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Koreatown Manhattan, or Koreatown Flushing?

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So I am planning a trip to New York soon, and am really only going to enjoy the Korean ethnic communities of New York (As I am Korean, and cannot make it to Seoul this summer). So I have a few questions.....

- Where is there a large concentration of Korean businesses (Grocery stores, cosmetic shops, restaurants, bakeries, ETC.)?
- Does Manhattan have a larger Korean concentration of businesses, or does outer New York?
- In which place in either Manhattan or Queens/Flushing can I find a large plethora of Korean culture without having to walk too far from place to place?
- Are there any large Korean stores?
- Where can I find Korean cosmetics and Japanese shampoos (Shiseido Tsubaki)?
- Any good Korean cheap eats?
- And which place can be easily accessed by transportation (A.K.A subway), as I will not be taking my car, I will taking the Acela into New York?
- Where can I find the best Korean karaoke in either area?
- And last, where can I find some good, quality, CLEAN, and inexpensive accommodations in the area?

I really want this to be a great trip, and that means that there will be entire streets covered in Korean businesses (And large varieties on each street, meaning if I don't feel up to it, I won't have to keep hopping in taxis and subway trains to find more Korean).

Thank you so much for any help, I really love spending time in New York!

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  1. Definitely Flushing, concentrated along Northern Blvd. from around Union St. on east. I'd take Long Island Rail Road to the Murray Hill station (one stop past Main St. Flushing). It's just a couple blocks off Northern. Even right by the station there's a small cluster of Korean businesses: restaurants, hofs, etc.

    Outside NYC try Broad Ave. in northern New Jersey, through Palisades Park and other towns. It's a reasonably short ride via NJ Transit bus from Port Authority.

    I should add that both these enclaves are pretty spread out, but a long walk can be rewarding; that is, there won't be a lot of dry stretches with no Korean places. For more detailed info you should post on Outer Boroughs (for Flushing) or Tristate (for NJ).

    1. Manhattan Koreatown is largely one block on 32nd St. between Broadway and 5th Ave., and is exclusively commercial. (There are a few Korean businesses on adjacent streets.) Quite a few restaurants and nightclubs, banks too, and Pinkberry and Red Mango are just doors from each other. Everything on the block is Korean, except for a couple of hotels. A couple blocks from Penn Station, so you could easily take the train or subway if you're staying in Flushing. There's a LaQuinta Inn smack in the middle of the block, rooms are relatively small, but probably the most economical decent lodging in that part of Manhattan.

      1. Squid-kun is right that the place you want to go is the Flushing/Murray Hill/Auburndale section of Queens. I'm not sure where you are coming from, but here's an idea. You can stay at a hotel on 32nd St in Manhattan's Koreatown, and take a day trip (or two) out to Flushing, easily accessible from Penn Station on the LIRR. My suggestion is to take the train to Broadway Station and walk towards Murray Hill or Flushing stations (it can be a long walk, but there's plenty of businesses on Northern Blvd, including a big H-Mart, or my usual Korean market, Hanyang around 150th St. Maybe get some dinner and then go to a po cha for drinking and grazing, and head back to Manhattan and finish with karaoke there. You'll probably be glad to be close to your hotel. Spend another day out in Flushing to get the rest of your shopping done at the various markets.
        Here's a sample walking route:
        http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&s...

        If you decide to really soak in the Korean places in Queens, then you might be better off driving to NYC. There are hotels around there, but not much on the lavish side that I know of. Unlike the rest of NYC, that part of Queens (and going towards LI) is pretty car-friendly.

        2 Replies
        1. re: E Eto

          Good posts. Wouldn't it be cheaper to take the 7 train instead of the LIRR? I don't know the LIRR route that well, perhaps it's more direct to certain areas and obviously quicker. But wouldn't it be more expensive?

          1. re: silencespeak

            more expensive but considering that our visitor is taking the acela in to penn station (with luggage probably), easy hop right to the appropriate LIRR (port washington line) and if its the weekend (saturday or sunday), there is the nominally inexpensive city ticket ($3.50) available too. The Murray Hill stop on the LIRR is definitely easier than the subway/bus combo (7 to Q12 or Q13) that would otherwise be required. but like EEto suggested, a walk along northern blvd would be illuminating.

        2. 1, 2, 3: flushing koreatown will set you right
          4: there is a korean mall that opened on northern boulevard close to 195th, 200th street but I'm not sure if it ever really took off, will ask.
          5: tsubaki you can find in many places; korean supermarkets as well as japanese ones like sunrise. i remember there being some a cosmetics stand with lotta korean products at the "Samurai" (inexpensive dollar store) in the Flushing Mall, second floor, towards the back; with all types of different products and even a salesperson inside the store. There is also a cosmetics stores inside Queens Crossing (http://www.queenscrossing.com), the new shiny mall that opened in downtown flushing at the corner of Main and Roosevelt. Actually inside is a fancy korean-chinese place, Ah Rhee Soo, but I haven't eaten there yet.
          6: well-covered on the boards
          7: answered by squidkun and EEto
          8: not an expert on the noraebang unfortunately but guaranteed, there is tons; are you coming with a group or meeting some locals?
          9: if all the action is in flushing, consider staying in flushing at the sheraton in flushing or even the best western? not sure if they are even inexpensive but, reasons to be, considering their outer borough location; they are big chains so, maybe that helps with a decent baseline at least. then, you can spend your entire time in flushing, going from the Flushing LIRR station to the Murray Hill LIRR station, and walking in between.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bigjeff

            Quite a few noraebang places on Northern Blvd or off the Murray Hill LIRR stop in Flushing.

            1. re: bigjeff

              Sheraton Flushing is a little cheaper than the Koreatown La Quinta, though both are a little high by other cities' standards. Manhattan Koreatown is definitely worth a look see given both its content and context (2 blks. from Empire State Building).