Sleep on This
So, you crash-landed in New York City with no place to lay your head. Worry not. While the Big Apple's a notoriously tight ship when it comes to housing, New Yorkers hate Bush so much they're literally rolling out their den carpets for demonstrators like you. Go to the online housing board at COUNTERCONVENTION.ORG and check the listings. The number of folks posting spaces exceeded requests, though some big church group from Georgia could easily max out lots of sofas, so act fast. If you're stuck or need to house a big group, call the housing working group's hotline (212-696-6625) or e-mail email@example.com.
Cheap lodging can also be had at one of the YMCAs around town. Call their central reservation line (917-441-8800) or go to ymcanyc.org and click on "Guest Rooms" for info on branches around the city. At press time, the West Side and Harlem Y's were booked from August 30th to September 2nd, but the other branches had singles and doubles ranging from $40 to $95.
See the BRECHT FORUM's useful lodging guide (brechtforum.org/htm/lodging.htm) for the lowdown on relatively low-cost hotels and hostels. Or go directly to hostels.com/us.ny.ny.html for a complete listing of NYC hostels, like the CHELSEA CENTER (313 West 29th Street, 212-643-0214) and the MANHATTAN INN HOSTEL (303 West 30th Street, 212-629-4064), both located within three blocks of Madison Square Garden.
At press time, the CENTRAL PARK HOSTEL (19 West 103rd Street, 212-678-0491) still had dorm beds from $26 to $30, though you must show a foreign passport or out-of-state ID to stay there.
If you're the outdoors type, the folks at CAMPSHUTDOWN.COM have compiled info on campgrounds and trailer parks as close as Jersey City, plus handy legal info should you attempt to pitch a tent in NYC. Warning: It's illegal to camp in city parks, and the parks department is pretty vigilant about this. But the righteous activists of the POOR PEOPLE'S ECONOMIC HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN are setting up mobile "Bushvilles" in vacant lots and other areas around the city to dramatize the rise in homelessness under Dubya's watch. If you're down for the fight and want to camp with them, call their march hotline at 888-233-1948 or go to marchforourlives.org.
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