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It's Up to You—New York, New York!

by Karen Marks


Before you go to New York City, you should know where to stay. Surprisingly, there are low-cost hotel accommodations for tourists, but you have to know where to go. Some hotels may be located in off-center neighborhoods, but if you're on a budget, you'll find the following quite pleasing:

Budget Hotels

The Larchmont Hotel, 27 West 11th Street, New York, NY 10011, 212-989-9333. It's off Fifth Avenue, in the heart of the West Greenwich Village residential area. It looks like a wealthy home, made of two adjoining townhouses. The rooms are decorated and have no private bath. There are public showers and toilets down the hall. Rates: without bath, $60 to $70 single, $85 to $99 double, which includes complimentary continental breakfast.

Hotel Wolcott, 4 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001, 212-268-2900. This well-maintained, 280-room hotel is three blocks from the Empire State Building, off Fifth Avenue, and has two passenger elevators. In the rooms you will find cable TV, direct-dial telephone, and air conditioning. The bathrooms are spotless and some rooms have small refrigerators. Rates: $65 to $75 double occupancy with shared facilities.

The Park Savoy, 158 West Street, NY, NY 10019, 212-245-5755. Near Carnegie Hall and Columbus Circle. Some rooms have kitchenettes. Rates: $85 double or twin room.

Off Soho Suites New York, on Rivington Street, east of Soho and Little Italy, 800-OFF-SOHO. Off Soho offers room service, elegant four- and two-guest suites with marble bath, full kitchen, chic living room with climate control, private phone, color TV, and dining area. Off Soho provides 24-hour self-service laundry, free fitness center, discounted parking rates, 24-hour multilingual staff, and discounted rates for extended stays. Rates: $179 suite for four and $97.50 suite for two.

If You're Not on a Budget…

Warwick Hotel is located at the Avenue of the Americas at 54th Street, 800-223-4099. Within four blocks of Fortune 500 companies. Accommodations: 425 newly renovated, classically appointed suites in a distinctively European-style hotel. Marble bathrooms, mini-bars, multi-line telephones, voicemail, computer dataports, valet, room service, color cable TV, fitness center, multilingual staff, shops, pharmacy and adjacent garage. Dining: Ciao Europa offers breakfast, lunch and dinner in a museum-like setting. Randolph's Manhattan's smart new cocktail lounge, for lunch and light fare. Rates: single $275-$320; double $295-$340. Executive suites from $350; one-bedroom suites from $500. Corporate rates and weekend packages available.

Le Parker Meridien is on the other side of seclusion in the heart of it all, on fashionable 57th Street, 118 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-245-5000. Accommodations: 700 deluxe rooms including suites, in-room fax machines, modem port, in-room safe, 24-hour room service, remote-control color TV with movie channel, valet parking, video cassette and CD player in all rooms, business services and bilingual staff. Club La Raquette—a 15,000 square fitness center with glass enclosed heated rooftop pool, squash, racquetball courts, and spa treatments available. Rates: single $350-$375; double $375-$405; suite $425-$3,000. Weekend rates available.


Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers adult classes, composting workshops, school programs, trips and tours, and internship opportunities.

Carnegie Hall offers educational programs, such as learning workshops, gift shops, disabled access, and much more.

Central Park's landscape design is based on parks in London, England, with many donated statues on display. Central Park has also been used in movies and on television.

Rockefeller Center located on 5th Avenue, between 49th and 50th Street. There are two underground restaurants—American Festival Café and Sea Grill. Visit NBC studios and possibly be a part of a studio audience.

Empire State Building has an annual lighting schedule to honor national holidays, ethnic groups living in New York, and other worthy causes.

Radio City Music Hall is a worldwide entertainment company known for its signature combination of event production and entertainment marketing. Radio City also develops attractions and events, and is known for the Rockettes. The Rockettes originated in Missouri in 1925 as the "Missouri Rockets." People loved their precision dancing, which led to the Rockettes' touring the country. New York City was one of their stops, and the rest is history.

New York Stock Exchange—witness the hustle and bustle of the investment community.

World Trade Center—travel to the top and take in a different view of New York. Here you will also find restaurants and shopping.

Getting Around

Crime does exist in New York, so be very careful. Your best bet is to try to act like a New Yorker if you can. Before your trip, consider buying American Express Travelers Checks for convenience and safety. As for transportation, you have many options. You can take cabs, although it's an expensive way to travel. You can also rent a car, but be aware of the parking system, because that is expensive, too. And New York police will not hesitate to give you a ticket.

I really don't care for subway in New York, but it is the best way to get around. The New York Subway Finderwill help you get from point A to point B. Try to plan your route in advance whenever possible, since when it comes to giving directions, native New Yorkers are often cold and unfriendly. At least this is how it seemed to me on a recent trip to the city. Salespeople may give you directions if you are shopping, but when my sister and I entered the subway station and tried to ask passersby for directions, the only person willing to help us was a Jehovah's Witness. She was the only smiling face we saw, as she held her magazines up high. I asked her how to get to Brooklyn, and she actually wrote the directions down for us. If it weren't for her, we would have been lost! Her help didn't end there, however. After giving us directions, she mentioned that we could tour the Watchtower headquarters in Brooklyn (718-625-3600. Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Ask for the Tour Desk.) We took her suggestion and went on an escorted tour. The building is very clean for a factory, and there is no admission charge to tour the facilities.


Bloomingdales was started by two brothers, Joseph and Lyman. Their product originally was hoop skirts, but as hoop skirts became less popular, the brothers quickly diversified to other products. In 1972, they opened the East Side Bazaar, selling a variety of fashions. By 1886, they decided that the Upper East Side on 59 th Street and Lexington would be a booming place to open their department store. Bloomingdales became a place to shop and socialize, where something was always happening, whether it was new or trendy. Even Queen Elizabeth came to Bloomingdales. Many designers, including Sonia Rykiel, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan, got their start at Bloomingdales.

BMG is a clothing store producing top-quality fashions for men. BMG suits are created in the best mills of Biella, Italy, using exquisite fabrics.

Canal Jean Company started as a place for artists to shop for affordable clothes, such as: retro clothes, work clothes, fun clothes, knapsacks, hats, sweatshirts, painter's pants and especially jeans.

Darrow Vintage, located on 7 West and 19th Street, offers vintage clothing and jewelry from 1920 to 1970. Their fashions include gowns, suits, dresses, and antiques. Darrow has opened a new rental department, and offers reasonable rates for daily, weekly and monthly rentals.

Lederer De Paris offers luggage, briefcases, handbags, investment bankers' attaches, and accessories.

Places to Eat

Argentine Pavillion serves choice meats and fresh fish daily, as has been their custom for over 20 years. Located at 32 West and 46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. Attractions in the area include Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, FAO Schwartz, Times Square, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Central Park, Port Authority, as well as various theaters and cinemas. Hours: Monday through Saturday, noon to midnight; Sundays, noon to 11:00 p.m. Argentine Pavilion recommends reservations for parties of three or larger, and for holidays such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. Reservations are also required for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve parties.

Bagel Oasiswill ship anywhere in the U.S. Some bagel varieties they serve include plain, sesame, cinnamon raison, onion, egg onion, pumpernickel, poppyseed, egg, whole wheat and garlic. Bagel Oasis also serves mini-bagels and twist varieties.

You may want to check out New York General Dining Resources for other places to eat. Also, for a variety of opportunities, stop by Nolita. ("Nolita" means "North of Little Italy.") Here you will find a handful of one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, galleries and antique shops. Emerging fashion designers and artists are starting new businesses in Nolita, located between Houston and Broadway.


Karen Marks is a travel consultant, freelance writer and Polynesian dancer.


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