The Last HOPE - July 18-20, 2008 - Hotel Pennsylvania - New York City

The Last HOPE will be held at Hotel Pennsylvania on 33rd Street and 7th Avenue in New York City, across the street from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.  It is one of the most centrally located and historic hotels in the world and, yes, it will still be standing for our conference.

You can make hotel reservations by calling one of the most famous phone numbers in the world - PEnnsylvania 6-5000 (+1 212 736 5000). The HOPE discount rate for rooms has sold out, but we have some additional options and advice if you're looking for places to stay.

Check the HOPE Forums travel section for specific information or to ask questions about travel from your part of the world.

Here are some general tips for getting to HOPE:

Getting to New York City is possible from nearly everywhere on Earth. There are four airports you can arrive at as well as train and bus terminals. You can even drive in if you're so inclined. This is all assuming that you're not already in the city, in which case getting to the hotel is as easy as it could possibly be.

Here are the details. (Remember to keep checking here as we expect to get some special offers posted to make things even easier.)

By Air:
There are three main airports serving the metropolitan area, two in the New York City borough of Queens, and one in New Jersey. There is also a small airport located on Long Island, an hour away by train. In general, you should probably fly to whichever airport you can get the cheapest flight (ask a travel agent or search online).

John F. Kennedy airport (JFK) is a huge international airport in Queens, where you will likely end up if flying from overseas. Discount carrier JetBlue and some other domestic airlines also fly here. Once at JFK, the “AirTrain” service will, for $5, bring you from the airport to Jamaica station, where you can either take the E subway train for $2 or the Long Island Railroad for $5.25 ($7.25 during rush hour and $3.25 over the weekend). Both take you to Penn Station, just across the street from the hotel. If you prefer to take a cab, there's a flat fee of $45, plus tip and tolls, from JFK airport to anywhere in Manhattan.

LaGuardia airport (LGA), also in Queens, serves domestic and some Canadian destinations. It is geographically the closest airport to Manhattan, and therefore sometimes the most expensive to fly to. From LGA, private shuttle buses to the hotel cost about $10. You can also take the M60 bus to the N or W train, which will bring you to Herald Square, which is one block east of the hotel. Ask the bus driver if you need help. The total cost is $2, but you must buy a MetroCard before boarding the bus to avoid paying two fares. Metrocards can be found at Hudson News kiosks in the airport. You can also get a cab if you prefer.

Newark airport (EWR), in New Jersey, serves a number of domestic and international destinations. There is frequent AirTrain/New Jersey Transit service between Newark terminal and Penn Station, taking under an hour to deliver you from your flight to the Hotel Pennsylvania. This may be the most convenient airport to fly into as far as transportation is concerned. The AirTrain/NJ Transit connection costs $15 and service is frequent. (Make sure you get on a New Jersey Transit train and NOT an Amtrak train after switching from AirTrain as it will cost you as much as $35 extra without saving very much time.) Don't bother with cabs as they not only take longer, but you will have to pay the tunnel/bridge toll on top of the cab fare.

Islip's Macarthur Airport (ISP) is located on Long Island. The main advantage of flying to Islip is sometimes (though not always) lower airfares; Southwest Airlines flies there, and that tends to hold fares down. You can take a cab from Macarthur Airport to the Ronkonkoma train station for $5 (or the S-57 bus, which doesn't run on Sundays, for $1.50) and take the Long Island Railroad train to Penn Station, which costs $9.75 ($13.50 peak) and takes just over an hour. Trains generally run once an hour.

By Train:
New Jersey Transit, Metro-North Railroad, and the Long Island Railroad offer short-range transportation options to New York City from around the metropolitan area. Amtrak offers short and long-range train transportation, although the cost of train travel is often more expensive than air travel. If you do take Amtrak, you can save money by booking in advance and by avoiding travel on Fridays or Sundays. Except for Metro-North, all of these rail lines arrive at Penn Station, which is right across the street from the Hotel Pennsylvania and The Last HOPE — very convenient. (Metro-North arrives at Grand Central which means you must take the S shuttle to Times Square and transfer to a downtown 1/2/3 subway one stop to Penn Station. Or you could easily walk.) The 33rd Street PATH station is also close, literally on the opposite side of the block as the main Hotel Penn entrance. PATH trains provide a quick hop from several points in New Jersey, most notably the Hoboken station, a major train hub.

By Bus:
Greyhound and a number of other intercity bus companies serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal, located on 8th Avenue at 42nd Street. Please be aware that this transportation hub is notorious for petty theft and telecommunications fraud, so hold onto your wallet and avoid using payphones! Probably the best way to get from PABT to the conference is on foot (walk one block east to 7th avenue, and then 9 blocks south to the hotel, a distance of about 1/2 mile), but you can also take the A/C/E or 1/2/3 subway one stop downtown, or get a cab.

A number of bus companies operate in Chinatown, offering incredibly cheap service within the Northeast. As of this writing, service between New York and Boston is only $15 each way, between New York and Washington DC it's $20 each way ($35 round trip), between New York and Philadelphia it's $12 each way ($20 round trip). A number of these bus companies have online schedule and booking information at GotoBus. (The largest of the bus companies, though, has its own website instead, though.) You'll have to take the subway from wherever the bus drops you off to the hotel. You could take a cab, but it might cost more than the bus itself!

By Car:
We recommend not driving in Manhattan unless you really know what you're doing. If a car is your only source of travel, it might be a good idea to park in an outer borough and take the subway into Manhattan or use one of the Park-and-Ride lots in New Jersey and take New Jersey Transit or PATH to get into town. If you insist on driving into Manhattan, you may be able to find free parking in some residential areas. Parking garages tend to be cheaper downtown.

For those of you bringing in equipment, getting to the hotel is pretty straightforward. From New Jersey, the Lincoln Tunnel will get you onto the west side in the 30s. Simply make your way to 34th Street and turn right on 7th Avenue. The hotel is on the left side between 33rd and 32nd. The guy greeting you in front of the hotel will be able to tell you how to unload and will even park your car for the weekend if you're sure you want to pay what they charge. Those arriving from other directions simply need to get to 34th Street via the FDR Drive or the Midtown Tunnel.

Subways and City Buses:
Take the 1, 2, or 3 train to 34th & 7th Avenue, right across the street from the Hotel Pennsylvania. Or take the A, C, or E to 34th & 8th, or the B, D, F, N, Q, R, V, or W to 34th & 6th (Herald Square), both of which are just one crosstown block away. The MTA's website has maps and other good information. You can also get free printed subway maps by asking in any station.

The M4, M5, M6, M7, M10, M20, M34, and Q32 buses all stop within a block or two of the hotel, but we don't recommend taking them unless you're already familiar with the city's bus system.