by Joel R. Simon




The Main Page


11:30 AM - 11:00 PM

11:30 AM - 11:30 PM

12:00 NOON-11:00 PM

Dine In or Take Out
Delivery Available
Grand St. - 34th St.
Sixth Ave.-Avenue D 
If you do not happen to live or work within walking distance of Akina Sushi (as thousands of lucky folks do), you will want to know how to get to the restaurant and the surrounding neighborhood.  If you are a tourist making your once-in-a-lifetime visit to New York City and are staying at a midtown hotel, the simplest thing would be to hop a cab and direct the driver to 424 East Fourteenth Street.  Passing First Avenue, you cannot miss Stuyvesant Town on your left, and Akina is in the middle of the block on the right (look for the "Nail" sign) opposite the Associated Supermarket.  If you must drive, which I do not recommend unless you are accustomed to the insane traffic in New York, the center of the world, you hopefully can find street parking (and can deal with the parking  meter kiosks) or a garage within walking distance.  Some times there are spaces right in front of Akina, but do not count on it.
If you reside or work in New York, or are a tourist who would like to experience the great New York City public transportation system, Akina and its environs are (usually) very easy to get to by subway or bus. The key lines are the L subway train and the Fourteenth Street crosstown buses.  To access the subway or bus, obtain an MTA Metro Card, for sale at subway stations and other locations.
The bus is a great way to experience the sites of Fourteenth Street, but the excellent drivers may take a very long time to navigate their way past the double parked vehicles and kamikaze jaywalkers, stopping at each corner to let on and off hordes of passengers.  If you take a bus downtown from Midtown on one of the avenues, when you board the Fourteenth Street crosstown bus and put your Metro Card into the machine, you should get a free transfer.  After the bus passes Second Avenue, be prepared to get off on Akina's block at First Avenue.  If you cannot get to the exit door in time (sometimes the buses are packed), get off at the next stop (Avenue A) and walk back to get to Akina.
The L train is part of a vast subway system extending for miles in all directions.  Most of the system was constructed by various private companies in the early Twentieth Century, eventually uniting under government control and becoming part of today's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).  The line under Fourteenth Street, extending east across the East River to nineteen stops in Brooklyn (eventually passing through Bushwick and ending in the distant neighborhood of Canarsie) was first opened in 1924 by the BMT.  At that time the line's western terminus was Sixth Avenue, but in 1931 it was extended blocks further west to Eighth Avenue.  The line features modern subway cars and signs telling you how many minutes before the next train will arrive.  Service is very frequent, especially at rush hours, but occasionally late at night or on weekends, service is suspended for track maintenance, etc., and you may have to rely on the Fourteenth Street crosstown buses to complete your journey.
Beginning on the west end of the route, the first stop is Eighth Avenue, where you can transfer from the A, C, or E trains which run underneath Eighth Avenue.  If you are coming from Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station, or a midtown hotel, you should take the A, C, or E downtown to Fourteenth Street, as you are more likely to get a seat at the starting point rather than further east when the subway may become packed.  The L train runs deep underground, and the easiest way to make the transfer from the mezzanine one flight up from A, C, or E is by elevator (but beware of frequent times when it is "out of service").  Otherwise, there is a ramp which for some reason does not go all the way down to the L platform, leaving you with a full flight of steps at the bottom (and of course you can walk down all three flights if you wish).  This is an interesting station both for the musicians who perform in the concourse (not to mention artist Joseph Griffith, who makes his drawings near the elevator down to the L platform), and the fanciful bronze sculptures of "Life Underground" by Tom Otterness.
The subways (1, 2, or 3) under Seventh Avenue does stop at Fourteenth Street, but to connect to the L train you will have to walk a city block in a tunnel to Sixth avenue.  At Sixth Avenue, the second stop on the L train, you can make a direct connection to the D and F trains, or leave the system to connect with the PATH trains to New Jersey.  The third stop is Union Square, a vast station where you can connect to the 4, 5, 6, N, R, or Q trains.  If you are coming from Grand Central Station, take the 4, 5, or 6 train to Union Square to transfer to the L.  The fourth stop is Third Avenue, with no subway connection.  Some day, when the Second Avenue Subway is finished, there will be a stop there too, but don't hold your breath..
The fifth and final stop; in Manhattan is First Avenue, and the exit is to the southwest corner of Akina's block.  The platform runs almost to Avenue A, but the only exit is at the First Avenue end.  Apparently the platform is right in front of Akina's basement, but the MTA has not seen fit to give Akina its own entrance!  To avoid a long walk on the crowded platform, when you board the L train at Eighth Avenue, walk to the last car of the train.
As you exit at first Avenue from the Brooklyn-bound train, you will be surprised to find a florist by the turnstiles.  The florist is Pete, a knowledgeable and skilled gentleman who has a beautiful selection of cut flowers for sale.  By the way, the First Avenue station is the busiest on the whole L line.
After your dinner at Akina (if you are not going on to Brooklyn), cross Fourteenth Street at First Avenue and enter the westbound subway at the southwest corner of Stuyvesant Town.  Keep in mind that the two directions each have their own platform, so make sure you know whether you are heading to Brooklyn or towards Eighth Avenue before swiping your Metro Card and entering the system.  Worst case, if you take the Brooklyn train by mistake, I suppose you could take the two-minute  ride to Brooklyn to the first stop (Bedford Avenue at North Seventh Street), cross the platform and come back without wasting a fare.  If you take the Eighth Avenue train by mistake, get off at Union Square and cross over (you cannot do this at Third Avenue).
Pete the Florist at the First Ave Station
"Life Underground" at 8th Ave.-14th St Station
Artist Joseph Griffith can be found in the 14th St-8th Ave sub-way station at the end of the mezzanine near the elevator and ramp down to the L train.  Enjoy the many musicians who perform in this station as well.