Most affordable New York City hotels are kind of crappy and small and then you’re pissed you spent $200/night. Unless you can afford to shell out $500+ per night, trust me, you are going to be disappointed in your New York hotel room. It’s going to be too small, too noisy, have a lumpy bed or worse, have bed bugs. So when I thought about doing a weekend trip to New York City for Mike’s birthday, my only thought was Airbnb.
What is Airbnb
Airbnb is a company that lets you rent other people’s homes for their a short or long time period. They may be their main residence, or a vacation home. The host creates an ad on Airbnb about their space and adds in the details: how many bedrooms, how many guests are allowed, do they have air conditioning, where is their space located, etc. And they list a price per night (they also pay a small fee to Airbnb).
Renters peruse the site and look for a space that meets their needs. In our case, I wanted an enire apartment (there is an option to rent out only a room) in a convenient location. The rented pays the owner via Airbnb’s website and also pays Airbnb a small fee.
Should you Airbnb? Maybe. Aside from the reasons listed above, I like it because I like to make my own breakfast and snacks on site.
It’s great when you’re traveling with a lot of people I used it for my birthday celebration last fall.
What to Except From Airbnb
Out host Steve was very communicative with me. Be sent over a guide to his neighborhood with his recommended places for dinner, drinks, coffee and his favorite spot for bagels. He left the keys with his doorman and we picked them up from him. Very easy.
Oftentimes the host will meet you to give you the keys. This is nice if it’s a new-to-you area so they can show you around. Once we were settled in, I texted Steve that everything was all set and he told me to reach out to him if we had any questions. he was great.
Airbnb encourages the host and renter to communicate throughout the stay if neccessary. I put a link to Steve’s place below under “Where to Stay in New York City”.
Where We Went in New York City
The plan for this weekend was to have no plan, except one important thing which I’ll get into below. I created a list of places I wanted to eat and knowing Mike’s favorite thing to do in New York City is to just walk, we decided to do just that: eat and walk our way through Manhattan. If you’re looking for actual culture, look elsewhere (don’t worry, we do culture once in a while and I have a blog in the works on that.) Mike wanted to test out some of the city’s finest croissants.
The only thing I wanted to do was enter the digital lottery for Hamilton called Ham4Ham. You can enter the digital lottery the day of the performance and if you win, you pay $10 for a front row seat. But guess who forgot to enter? This girl. I was so wrapped up in navigating through the streets and deciding where to eat next, I completely whiffed on the lottery.
My goal was to try a sushi burrito from Pokeworks. Mike’s goal was to “hunt croissants.”
2161 Broadway @ 76th Street
New York, NY 10023
These were the best croissants of the official Croissant Hunt.
368 Amsterdam Ave b/w 77th and 78th
New York, NY 10024
My favorite bagels on the Upper West Side.
117 W 57th St between 6th and 7th Avenues
New York, NY 10019
This is Mike’s favorite coal-oven pizza. It’s super thin and reminiscent of New Haven-style.
63 W 37th St @ Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue)
New York, NY 10018
This was my must-do this weekend and it did not disappoint. Pokeworks is a Hawaiian restaurant that serves burrito or burrito bowl style dishes with sushi-esque ingredients. I got a Hawaiian burrito and we walked two blocks south and sat in Herald’s Square so I could sit and eat (Mike was full from his croissant hunt). There’s really nothing else I would recommend doing in this area of Manhattan, but I’d recommend Pokeworks for a quick afternoon snack or light lunch if you’re passing through.
349 E 12th Street
New York, NY 10003
Totally overrated. We each got a small personal pizza and while the portion was huge, the pizza was soggy and disappointing. I would strongly recommend Artichoke Pizza at 328 East 14th Street as an alternative.
251 E 13th st
New York, NY 10003
corner of 13th street / 2nd avenue
889 Broadway between Broadway and 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10003
If you actually win the lottery…
Richard Rogers Theater
226 West 46th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues
New York, NY 10036
Here’s what we’ve done previously in New York City:
Where to Stay in New York City
Here’s a discount link if you’re thinking of doing: <Airbnb credit> and here’s the Airbnb we stayed at. It was perfectly located at 71st and B’way so we were able to quickly get in and out of the city.
Parking in New York City
We decided to drive in instead of taking the Metro-North train from New Haven since we were leaving pretty late on a Friday night.
SpotHero is a web and mobile app that allows you to book discounted parking in lots and garages right on your phone or on the computer.
ParkMe – ParkMe offers on and off-street parking information1