1. Is there an affordable, reliable form of transportation between the Newark Airport area and the city (I know there's the bus from the airport -- is there a train as well?);
The Eastern Corridor line of New Jersey Transit
stops at Newark Airport and New York Penn Station. The ride is about 25 minutes. (I assume that by "the" city, you mean New York and not Newark, although that deeply offends me as a New Jerseyan.)
2. Would it be possible to park the car at a convenient (and reasonably priced) lot and take the train/bus into the city?
3. Would it be ok to leave the car in the lot for most of the day (I expect that we'd probably get back late at night -- maybe after midnight)?
The parking directly at the airport is reputed to be short-term and expensive. I haven't verified that claim yet.
When I fly out from EWR, I usually use one of the parking lots around the airport. The way it works is that I park my car, they bring me to the terminal with their shuttle; and when I get back, I give them a call, and their shuttle takes you back to the parking lot. I'm pretty sure they'd bring you to the airport train station instead of the terminal, too.
But in my opinion, if you're staying at one of the hotels near the airport, your best option is to take the hotel shuttle and leave the car at the hotel. You'll be drunk when you return anyway.
4. Is there a better option than the Newark Airport area? I've seen hotels in Hoboken-Jersey City area as well. Is that better? Worse?
You could sleep over at my place if you want, which is 45-55 minutes from Penn Station via New Jersey Transit
's trains. I'll probably be in Boston on the 25th; but I could give you the key when you're coming in on the 24th. (Are
you coming in on the 24th? It isn't clear to me from your post whether it's the 24th or the 25th.) The advantage is that my rates are very
competitive. On the other hand, ehBeth's sailor's hotel is closer to the action. Whatever works best for you.