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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Where to sleep in the city that never sleeps

Josh and I are off to New York City in May and I couldn't be more excited. A friend of ours from university is getting married in Slate Hill, NY so we figured we'd go a few days early and make a proper vacation out of it.

I've visited NYC three times but Josh has never been. He's happy to forgo some of the stereotypical touristy stuff which makes me happy. I don't feel the need to go to the top of the Empire State Building again, and the line ups to do so would make him crazy anyway. We'll be doing a lot of walking so we'll end up seeing Central Park, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and other famous landmarks regardless.

I've stayed near Times Square and I've stayed in Murray Hill, so I'd been toying with the idea of staying in a different district (or borough) this time. I entertained the idea of Brooklyn as a change of scenery but decided it would be best to just spend an afternoon there on this trip - almost as a way of scouting it out for a future trip. Brooklyn has been getting a lot of good reviews lately so I'm excited to check it out (with a particular focus on Williamsburg).

I did a quick Facebook poll, asking for recommendations for places to stay and the results were all over the map. They were scattered around Manhattan and they varied from hostels to high-end boutique hotels. Here's the list I ended up with:
I also got a recommendation from Anthony Bourdain. OK, not a personal recommendation, but he was reviewing the NYC restaurant/food truck scene on his show No Reservations when he mentioned that a great place to stay was The Jane Hotel. 

In Bourdain's words,

“If you’re not a big pimpin’ oligarch and looking for more affordable accommodations, the recently restored Jane Hotel in the West Village might be more in your zone."

"Big pimpin' oligarchs" we are not, so I looked into it. The rooms are small, but we're OK with that. I love how it's got loads of character and an eclectic vibe. Not to mention history - it was built as a hotel for sailors in 1908 and the survivors of the Titanic stayed there. I haven't spent much time in the West Village or the nearby Meatpacking district, so the location definitely has allure for me.

When I wake up in the city that never sleeps, I want to be right where the action is. So, in the next few days I'm going to refine our list of must see's/must chow down at's and see what neighbourhood makes the most sense.

We started a list on our blackboard and friends have added to it. We've run out of space for our ideas and we're only visiting for three days so I've got to figure out what our top priorities are. You'll notice that food is a central theme in our list. Josh's top pick is Crif Dogs - Bourdain says it's the best hot dog in the city.

 
 
Do you think our list is missing something? What are your favourite places and spaces in New York?

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