Two roads diverged in a city and I — I called for a cab. ~ Marc Cappelletti
Two roads diverged in a city and I — I called for a cab. ~ Marc Cappelletti
Whoever designed the Penthouse Suite at the W Hotel at 541 Lexington Avenue in New York City is definitely a fan of the outdoors. Why else would he include a terrace so big it would make most New Yorkers weep with envy? With a Rat Pack meets Mediterranean prince decor, this wrap around corner terrace is so expansive and cool it’s a shame more people don’t get to experience it. This summer though, you can.
On Sunday nights from 6-10pm all the way through Labor Day, the W Hotel will allow regular old Joes and Janes to chill out and enjoy drinks and bottle service on this high class balcony of balconies. Participants are still required to reserve a space in advance. Email email@example.com to set up a date. RSVPs are required. (I have not participated, but got to see the room through a guest.)
The Venetian inspired corner is only a portion of the terrace though, for some outdoor entertainment one simply has to turn the corner to find the pool table. Yes. Pool table. I can only imagine how many people use it as a drink holder and nothing more.
And what would a Penthouse terrace be without a view? A patio. Remember the scene in Wayne’s World where Wayne and Garth step out onto the producer Benjamin’s (Rob Lowe) balcony and are completely taken by the view? Well, the terrace at the W Hotel is a “fully functional babe lair,” no qualms about it. And it’s not just a view you get, but a feeling. Upon stepping out of the ultra modern room and into the throws of midtown, you feel so free and hip that you can’t help but act cooler than your broken umbrella and subway ticket home say you should be. It’s as if you’re thrust onto a movie set and have the freedom to play a part that, whether it’s really you or not, is of no importance. Recession? What recession? I can see the Chrysler Building from here!
For more information on the W Hotel, click here. The information for the summer terrace Sundays was found at hotelchatter.com, a very comprehensive site with interesting write ups and helpul perspectives.
After months and months of construction, the paved circle and fountain in New York City’s Washington Square Park is finally ready for the public to enjoy. Monday saw passers by and park regulars hanging out, taking in the evening’s last hour of sunshine, and mixing in a way that is all New York.
Musicians scanned the crowd for their muses — serenaded seniors, German tourists, homeless, Wall Street warriors and children with dripping ice cream cones. Each corner of the park had a style. The north side, here, rang with the sounds of the Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills and Nash. Seven men in raggedy clothes gathered together in the western side of the park and seemingly sang whenever they felt like it. One minute it was the Four Tops and the next one man was accusing the other of stealing something. To the east a man with hair long enough to cover his guitar used each finger to pluck the notes of classical and Spanish arias. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as Spanish arias, but strict descriptions are a miss in a park so eclectic. Everything could be anything.
Not exactly the Arc de Triomphe, but still, “Pretty f#!%ing good” to any New Yorker, the Washington Square Park Arch frames this view of Fifth Avenue and the Empire State Building all the way at 34th Street.
Then there’s the water fountain itself. As you approach the park from any direction you are drawn instantly to the fountain, reflecting the sun in a thousand different directions, adding constant and repetitive motion to a park and a city where nothing is ever constant…
A vendor shares images of the park in times passed. The shots give an added dimension to the goings on of today and the ideas and fashions in the park that will be the focus of tomorrow.
The park is not for human enjoyment alone. Dog walkers of every kind with dogs of every kind pass through the park. They walk around the fountain, sniff the other dogs (the dogs, not the owners), and spark chit chat and dates and possible relationships (for owners as well as dogs).
And thus concludes a sunny Monday in the park.
What began as an utterly nerdy term, an invented expression, blogging, is now a mainstay of popular culture and, as I’ve found, the best way to get to know a city. Take walkingoffthebigapple.com for example. Here is a blog that provides details on walking routes throughout the city faster, more in depth, and more up to date than any Lonely Planet Guide could dream of doing.
When I moved to Manhattan over a year ago I had no clue of what was available to me, what was accessible in the areas of food, entertainment, city details, and best of all free stuff. Slowly, but surely, I came across blogs like midtownlunch.com and instantly found a world that mixed helpful suggestions with a sense of humor that kept me reading closely and often. Midtown’s latest post is titled: Midtown Links (The “I’m Glad I Don’t Have Gout” Edition). And check out nycnosh.com while you’re at it.
I almost don’t want to mention it, but every “Guide to New York” book I was given before my move have been opened but a few times, except of course for the Not For Tourists Guide. That book is a lifesaver, if simply for the maps alone. But to this day it’s been the blogs that over anything else have provided the most interesting, knowledgeable and insider perspective on this city.Blogs like nysonglines.com and newyorkdailyphoto.com will give a much more solid perspective.
Soon you’ll find out that a friend of yours has his or her own blog, or maybe even a coworker, as I found out with Blah Blog Blah.
For anyone that is new to a large city (L.A., Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, wherever): Don’t just read blogs for information on what to do and where to go in your new city, start your own blog. You’ll not only be documenting a certain aspect of your experience (my advice is to choose an angle or hook that is all yours, that is fresh and unresearched), but you’ll be plugged into a network of people who care about the city enough to take time out of their busy lives to offer their insights.
Considering moving to a new city and want to get the feel of it without buying a plane ticket? Check the blogs. What you’ll get is an unfiltered review of everything that people love, hate, find important, or think should go away. You may be surprised at what you’ll find.
I wish I was in Antarctica, where it’s warmer today. I’m not kidding. I checked the temperature. At a frigid 15 degrees (feels like -4), New York City is 20 degrees colder than Antarctica, which at McMerdo station is supposed to be 35 today. You could hop on a cruise ship and find yourself amid soaring glaciers and ice flows and you’d still be warmer than in Times Square.
The coldest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica was -129F and the coldest temp recorded in New York was -52F in 1979. I can’t really believe that but it’s in a USA Today article here.
This morning I took a different route to work and went back in time. First it was back to 1846, with the consecration of Grace Church (Episcopal), which is located on modern day 10th and Broadway. The church was built in the style of Gothic revival–full of spires pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress — so I slipped even further into the past.
This is a church that people walk past all the time without batting an eye. But if it were in London or Vienna no doubt Americans would treat it as a tourist attraction. It deserves a good look.
Welcome to the first post to I Spy NYC, a New York City blog documenting my daily commute to work through Gramercy, Greenwich Village and the West Village.
For the first post, I think it’s appropriate to show Union Square Green Market, 6 blocks into my morning walk, and one of my favorite stops. (Google Map) The outdoor market is full of vendors from New Jersey, New York and Connecticut who bring fresh vegetables, fruit, fish, baked goods, meats, cheeses and more. They say you have over 1,000 different food options at the market. So far I think I’ve tried 8. Tip: some stands have far better prices than others ($2 tomatoes vs. $4 tomatoes), so explore, and don’t think that you won’t come across the exact same thing in a different part of the market. The goodness of the market can be experienced every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM.