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rocco
November 29th, 2003, 06:57 PM
I've got a van that I travel and sometimes live in. I've never been to NYC. In Toronto there is a big shopping mall, Yorkdale Center, far away from downtown with plenty of parking and a subway stop. When leaving the city North, there are plenty of secondary roads that turn into farm roads allowing the van to be pulled off the road for the night.

1. Which shopping mall is furthest away from the New York City area with a subway stop?

2. Where is the closest rural area around NYC where I can pull my van off to the side of the road?

Marty
December 23rd, 2003, 10:51 PM
Try Nyack, itís just north of the city about 10 mins before the Tampanzee bridge 30 mins out of the city of I- 87.
No subway though.

Clarknt67
December 27th, 2003, 05:15 PM
I can't give you particulars, but I'd suggest hitting Long Island. I'm sure you could leave your van at the Long Island Railroad parking lot overnight take a LIRR easily enough into Penn Station (30 minutes or so) and the City's your Oyster. I'm sure they're not too picky about cars being left overnight. There are malls all over Long Island, some parts of it can be pretty rural, and you might get away with parking off the side of the road (I'm assuming you mean for an overnight nap?). There's a number of beach parks too, although I'm not sure how closely they're policed (I'd imagine less so in the winter).

Gregory Tenenbaum
October 22nd, 2006, 05:47 AM
Thats one of the best ideas I have heard of for some time.

Think about it

Rent in Lower Manhattan - $3K+/month

OR

Heavy Duty Mercedes Benz Van - about 40-50K for a good second hand one?
Mattress - 100 dollars
Running costs - about 5-10 K per annum with fuel
Transport from the carpark to work every day - about 5K per annum.

And you get a van as well. So you can make money moving things around town.

No showers though. You'll need to join a good gym.

shocka
October 23rd, 2006, 12:28 PM
I can't give you particulars, but I'd suggest hitting Long Island. I'm sure you could leave your van at the Long Island Railroad parking lot overnight take a LIRR easily enough into Penn Station (30 minutes or so) and the City's your Oyster. I'm sure they're not too picky about cars being left overnight. There are malls all over Long Island, some parts of it can be pretty rural, and you might get away with parking off the side of the road (I'm assuming you mean for an overnight nap?). There's a number of beach parks too, although I'm not sure how closely they're policed (I'd imagine less so in the winter).


most of the LIRR parking lots require you to get a pass in order to park during the day. In order to get a pass, you need to show a utility bill in your name, dont know how u can pull that off in a van.

Good luck, I would like if you could make a blog and post about your trip, I think it would be really interesting.

MikeKruger
October 23rd, 2006, 01:40 PM
what about a 24/7 accessible storage room, the type that fits vehicles?

tvbdude
October 25th, 2006, 02:14 AM
I'm curious. Where do you take showers?

Ninjahedge
October 25th, 2006, 09:02 AM
Get a small (and I do mean SMALL) RV. Look at the places that sell them. There are ones that have foldaway beds and small kitchens (propane) that come in large van sizes.

You could then either find a lot or whatever somewhere close to your gym and go from there. Figure $500 a month or so for the car payments and expenses, $50 for the gym, $200 for the parking. It would be similar in expense to living in a small studio apartment. (And I mean SMALL).

JCMAN320
October 25th, 2006, 10:06 AM
There is Newport Mall here in Jersey City right next to a PATH stop. Looking for a rural place on the side of the road try up by the Palisades or in the Meadowlands.

OmegaNYC
October 25th, 2006, 11:38 AM
Maybe Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ. That's the only mall I can think of off the top of my head.

sean
October 26th, 2006, 01:27 AM
Park under the overpass of the FDR downtown by the East River. Then you can "live in a van down by the river."

i crack myself up

OmegaNYC
October 26th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Park under the overpass of the FDR downtown by the East River. Then you can "live in a van down by the river."

i crack myself up


LMAO!!! Good one!!! :D

Hof
November 6th, 2006, 03:04 PM
One of my closest friends found opportunity in San Francisco and moved West.I helped him pack his truck,a plain,mid-90's Chevy 1500 side-door utility van.

When he got to SF,he discovered how horrible the rents were (this was the late '90s)--$2,000/mo PLUS one month deposit,PLUS $1,000 security,PLUS electric/cable/utility deposits (nearly $5,500)--and decided that,rather than impoverish himself,he would just buy an air mattress and stay in the van.

For his first few weeks in town,he would find stealthy overnight parking at 24-hour big-box stores,construction sites,parking garages,hospitals,motel lots or in quiet neighborhoods.Often,he'd park it at used car lots or church parking lots.He hardly ever got kicked out or had problems.He made a game of it,finding places to park all over Frisco.He showered and did laundry at the Y,often parking in THEIR lot for a night.As a result,he got to learn a lot about the city in a short time.
Sometimes,he'd just park on the street,risking a ticket or worse.
A few times,he'd be asleep and would be awakened by some 3AM street thug trying to break into his truck.

Over time,he converted the Chevy's blank interior into a camper.It has everything he needs (satellite TV,hot plate,coffee pot,cellphone recharge station,comfy mattress,etc) and he found that,despite the generous income he was making he preferred roughing it,so his van became his home.A few of his co-workers offered to let him use their sofa,but he would mostly decline,preferring to just park on or near their property for the night.When the weather got really bad,he'd take a motel room until it passed.

San Fran is as dense an urban zone as Manhattan,so he had to get clever when he looked for an overnight.Eventually,he was able to park for as long as he wanted at his job.He was able to shower there,and he had no commuting costs,but he really missed sleeping in a different San Francisco neighborhood each night.After 18 months of living like that,he had outfitted his old Chevy into a pretty comfy,compact motor home.

He met his (now) wife in SF and together they got an apartment and he left his nomadic life behind.He wound up with a van that was perfectly suited for vacation trips,completely outfitted for urban camping.He stilll has it,and brags about how much they save on motels whenever they go out of town.The tradeoff is that he now has a 20-mile commute to DT San Francisco from their new place.These days,he commutes in a Porsche and saves the van for weekend party excursions into San Francisco.
He and his wife will party into the wee hours,then crash outside the club in their mobile motel.She thinks it's romantic.No DUI's,no early morning dashes back to the house through cop-infested territories.

It can be done in NYC,and would probably be a hell of a lot of fun...

ablarc
November 12th, 2006, 10:28 AM
^ Hof, you have interesting friends.

Trap
February 2nd, 2008, 04:11 PM
He showered and did laundry at the Y,often parking in THEIR lot for a night.As a result,he got to learn a lot about the city in a short time.
Sometimes,he'd just park on the street,risking a ticket or worse.
A few times,he'd be asleep and would be awakened by some 3AM street thug trying to break into his truck.

I used to live in NYC and currently live in SF. While this idea appeals to me, the showering and doing laundry at the Y is the deal-breaker. You just wouldn't want to do that regularly at the Y's around SF... way too seedy, maybe even dangerous (then again, there are nicer neighborhoods than where I live). Maybe he went to Y's in Silicon Valley or the North Bay instead, but it doesn't sound like it from your commentary.

Radiohead
February 2nd, 2008, 07:55 PM
^ HOF, good story. I guess home is where you make it. Great way to save money, too. I would have thought that living out of a van and showering at the Y would not be conducive to finding a girl and/or boyfriend, much less a spouse. I guess I'm wrong again. I wonder how they met.

kanopemainer
February 2nd, 2008, 08:16 PM
Some years ago when I was younger and yes lived out of and in a van, showers never were a problem.
Used to just pull into the parking lot at any larger Motel, had to be at least one of those highrise with more then 3 floors. Did that anytime between 9 and 11 am, walk through the lobby past the front desk, get off the Ele on the last floor. Maids were already busy. Many doors wide open guests departed, rooms halfway stripped, told a maid would have to take a shower after loading the car, and do so in any of the rooms (pretending it was the one I just checked out of) where the bathroom was not stripped of towels and toiletries. Takes 15/20 minutes and I was done and "checked out" with the maid, or not even that, just got lost. Many friends envied me for my brazeness.

lofter1
February 2nd, 2008, 08:47 PM
Urban Camping: Road Trip, Greenwich Village Style

CURBED (http://curbed.com/archives/2007/07/13/urban_camping_road_trip_greenwich_village_style.ph p)
July 13, 2007
by Pete

http://www.curbed.com/2007_07_UrbanCampGV1.JPG

Even though some of our commenters find the whole Urban Camping genre to be
tiresome and tedious (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2007/06/21/urban_camping_guess_the_location.php) we kind of enjoy it. Hence this latest chapter. With July's heat
and humidity hard upon us our thoughts turn to summers past, to the family car loaded up
and ready for take off.

Ahh, a road trip.

Get that motor runnin'. Head out on the highway. Searchin' for adventure. C'mon, let's go!

http://www.curbed.com/2007_07_UrbanCampGV2.JPG

One urban camper on quiet little Clarkson Street down in the Village apparently
has the same idea. But for some reason has been unable to execute. The Aristocrat
is packed to the gills (and beyond). But when it comes time to put the pedal to the metal
ennui takes over. Whoa, it's just too damned hot. So much simpler to stay put. And as long
as street parking remains an option (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2007/06/08/history_in_billyburg_sidewalk_wins_one_on_parking_ spaces.php) what's the rush?

Besides, there's always next summer.

http://www.curbed.com/2007_07_UrbanCampGV3.JPG

∑ Urban Camping: Guess the Location (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2007/06/21/urban_camping_guess_the_location.php) [Curbed]
∑ 'History' in Billyburg: Sidewalk Wins One on Parking Spaces (http://www.curbed.com/archives/2007/06/08/history_in_billyburg_sidewalk_wins_one_on_parking_ spaces.php) [Curbed]

Ninjahedge
February 7th, 2008, 01:41 PM
Camping is one thing, but I have walked by that guy many times, NEVER saw any motion or anyone in or near it. So much crap in it, on it, around it. there should be a certain limit to these things.

Maybe a limit involving safe operation? If they are camping in a vehicle, the vehicle has to be able to drive, with minimal preparation, in a manner that is deemed safe to others on the road. All those unstraped bags and other clutter on the roof and the cab packed right up to the windshield should be enough to indicate that this is not a viable vehicle (as is).

Are tents allowed on the road? If not, there should be a clear line between when a vehicle is no longer a vehicle.

BrooklynRider
February 8th, 2008, 07:55 AM
I know a Russian woman who is rather eccentric. Lives in a van at Rockaway Beach. Swims every morning. Then goes to do Tai Chi in Chatham Park in Chinatown.

MidtownGuy
February 14th, 2008, 02:21 PM
People should be able to live in a van if they want to without being harassed by police or anyone else. IF it's parked legally, so what.

voodoochild
February 14th, 2008, 02:47 PM
People should be able to live in a van if they want to without being harassed by police or anyone else. IF it's parked legally, so what.
I believe the same.