Since living in NYC, I’ve come to realize that real estate dominates many conversations. The reason is simple: In Manhattan, there’s not enough SPACE.
During our apartment search, we started with a wish list like every other homebuyer. Of course we wanted a real two-bedroom with two baths, if at all possible. This would enable us to take the occasional guest from out of town, and also give us another room for all of our stuff.
Our wish list diminished quickly, and we soon realized that we would not be able to afford a true two-bedroom in Manhattan. We looked at some apartments that were fake two bedrooms, (we could build a wall and call it a two bedroom) but those didn’t count. As a result, we purchased a one bedroom, built a wall like everyone else, and now we have a small space with a single bed for one guest.
This past weekend, my mom and my cousin came into town just for a couple of days. Rather than stay at the Hotel Edison in Times Square (their usual pick), they were feeling adventurous and decided to try the Belnord Hotel which is just around the corner from us at 87th and Broadway. The rate was excellent, and the building is charming enough. Although I had not been inside, friends of friends of ours have stayed there.
Despite the small rooms, it was cute and clean and really how much time do you spend in your room while visiting Manhattan? Especially when you have family around the corner with a cool apartment.
|Mike, Bogey and I in our NY apartment|
I warned them ahead of time…I said it would be tiny. I don’t think they have ever stayed in a boutique hotel and so this was a shocker for them. Apparently, a person can sit on the toilet and shower at the same time? Efficient space planning, I would say. And the closet consists of a bar in front of the bed at waist level that is about 18″ wide and fits approximately four garments. It is installed underneath the wall-mounted flat-screen TV. Luckily for them, it is summertime and they didn’t need any coats at 86 degrees and humid in NYC.
Laughing since they arrived, they decided to leave the hotel immediately and get out into the city to explore. Of course, Broadway fans that they are, they ended up at TKTS and got 50% off Priscilla Queen of the Desert. But eventually, they would have to return to the itty bitty room with the itty bitty non-closet and their “shoilet”–my new word for toilet/shower combination.
This takes me back to a time when Mike and I visited NY as tourists. I booked a room on line and it was a great deal. The Park South Hotel has a European feel to it, and is located in Kips Bay. It’s also convenient to Downtown and Midtown.
The rate included an amazing breakfast, and the hotel had a charming bar and restaurant called The Black Duck. When we got to our room, we opened the door expecting it to be like the last time we stayed there (when we paid a bit more), and discovered quickly that it was a teeny tiny version of the same room. When I say “teeny tiny”, I mean there was no space for our luggage. I immediately marched down to the reception desk and asked if there were any larger rooms. There were, but they were $100 more per night! Needless to say, we paid the extra cash and had an enjoyable stay with our suitcases inside the room.
To keep the “tiny” theme going for the weekend, we all went to NOOK for dinner that night. Nook is a little restaurant that seats about 20 people. It’s located in Hell’s Kitchen, and the food is beyond delicious for the price. It is a BYOB spot too (yes that means bring your own booze). Off we went with 2 bottles of red. Ramon was working (we love him) and made our experience in this teenie weenie place so special.
The food portions are not comparable to the square footage of the restaurant, but just the opposite actually. We left there completely happy and satisfied. And for once, my itsy bitsy teeny weeny bladder behaved, and I did not have to use the facility, which is about 3×3 and is in the kitchen.
Only in New York would a restaurant’s bathroom be inside the kitchen. And trust me, this is pretty common in smaller eating establishments.
After a little music and a little more wine–okay a lot more wine, we returned to the Upper West Side and the Belnord. The funniest part of this whole story is that my mother unsuccessfully requested a larger room at the hotel. She went to the receptionist and asked if there was anything else available, and the response she received was not quite the same as mine at the Park South. He replied,”No, but honestly, they aren’t much bigger anyway!”
So much for the Belnord for our out-of-town guests. I checked out the 8X8 room, and it would probably be suitable for 1 person, (like a child or teenager), but I think it could be claustrophobic for even a city slicker like me. But then again, everyone knows about my constant struggle with phobias.