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Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

Ruhr Valley
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Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

Hi,

I´m travelling to New York City with a friend soon. This is our first trip to NYC, so these are beginner´s questions. Our hotel is called Astor on the Park and it´s located at the upper end of Central.

I tried to check public transport option from JFK, but I´m a bit confused.

Is it possible to take the Air Train to Howard Beach and then get on the subway line A or C to go directly to Cathedral Parkway station? (A would be better, because the trains don´t stop at every station, correct?)

The trip planner on MTA website tells me I should go via Jamaica. This route involve more interchanges - not very convenient with luggage.

Portland, Maine
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1. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

Have you confirmed that this is a legal hotel? Questions have been raised about it. See:

tripadvisor.com/…40306106

What day of the week and what time of day are you traveling? The A doesn't stop at Cathedral Parkway so you'll need to change subway trains no matter what. Taking the A via Howard Beach will be a longer trip. However, you'll be able to do a cross-platform change to the B or the C at 59th Street/Columbus Circle, which is quite simple.

If you take the E from Jamaica you'll also have to change. If you're traveling on a weekday, you can do this with a fairly simple train change at 7th Avenue, but it would not be on the same platform. Instead, you'd go downstairs and get an uptown B train to your destination. There are other alternatives if you're not traveling on a weekday but they'll involve either an additional train change or going up and down stairs at your transfer point.

Ruhr Valley
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2. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

Thanks for the very detailed and useful information on the transfer! I think the Howard Beach route will be still more comfortable with luggage, so thanks for that.

I´m quite shocked about your statement on the hotel I mentioned. I booked through a travel agency so I trusted that this would of course be a legal place. I´m pretty sure I don´t want to stay at an illegal hotel - do you have more information on it?

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

Here's a more recent thread about Astor on the Park. It's long, but you should read the entire thread. I particularly take note of BrooklynBrdge's post at No. 58:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k6533695…

Travel agents and booking sites don't vet all the businesses they sell.

Mesa, Arizona
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4. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

There is a STOP WORK order on that hotel (alleged hotel). Look at the complaints/violations and the # of them that are still "open". apparently doing some work without a permit. A lot of them are OLD but still open. Perhaps someone with more knowledge of NYC Dept of Buildings can help with this.

…nyc.gov/bisweb/…

Certificate of Occupancy first issued in 1951. It almost reads like an SRO...but I have no personal knowledge of this:

…nyc.gov/cofo/M/000/038000/M000038229.PDF

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

If I'm reading the Department of Buildings' site correctly, it appears that additional complaints have been made about that building and referred to the Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement since May (which was when the thread I linked to above was from).

Also, since there was an argument in that thread about the Department of Finance's classification vs. the Department of Buildings' classification, I note this statement from the Department of Buildings' Web site:

"Department of Finance Building Classification: H9-HOTELS

"Please Note: The Department of Finance's building classification information shows a building's tax status, which may not be the same as the legal use of the structure. To determine the legal use of a structure, research the records of the Department of Buildings."

Brooklyn, NY
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6. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

I would not stay at the Astor on the Park. Go back to the travel agent you booked through, present him or her with the information you've gathered here, and tell them that you expect to be rebooked at a legal establishment ASAP, at their expense for putting you in this situation. There is plenty of publicly available information that makes it very clear that this place is not operating legally. It is at risk of being shut down any day because of its illegal status. You do not want to be the tourist who either gets thrown out of your hotel buy the authorities during your stay, or who finds out a day or two before you travel that you now have to find a place at the last minute because it's just been shut down.

Oh, and an H-9 is NOT a tourist hotel classification. So that whole argument was a red herring.

Edited: 05 July 2013, 21:30
Ruhr Valley
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7. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

I definitely don´t want to stay at an illegal hotel and don´t to support this kind of business. I´m definitely talking to my travel agent tomorrow morning and request a different hotel. It´s a large chain travel agency, so they should really know about the situation.

Tried to find some information in German, but unfortunately there is none, so I have to present the English information to my travel agent.

So, just to get my arguments right (are these all correct?):

- Staying at the hotel I would support an illegal business responsible for homelessness of New Yorkers

- Staying at the hotel would be very unsafe...the complaints on the official website show there is not enough fire protection, emergency exits, etc.

- Keeping up my booking, I´m at risk that the hotel might closed down when I arrive or will be closed down during my stay.

And just one thing.... what exactly is meant by "Stop work order".

Do I get it right this way:

The buidling is used in an illegal way, so they are not allowed to do any repairs / renovations works etc. on the building?

Brooklyn, NY
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8. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

You're correct except about the last one. A Stop Work Order has nothing to do with the legality of the building, it generally means that construction or renovation work being done on the building was being done unsafely, and all work has to stop until whatever the unsafe condition was is corrected. It can mean either that the work itself was not properly authorized by the correct agency, or that the working conditions for the construction workers was unsafe, or that the work was being done unsafely, or all of the above.

Astoria, New York
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9. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

A "stop work order" means that some sort of work was going on in the building and it has been ordered by the govt. that the work must be stopped. (Either they did not seek permission at all or something about the way that the work is being done is improper in a serious enough way to merit the stop work order.)

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Airtrain & Subway Questions (JFK to Upper West Side)

People on this post have been very helpful in recommending that you not stay at the hotel you mentioned.

I would also like to add that you should not consider staying at any of the hotels. hostels, etc. that are near the bottom of the Tripadvisor rating list, no matter how cheap. Such hotels as the Sunbright and World Hotels on the Bowery in Chinatown are horrific. Please trust the Tripadvisor reviews more than your local travel agent on finding a hotel in Manhattan. Otherwise you could have a hellish time here. It seems like many European visitors use these type of hotels and then find themselves in the worst situation- suffering in NYC when they came here to enjoy themselves