few restaurants within walking distance.

Manhattan is not that big and the subway system is great so you can be anywhere in Manhattan in under an hour, from the lowest point up to Ft. Tryon Park.

Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 11:05 AM
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Renting an apt in NYC can be really dicey unless you use a corporate rental (typically very expensive) of know of an apt that can legally be rented (very few -it essentially has to be an apt in a building that is privately owned - which is quite rate).

I understand your wanting to get out of midtown, but you can get a hotel room/suit with basic kitchen facilities that would give you the feel of living in NYC. I would look on the upper west side (close to Central Park and many of the major museums) - try the Beacon.

If you really want an apt in Brooklyn try Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill or similar. Other areas of Brooklyn may be decent or may be not very safe - depending. But before you pay anything for a rental get full info including references you can contact - and post the address here so a local can check it for you. (A couple of months ago someone posted about renting an apt after having been scammed.)
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Brooklyn is interesting. Some areas are prime, some so dangerous I wouldn't even go there. Cheap apartments tend to be at the fringes of the nice neighborhoods, just where things start to get dicey, not a place where people unfamiliar with the city should be staying. But there are a lot of condos now in Brooklyn that haven't sold, so I'd expect to find a great deal of rentals in excellent new buildings in dicey locations. Such is the problem with choosing a borough with such variations. Plus, it can take 30 to 40 minutes to get into Manhattan from even some prime neighborhoods like Park Slope.

Sadly, I just don't know Brooklyn well enough to tell you one way or another. I'm a Manhattanite and wouldn't stay anywhere else when visiting NYC. If you really really want to stay in Brooklyn, perhaps you might want to look at the rather new Nu Hotel. It's reasonably central and close to a couple of subway stops (not, thankfully, Smith/9th St., which I find really scary). And the rooms seem reasonably priced. There's also a Marriott in Brooklyn that's in a very central location, but it's kind of expensive.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 03:30 PM
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Um ,it does not take 30-40 minutes to get to Manhattan from Park Slope.

Brooklyn gets such a bad rap on this forum-sigh.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Park Slope is nice, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens. I have no idea if the rentals tend to be scams but one thing I would double check is the neighborhoods. People tend to stretch things a bit in Brooklyn and claim to be in neighborhoods they are not.

I just looked at that Nu Hotel and you should really check it out. That's in a "real" neighborhood which is what I think you're hoping to experience by renting an apt. Really good location there are tons of places to go out on Smith and Court streets, you're near the Bklyn Bot Garden, the Museum, BAM and Prospect Park. It's a very easy trip to Manhattan but you wouldn't even have to go as you'll have plenty going on around you.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 03:56 PM
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Take a look at the neighborhoods between Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights. The area between these neighborhoods have good restaurants (Applewood, Al di La, Saul, Frannys, Buttermilk Channel, Convivium, Stone Park, Rose Water, etc). Good food in a very casual atmosphere.

Art: Brooklyn Musuem, Galleries along Atlantic Ave, in Dumbo and in Williamsburg. There is also BAM-Brooklyn Academy of Music-for plays, concerts, movies.

Farmers Market (yes,yes the one at Union Square is muuuuch better): The main one in Brooklyn is at Grand Army Plaza which is the entrance to Prospect Park and about a block away from the Brooklyn Museum. The "locals" like to go early so there is lots of activity in the morning. There is another one in front of the Borough President's office near Brooklyn Heights-also on the way to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Other things of interest: The Brooklyn Flea-now housed in the old Williamsburg Bank building right across the street from the Atlantic train terminal which gives you access to the Q, N, R, B, D, J, M 2,3,4,5 subway lines and the LIRR.

http://www.brooklynflea.com/

The Brooklyn Marriott is not in a central location to anything other than downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights.

Smith & 9th st is near old warehouses, manufacturing cos, Loews, Home Depot and construction cos, probably not an area a tourist would venture into unless they were on their way to Ikea.
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Old Jan 21st, 2010, 06:21 PM
  #10  
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Thanks for all the info. After the post about apt rentals likely being illegal and scams I did start checking out hotels in Brooklyn and yes the NU Hotel does have space and looks pretty nice with quite reasonable rates. Good to hear that the area around it is interesting. I did think we would be able to find good places to eat and interesting things to do at night there. I'll let you know what we decide.
menomineegal is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2010, 07:07 PM
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The only bad thing about Brooklyn I have seen on this board is whtether it is worth it to go to Coney Island or not.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 07:01 AM
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The bad thing I keep seeing about Brooklyn is people saying to eat at Grimaldi's. Blech.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 07:55 AM
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Some neighborhood sin Brooklyn are dicey? Wow, what a revelation. What city do you live in? No dicey neighborhoods? Brooklyn has 3 million people nd is twice the size of Paris! Dicey neighborhoods in Manhattan - of course! Sheesh - I wish people who don't know Brooklyn wouldn't speak about it. I'm a native.

Ask me what you wish.

There are lovely B&Bs in park Slope, Brookyn Heights which are great neighborhoods with good subway transportation. Brooklyn Heights will get you to manhattan faster.

Try this site for B&Bs in Brooklyn - www.bedandbreakfast.com/brooklyn-new-york.html
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Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 02:36 PM
  #14  
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Hi All - thanks again. I think the Nu Hotel will be a good base for us and I am very excited about staying in Brooklyn. I am certain we will do lots in Manhattan as well- the Tenement Museum, the Highline and the Tim Burton exhibit at Moma are all on the list. I am not worried about the subway ride to Manhattan - we live in Toronto so think nothing of spending 20 - 45 minutes on the subway. Now I'm starting to think about food!! Can't wait.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 04:21 PM
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I see that your hotel is on Smith Street in Cobble HIll. Lots and lots of places to eat - all locally owned. a wide variety of different cuisines. Medium to pricey. Lots of young people, artsy types and old Italian families who have lived there for decades.

Have a great time.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2010, 08:54 PM
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Also on Atlantic Avenue near Court Street is one of the great spice stores in NY-Sahadi's.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2010, 01:41 AM
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I know I am going to catch some heat for bringing this up but....

The NU Hotel is in the shadow of Brooklyn Detention Center. Even though there is curtailed activity at the facility, you will see razor wire and an austere high rise.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2010, 06:25 AM
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Audchamp1 - True. But there are many other things around there. Many.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2010, 09:10 AM
  #19  
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kbrooklyn thanks for the great suggestions on farmers markets, flea markets and galleries, audchamp1 - sahadi's spice store is on the list - how about hot dogs?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2010, 12:27 PM
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For hot dogs in Brooklyn there are two that I go to both in Park Slope.

Bark Hot Dogs in Park Slope-it is a very Park Slope type of place-eco-friendly, strollers, local beer, local ingredients, etc:
http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/bark-hot-dogs/
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/12/dining/12bark.html

and Willie's Dawgs-nice owner, lots of toppings,mainly an eat and run type of place.
http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/willies-dawgs/

If you decide to stay at the Nu Hotel, the easiest one to get to would be Bark. You can take the 2/3 train to the Bergen St (5 min train ride) Bark is on the same corner as the station.

You can get to both of them by taking the 63 bus which is across from the Nu hotel-the bus ride to Bark would be about 10 minutes and to Willie would be about 15 minutes.

Bark would be a good starting point if you plan to hang around Park Slope along 5th ave.

keep the questions coming
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