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a VirtualTourist member asked on Oct 25, 2014

New York City

First time to NYC, where to stay?

Any tips on good areas to stay? No need for hotel tips as will rent an apartment. We fancy Brooklyn or Harlem. Any areas we should avoid?



18 Answers


answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from London

both of my visits to NYC i stayed with a friend in her apartment in Brooklyn - handy to the subway and beautiful Brooklyn botanic gardens




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

Just to note: practically all short-term holiday rentals (under 30 days) are illegal in NYC. You might want to reference the suggestions for where to find legal flats in some previous threads like this one:

www.trippy.com/vt/New...




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

This information - lifted from a previous thread - may be helpful for understanding more about the legalities, and defines the boroughs which comprise New York City:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g6076...

http://www.nycgo.com/neighborhoods/




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Brooklyn

Agree with goodfish's post.

The majority of vacation rentals in NYC are illegal if they are for less than 30 days. There are scams popping up all over with people taking advantage.

I also disagree with the 1st response that "Brooklyn is fine. Brooklyn is HUGE. You can't make a blanket statement that every area is fine for a vacation. There are parts of Brooklyn over 1 hr away from the city by subway. There are parts of Bklyn that are not that safe. Etc.
(FYI, I have lived in Bklyn for 40 years.)

I would post your budget(in USD) and you can get assistance on legal places to stay. NYC has several legit apartment style hotels.




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from London

when i went to stay with friend at Brooklyn she had been told not to travel at night - I did anyway still walking from station to home with lots of people still around - we then were out to see Phantom of the Opera one night and came back around 2am with loads of people around also using the subway and making their way home - very enlightening for her and she changed her whole tack about Brooklyn being any more unsafe than other places




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Brooklyn

MANY parts of Bklyn are great. But Brooklyn is huge. It would be the 4th largest city in the USA if it was separated.

It all depends on where you are talking about.




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

Right Keyser - and one of the reasons I included info on the boroughs. It's often misunderstood by new visitors that New York City proper encompasses a much, much larger area than Manhattan.

Regardless, I do believe that the short-term rental laws apply to the entire state, correct? Some of our members have chosen to rent in New Jersey, I believe, where such rentals are allowed.




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Brooklyn

See...you are wrong again.

-Brooklyn is NOT a "neighborhood."
-I didn't mention the word "bad" in either of my posts. I did use the word "great" to describe Brooklyn.

Please re-read.

The illegal apartments were mentioned as people do come to NYC and get scammed and are left standing outside with no place to stay.

I understand that you may not have any issues with people coming coming to your city/country and breaking the laws. Some people do.




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Delaware

Brooklyn--like Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island--is a borough of New York City. At the same time, each is a separate county of New York State. The five boroughs together make up New York City, and within each one, there are neighborhoods. Williamsburg is a neighborhood in Brooklyn; Harlem is a neighborhood in Manhattan.

It is rather confusing for the uninitiated.

As for the original question, there are a lot of areas to avoid in Brooklyn and some in upper Manhattan (where Harlem is located) as well. The better question to ask is "what are the best neighborhoods to stay if I want to be doing X?"




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

Please see the OP's original post"

"No need for hotel tips as will rent an apartment."

Many, many visitors do not know that holiday renting is not as easily, legally, done in NYC as it is in many other cities. It was worth the mention in case this poster was unaware of that as well.

Also, one of the links I'd included illllustrates the 5 boroughs (Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Statan Island) and neighborhoods within them.




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member

Interesting to read that short term rentals are illegal as there are hundreds to choose from at homestay.com - very odd indeed




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

There are tons of them out there but it doesn't mean they're legal or that they won't get caught, and that's all part of the confusion for travelers. This article is a couple years old but just one example:

nytimes.com/2012/12/01/your-...

Do note the disclaimer which can be the exception: "...that law says you cannot rent out single-family homes or apartments, or rooms in them, for less than 30 days unless you are living in the home at the same time."

Our NYC members are more intimately familiar with the ins and outs but it's been a bit of a hairball for clueless visitors.




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from New Jersey

No Kate - definitely NYC and some east end LI places (Hamptons, etc.) - but not the entire state.




answered on 10/25/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

OK, thanks. I've seen the New York STATE multiple dwelling law cited as the basis for the 30-day minimum so it's another piece of the confusion (for non New Yorkers, when state and biggest city have the same name!)




answered on 10/26/14 by
a VT member from Brooklyn

Some very good responses have been given re Brooklyn being a "borough" of NYC and not a "neighborhood" in NYC. There is a BIG difference. As Williamsburg has several hotels and is a good place to stay. Same with the downtown Brooklyn area. Also, many people who come to NYC see apartment listings stating that they are very close to the city/in a great area/show pictures in the ads that are just false. I am also a member of another travel site where people tell tales of arriving to NYC and not having a place to stay/not being able to get a refund/having their trip ruined.

I know a women who owns a home on my block. She was renting her duplex apartment(in a townhouse) to a couple who traveled often. The owner stopped by one day to collect her mail and noticed someone home and she wanted to say hello to the couple who was renting her home. It was another woman. She asked who she was, etc. The couple subletted her place to a tourist while they were gone.

The woman/owner gave the women who was visiting until the next day to vacate. She also evicted the original couple when they returned. Situation ruined for both.




answered on 10/26/14 by
a VT member from Brooklyn

It isn't odd. There are listings on craigslist for basic "companion services" for both men and women...even though it is illegal in NYC.
The majority of vacation apartment rentals are illegal, regardless of what platform you see them listed on.




answered on 10/26/14 by
a VT member from Brooklyn

I don't. But having lived in Bklyn for 40+ years, I do know pretty much many of the areas that I would not recommend to visitors...apart from the fact that there are no legal hotels there.




answered on 10/28/14 by
a VT member

Manhattan, Brooklyn & Harlem are very nice places. Even if you avoid these so-called "danger zones", you still have to take extra care. Nevertheless, most new travellers are advised NOT to go East New York.





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