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Hotels in NYC

LindaSun | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi!  I’m new to the Forum.  Am planning a long awaited trip with several sewing buddies to New York City in April.  We’re using the March ’01 guide from Threads for great fabric shops and need a place to stay that is not too expensive (cheap may be just a dream) and close to the stores (which appears to be in the 38th and Broadway area).   I’ve never been to NYC so any other advice would be appreciated.  Thanks! 


  1. GhillieC | | #1

    Hi Linda,

    We visited Manhatten (from the UK) for a few days before Christmas and stayed at the Pennsylvania.   It was huge, adequate though not wonderful, reasonably priced for a difficult time of year and VERY convenient for the Garment District, Penn Station, Macys etc. 

    However if I were you I would go to one of the online booking services, like the Hotel Reservations Network, and see if you can get a good deal.  If you are prepared to wait until a month before travelling Late Rooms can come up with some spectacular bargains.  Rooms without private bathrooms can be fairly cheap, though personally I don't like to go that far down market.

    If you need to stay a little distance from the Garment District (which is not in a good area for hotels) remember that public transport in New York is good value at $2 a ride, so you might do well in a hotel a bit further away but convenient for the subway.  I have never found the subway at all scary but  I am used to riding the London Tube.

    The Threads guide is already out of date, in particular the famous B & J's has moved.

    Happy shopping!


    1. LindaSun | | #4

      Thank you.  I will try for online hotel booking--I was hoping other sewers might know of some great little place nearby.  We probably can't wait until the last minute, but I'll check with my friends. 

      1. GhillieC | | #5

        It would be great if someone does know of a really nice, small, moderately priced hotel in midtown Manhatten. I hope they tell us about it. However I don't think that such places exist in the centres of big cities.

        The Garment District is in a somewhat run down area - as are the Garment Districts in London and Paris and probably in other cities as well. I guess it has to do with the associated sweat shop clothes manufacturers and low rents.



        1. eauinaz | | #6

          I have stayed twice at the Murray Hill East Hotel. It is on 39th street --just a block or two from Grand Central Station and close to the midtown bus which will take you to the garment district. I remember just walking what seemed to be about six blocks, but you'll probably want to take a cab back because of all your purchases.

          1. LindaSun | | #7

            Thanks so much--I'll check this one out.  And yes!  We plan to have heavy, large bags at the end of the day!

  2. FitnessNut | | #2

    Check on the main Threads page. There is an updated version of the shopping guide for NYC that you should get your hands on, if you haven't already seen it.

    1. LindaSun | | #3

      Thanks!  I noticed they had it, but assumed it was the same as from the '01 issue. 

    2. Bernie1 | | #10

      Sandy: I'm trying to locate that updated list - is it on the website? I went to the home page and couldn't find it. Thanks.

      1. FitnessNut | | #11

        It is on the Threads home page in the upper left corner, not quite at the top...."Sewers Guide to New York City", free download. Hope it has the information you're looking for. (I haven't actually looked myself, I just noticed it was there.)


  3. sarahkayla | | #8

    Dear Linda sun -

    a couple of words of advice... you may want to purchase an unlimited metro card during your stay so you can just hop on and off the subways and busses at will.  you can buy a 1 day metro card for $7 and a weekly card for  $23  it is well worth it.

    I don't know what hotel rates you are paying in midtown.. but you can get a room (small but clean and nice ) at the hotel newton @ 94th street for about $100 a night - it is a quick subway ride to the garment district (7 to 10 minutes) there is a best western around the corner from the newton ... depending on when you reserve the rates can fluctuate by $200 per night. those rooms too are small - the neighborhood is nice ( i live there) far less congested than midtown and has a real neighborhood feel - good diners for huge breakfasts.. lots of grocery stores and near the parks in case you need a dose of nature.

    as for B+J's new location.. just do a google search on them and you will find the address.. it is on 7th avenue I think at 39th on the east side of the street.

    also.. as you walk around you will get flyers about sample sales - go. sometimes all that is there is junk.. often it is wonderful stuff. i would suggest going to SSS sample sale on 36th between 7th and 8th (north side of the stereet - second floor - they have a plackard out on the sidewalk). I know ... sewing is wonderful but If I can get a cashmere sweater for $20.. I'm happy to spend the money.

    while you are in new york do not eat at the chain restaurants - it is a collosal waste of money and a waste of your time in new york. just north of the fabric district on 9th avenue there is a wealth of tiny and not so tiny ethnic restaurants.. the neighborhood around the hotel newton is sometimes callled szechuan valley where you can stop in any of the many chinese restaurants and get an amazing meal for not very much . the local pizza is cheap and fabulous - any of it is better than the best pizza in most of america. there is a teeny hole in the wall place on 39th that you enter through a loading dock that serves the most amazing felafel and schwarma.. you may want to eat chinese -cuban ( yes this is one cusine - not two), or ethiopian or  caribbean or thai or indian food

     - skip the olive garden and the chains you see in your local malls... your wallet will be fuller for more fabric purchases and your mouth as well as your eyes wil have an adventure.

    sarah in nyc

    1. LindaSun | | #9

      Thanks much for the great info!  I'm getting so excited about this trip...my fingertips are starting to twitch!  And I love ethnic restaurants.  I did note the new address on B&J's--Threads has it on their web site with the updated Sewers Guide to NYC--it must be great as everyone mentions it.  Thx again. 

    2. user-248951 | | #12


      I used to live on 86 Street and Columbus.   What is the cross street for the Hotel Newton on 94th that you mentioned?   I too, hope to visit NYC to go fabric shopping and revisit all the wonderful museums.

      Jane in Brush Prairie, WA .....

      1. sarahkayla | | #13

        Dear Jane -

        the hotel newton is right on Broadway, a couple of steps from the 94th street entrence of the 96th street subway station, next door to the Key west diner ( i think they have a breakfast deal going with the diner) and around the corner from the best western( which sometimes has decent rates.. ) and the great Indian restaurant on Amsterdam ..

        sarah in nyc

        1. user-248951 | | #14

          Thanks Sarah.....

          Yes, that is a great neighborhood ! .... and easy to get to.   Great for walking too.

          I lived there in the early '70's when the revival was just beginning.


  4. Merryll | | #15

    Hi, LindaSun.  If you've never been to NYC, don't bring with you all the preconcieved notions about crime, etc.  New Yorkers are friendly and helpful.  You do, however, need to be aware of what's around you, and do not set your purse down or hang it on the back of a chair in a restaurant.

    I live in southern Connecticut and am in the city all the time.  The suggestion of purchasing a metro pass is perfect.  They are sold in the subway stations or transit hubs, and you must have one to ride the buses too, unless you have exact change.

    As for a hotel, I would suggest you try one of the reputable hotel consolidation services that sell rooms in hotels of all prices at a discount.  The best one I've found for NYC is Quickbook.com.  I use it all the time, as I frequently stay for the weekend.  Also, you don't have to pay for the room in advance, unlike some other consolidation services. If you're more comfortable booking on the phone, Quickbook has an 800 number at their website.  This service has been profiled in the NYT and is wonderful. Also, now is a good time to check hotels, since this time of year is slow and you may be able to discover some great bargains.  Just last week I noted seven pages of listings at Quickbook for NYC.  As a comparison, during the peak travel time in December there were two, and those were pretty doggy hotels.

    Also, someone mentioned the new location for B&J Fabrics.  It's at 525 7th Avenue at the corner of 38th Street.  It's on the east side of the street.  Just enter the building and the bank of elevators is at the the back left in the lobby. Their phone is 212-354-8150, and they mail.  I always have my purchases sent to avoid the hefty NY sales tax. In fact, every merchant in the city is accustomed to mailing for you. And yes, that 01 Threads guide is outdated.

    I second the suggestion of avoiding the chain restaurants.  Buy a Zagat's Restaurant Guide when you come, and it'll never steer you wrong.  A trick I often use is to go to a wonderful restaurant for lunch.  The meals are often the same as the ones served at dinner, but cost less.  Also, I would suggest you go to any bookstore (there are Barnes & Noble stores everywhere) and check out the NYC travel sections.  They have great small maps that you can carry easily in your purse, and those maps also include subway and bus routes. As much NYC literature as my husband and I have, we never go into the city without our little map. I also would encourage you to purchase a good NY guidebook; it will pay for itself. Enjoy!


    1. LindaSun | | #16

      Thank you Merryll!  What a wealth of info you are!  I really appreciate it and will definately use your suggestions.  Glad to know of Quickbook as I usually use Expedia and a few others.  The mailing of fabrics is such an excellent idea.  Thanks so much.  Linda

  5. mantuamaker | | #17

    The hotel I like to go to is the Comfort Inn Midtown. It is about 43rd street, so you can walk to the garment district and easily bring your stuff back to go out for another run. My rule for a hotel in NY is that it must be within walking distance back from the theatres. You cannot get a cab when all the theatres let out at the same time, and there are so many people on the streets that it is quite safe.

    Garment district is wonderful! Enjoy! and be sure to go to the exhibit at FIT.

    1. Merryll | | #18

      Mantuamake1, I totally agree with you re staying in a Midtown location; that's where I stay as well.  Only I prefer the East Side, since it's quieter.  My husband and I always go to the theater, and we always walk across town, a 15-20-minute walk.  I  find out-of-towners may be disinclined to consider walking across town, but in a group ( even two-three) after the show, it's safe and quick--often faster to walk than vie for a cab. Usually, there are many people doing the same thing.  Also, a Midtown locale is a brisk walk from the Garment District.

      BTW, for LindaSun, you might want to consider staying at a wonderful hotel on the East Side Midtown like The Benjamin (Lexington and 50th).  They have terrific suites--a king sleeping room and a sitting room with a queen hideabed--that will sleep three. They also have other marvelous accommodations for less $ and a gym.  Their beds are heavenly.  At a Quickbook rate, it is easily affordable for three.  The great thing about The Benjamin is that they have kitchenettes--full refrig, a microwave, coffeemaker, utinsels for four, etc., so you can save $ by buying OJ, sweet rolls and have breakfast in the room.  You can also bring in something from a carryout place and reheat it in the micro for dinner, etc.  In the end we find it a true moneysaver. Also, they will bring in a VCR and install it for you for no charge if you want it.  One time I did this and the guy told me they've had heads of state staying there.  It's catty-corner across the street from the Waldorf, but loads quieter, which many prefer. The Benjamin usually is full during the week with business people from the nearby offices.  Weekends is when they have the deals. They also have a marvelous restaurant, and breakfasts often are included in the Quickbook offers. Just a thought.


    2. LindaSun | | #19

      Thanks so much for the tips.  We aren't yet ready to make reservations as one of our group is having health problems which might affect the dates.  But I've saved your note and am so looking forward to this trip!  Can I really show my ignorance and ask which airport we should fly into?  thx much

      1. mantuamaker | | #20

        Go with the money. I usually end up in Newark because I fly Continental with miles. One time we went to Islip, Long Island and took the train in. Have fun!

        1. LindaSun | | #21


      2. SisterT | | #22

        I don't know about an airport, but I have a suggestion that I did not see mentioned as I skimmed the thread on fabric shopping.  When we go downtown to the fabric shops in Los Angeles, we each take a rolling carry-on suitcase.  We can cram all sorts of stuff into them, it reduces the risk of setting something down and forgetting it, and they are narrow enough to maneuver around the crowded shops.  I have never been to the fabric shops in NYC, so I don't know how practical this would be there....


        1. Bernie1 | | #23

          I thnk you might get arrested for shoplifting for doing that in NYC. Suspicion runs high in the Big A. Besides, from my recollection the isles are way too narrow. You're lucky to sqeeze your hips through the isles. I'll try it on my next LA trip, though.

          1. SisterT | | #24

            Okay, I'll start working on building up my biceps now--because I WILL get to New York someday.  I love shopping in LA and thought they had everything, until I took a pice of fabric in to one of my favorite shops and the man told me that in order to find a perfect match, I would have to go to New York.

            Someday there will be a major theological conference in New York.....!


          2. boscojoni | | #28

            theological conference? Are you a Christian? just wondering:)

          3. SisterT | | #29

            On my good days, yes!  :)

            I am a Catholic Sister (a nun), supposedly working on a doctorate in theology at Catholic University in Washington, DC....I have a VERY patient director.  My community is in the Los Angeles area.  We work with the poor and support our work, and the community, by working in Catholic institutions (schools, hospitals, etc.).  I taught at our local seminary for five years, finally decided to quit because it was sinking into my thick skull that one cannot teach full time (fulltime plus), be active in community, and write at the same time.  Normal people know this intuitively...maybe I am not the brightest bulb in the chandelier!

            That is probably more information than you wanted!

            Sr. Tracey

          4. boscojoni | | #30

            Hi Sister, :) God's plans for us are often beyond what we would try and do in our own strength. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us... But apart from Him we can do nothing. How many times do we as His workmanship find ourselves lost. Husband and Daughter deal with this most years. What we have found it that we think we can do it all in September but then we get bogged down after Christmas. We get very weary in doing good. And then... come spring we want to finish the year on top. And they do! after a couple of down summer months they get all ready to take on the world.. and the cycle begins again. What God has showed me in my 20+years of being a wife and mom and helper to schools and churches and all the neighbor kids.. Is that Routines help and volunteer work must be evaluated and prayed about Before I over commit. I try to keep time in Bible study--personal for me not for leading a group is a MUST and prayer for wisdom and guidance essential. I am glad you are a believer in Jesus Christ son of God and Savior. Isn't it good! God bless you and be right by your side as you continue in His work.

          5. Bernie1 | | #31

            Well, I know who to talk to when I get cranking on my mystery novel featuring a Catholic nun who is an outreach worker. She's in New Orleans, though, not LA.

      3. Merryll | | #25

        LindaSun, I didn't respond to your question about which airport to fly into because I thought someone else would.  LaGuardia Airport is just outside the island of Manhattan in Queens on Long Island (the northern side), and most fly into LGA.  It's a short taxi ride into the city.  Depending upon where you live, flights to LGA, a major hub, are usually bargain priced. Newark is an alternative, but then you must get into the city, crossing the Hudson, etc.  There's also JFK on Long Island (in Brooklyn on the southern side), but that airport is a major hub for international travel; LGA is primarily domestic.  Good luck.


        1. sarahkayla | | #26

          if you fly into laguardia - there is a bus that goes from laguardia to 106th street on the west side - if you are not in a rush.. it is the bargain of the century.. two bucks all the way from the airport.  if you are staying in a hotel on the west side you can either hop on the bus going down broadway( a free transfer) or play rich lady and take a taxi. the bus comes fairly often .. my husband just took it.. his client would have paid taxi fare .. but it was too cold to wait on the long line for the taxi.. so he hopped on the bus instead. I'm not sure if there are stops on the east side....

        2. LindaSun | | #27

          thanks so much

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