Well I haven't really checked out the hotels and their locations since NYAF is a home convention but I'll be sure to do that when I can. x3;
But yes, NYAF has grown much bigger than about two-three years ago.
I can't really tell you about the experience you may have in general since it always depends on the person and who they go with, what they do, etc. The obvious factor (like any other con) is that you have more fun in cosplay; well, in my opinion anyway.
Like in all cons, there are those people to avoid but there are also many photographers going around taking pictures.
The dealer's room can get pretty crowded and THAT is the place where most con-goers not in cosplay snap shots of you. So be prepared for that and as I've learned, try not to have your con badge around your neck when a picture is going to be taken of you. XD;
I personally have had a wonderful time for the two years that I've gone; it is generally well-organized and a place where other conventions are held as well (like New York Comic Con).
The atmosphere of the cosplayers are generally friendly and easy-going; it's pretty easy to make friends as long as you talk to the right people. Attending photoshoots/gatherings helps since you have something in common: the series from which you are cosplaying from.
As for me, I try to remain a distance away from the crazy con-goers; as in the ones who glomp you without permission, yell nonsense every place they go to, etc.
Basically, it's a nice con to go to for a first and it's still growing and learning from ones it has already held in the past. :]
(I hope what I wrote makes sense; I just wrote everything as the thought(s) came to my head. xP