Monday, June 29, 2009

Stars and Stripes on the Fourth -- NYC Update

This year's Macy's fireworks spectacular in New York City promises to be something different and amazing. Not on the East River this year, the extravaganza celebrates the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's discovery of the (what else) river!... and, fittingly, will be set off over the Left Bank of Manhattan (West Side). Get there early and bring cushions to sit on, lots of water, and an umbrella just to be safe. Viewing access points are along 11th Avenue at 24th Street, 26-30th streets, 40-44th streets, 47-52nd streets, and 54-57th streets.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's Been a Hard Day's Night

I first visited the boutique Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool in October 2007 for a pre-opening tour. Traveling to Liverpool is a requisite pilgrimage for Beatles fans -- yes, we did sing Gerry and the Pacemakers' "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey" on the boat ride over (!) -- and this hotel now offers a fitting place for rest and contemplation. Two lavish penthouse suites reflect the personalities of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Other guest rooms and public areas also tell the Beatles story through artwork and memorabilia. The hotel is located in the Beatles quarter of Liverpool on the corner of Mathew Street, just yards from the famous Cavern Club where the Beatles started their career. The Hard Days Night has two restaurants, two bars, and just this week opened a two-level Beatles superstore. Not only will you be able to get official Hard Days Night Hotel merchandise and other Beatles souvenirs, but you will also be able to experience “The Gallery” which will house many exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Now's a great time to visit -- package prices start as low as £125.00. Fly into Manchester for a quick visit to this architecturally interesting city with its unusual underground Temple of Convenience Bar and industrial grittiness. From Manchester it's a quick trip to Liverpool, and it's far easier than dealing with Heathrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Can a Personal Concierge Change Your Life?

You bet he can! Raj Subramanian, training director from the Guild of Professional English Butlers,is a genius. The underlying visionary worked with Nikheel Advani of Grace Bay Club in Turks & Caicos to reinvent the concept of service at this tony Providenciales resort. Instead of you running to a Guest Services desk several times a day to pick out activities or set up dinner reservations, or returning several more times a day (when you really want to be sitting on the beach or sailing or snorkeling), your personal concierge does it all for you. You stay in contact via a cell phone with a "hot line" and you can change your mind as many times as you'd like. Pretty fabulous. Now I'm just wondering how to smuggle one home with me where I'm my own "personal concierge." Marvin, Boda, Franklyn, Andre and Gifford, I miss you terribly!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Travel School 101 -- 2009 version

I'm thinking of putting together a series of seminars for people thinking of visiting New York City -- both for their own survival and for the survival of those who live here.

Not to sound rude, what do you think of these?

* Walking and Tweeting -- How to keep in touch without falling off a curb or being hit by a taxi

* How Can I Get the LED on My Blackberry to Turn off? -- Ways to extend battery life so you'll never be out of touch

* Why Doesn't the Bus Accept Paper Money? and other issues important in surviving mass transit

* Biking the Big Apple -- A list of pathways, streets, and bike paths safe for riders, and those completely off-limits no matter what you think or how much of a daredevil you are

Send your ideas in -- this is only the start of the summer survival season.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kids' Restaurant Week

Why should adults have all the fun (and goodies)? Now, kids can get a break and enjoy the good stuff, too. Starting June 20 and running through June 28, restaurants in New York, Chicago and Washington, DC are offering parents a $29 meal. Kids pay their age. That sounds pretty good to me. A six-year old should really only pay $6 for what he or she actually eats. And it's for reservations between 5pm and 7pm, two very respectable hours for dining with the kids. Check out the link above to the wonderful restaurants in New York participating in this yummy event. Be sure to make your reservations now, as they're sure to book up soon at these phenomenal prices. The program is sponsored by Cookie and Gourmet magazines, with part of the proceeds to be donated to local charities. A win-win for all.