Category Archives: NYC

New York City, Play Edition

Whenever I travel somewhere for work, I always sneak in at least one day’s worth of play.  My most successful work/play trip was to Walt Disney World for the 2010 NCTE convention--though the ‘play’ portion of that trip was made possible by skipping the ‘sleep’ portion of the trip!   I’m proud to say that I managed to sneak some fun into my conference trip this past weekend and that said trip may be tied for first with Disney as ‘most fun work/play trip ever’.

We arrived at our hotel around 11:30 in the morning and were able to check in–a

Manhattan Centre Hotel

New York first for me.  While the hotel wasn’t fancy in any way, the room itself was probably the largest I’ve seen in any major city.  And it was very clean.  I give it five thumbs up…er…well….you know  what I mean.

I had a goal, which was ‘make it to the Met before 1:30’, as I wanted to go on the guided highlights tour.  I got hooked on museum tours after a fantastic tour at the National Gallery in London last summer, and my love for docents grew upon visiting The Air and Space Museum in DC in September.

This tour was not as great.

But at least we made it to the tour, thanks to our amazing taxi luck.  In the past, I’ve disliked NYC because of how difficult it is to get around.  The subway is nowhere near as efficient as any other major city I’ve ever visited and getting a cab is often impossible.  But this weekend it was amazingly easy.  If it’s a side effect of the crappy economy…well then I just found one good thing about the crappy economy!

Cab ride through central park

The Met was beautiful, though in the future I will purchase the audio guide and forget about the guided tours.  Notice I said ‘in the future’, as I will be back.

The view from the cafe

Having learned from past trips (thank god!) I knew that I couldn’t do a whole day of museum-going without eating something first.  So before we even began touring the museum, we found food.  I have to strongly recommend the Met’s cafe and wine bar.  With a beautiful view and only moderately overpriced food, it’s a good bet.  We did walk around the general vicinity for a while, and didn’t really find anywhere we were longing to dine–though my husband did stare at the street vendor hot dog cart for quite a bit.

Mushroom flatbread

We somehow managed to get yet another cab upon exiting the Met–and at 5:00

Happy hour

on a Friday!  I was beyond thrilled, as after walking around a museum all afternoon, I was in no shape to walk 30 blocks.  We met my husband’s friend for drinks at a bar on Broadway, and I again had a great time.  It was a normal, human sized bar, which is not what I was expecting at all.  Additionally, I awarded it five toilet paper rolls for restroom cleanliness, which is the maximum number of toilet paper rolls an establishment can earn (in my imaginary world where toilet paper rolls are awarded).

We were having such a good time we almost missed our 8:30 dinner reservations at Brasserie.  Somehow we managed to leave the bar at 8:00, walk to the hotel, fix my husband’s hair (yes,

Appetizer one of three--tuna tartare

you read that correctly) and walk to Brasserie in less than 30 minutes.  I was impressed.

I chose Brasserie as our low budget selection for the weekend…yeah, that didn’t happen.  By this point we were so hungry (and, ok, a little tipsy) so we ordered EVERYTHING on the menu.  This was a good call, however, as everything on the menu was amazing.  It was one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time.

It was at this point that I agreed to take city break weekends to New York rather than return to Vegas year after year.  My New Yorker husband is thrilled.

Up next–New York City, Work Edition: My experience at the ASJA Annual Convention.

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Another Metro Area Apology

Last summer I was forced to apologize to London after bashing it quite brutally in several blog posts.  Though, to be fair, the London-bashing was nothing compared to the Paris bashing.

I also wrote a fairly scathing review of New York City, a place I’ve been to many, many times and have grown to dislike as an adult.  It seems I must be regressing to my youth, because on this trip, I freaking LOVED New York.

I honestly contemplated buying one of those I ‘heart’ NY t-shirts.  Don’t worry–I didn’t.  Though I did stare longingly at a coffee mug.

Tomorrow I shall share all of my reasons why I now love New York City, and my thoughts on how this impacts my return trip to Paris.  But for now I must sleep, because apparently having fun is VERY tiring.

A Mini Travel Re-Do

For those of you amused by my return-to-Paris plans, here’s another good one–I’m leaving for NYC tomorrow.  I’ll only be there for the weekend, and I’m going to attend a conference, but still.  You may remember my I Hate New York post from last July, which turned out to be merely the amuse bouche of the eight course tasting menu of suck that was my Europe experience.  If you do remember that post, you are likely laughing and, again, rubbing your hands together in anticipatory glee.

Fortunately, I think I’ve learned from my mistakes.  We’re staying at a hotel that is walking distance from the bus station and from my main destination–a conference I’m attending.  We have dinner reservations for both nights–at Le Colonial tomorrow night and at The Modern on Saturday night.  I’m super excited about the second one–I’ve wanted to go there for some time.

Another exciting part of this trip is that I may finally get to visit the Met.  It is open late on Fridays, so depending upon what time we arrive tomorrow, it may be possible.  This is me crossing my fingers.

If you can’t wait to see how badly…er, well…the weekend goes and  want to follow along, check out my real-time travel blog, Virtual Passenger.  You can subscribe, and my updates will appear in your inbox in all of their awful…er…awesome glory.