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**** If I had a dollar for all the emails i receive from people telling me they are stuck in NYC with no money and their hosts bailed on them - I could run a free hotel in Midtown for the whole Couchsurfing Community :) While NY might have a reputation for being a hard city - the people who live here tend to be honest and pretty direct, so here are a few tips in advance if you want to enjoy your stay here and have a great CS experience
a) BRING MONEY - sounds obvious, but 3/4 of the people tell me they dont have $$ for a hotel or even a hostel - if that is the case, then save up and come later. Also, if you want to meet your host ahead of time for drinks or dinner to feel safe, that is a good idea, but please, dont expect the host to have to pay for you, if anything, if someone is hosting you, the least you can do is offer to take them to dinner. Finally, I get alot of questions about Broadway shows since I live in Times Square, the cheapest tickets you will ever find are about $75 a seat, any new or hot show is closer to $175.
b) DONT CUT AND PASTE the same request to multiple hosts - I received a lovely 3 paragraph request the other day, telling me about all the reasons why someone loved the whole spirit of CouchSurfing and really wanted to stay with me as their host, the only problem was,, they started the request by saying....... DEAR LISA
c) Have a backup plan - its great if you can find a host who offers you 7 days or maybe more at their place, but things dont always work out. Some hosts bail before even meeting their surfers - have at least one other host as a backup plan or at least the money to stay in a hostel
d) Give the host a REASON why you would be a great guest. No host is going to think.... "I cant wait to host Daniel - he just spent 2 months working at a camp in Montana and really wants to go to NYC...
With all that said, I would love to Share my experience of living in the greatest city in the world - right in the heart of Times Square with equally extraordinary people. I take alot of pride that EVERY SINGLE GUEST who I have hosted and s left a review on this site has had a great experience staying with me, and I would rather host less people but make sure their time spent here is Extraordinary
Most important..., I am not nearly as harsh as I sounded in the above paragraph -: ) I just feel strongly that the few people who abuse the system tarnish it for the rest of us.
Living in the heart of NYC in Times Square is probably the best way one can get the true NYC experience. As a frequent traveler, I like to always immerse myself in culture and meet new people, and this is a way to give back to my fellow travelers and make new friends
I receive over 20 requests a day, and cannot answer all of them, so to please save us both time, please note the following (sorry if this sounds harsh)
a) NO COUPLES (2 males or 2 females are fine)
b) if you are simply looking for a cheaper alternative to a hotel, I have listed a link to hostels below. Please do not email me simply to ask if you can use my apartment because you will be in town and need a free place to stay for you and your friends that don't even have profiles in here
c) if there is more than 1 person, please make sure the other person has either a CS profile or one on Facebook and SEND THE LINK. If i am letting strangers into my home, I would like to get a sense of who i am hosting.
*** Getting past that, I really am a nice guy and I care that if I do host someone, that they have a great experience. Hopefully, you can see that ANYONE I HAVE EVER HOSTED HAS LEFT GREAT REFERENCES and I promise that if you are respectful and show me a good time it will be reciprocated. Also, if you made it this far, my name is Neil, so if you do email me, and write my name as opposed to my screen name - you get extra points -:)
For those simply looking for cheap places to stay in NYC or need a backup plan, feel free to use this link - which is sorted by price
Treat people the same way you would want to be treated yourself
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I was probably couch surfing long before this site ever got started. Thankfully, I have done well enough that I can afford nice hotels now, but always happy to give back to good people
I have a VERY nice condo in the middle of Times Square - high enough for great views and very quiet so I can be VERY picky about who I host.Building has a full gym, pool, jacuzzi, sauna so bring your bathing suit if you want to relax or gym clothes if you want to work out.
Note... I routinely rent my apartment on AirB&B for over $250 - $500 a night, so please give me a good reason why I should be hosting you
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Dinner with Bill Clinton- guessing Hillary wasn't too jealous of that although he did manage to ask for my girlfriends phone number who was at least 40 years younger ;)
Teach, Learn, Share
if you have made it this far down, you deserve some bonus points
NYC is very expensive, but a true New Yorker knows how to use the internet to save a ton of money, so I will share my 4 favorite tricks here, just for you
For Broadway show tickets, if you go to TKTS on 47th and Broadway, they offer many popular shows at 50% off. If you want to save even more money, if you go to the theater directly after 6pm, they have "rush tickets" for seats that havent sold out, for as low as $20 - but your odds are probably less than 25% and it usually wont work for the newest and most popular shows
For all other stuff, i use these 2 sites below. You can do sorts by category, location, discount. great way to save $$$ on restaurants and attractions.
Finally, for reviews of restaurants, shows, attractions and anything else, go to www.yelp.com or just put whatever you want reviewed into google....for example if you google
Empire State Building Yelp
you will get reviews of the Empire State Building
Hope these help!!!
What I Can Share with Hosts
Just a hint...Hosts want to know why you want to stay with them as opposed to a hotel/hostel and what you have to offer . That is the true spirit of Couchsurfing
Countries I’ve Visited
Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom