I recently dropped by their volunteer appreciation party to chat with HI New York’s Community Outreach Manager, Anthony Sodd about why HI is the perfect choice for city travelers. Read my interview below to get to know one of the city’s oldest hospitality establishments.
1. What types of travelers does HI host?
We get all sorts of travelers here. First time travelers, seasoned veterans who have done world tours, travelers who just came from Boston for the weekend. People from all over the world stay here. Sometimes I think it’s more diverse in our common rooms than in the United Nations.
2. What are some of your exclusive offers such as tours and events that HI hostelers can enjoy?
We have free tours everyday that leave from the hostel, nightly activities like comedy shows, pub crawls and an occasional night tour over the Brooklyn Bridge. I really like to have live music and BBQ’s in our patio when it gets warmer. We do a lot of fun stuff on the go, so you never know what extra stuff is going to be going on.
3. What is it about HI New York that makes travelers feel welcome – whether it’s a family of four or a backpacker?
Having traveled a lot myself I know how daunting it can be to arrive in a large, foreign city – especially after a long flight. I think our front desk staff do a really good job helping new arrivals feel comfortable in the city. They’ll give people advice on what to see, how to buy a metro card and things like that. That helps a lot when you first arrive in a place.
HI New York isn’t just a hostel but now becoming a community event space. What have been your most successful events?
We hold a monthly Travel Story Throw Down where we have ‘professional’ travelers come and tell their travel stories. After the professionals are done we open it up to the audience and let them get on stage and tell their own stories. I’m always shocked by how crazy people’s travel stories are. Last time we had a guy from Manchester who had managed to wreck his car into an Easter Island statue. I believe he was deported for it.
*Note: the next Travel Story Throwdown will be held at HI New York on May 12th at 7pm
5. What do you recommend international visitors seek out this spring in NYC that will show them the city through a local’s eye?