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July 8, 2008
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White River, South Dakota
January 15, 2006
From journal The City That Never Sleeps
London, United Kingdom
October 12, 2003
They started to do hand movements and sing "Yyyyy....Mmmm...Ccccca....Aaaa..let's hear it for Yyyyy....Mmmm...Ccccaaayyhh..."
Oh very funny.
But they'd be laughing on the other side of their face when I told them I got a single room for $37 (£25) in the centre of New York City. It was within walking distance of Grand Central Station and 42nd Street. And at one end of the street was the United Nations and at the other the glitter and dazzle of Times Square. New York has a dearth of reasonable budget accomodation It is either scruffy hostels up near Harlem or luxury hotels in mid-town. This is one of the few cheap options in Manhattan. As a result, it is very popular.
On the plus side you cannot beat the location - within walking distance of Fifth Avenue, the United Nations Building and the bars/restaurants of Second Avenue. The airport bus stops at Grand Central Station and from there it is a walk up Lexington Avenue to E47th Street and is three blocks from there. It is absolutely enormous with over seven floors of single and double rooms reached by four elevators. Reception is a bit institutional but very friendly and there is a gym and swimming pool for guests to use. Gospel tours of Harlem can be arranged by a tour desk and despite the volume of guests it is generally a reasonably quiet place to stay. The cafeteria is very impressive decked out in purple fifties decor. There you can get an egg and bacon bagel breakfast with fresh orange juice for $3.
Security is excellent and instead of keys you have plastic cards allowing you into your room. There is cable television in each room and reasonable airconditioning. The single beds are OK, and my room had a view of the Upper East Side. My only complaint is that the toilets/showers are generally along the corridor. This is the norm in many budget hotels but due to the sheer size of the 'Y' it may be quite a walk, and is not very condusive to a call of nature in the middle of the night.
But let's face it, in a city like New York you won't be spending much time in your room. The 'Y' is a good place to lay your head and plan your day. But it is the city which is the real attraction...
From journal New York City: Where the Earth seems to spin faster...