Now that I'm officially 'back', I want to post about my trip to New York and the fact that I didn't feel that I had to compromise on accommodation. I stayed at Tempo, also called Woogo, on West 73rd St near the corner of Broadway, for only $AUD1500 for 8 nights. The 72nd St subway was just around the corner. The apartment had a kitchen, so I was able to buy and cook food from the wonderful Fairway, also around the corner. I have to say that, in Australia, we have nothing like Fairway. The range of deli items, pastries, breads and pre-cooked meals astounds me. And it's all delicious.
The other thing about Tempo is the decor. For such a reasonable price, I like the fittings more than just about every other accommodation I've stayed in (and paid a lot more for). It also has a very big walk-in closet with ironing-board and iron. I think the reason I like it is that some of the tenants own their apartments. I often saw a dog-walker in the elevator. And there is a Gymboree in the lobby where neighbourhood children are brought by their mothers and nannies. Basically, you don't feel like you're in a hotel, but more like your own apartment. The staff in the lobby are helpful and friendly and it feels like home.