Any New Yorkers Here? - I Need Your Advice!


I am thinking about going to New York for one month in 2008. I want to train at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn.

I don’t have a great deal of money to spend and so I couldn’t afford to stay in a luxurious hotel. With this in mind, I decided to look on the Internet for reasonably priced accomodation. This is what I found:

It is the Twelve Towns YMCA and is located on Jamaica Avenue, Brooklyn. Does anyone know this place?

The fact that it’s a YMCA puts me off. I hate to sound stupid, but are these places notorious for homosexuals? I mean, are homosexuals known to stay at the YMCA’s in America?

What about the area? Is this part of Brooklyn rough or dangerous? I’ve heard that Jamaica Queens is bad but I don’t know if this is the same place.

Also, Gleason’s Gym is located on Front Street, Brooklyn. Is this far from this YMCA. How long would it take me to get from the Twelve Towns YMCA to the Gym and would it cost a lot in a taxi cab?

What is the cost of living like in Brooklyn. I was thinking of taking around £800-1000 ($1624-2030) spending money with me for the month. Would I be able to live well on this money? Out of this I would have to buy food and travel expenses. Other than that, it would just be for having a good time.

Could you please give me some advice about New York City? I will be travelling alone and I could use some good advice. Even general information would be great, for example, what is the subway like? What areas should I avoid? Is there anything that you recommend seeing or doing?


I lived in NYC for a while but I lived in Manhattan and am no expert in Brooklyn - I don’t think the area that is in is terrible, though. Forget what you’ve heard about NYC anyway, overall it is very safe. The subways are fine, the only time to be concerned with is very late night you have some vagrants that sleep in the subway and late at night there aren’t as many people around so you might feel a bit uneasy. You could live on the money you are bringing. Not extravagently, but you could make it.


Although I’m not in New York, if you already have made contact and a committment with the gym, perhaps one of the trainers/staff there could answer your questions or give you advice, as you are probbaly not the first out-of-towner to train there.



I’m a retired New York City Police Officer. I don’t know much about Brooklyn. I did look up the location of the Ymca and Gleason’s. Gleason’s is in South Brooklyn which has been redeveloped nicely if I recall. The Y is in the 75 precinct. That is one of the most violent precincts in the City. ( In NYC, Precinct’s are basically Police Districts.) Your likely accent will announce you as a foriegner, which means you are unarmed and alone. You would be a likely target. Our criminals may not be brilliant, but they know their craft.
Also your train, or subway ride will be slow and plodding, through some more dangerous neighborhood’s. You would likely not find a legitimate cab to take you from the YMCA or back there. There are livery cabs, but they are basically unregulated and may try to take advantae of your lack of knowledge of the roadways and scam you for a few extra dollars.
I will attempt to get in touch with an old friend who spent a lot of time working Brooklyn and get you some more exact info. I will look for some more local info, especially local organizations that can give you better info. Feel free to contact me. Dan


I would not stay in that area if I were you. I grew up very close by in Ozone Park. Just a short walk from where you are looking. It was bad 30 years ago and is bad now.

No cabs. Bus service is available and the subways are not as convenient as in Manhattan.

Maybe you could find a room to rent nearer the gym?


When riding on the subways, don’t make eye contact with anyone.

Realize that the subways in New York City are not as clean, crystal clear, or user friendly as the Tubes in England.

You don’t buy all day passes for the subway in New York. While down in the subway, after swiping your paid card and entering through the turnstyles, you can freely travel from subway train to subway train. As soon as you exit the turnstyles, however, to come to the city surface, it will cost you more money to reenter the turnstyles and board the subway again. You can potentially pay for multiple trips, on the same card, at the same time, however.

Beware when crossing the street that vehicles are on the right side of the road, and can often make right hand turns legally, even when the traffic lights are red.

Realize that the drivers do NOT need to stop at crosswalks for you, the way they do in England.

If something weird happens, like say some drunk guy dressed in a chicken suit starts hopping around like a kangaroo and meowing like a cat, don’t act as if it is anything unusual, as strange things are commonplace in New York City.

I hope that helps. .


You CAN by all day Metrocards for the subway / buses. You can also by unlimited weekly or monthly passes. The subways are 95% full of normal, decent people going to and from work. New Yorkers are not monsters, people. I lived in NY and my husband is from NY and I found the majority of people in the city to be nice and helpful. Maybe in a rush all of the time, but not hateful people.

I will agree with the chicken suit comment though! :slight_smile:


In fact, it’s ten points if they hit you. :stuck_out_tongue:

All good advice here. This may be a silly question but why are you traveling all the way from the UK to train in BROOKLYN? :eek:


This may be a silly question but why are you traveling all the way from the UK to train in BROOKLYN?

America is the boxing capital of the world. It has always had the best gyms, fighters, and trainers.

I want to go to Gleasons because it is one of the most famous gyms in the world. World Champions have trained there. Plus, one of my favourite fighters, Carlos Ortiz, trains people there.

I’m not staying on Jamaica Ave because I’ve heard bad things about it. Does anyone have any recommendations for cheap accommodation in New York?

Thanks for the advice everyone.


Ah! I see. Good luck! :thumbsup:

Remember ‘New York’ is huge—you might be able to stay somewhere in the borough of Queens (maybe less expensive?) and take a train in, unless you need to be really close to the gym.

I don’t live IN NYC, but about an hour or two away—and haven’t been into the city for years. I’m sure someone has more current and better info for you.


Ooo, just thought of something. Look up the parish that gym is in and contact them for info!

Diocese of Brooklyn


I just looked at the map, and I realized that I know what parish the YMCA is in. The YMCA is in the parish St. Michael-St. Malachy. I talked to the priest of this parish last week. This is a GREAT parish, however, the area surrounding the parish is a little nasty.

I don’t know what parish the gym is in.

If, for some reason, you do end up staying at the YMCA anyway, be sure to visit the parish…


I’ve found another YMCA in Midtown Manhattan that seems much better. It’s on East 47th Street and is in very close proximity to St Patrick’s Cathedral. Apparently this is the seat of Archbishop Egan. I will attend Mass at the Cathedral if I stay at this YMCA.

I’ve been told that the gym is about 30 minutes away on the subway. Although this is a long distance, I would rather stay in Manhattan because I am closer to the main sites and it is a better area.


I’ve always wanted to go to St. Pat’s. :slight_smile:


Perhaps I’m biased because I grew up there, but Staten Island is affordable, clean, safe, beautiful (most of it anyway), and is easily accessible to Brooklyn by bus. You can probably find a studio or one-bedroom apartment on the side of someone’s house for $900-1000 per month, possibly even as low as 750 or 800 if you know where to look (or if you speak Sicilian/Neapolitan…we take care of our own :thumbsup: ). My sister currently rents a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood for only $1400/month. That’s a steal in NYC if you want to live somewhere safe.


Here is where Gleason’s is located…

Here is the NYC subway map…

You should see on the Manhattan side of the subway the Rockefeller 47-50 street station. From there you could take the F train to York Street. Not too bad a ride.

I had coffee with Monseignor Dalla Villa of St. Patrick’s many years ago when I did some technology work for them. He has since passed away. See if you can get a tour. There is more there than meets the eye!

Best of luck.


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