Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Long Island City?
I'm cross-posting because this question involves both Manhattan and one of the outer boroughs. I'm trying to decide which to go to.
We're getting out of the car-crazed purgatory of Tampa for a few days in NYC in late June and need to make reservations soon.
When I stayed on the Upper West side, I loved the deli/bistro culture. I think my son would like it too, and I'd like to be able to pick out some favorites with him. Unfortunately, we can't afford to stay in that area for our vacation. Several of the things we'll be seeing are in or close to Brooklyn--the Botanical Garden, Atlantic Ave supposedly has good Mediterranean spots, Wall Street & the Fed, the Tenement Museum, a boat from Chelsea piers, WTC site are all close to Brooklyn. Long Island City is a little bit less expensive, but not as close to what we'll be doing (except for Sony Wonder Lab and AMNH).
Which of those areas will have the deli scene and little cafes that I'd like to go to with my son? Is Brooklyn really so suburban, or will we be able to walk and use the subway?
Brooklyn is plenty walkable and bus and train-able. If you like Italian delis, stay in or near Carroll Gardens. You can spend Saturday morning at D'amico Foods and that will cover Italian deli stuff AND delicious coffee (with plenty ground to take with you). They might make you sandwiches in Esposito's Pork Store. Monteleone's bakery has coffee and delicious pastries.
I'd say Brooklyn is your best choice. LIC won't have many options for wandering and finding delis/cafes. While there are some places, its more industrial/commercial area.
I assume you are thinking the downtown Brooklyn area since that's where there are a lot of hotels. Friends have stayed in the Nu Hotel and have found that to be really convenient for exploring the area and getting to the subway for trips to Manhattan. Smith Street, Atlantic Avenue, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill spots are all short walks from there.
slightly off topic but ny botanical gardens in bronx blows the brooklyn one away and you could go to the bronx zoo and also hit up arthur ave for some delicious food and the best pizza at full moon cornmeal crust--and italian delicacies all over--it would be a good adventure--word to the wise, check the bed bug registry, huge problem in nyc especially in brklyn--and lic would not be good hotel wise--astoria ok, but not lic--
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is much more manageable than the Bronx Garden, especially if you do not have a full day.
It is in it's glory this time of year. Some of the cherry trees may still be in bloom.
Across Flatbush avenue is the Brooklyn Zoo which is a mere shadow of the Bronx Zoo but fun.
Walk Prospect Park too. You will enjoy it.