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Staying cheap in NYC

I listened to your advice to a woman making her 1st trip in a LONG while to new York with a friend and you spoke of cheap beds in The City at something like $120 for a double etc, etc.

Well, it's possible to spend a lot less if you are willing to forgo the private bath, and the mint on your pillow -- such as the numerous New York area YMCAs. I would avoid the McBurney YMCA like the plague because of rampant alcohol and drug use that the staff turns a blind eye to, and the constant stench of urine in the stairways and the ever present threat of theft. Otherwise, the Westside branch is clean, vibrant, and charmingly situated about a block from Columbus Circle and Central Park West and 57th street. There is also the Vanderbilt Branch Y a couple of blocks from the United Nations. The YMCAs singles go for about $60 per night, and it would be best to make reservations, especially for the warmer months and for over-weekend stays. Additionally, there is the LARCHMONT, a quaint, spotlessly clean and library-quiet Euro-style hotel on West 13 Street (between 5 and 6 Avenues), a five minute walk from the Washington Square/Village area that goes for about $60 per person a night, or about $85 for a double. The Washington Square hotel is on the NW corner of Washington Square -- very quaint, situated right in the heart of the Village-- the prices you gotta check out. Finally, if you don't mind the lack of privacy that a regular hotel affords, youth hostels are not just for the young; at about $22 per night the Chelsea International Youth Hostel on 20th street between 7/8avenues ( and directly across from a police precinct) is filled with 18 to 35-year-olds, but seeing travelers and tourists well into their fifties is not an unusual -- and Wednesdays are free-pizza night. In someone's words, though not necessarily originally said about New York flops, "location, location, LOCATION!" That's what'll make half the stay worthwhile--that is being able to walk right out into the middle of the action rather than needing to take a bus or subway to a place of interest.


PS (FYI) The McBurney-Y is THE Y from the famous disco-era Village-People's song "YMCA".


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