What’s great about visiting New York City is no matter where you stay, you’ve got the subway! To take you anywhere you want to go. And the manhattan grid system helps the subway to be far less confusing than in many other major metropolitan cities. But there are plenty of other factors in play when choosing where to stay in Manhattan. The following guide should help you decide.
The best place to stay in Manhattan depends on your state of mind. Each neighborhood has a distinct flavor and its own reasons to make your base there. First, a look at the best neighborhoods in Manhattan and why you might want to stay there.
Exploring New York City: A Comprehensive Guide to Accommodation and Transportation
New York City’s best activities, top hotels, and family-friendly accommodations are scattered across Manhattan and Brooklyn. However, as long as you’re staying near a subway station or even a bus stop, getting around is a breeze. The city’s transit system is straightforward, especially in central Manhattan, which is laid out on a grid with clearly numbered cross streets.
- If the numbers are increasing, you’re heading north or uptown, while decreasing numbers lead south or downtown. Most avenues are one-way, with buses generally traveling in one direction. Major two-way streets like 14th, 34th, 42nd, and 57th have buses going in both directions. Route maps are posted at every stop.
- Subway stations are labeled either uptown or downtown to indicate the direction of the trains on that track. “Crosstown” refers to traveling across the city from east to west. Fifth Avenue divides what New Yorkers refer to as the “east side” and “west side” in Manhattan. A subway shuttle train crosses the city on 42nd Street from Grand Central Terminal to Times Square.
- To estimate distances, consider that 20 blocks in Manhattan roughly equate to one mile. For instance, Midtown, between 34th and 59th streets, where many famous sights are located, is less than 1.5 miles long and easily walkable. The winding lanes in the older parts of the city are also quite walkable, but in these areas, street maps or mobile phone maps are recommended.
Arriving in Manhattan from the Airport
Avoid renting a car. Driving in New York is often challenging due to congestion, and parking is exorbitantly expensive. Many of the tunnels and bridges into Manhattan have substantial tolls. Public transport (subway, buses) is affordable and efficient in New York, and walking between major sights is surprisingly easy. Taxis and Uber/Lyft cars are also readily available. Taxis are the best option for those with lots of luggage or arriving late/early. If arriving on the eve of a major public holiday, or very late at night, booking a car service in advance can save time, but there are usually plenty of yellow cabs and Uber cars available 24/7.
Getting to Manhattan from Newark Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport is across the Hudson River in New Jersey, around 14 miles southwest of Times Square. Newark Airport Express runs to Grand Central Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Bryant Park every 20 to 45 minutes daily between 4 am and 1 am. The journey takes around 50 minutes depending on traffic.
The one-way fare is $18.70. Go Airport Shuttle runs shared minibus services to hotels in Manhattan, but this must be reserved in advance and times must be flexible. Taxis from Newark into Manhattan charge around $55 to $75 metered fare, plus additional fees and gratuity. Expect to spend around $85–100 to most hotels in Midtown Manhattan (allow 45 to 60 minutes).
Getting to Manhattan from JFK
JFK International Airport is located in Queens, around 14 miles southeast of Times Square in Manhattan. The cheapest way into the city is to take the AirTrain from the terminal to the Jamaica or Howard Beach stations in Queens. From either station, it’s just $2.75 into the city on the subway. Taxis charge a flat rate of $70 to anywhere in Manhattan from JFK, plus additional fees and surcharges.
Getting to Manhattan from LaGuardia
LaGuardia Airport is in northern Queens, around 8 miles northeast of Times Square. LaGuardia is not connected to the subway system, so the cheapest way into the city is to take a local bus. Taxis from LaGuardia use the meter and are usually good value; expect to pay $35–45 into Manhattan plus tip and surcharges.
Are you planning on taking a bite out of The Big Apple? If so, you’re probably struggling to choose where to stay in New York City. Hey, no worries; New York is understandably overwhelming. With a bit of research, however, you should be able to find an ideal New York location for your travel goals.
To help you decide where to stay in New York City, we’ve put together this fun NYC location guide. If you’re still debating where to stay in New York City, please take a few moments to read the hot tips below.
Where To Stay In New York City – A Guide For All Kinds Of Tourists
Honestly, there’s no “perfect spot” for tourists to stay in NYC. Finding your ideal location will depend on what you want to get out of your NYC trip.
Before choosing where to stay in New York City, we strongly suggest writing a list of your “Gotham goals.” Having a clear understanding of your travel priorities will help you choose from the districts listed below.
Do you have your Big Apple bucket list ready? Fantastic! Now let’s take a quick tour of some of the best areas to stay in New York.
Ultra-Touristy, But Ultra-Convenient: Why Most Tourists End Up In Midtown
You won’t find a more central location than Midtown Manhattan. I mean, hello, it’s literally called Midtown!
Almost all of the must-see NYC attractions are either in or near this prime district. Here’s just a sampling of attractions you can easily visit from a hotel or Airbnb in Midtown:
- The Empire State Building
- Carnegie Hall
- The Museum of Modern Art
- Lincoln Square
- Times Square
- Saint Patrick’s Cathedral
- The New York Public Library
- Bryant Park
- The United Nations Headquarters
- Grand Central Terminal
- Rockefeller Center
- Madison Square Garden
- Central Park
With all of these stellar attractions, it’s no surprise tourists consider Midtown the best place to stay in New York. Although Midtown isn’t “authentic NYC,” first-time tourists will undoubtedly enjoy the convenience this part of the city offers them.
As a word of warning, Midtown hotels tend to fill up months in advance, especially before big events like New Year’s. If you want to take advantage of all Midtown has to offer, then be sure you book your room as early as possible.
Bunk With Bankers & Brokers: An Alternative Suggestion For First-Time Visitors
Midtown will always remain NYC’s most touristy district. That doesn’t mean, of course, all first-time tourists need to stay there.
As an alternative, we encourage new tourists to consider staying in Manhattan’s Financial District. Trust us, NYC’s FiDi is anything but bland. Indeed, history buffs will have a blast exploring remnants of “old New York” on the cobblestoned Stone Street and in the well-preserved Fraunces Tavern. Foodies will also enjoy the many cafes and restaurants in this delightful district.
The main reason we suggest new tourists stay in FiDi, however, has to do with its proximity to many top-rated attractions. Here’s a list of sites you can easily reach from a hotel in FiDi:
- The Statue of Liberty
- Ellis Island
- Battery Park
- Wall Street
- The Charging Bull Statue
- The One World Trade Center
- The 9/11 Memorial
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Governors Island
- St. Peter’s Church
In case you were wondering, it’s about a 20-minute subway ride between Wall Street Station and Times Square. So, whether you stay Downtown or Midtown, you shouldn’t have issues exploring the hot attractions in both of these tourist-friendly areas.
Get Your Grub On: Fantastic Places For Foodies In NYC
Thanks to its long history as an immigration hub, NYC boasts one of the world’s most eclectic food scenes. Travelers who are most concerned about gobbling gourmet goodies—and less concerned about counting calories—might want to consider staying in an NYC foodie hotspot.
Although you could find a delish dish almost anywhere in NYC, Chelsea and Tribeca have recently gained a lot of attention in foodie circles. You’ll have no issues finding dining delights in both of these trendy districts, especially around the famed Chelsea Market.
Whether you want sumptuous sushi, fancy French food, or terrific tacos, Chelsea and Tribeca won’t disappoint.
If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, however, then you should stay as close to Chinatown as possible. In this energetic ethnic enclave, you’ll find some of the oldest and best-reviewed Chinese restaurants outside of the Middle Kingdom.
As a bonus, Chinatown is within walking distance of Little Italy. So, if you ever tire of all that delectable dim sum, be sure to pick up an authentic NYC thin-crust pie.
Oh yeah, we can’t talk about NYC’s foodie scene without mentioning the massive Smorgasburg food market in Brooklyn. Almost every weekend, thousands of food-loving New Yorkers descend on Williamsburg to sample as many dishes as they can stomach.
By the way, Williamsburg has become a foodie haven in its own right, so be sure to check out hotels here if you’re hungry for a palate-pleasing vacation.
For Artsy Types: Trendy Districts To Admire NYC’s Artistic Side
Warhol. Pollock. Dylan. We could go on for days listing artists, musicians, and writers that lived and worked in NYC. To this day, New York City remains one of the world’s leading centers for contemporary art, music, and fashion. So, it’s no surprise many tourists visiting NYC are interested in soaking in the city’s storied artistic heritage.
For most people, Greenwich Village is NYC’s most stereotypically “bohemian” neighborhood. In the 21st century, however, “The Village” is better known for its super-pricey real estate than its countercultural vibe.
While NYU’s campus gives this area plenty of youthful energy, Greenwich Village is no longer the center of NYC’s contemporary art scene. We only suggest staying in Greenwich or West Village if you’re looking for a relaxing district with plenty of greenery, restaurants, and jazz clubs.
If you’re more interested in exploring NYC’s cutting-edge art scene, then we suggest looking into The Bowery or East Village. Both of these districts are home to some of NYC’s most exciting galleries and museums, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the International Center of Photography Museum, and the Anthology Film Archives.
Speaking of films, we can’t forget about the Tribeca area. Best known for the annual Tribeca Film Festival, this Lower Manhattan district has a unique “industrial chic” ambiance. You’ll find plenty of pretty boutiques, restaurants, and galleries in Tribeca, even if you’re not in town for the springtime film festival.
What Are The Safest Areas In New York City?
No matter where you travel, safety is always an important consideration. Thankfully, NYC has come a long way in terms of security since the late-20th century. In fact, crime rates in New York City have been on a steady downtrend over the past few decades.
So, statistically speaking, your chance of getting harmed in NYC is far lower than in other popular American cities like New Orleans or Chicago. Indeed, it’s far more likely you’d get involved in a car crash than a violent crime while in New York.
That being said, certain areas of NYC continue to have elevated crime rates, especially the Bronx. Most of these districts, however, are far from where most tourists would be interested in visiting.
If you’re concerned about safe places to stay in New York, then you should know these locations usually have higher-than-average crime rates:
- The Meatpacking District – Manhattan
- Downtown Brooklyn
- South Bronx
- Harlem – Manhattan
- Koreatown – Manhattan
If you’re super worried about your safety, then you might be interested to know these are typically considered the best neighborhoods to stay in New York:
- The Upper West Side – Manhattan
- Battery Park City – Manhattan
- Lincoln Square – Manhattan
- The Upper East Side – Manhattan
- Borough Park – Brooklyn
FYI: parents traveling to NYC should try to book a room in the Upper West Side. With its lovely green spaces and cozy restaurants, the Upper West Side often ranks as one of the best places to live in New York City. Plus, the Upper West Side is home to many kid-friendly attractions like the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the Hayden Planetarium, and the American Museum of Natural History.
A Quick Aside: When Should You Visit New York City?
OK, we know this article is all about where to stay in New York City, but we should at least mention when you should visit The Big Apple. No matter where you choose to stay in NYC, you will pay higher room rates during peak season.
Generally, tourist experts recommend visiting NYC in the spring or autumn. During these seasons, you won’t have to worry about the “asphalt-enhanced” summer heat or the ridiculously cold winter nights. In addition to milder times, spring and autumn seasons tend to have fewer tourist crowds as long as you avoid big events (e.g., the UN General Assembly, Fashion Week, and Thanksgiving).
For those who are only concerned about saving some dough, consider booking a trip after New Year’s in January or February. While these are typically the cheapest months to visit, they are also the coldest, so be sure to pack plenty of hand warmers.
Midtown: The Heartbeat of New York City
Midtown is the neighborhood to stay in if you’re a first-timer who wants to play tourist and win the game! This is primarily the area between 30th and 50th streets and encompasses Times Square and Broadway, so if you want to step out of your hotel and into the iconic New York you’ve seen in so many movies, this is the place to be. But be warned – you will have to brave sometimes overwhelming crowds of people.
Midtown is one of the more expensive areas because it is right in the heart of the city, so keep this in mind. And it has the largest concentration of hotels in the city. The selections can be eclectic, like Pod51, a budget hotel with bunk beds that support its maritime theme. Posh is also an option. Try CitizenM Times Square – there you can enjoy the immortal and incredible New York skyline at their rooftop bar.
Midtown also includes Grand Central Station and Port Authority Bus Terminal, both travel hubs where you can find reasonably priced accommodation (remember,this is New York!). Alternatively, you can go a little farther in the other direction, to what could be called the lower upper west side – Lincoln Center on 62nd street.
It is a little cheaper and right in the center of culture in New York City, including many museums that can be visited on a tiny budget. It’s also considered the safest neighborhood in which to stay in Manhattan.
Why Stay at Midtown Manhattan?
- Central Location: Midtown Manhattan is at the heart of New York City, making it a convenient base for exploring other parts of the city.
- Iconic Attractions: Home to landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center.
- Broadway Shows: Stay close to the world-famous Broadway theater district, where you can catch a variety of plays, musicals, and performances.
- Shopping: Offers a plethora of shopping options, from high-end boutiques on Fifth Avenue to unique local shops.
- Dining: A diverse range of dining options, from upscale restaurants to iconic delis and international cuisines.
- Business Hub: Many major companies and business centers are located in Midtown, making it ideal for business travelers.
- Transportation: Excellent public transportation connections, including major subway lines and bus routes.
- Cultural Institutions: Proximity to renowned institutions like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the New York Public Library.
- Architecture: Marvel at the stunning skyscrapers and historic buildings that define the city’s skyline.
- Vibrant Nightlife: From trendy bars to classic pubs, there’s always something happening after dark in Midtown.
Staying in Midtown Manhattan ensures you’re in the midst of the action, with easy access to everything the city has to offer. Whether you’re a tourist, business traveler, or just looking for a fun night out, Midtown has something for everyone.
Meatpacking District: The Trendsetter’s Paradise
Yes, the meatpacking district. Unexpected, huh? The district includes Chelsea, on the west side in the twenties, as well as the South Street Seaport waterfront. This is a perfect area if you fall in a younger demographic. Most of the hottest and hidden clubs and nightlife are in this district. Hey, this is where Carrie’s bungalow was located on “Sex and the City,” so there must be something special about it!
Although the district itself has a kind of industrial vibe at times, nearby Chelsea and Union Square are bustling with the indie activity of New York. Chelsea has the High Line, a beautiful new installation where you can admire nature on a renovated train line above the city sidewalks. If you can afford to break the bank, stay at the luxurious Standard High Line Hotel.
Union Square, on the other hand, is a hub of activity. It’s a nexus that connects various parts of the city, making it an ideal base for those looking to explore. The Union Square subway station is a major transit point, allowing easy access to the east and west sides, uptown, downtown, and midtown. Beyond its transportation convenience, Union Square is also known for its vibrant farmer’s market, eclectic shops, and diverse dining options. For travelers on a budget, this area offers a range of hotels that are more wallet-friendly compared to the more tourist-centric parts of the city.
Why Stay in the Meatpacking District?
- Historic Charm: Once an industrial zone, the Meatpacking District has retained its cobbled streets and warehouse buildings, giving it a unique blend of old and new.
- High Line Park: This elevated linear park offers stunning views of the city and the Hudson River. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll. Official Website
- Boutique Shopping: The district boasts a range of high-end boutiques and designer stores, making it a haven for fashion enthusiasts.
- Vibrant Nightlife: Known for its trendy clubs, bars, and restaurants, the Meatpacking District is a hotspot for nightlife in NYC.
- Art and Culture: Proximity to the Whitney Museum of American Art, which showcases 20th-century and contemporary art. Official Website
- Dining Scene: Offers a diverse range of dining options, from upscale restaurants to chic cafes and eateries.
- Chelsea Market: A food and shopping hall housed in a former biscuit factory, offering a variety of gourmet foods, shops, and eateries. Official Website
- Proximity to the Hudson River: Enjoy waterfront activities, parks, and scenic views along the Hudson.
- Fashion and Tech Hub: The district has become a hub for tech companies and fashion houses, making it a modern and dynamic area of the city.
- Events and Festivals: The Meatpacking District often hosts events, festivals, and pop-ups, ensuring there’s always something happening in the area.
The Meatpacking District offers a blend of history, culture, and modernity, making it a must-visit for both tourists and locals. Whether you’re interested in art, fashion, or just a great night out, this district has it all.
West Side, Manhattan: A Blend of Culture, Greenery, and Urban Sophistication
Lower Manhattan encompasses a few neighborhoods that represent the gritty myths and truths about New York City. They can be found on both the east and west sides of the urban jungle.
Greenwich Village: The Bohemian Heart of Manhattan
On the West Side is Greenwich Village, (or The Village, as it is commonly known). The grid pattern ends here and the wild wandering begins! The Village has fantastic restaurants and is famed for artists, many of whom can be found in the legendary Washington Square Park. The park is home to New York’s own mini version of the Arc of Triumph in Paris.
Greenwich Village is a departure from the structured grid pattern that characterizes much of Manhattan. Here, winding streets lead to hidden gems, and every corner seems to tell a story. The Village is a melting pot of culture, history, and creativity.
- Artistic Legacy: Over the decades, The Village has been a haven for artists, writers, and musicians. Icons like Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Jack Kerouac once roamed these streets, drawing inspiration from its vibrant atmosphere.
- Washington Square Park: At the heart of The Village lies Washington Square Park, a bustling gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. Street performers, chess players, and artists converge here, all under the shadow of the park’s iconic Washington Square Arch—a nod to Paris’s Arc de Triomphe.
- Culinary Delights: The Village boasts an eclectic mix of eateries, ranging from historic speakeasies and jazz clubs to contemporary cafes and fine dining establishments. Every culinary journey here is a testament to New York’s diverse palate.
Soho: Where Bohemian Meets Luxury
Nearby and still on the West Side is Soho, a boho neighborhood that is chic and upscale. You will find more variety in accommodation here than in the Village, which is still a primarily residential neighborhood. However, the hotels tend to be expensive.
- Fashion Central: Soho is a shopper’s paradise. From high-end designer boutiques to quirky independent stores, the neighborhood offers a shopping experience like no other in the city. The area is particularly renowned for its luxury brands and avant-garde fashion houses.
- Art and Culture: Soho’s artistic roots run deep. The neighborhood is dotted with art galleries, showcasing everything from contemporary art to classic masterpieces. The area was once the epicenter of New York’s art scene in the 1970s and 1980s, and its legacy continues today.
- Accommodation: While Greenwich Village is predominantly residential, Soho offers a broader range of accommodations. Boutique hotels, with their chic designs and luxury amenities, are a common sight. However, given the neighborhood’s upscale nature, travelers should be prepared for a heftier price tag.
In essence, the West Side’s Greenwich Village and Soho are more than just neighborhoods—they’re experiences. Whether you’re soaking in the artistic ambiance of The Village or indulging in the luxury of Soho, the memories you create here will undoubtedly be unforgettable.
Financial District/Bowery: The Pulse of New York
Bustling by day, sleepy by night, but always exciting! The financial district has undergone a lot of redevelopment, making it a much more attractive neighborhood in which to rest your head. During the day, it’s packed with stockbrokers but also with sights to see.
The financial district includes one world trade center, the memorial complex commemorating 9/11. It’s the oldest neighborhood in New York, so you can take in a sense of history, while modern gentrification has led to lots of trendy new stores and restaurants to keep you firmly rooted in the present. Plus, when it clears out at night, you can get the much-needed sleep that isn’t possible in most parts of “the city that never sleeps.”
Adjacent to the Financial District, the Bowery stands as a testament to New York’s ever-evolving cultural landscape. Once synonymous with bohemian vibes and counterculture, the Bowery has transformed, yet retains its edgy spirit.
Fittingly, that avant-garde atmosphere still permeates the streets. Plus, CitizenM has a second Bowery location! The Bowery also remains a more affordable option than Times Square or other downtown Manhattan areas.
Why Stay in the Financial District/Bowery?
- Historic Significance: The Financial District is the birthplace of New York City and the US financial market, home to the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve Bank.
- World Trade Center & 9/11 Memorial: Pay respects at the poignant 9/11 Memorial and explore the impressive World Trade Center complex. Official Website
- Stunning Architecture: Marvel at the mix of historic buildings and modern skyscrapers, including the iconic One World Observatory. Official Website
- Battery Park: A green oasis at the southern tip of Manhattan, offering views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
- Bowery’s Rich Culture: Once known as NYC’s Skid Row, Bowery has transformed into a hub of art, music, and culture.
- Diverse Dining: From upscale restaurants in the Financial District to eclectic eateries in Bowery, there’s a wide range of culinary delights.
- Proximity to Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Bridge offers a scenic walk to Brooklyn, providing stunning views of the city skyline.
- Museums and Galleries: Explore institutions like the Museum of American Finance and numerous art galleries in Bowery.
- Shopping: Discover unique boutiques, luxury shops, and the historic South Street Seaport with its array of shops and eateries.
- Vibrant Nightlife: Bowery is known for its live music venues, trendy bars, and historic performance spaces like the Bowery Ballroom.
Staying in the Financial District/Bowery offers a blend of history, finance, culture, and entertainment. It’s a dynamic area that showcases the evolution of New York City from its origins to its modern-day grandeur.
Where To Stay In Manhattan on a Budget
Of course, Manhattan is one of the most expensive areas in the world! Any of the options above are accessible if money is no object. But if you’re traveling on a budget, there are plenty of neighborhoods where you won’t miss a beat just because of your bank account! Below you will find some recommendations for the cheapest Manhattan neighborhoods.
Upper West Side
Yes, the Upper West Side is primarily a residential area. This means you’ll encounter authentic New York restaurants and shops, offering a genuine glimpse into “a day in the life of a New Yorker.” What you won’t come across are tourist traps. Instead, you’ll discover Zabar’s, arguably the most iconic New York deli in history, located on 81st and Broadway. Regardless of where you’re staying, it’s a must-visit for a classic bagel, coffee, and a selection of gourmet cheeses and meats.
Some standout attractions on the Upper West Side include:
- Gray’s Papaya: The quintessential New York hot dog joint.
- Museums lining Central Park West.
- The Dakota: The historic high-rise building where John Lennon lived and tragically lost his life.
- Loews 84th Street: One of the city’s oldest free-standing multiplexes.
- Symphony Space on 96th St.: A vibrant community performing arts center.
The Upper West Side is often touted as one of the most affordable places to stay in Manhattan. It’s also renowned for being safe and exceptionally family-friendly. If you’re traveling with children, don’t miss out on Riverside Park along the Hudson River, and consider enjoying a picnic courtesy of Zabar’s offerings.
For budget-conscious travelers, the Hi NYC Hostel on 107th street comes highly recommended. Not only does it boast top ratings and a plethora of amenities, but it also hosts entertaining activities, including occasional small film festivals. As an added bonus, it’s situated near Tom’s Restaurant on 110th and Broadway. Fans of the show will instantly recognize it as the iconic “Seinfeld” coffee shop.
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is a vibrant tapestry of neighborhoods, each radiating its own unique charm.
East Village stands out as an exceptionally lively and trendy neighborhood, potentially outshining its western counterpart. At its heart lies St. Marks Place, a dynamic stretch teeming with intimate clubs that once hosted legendary rock stars. This area is also a haven for vinyl enthusiasts with its record stores, and it boasts an array of distinctive bars, eateries, and vintage shops. Immerse yourself in the East Village and embrace the punk rocker ethos — from dining to dressing!
Adjacent to the East Village, Battery Park City showcases the transformative power of urban rejuvenation. This area, rich in history, was once a hunting and fishing ground for Native Americans before becoming an integral part of Manhattan. Today, it’s a verdant waterfront retreat, especially appealing given its proximity to the Financial District. If you’re seeking accommodation deals, weekends are particularly enticing. As business travelers retreat, excellent lodging offers emerge, making it an ideal time for leisure travelers to explore and relax.
Take Your Time Reviewing NYC’s Many Districts
We hope our list of the best neighborhoods in NYC has given you plenty to think about while planning your trip to The Empire City. As long as you write out your New York itinerary beforehand, you shouldn’t have a tough time picking the perfect spot for your needs.
Whether you stay in touristy Midtown, trendy Chelsea, or artsy Williamsburg, try your best to choose a hotel near a subway station. Of all the transportation options offered in NYC, the subway remains the fastest and most economical way to see all of this city’s electrifying sites.
Born and raised amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, I’ve witnessed the city’s many exciting phases. When I’m not exploring the city or penning down my thoughts, you can find me sipping on a cup of coffee at my favorite local café, playing chess or planning my next trip. For the last twelve years, I’ve been living in South Williamsburg with my partner Berenike.