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very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

Turku, Finland
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very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

For the past couple of weeks I have been tossing and turning with hotel choices. Booking, cancelling, booking and cancelling.

Going from completely sure to completely unsure. I still have the Ace for about 1000€ all in all but decided East Midtown does nothing for me.

So. Now I have two options. Belleclare up on W 77th St, about 1250$ (910€) including taxes for 9 nights (19-28.4). Shared bath. Not bad at all. Besides, having been to NYC twice before I still feel I have neglected the UWS part of the city, and still haven't visited Riverside Park, The Cathedral of St John the Divine or Columbia University.

This was a done deal for me, until....

I stumbled upon Le Jolie in Williamsburg. 9 nights for 1500$ inclusive tax (1130€). Great reviews. Free breakfeast. NON-REFUNDABLE.

So what's the deal? Well, my plan for this trip is to spend most of my time in Brooklyn.

I have been to WB, to Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, but want to venture out more. Park Slope, Red Hook, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Heights, Brighton Beach, Green-Wood Cemetery, Botanical Garden... I want to truly dive in. Hence the thought of staying in Brooklyn. I had thought about Nu Hotel, but it's a bit too expensive for me.

The only thing I'm thinking about is travelling. Le Jolie to Manhattan is a no-brainer, but Le Jolie to the southern parts of Brooklyn? There's the G of course, but it doesn't have great connecting lines, if I've come to the right conclusion. Hopstop guides me through Manhattan when going to the Botanical Garden for instance.

But on the map I see I could take the G to, for example, Hoyt-Schermerhorn and walk to Hoyt Street and jump on a 2 or 3 train.

It's just that travelling down from the UWS seems much more straight forward when going to parts of Brooklyn south of WB, than when going in that direction from WB.... Or am I completely wrong?

I guess what I'm asking here is, which place is more convenient for me? I just can't decide.

New York NY
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1. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

I really like the area around the Jolie a lot. It is great.

Bamonte's is a real old school Italian restaurant that has been there since long before the neighborhood was "discovered." I love going to Bamonte's. I don't think you even need to cross a street to get from the hotel to the Bamonte's.

Transportation is a non-issue. Why limit yourself to the train? I have friends in the neighborhood and they love the buses. The buses are frequent and they're super fast because they're not heavily used.

The B.61 bus runs down Driggs Avenue and runs up Bedford Avenue. You'll get so see lots of the city and the changing neighborhoods from aboard the fast and efficient B.61 bus. The B.61 bus will take you to the Atlantic Avenue restaurants (Atlantic Avenue is the dividing line between Brooklyn Heights and Carroll Gardens). The B.61 continues into Red Hook and I believe goes to IKEA where you can dine on Swedish Meatballs with a lovely view of the water, skyline and Statue of Liberty in the distance.

There are buses down Lorimer Street and down Graham Avenue. There is also bus along Grand that goes out to Jamaica should you want to take the Long Island Rail Road on a day trip to Fire Island, the Hamptons or elsewhere. Another Grand St. bus heads to Rego Park Queens where you'll find more shopping.

Graham Avenue itself is delightful for shopping and dining. Graham Avenue is home to some wonderful restaurants like Sel de Mer and Motorino among many others.

I think you'll really enjoy Williamsburg.

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2. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

If you're planning on spending most of your time in Brooklyn, staying on the UWS makes no sense at all to me. I'm not familiar enough with Brooklyn to say how convenient it will be to get from Le Jolie to other areas of Brooklyn, but I can tell you the subway system does a better job connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan than Brooklyn to Brooklyn. I think you'd actually be better at the Ace (which is not midtown east but actually WEST of Fifth ave. and on 29th st. so not considered midtown but....Madison Square Park area which is very hot) or somewhere in downtown Manhattan like Tribeca. The Ace puts you within a few blocks of something like 10 different subway lines.

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3. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

UWS and Brooklyn, Like apples and oranges, two different vacation experiences, imo UWS, great place to stay. btw, I think the Basilique St Denis, Paris is fabulous as well. Transportation anywhere is very good from Manhattan.

Edited: 17 March 2010, 14:07
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4. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

I really like the Hotel Le Jolie, however, please don't take into account the breakfast as the bagels are not up to much, and the coffee ain't strong enough..

However, the hotel itself is lovely, I've stayed there twice, you get a 42" plasma with HD channels on your wall, you get free bottles of water in the mini fridge each day, and the beds are comfy, the bathroom is private, and there are some great bars within walking distance.

If you want to get to the Botanical Gardens, you get a bus. the B48, just out of the hotel, turn left, there is a bus stop there, and it'll take about 30 minutes to get through to there, much easier than going into Manhattan. I'm sure this is quicker than travelling into M/H or even from the UWS to that area of Brooklyn.

You also have an option of the B62 bus from Downtown Brooklyn back into Williamsburg, as that heads straight up Bedford Ave or towards Downtown Brooklyn, Driggs Ave. Sorry MoreFFMiles, they've recently changed the service, so the B61 only goes between Downtown Brooklyn, and Red Hook/ IKEA, and they introduced the B62 between LIC and Downtown Brooklyn.

So, Yes, stay in Brooklyn, it's amazing... :)

There is also the sister hotel of the Le Jolie, which is called the Le Bleu, so you could see how much that is, and if that is better located for you.

M

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5. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

You're right. When the heck did they make that change? I was just on the B. 61 a couple months ago. I've used the B.61 bus since before Williamsburg was cool. I discovered restaurants in that neighborhood when people expressed great concern about me going "into such neighborhoods." My friends that lived in Queens used the B.61 to get home to Long Island City / Queensboro Plaza.

It is going to take me some time to get used to it being the B.62 bus now.

So, it looks like it terminates by the Transit Museum (rather than Ikea). So, less than two blocks from Atlantic Avenue and still a very easy walk into the heart of Carroll Gardens from what is now the last stop.

I can't believe they renumbered this bus. Anyway, I digress. It also goes up via Greenpoint to Long Island City (as it always did as the B.61) and you can visit very popular things like PS 1. This will give you the real NY cultural experience. Pick up a copy of Time Out New York and you'll see everything is happening in Long Island City and Brooklyn these days. Manhattan is no longer affordable for anything but very high-end hotels, restaurants, offices, etc. More and more younger people are calling Brooklyn and Queens home. Assuming they haven't changed the schedule - the bus has always been fast, frequent, reliable and has always run late into the night.

Turku, Finland
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6. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

Nywhiz: Oh crap...

I had scrapped the Ace so early on, that I just somehow equaled it to Midtown.... and yes true, it's on the west side, don't know why I wrote east, :).

Maybe I should look into it once more...Not the prettiest of areas, and I would preferable stay more downtown or then uptown above Columbus Circle... But true as well, it would make a good compromise, and yes, lots of different subway lines nearby...

That's what I was thinking as well, that staying in UWS and exploring Brooklyn may not be the best combination...

*sigh*

MoreFFmiles: I am very drawn to Williamsburg, really liked the area the last time I visited, so I might just jump on it.... And yes, the buses. *slaps her head*.

I haven't used them before, so didn't think about it. Need to take a look at those.

UrbanNYC: Oh, I'm glad you also like Basilique Saint Denis, :). Not on everyones Paris-list.

Yes, very different areas... I do tend to roam around a lot, and have on earlier trips headed elsewhere even for breakfeast, away from the hotel area I mean, but then, I have stayed around Midtown on these earlier trips so... that doesn't really count, :).

M4RKM: I have read your posts and trip reports about the Le Jolie, and they gave great vibes. Good thing to know about the breakfeast, won't take that into account then, :).

And thank you for the bus-information, I'll look into it.

Le Bleu would be almost perfect but the rates are way more than I'm willing to pay... unfortunately...

Thank you everyone for your input, gives me a lot of food for my thoughts, gets me out of this locked position I have been in for a while.

I do think I may have done a bigger deal about this hotel business than I should. I know it'll be easy to go just about anywhere from anyplace. The more familiar I get with NYC, the harder it gets to choose hotels! Which is strange, one would think it would be the other way around...

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7. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

Hey brightdawns:-) I can only speak for the UWS having been born/lived here my entire life..and no issues getting anywhere in the City from here! I agree you have to decide on where you want to spend most of your time.. so if it's Brooklyn..staying there certainly makes sense;-) I haven't been to Brooklyn in a long while so can't make comparisons..I know the UWS will provide you w/a true feel of living in a great local neighborhood..I practically grew up at Riverside Park and love it there..so am a bit bias;-) Am sure you'll have a wonderful experience wherever you choose! Happy planning and Enjoy!

Turku, Finland
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8. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

Thank you Litsa, :). I'm sure I'll be fine and enjoying my time wherever I end up sleeping. I don't really know why I haven't explored mmore of UWS before... Stayed in the YMCA West Side the first time I was over there, but never got much higher than "the home street" for some reason. But then again, I was completely enthralled with Times Square on that first NY-touch down, so.... a lot of things have changed since then, thank goodness! :)

And I see I need to update my profile here.... it states one of my favourite places is Times Square in the evening... Oh no no. I think I wrote that back in 2007.

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9. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

Hey again..and my pleasure:-) It's not unusual or surprising at all! Most overseas friends that visit for the first time always want to to hit the highlights first .. to include Times, Square, Statue of Liberty, etc... Sounds like you've 'been there, done that'..so time to move on;-)) Keep enjoyin'!

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10. Re: very indecisive, UWS or Williamsburg...??

I had also looke at the

cosmohotel.com

for you but it's too pricey at $175/night. There are some smaller hotels in the financial district that might work like the Wall st. Inn. The Comfort Inn Manhattan Bridge is ~ $150/night on booking.com on the lower east side. Best Western Hanbee Bowery is also a cool location if the price is right.