I stayed here for 14 days in December 2007. This Y is in Cypress Hills, which is a fairly rough neighborhood in Brooklyn. The notoriously rough neighborhood of East New York is right next door. All of the local homes have bars on the windows. The walk to the subway is about a half a mile and is not safe after dark.
The rooms include a TV, desk, mirror, and frig. The heat is by radiator and the rooms were sweltering. I tried to counteract the heat by keeping the window wide open, but I had to listen to the traffic on Jamaica Avenue, which doesn't make for a good night's sleep. There is a curtain at the window and a fan in the closet for warm weather. The closet is rather roomy. The beds are small but the mattresses are comfortable and clean. Maintenance keeps the rooms very clean but insists that you give them access to your room when they come around to clean. I didn't see evidence of any rodents, bedbugs, or other insects.
The floors are separated by sex. The 2nd floor is supposed to be co-ed. The 3rd floor is women only and the 4th is men only. There is no elevator.
The residents include homeless people.
The bathrooms weren't in the best shape, especially the 3rd floor women's bathroom. It was closed for a week just after I arrived for shower renovations. During that time, women were directed to the 2nd floor co-ed bathroom or the gym's shower room. To get to the latter, you have to traverse the busy main lobby. After the 3rd floor "renovations" were finished, the only noticeable change was that the hot water had diminished to a trickle in the showers. On the last day of my stay when a staff person saw me going into the co-ed bathroom, she stopped me and said that the showers on the 3rd floor had been fixed and that I needed to go there. I explained to her that the showers had no hot water. She then walked away with a male maintenance person who shouted, "What makes her think we care about those (insert five letter explicative that is used towards women + es)?" They both laughed. The 3rd floor toilets also did not flush unless you held the handle down for at least 30 seconds. Very few people did this so they tended to fill with sewage.
There is a single washer and dryer for residents. I believe it costs $2.50/load. There is also a microwave oven in the same room on the 2nd floor. You can use the exercise facilities which are nice and open late. The computer lab is nice but it doesn't have good hours and it's generally loaded with neighborhood kids. WiFi obviously is not available.
The Z and J MTA trains service this part of town. Norwood Avenue is the closest station. It is an elevated line until it reaches Manhattan and there is no elevator or escalator at Norwood or any of the surrounding stations. The trains run skip-stop during rush hour and only the Z stops at Norwood during the evening rush hour. You would take the J otherwise. It takes over 30 minutes to get to Lower Manhattan and that's if everything goes right. This is a very unreliable line.
The food in this part of town is not good at all and I would usually stop in Chinatown or at the Whole Foods a few blocks up (at Houston Street) from the Bowery train stop. There aren't any food stores in proximity to the Y and the closest are on Fulton Street under the El. The Chinese food places are terrible! If you have to eat in this part of town, Tony's Pizza is an okay place. Just watch the sodas in the frig. I got one that tasted kinda funny and then found it had been expired for almost a year.
- Also Known As:
- North Brooklyn / 12 Towns Ymca Hotel Brooklyn