After I arrived in New York this evening, and got through immigration, my first order of business was finding a hostel in which to spend the night. Considering that it was 12:30am by the time I got past the gates, I was kinda dreading this a bit. I hadn't made a reservation anywhere, as — unlike for the South American hostels — none of the hostels here in New York accept simple "online booking requests"; all that they accept online is a live advance credit-card payment, which I wasn't prepared to make. Anyway, I knew it wouldn't be fun searching for a bed at this hour on a Saturday night; but I never imagined that it would be this hard! I had the phone numbers of 6 different hostels: I called all of them; and of the places that I called, 3 didn't respond, and the other 3 were fully booked. Apparently it's Columbus Day long weekend here at the moment, and New York is packed with visitors. Just my luck, eh?
Since I'd exhausted all of my pre-prepared "hopeful options", with no success, I had few choices left. So I jumped in a shuttle bus at the airport, and said to the driver: "take me to a good, cheap hostel in Manhattan". Fortunately, the driver was a really nice guy, and he was also quite knowledgeable regarding where to stay in the city.
After he dropped all the other passengers off, he took me to the Chelsea International, a hostel in downtown Manhattan. We reached the place by about 2am — I ran into the reception desk, asked: "you got any beds for tonight?", and almost broke out in exultant song when the guy behind the counter said "yes". Praise the L-rd — hallelujah! I found somewhere to sleep! So I quickly ran back out to the shuttle bus, told the driver the good news, grabbed my bags, and checked in. I was out like a light, the moment I hit my bed. It's been a looong day.
OK, so I admit, it was a bit stupid of me to turn up in New York on a Saturday night, without a reservation anywhere. I'll try not to do it again. But anyhow, it all worked out fine in the end. :P