Consider “sixth borough” cities like Hoboken and Jersey City, just across the Hudson, where people typically commute to Manhattan in a half-hour. (Best spots in Jersey City are close to the PATH train on Journal Square or the brownstone Downtown area near Grove Street, Exchange Place or Newport stations). Hoboken is only a mile square, so anywhere is just a short walk to a bus or train into the city.
Farther out, towns like Montclair, N.J., and Stamford, Conn., have corporate hotel rooms and home sharing rentals. From Manhattan, Stamford is reachable in less than an hour on Metro North or Amtrak and Montclair is a 45-minute maximum bus or train ride. Once you’re in midtown Manhattan, multiple subway routes can take you anywhere the action is.
The main events
As far as activities go, there are so many things happening in New York, your head may spin right off your body. There is the opening ceremony at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the closing ceremony in Times Square (we told you this was the Olympics). Barclays tickets start at $45 and will buy time with Chaka Khan and Cyndi Lauper. The closing ceremony, which stars Melissa Etheridge and the Tony-nominated Broadway cast of “The Prom,” is free but you need to register in advance.
And then there’s the Pride March, the big event on Sunday, the 30th, which this year runs down Fifth Avenue from 26th Street to the Village, makes a turn and then heads up Seventh Avenue past the Stonewall Inn (sight of the uprising 50 years ago) and then up to Chelsea. Organizers expect 150,000 marchers and more than 160 floats featuring Matthew Shepard’s mother and father — Dennis and Judy — who are flying in from Wyoming, the entire cast of “Pose,” Andy Cohen and Bravo’s top stars (yes, the Real Housewives of New York will be there), as well as Proposition 8 plaintiffs Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami.
In years past, parade-watching experts set up inside a bar or restaurant along the route and then ran out from time to time to take in the costumes and floats. But with the crowds expected, that may not be an option. Favorite cavernous bars along the route include Elmo on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea; The Duplex cabaret and piano bar (near the center of it all on Christopher Street); and Otto, located on the corner of Fifth Avenue where the parade will be turning west.
By Helene Stapinski