- 89% response rate
- Last login about 2 hours ago
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If you want to CouchSurf with me...
Read my whole profile up to the "Random Things to Know about New York" section! You can skip that section for now, and read once you're in NYC :) If you're on mobile, make sure to click "Read More" under where it says "Accepting Guests."
I try to respond to complete requests within a few hours.
I am born and raised in New York. I grew up in a suburb north of New York City, and have been living in Manhattan since 2013.
I'd consider myself a social introvert. I love meeting new people… but also love exploring on my own. I love to "solo travel", but that's partially because I love to meet new people. How confusing! It is one of my greatest joys to host people I meet abroad in NYC.
I work for a tech company. I'm a data analyst/digital advertising consultant. I used to work in finance. My current job allows for some travel.
I found out about CouchSurfing in 2012 from a fellow traveler. CS made sense to me immediately! I got involved in the NYC CS community in 2012 by attending events. I started hosting in NYC and surfing in 2014.
I like when people write good, complete CS requests with all info I request included ;)
Read more about me in my references!
"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." - Shoutout to Peggy, a CouchSurfer from Shanghai, for this quote.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
The CouchSurfing community means so much to me!
Since 2012 I have had many unique, enriching experiences thanks to CouchSurfing. These experiences come from going to meet ups, organizing meet ups, hosting travelers, surfing while traveling, asking/answering questions on CS message boards. CS is multi-faceted, and I'd recommend everybody experience all the different ways to use it.
I know firsthand how much a good host can influence someone's trip (and life). I aspire to help every Surfer I meet have an amazing time in NYC. As a surfer, don't underestimate what an amazing impact you can have on your host too!
....○ Coaching -- I used to run a youth basketball skills coaching business, and I volunteer coaching a youth basketball team.
....○ Instagram: @keep_wolin
• Circus arts/balance/hand eye related things. Ask me for opportunities to do any of the below with others when you visit NYC!
.......§ Djembe -- Ask to join a drum circle when you visit NYC. To play or dance!
.......§ Guitar (I have one, but don't play)
.......§ Salsa (on 2 mostly)
....○ Spanish (I study, and speak the way maybe a 2 or 3 year old native speaker would :) )
• Board Games. Tell me if (and what) you'd like to play!
I love meeting other travelers, and generally open-minded, reasonable, witty, good-natured people.
- salsa dancing
- board games
- hip-hop music
- data science
Music, Movies, and Books
My preferred style is to do/feel rather than read/watch!
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I let strangers sleep in my home!
CouchSurfing is an incredible thing. I think it's nice to take a step back every once in a while and appreciate that.
Let's talk about the other stuff in person :)
Teach, Learn, Share
To Stay with me...
Include the following in your message:
1. Write "I read your profile, including the 'My Home' section."
2. Write "I would like to surf with you starting on [date, time] until [date, time]." If you are flexible, then tell me that. The more detail, the better.
3. If you have fewer than 5 references, or have not hosted, explain to me why. Also, please bring some gift for my apartment. I "require" this because I've found less experienced CouchSurfers often don't fully understand this community. They understand the 'take' aspect of CouchSurfing, but not the 'give.' CSers should all be in the habit of being generous. If you'd like, we can discuss further :) I care less about the gift itself (please have fun choosing it, be silly, whatever), and more about the mindset that it puts the person in to understand that this is one great way to express gratitude and understand that the give and take culture that is an important part of CS to me.
4. Tell me why you want to CouchSurf rather than stay in a hostel/airbnb/hotel/etc. I think every surfer/host should know the answer to this question.
Feel free to keep your initial request brief. If your logistics (date/time/profile/etc) work for me, then we can work on starting up a more meaningful conversation!
If you are New to CouchSurfing, Please Read Below:
• Before sending requests to surf (or host), I highly recommend you fill out your profile, and start going to local events/getting some references. Why go to local events before hosting/surfing? 1) Talk to other CouchSurfers and learn about their experience with CS. 2) Befriend other CouchSurfers, who can get to know you and tell the CS community about you through references. It is difficult to use CouchSurfing until you have some references (for good reason)! Imagine how hard it is to host someone you know nothing about. Also you might know that it's hard to trust a host that you know nothing about. References are a very important part of CS. 3) Help improve the CS community in your home city! You have more to offer travelers than you may realize. Go to events and help travelers find their way.
• To me, CouchSurfing is NOT a way to score free accommodation while traveling. When I surf, I will give gifts, buy my host dinner/drinks… sometimes I don't save any money vs. staying in a hostel. If free accommodation is the main reason why you're CouchSurfing, please do not send me a request. Also, if free accommodation is the main reason why you are CouchSurfing, my opinion is that you should not be part of the community at all. For me, CouchSurfing is about sharing knowledge, culture, customs, new ideas, experiences, friendship, generosity, and more. So if you send me a request, I will hope you show interest in getting to know my roommates and me!
I wrote a travel blog once. http://drewstanzaniatrip.blogspot.com/
Random Things to Know about New York...
Even if you don't stay with me, read this section!!! If you're in a rush to send me a request, feel free to stop reading here :)
-For local food recommendations... actually, most of us just use Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews to find good restaurants ;) Travelers often find it sexier when they meet someone who has a "hidden, hole in the wall place." In NYC, that hidden hole in the wall place will have 200+ reviews on Yelp, at least in Manhattan! lol
-CS is amazing, but one downside vs. staying in a hostel is that it can be harder to meet travelers. I recommend seeking out CS events, and downloading the CS app and using the Hangouts feature while in NYC to meet other travelers.
-For a true "NYC at rush hour" subway experience, take the subway 7:45-9 AM on weekdays. Or don't. It will be very crowded!
-Use the MTA's Trip Planner (http://tripplanner.mta.info/) for the only accurate source of subway/bus travel in NYC. Other services (like Google Maps, etc.) do not account for all service changes. Weekend service in NYC can be difficult if you do not reference Trip Planner.
-Your Metrocard will allow you 1 free transfer from subway to bus within 2 hours of the initial swipe of your card.
-An "unlimited" Metro Card can be used once every 18 minutes (unless you are swiping again for a free transfer). So it is not possible to share it with a friend with whom you are traveling, easily.
-Your Metrocard works on the Roosevelt Island Tram (leaves Manhattan from E60th street). Take it for cool and unique view of Manhattan, especially at night. And speaking of cool and unique, Roosevelt Island is not quite like any other part of Manhattan! Once on the island you can walk around to the Southern tip, or Northern tip (where the lighthouse is).
-One of my favorite things to do is start around 225th street in Manhattan and then walk the entire island of Manhattan to the South Street Seaport or the Staten Island Ferry terminal. It's about 11 miles and, with stopping, will take about 8 hours. One of the many reasons I like it is because you get to see how quickly the "personality" of NYC changes, how different each neighborhood is.
-For classic view of NYC, go to DUMBO under the Brooklyn Bridge. Spend a full evening here; it's particularly nice at sunset. Make sure you go both northeast and southwest side of the bridge on the Brooklyn side. Good views exist all the way throughout. Over summers you can go to free kayaking here (specific days of the week), also you can pay for skating at the Pier 2 Roller Rink, or play basketball/soccer for free nearby. Some of the best pizza in the world is near there too -- Juliana's. They don't sell slices, they only sell full pies. There is also usually a long line, but if you go at an off-hour, like 4:00, there should not be a line. Don't sweat it if you miss Juliana's -- some of the best pizza in the world is also near my apartment at Patsy's.
-Saturdays and Sundays in Central Park over summer (from May/June until September) starting around 4:00 PM near Bethesda Terrace (72nd Street) go to picnic in Sheep Meadow, visit the volleyball courts (with very competitive play) next to Sheep Meadow, roller blading and skating disco, djembe drum circle, and just wander around. Drinking is not technically legal in public in NYC, but it is common people will have a concealed bottle of wine or some beer. If nobody can see the label, then you shouldn't get in any trouble.
-Check out the underground shopping and food area at Columbus Circle (59th street on the west side, near the southwest corner of Central Park). It feels touristy, but actually it's mostly local New Yorkers who go. It's a cool vibe. There's some very good food down there! Then check out the area around it, between 55th to 80th (the Upper West Side).
-Walking the southern tip of Manhattan is really beautiful (Battery Park), near the World Trade Center.
-Kinda nearby Battery Park is the South Street Seaport -- a nice place to spend an afternoon/evening with restaurants/bars along the water.
-Go to karaoke in K-town. Renting a private booth is kinda expensive (maybe $25 for 2 hours, roughly, per person) and you need a larger group (5+ people) to do it but still fun. You can also go to a place with more "public" karaoke for much cheaper.
-Take the New Jersey Path Train (about $5 round trip, you can use your Metro Card) to Grove Street, walk toward the water and get a great view of the Financial District. It's a similar view to what you get under the Brooklyn Bridge. I'd highly recommend one or the other, and you can even do both (Jersey City + Brooklyn Bridge for great, classic view of NYC). Then eat at one of the restaurants near Grove Street (check Yelp for recommendations).
-Central Park (spend 4+ hours walking the entire length of the park, and maybe plan for a picnic when the weather is nice on the Great Lawn or Sheeps Meadow). Bring a frisbee. You can even ask people to join their frisbee toss, just explain you are traveling to NYC, they should be pretty friendly and let you join. The part of Central Park north of 100th street is less-traveled and really different from other parts of the park, especially over Springtime when the Central Park Flower Conservatory is in full bloom. I'd recommend wandering around there.
-Riverside Park (Upper West Side) is also a great place to walk around. The traveling rings at 100th street on the west side is very cool, especially over summer when circus arts folks are practicing.
-Prospect Park (spend 3+ hours wandering around).
-Brooklyn Bridge Park is amazing at sunset. Then go to Juliana's or Grimaldi's for great pizza (at a sit-down restaurant, not a slice joint!) afterwards.
-Madison Square Park near Flatiron is in a great part of Manhattan and a great spot to spend an afternoon, eat lunch, get a burger and shake from Shake Shack.
-Check out Morningside Park (get ready to climb a mini-mountain, by NYC standards) and then climb upstairs to check out Columbia University's campus.
-Most things in Chinatown :)
-Halal Guys around 53rd and 6th (expect to wait 10-30 mins on line, and beware of the red sauce, it is HOT! But feel free to try some, just not too much!). Take out only.
-Tal Bagels (multiple locations around Upper East Side). Take out or eat in, no waiters.
-Pick a Bagel (multiple locations around NYC, generally is open late). Take out or eat in, no waiters.
-All over Manhattan there are $1 pizza places. Note that this is not "authentic" NYC pizza, but has become a pretty popular option for fast, cheap eats! Take out or eat in, no waiters.
-Patsy's Pizza in East Harlem, by my apartment, for amazing take-out pizza ($2 per slice). Take out or eat in, waiter service.
-A Taste of Seafood in East Harlem by my apartment for fried fish, mac and cheese, fried okra, and corn bread. Take out or eat in, no waiters.
-Chopped Cheese sandwich from any deli in East Harlem. Hajji's (aka Blue Sky Deli) on 110th and 1st may have been home to the first chopped cheese sandwich! Take out only.
SPECIFIC bagel order recommendations:
Note: I never recommend getting the bagel toasted, but among New Yorkers, that is somewhat up for debate as to what is "right." If you trust me, you won't toast the bagel ;)
~~Whole wheat everything with lox spread (lox spread = creamcheese with smoked salmon inside)
~~Poppy bagel with lox spread
~~Whole wheat everything with scallion spread
~~Poppy, sesame, or pumpernickel with scallion spread
-Other things to try at bagel shop
~~Baked k'nish (pronounce kuh-NISH) either spinach or plain (potato).
Standard Price Eats (Remember to tip your waiters 20%!!!):
-Get a group together for Hot Pot and Hometown Hot Pot and BBQ (they also have Korean BBQ here). About $30-35 per person. Eat in with waiter service.
-Eisenberg's Sandwich for a reuben... known to be "New York Jewish food"... better than Katz's in the opinion of many locals... located in Flatiron. Eat in or take out, no waiters.
-Sophie's Cuban Cuisine. Eat in or take out, some locations have waiters.
-Xi'an Famous Foods for incredible hand pulled noodles. Eat in or take out, no waiters.
When the weather is warm/nice many outdoor salsa/bachata dance sessions can be found around midtown Manhattan in the evenings.
Easy tour of the Upper East Side:
1) Start at John Jay Park on 77th and as far east as you can go. Cool little park. If you want food use Yelp, there's a cafe with a lot of good reviews
2) Walk North to Carl Schurz Park. Gracie Mansion is here, where the mayor lives. This is one of my favorite spots in the city, this park. Check out the dog run too.
3) Walk West along 86th street. It's a major street with some cool NY eats like Tal Bagels, Shake Shack, etc.
4) Walk to roughly 97th and 5th. It's where the railroad that services Connecticut and Westchester County (suburb to the north of NYC) goes underground. It's a cool and unique view. Earl's Beer and Cheese is a good local restaurant/bar there.
If you like juggling/circus arts, join the Facebook Group Bryant Park Juggling
If you like slacklining, join the Facebook group NYC Slackliners
If you use a kendama, join Facebook group Kendama NYC
For those 21+
There are CouchSurfing meet ups at bars, usually on the Lower East Side, every Tuesday and Thursday. They are well attended and fun! Good way to meet locals and other travelers.
From Laguardia Airport, if you are staying in Manhattan, I highly recommend the shuttle bus "Newark Airport Express" which drops you in Manhattan near Grand Central Station (42nd street and Park Ave). For JFK Airport service to Manhattan, the Airtrain and Subway work well.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Groceries, stories, good company (I hope!), a friend in NY, gratitude, photography help, basketball expertise... I never show up to a host's empty handed!
Countries I’ve Visited
Argentina, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Grenada, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Countries I’ve Lived In