Monthly Archives: May 2013

Peter & the Starcatcher Still Flies Off Broadway

peternew2This spring Peter and the Starcatcher moved from the Brooks Atkinson Theater to the excellent Off Broadway venue, New World Stages. This play has been the subject of a number of blogs in the past, and we’re happy to say it is still the absolute best! Concierge Laura experienced the show for the first time recently, read about her experience below!

Peter and the Starcatcher is a play based on a novel of similar name by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, and the play provides a backstory for the character of Peter Pan.

I recently went to see Peter and the Starcatcher, and I must admit, it was surprising! It wasn’t like any other show I had seen before! This show invites you to let your imagination fly far, far away, and you have to have your mind and imagination open so you can fully understand the show.

peternew3It also brought me back to my childhood; who hasn’t watched Peter Pan? From the moment when you sit down in your seat at the theater you enjoy every second of it. Also, let’s not forget the marvelous acting that keeps you laughing at all the hilarious moments (many of the characters are sailors, and sailors are funny!), but it also has subtle layers of humor that doesn’t let anyone –anyone who is paying attention- stay indifferent. Captain “Black Stache” (played by Rick Holmes) is one of the highlights of the play; you feel like making fun of him, or even better, you have fun with him: the actor does a magnificent job portraying him, with such passion and emphasis. Another wonderful comic character, Mrs. Bumbrake (Jon Patrick Walker), is portrayed a male actor, and who doesn’t enjoy looking at a man playing the role of a women, not hiding that he is a man and despite his feminine behavior? Every time he would talk he would crack me up.

peternew1Children and adults will enjoy this play. For a child, there is the whole new discovering-your-imagination part, (like at the time on the play when they show you a little wooden ship and ask you to believe that they are actually in it). Adults can practice the same exercise, as sometimes we forget to let our imagination go.

The interesting part is: Peter Pan expresses all through the play why he doesn’t want to grow up, and hey, his reasoning is not bad at all, that is a face of Peter Pan that you usually don’t really get to see.

If you like plays, and you are looking into watching a different type of play, Peter and the Starcatcher is the play to see. You will have fun, you will be amazed by the intelligence of the show and you will probably want to see it again, so you can reminisce on the details that you think you might have forgotten the first time, as this exquisite play is full, full of details. You will be surprised of what can come from a play that basically only uses a rope and a ladder for almost two hours and a half. As I advised, just let your imagination go and you will have the best time.

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Staying Off the Beaten Path

by Eileen, Travel Planner

We always get requests for hotel in Times Square.  The location of Times Square is more than ideal— five minutes to any of the Broadway theatres, fifteen minutes to Central Park, and twenty minutes to the Empire State Building.  As much as you may not necessarily enjoy Times Square, you have to admit that it is the epicenter of New York City.  However many New Yorkers do not consider Times Square the “real New York”, and to be honest staying in Times Square isn’t going to give you the true New York experience.

We pride ourselves as a company in the fact that we are all real New Yorkers, many of us born-and-raised natives.  We’re based here in the city and are committed to bringing you the experience of New York.  So we ventured out to see what hotels we could add to our growing partners that would provide our guests with the true New York experience.  Last week we were able to visit a couple of the newest hotels to join the New York scene. They all have great rates and just happen to be off the beaten path.

  1. The Comfort Inn Midtown West

efhotel1This hotel just opened this past March and sits in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Midtown Manhattan.  For those of you that do not know, Hell’s Kitchen is located on the West side of Manhattan just past Times Square.  It’s a very residential neighborhood that is quiet and features some of New York’s best restaurants.  We walked over from the 1 train passing several playgrounds and schools before reaching the hotel.

 

efhotel3There are certain elements that come to mind when you think of a Comfort Inn— no frills, economical, and standard.  This hotel meets the economical portion, but other than that you really wouldn’t be able to tell it is a Comfort Inn.  The hotel has a boutique feel to its design from its bathroom to dresser.  The hotel offers complimentary breakfast and wifi in the lobby, for additional savings.  This hotel is a great alternative for those working with a strict budget but who still want the convenience of staying close to Times Square.

  1. The Holiday Inn Lower East Side

This is another new hotel offering a local experience on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  The hotel is just five minutes from the F or M lines along Houston Street.  The Lower East Side is very residential with a lot of apartment buildings and it feels like a completely different world then the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.  Taking after the area, the hotel is really quiet and offers a calm place to return to after exploring the streets of Manhattan.

Louise and I were both really impresseefhotel4d with the size of the hotel room and the way the hotel used the space.  As many of you may know, hotel rooms in Manhattan are notoriously small.  While this room isn’t huge, it’s comfortable for short or long term visit to the city.  The hotel has its own 50s themed restaurant and fitness center on the lower level of the hotel.  We were heading back to our office in Midtown after our visit, and were pleased it only took about 10 minutes or so.

  1. The Millennium Broadway

So this hotel isn’t off the beaten path, but in the grand scheme of Time Square Hotel it can get easily left behind.  The Millennium Broadway is located on West 44th Street and Broadway, with entrances that are along the side streets.  The hotel has over 700 rooms that vary to queens, kings, double doubles, and suites.  The hotel recently completely its renovations and refurnished all of its rooms.

efhotel5Out of all the hotels we’ve seen, this is the only one we’ve seen that have large rooms with floor to ceiling windows.  All of the rooms have a view of the skyline— so no interior views here!  Guests are just steps from all the major Broadway theatres, the Times Square sights, Central Park, Rockefeller Center and so much!  In addition to providing a great experience for hotel guests, the Millennium Broadway can also serve as a great conference center.  The hotel has a lot of space that would be great for conferences, private parties, and weddings.

No matter what your hotel preference— small, large, boutique, chain, the best of the best, or cost efficient— New York Guest is here to help!  Please feel free to contact us to help with any aspect of your New York trip!

 

 

 

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Short term apartments in NYC

by Eileen, Travel Planner

One of the worst feelings in the world is when you realize you’ve been duped.  It’s happened to all of us— something seems too good to be true and then you realize (too late) that it is.  It’s happened to me with concert tickets, “discount” coupons, and unfortunately with apartments.  The hardest one getting over was the apartment.  All my friend and I wanted was an apartment to call our own.  We searched the internet, we asked every friend we knew, and we even called a couple of brokers.  After finding “the one”, we arrived on move in day only to discover a very much present tenant still living in “our” apartment, who had no clue what we were talking about.  Our deposit and the perpetrator where gone, never to be seen again.  Luckily it worked out for us in the end; we found a legal apartment and lived happily there for a year or so.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the horror stories from friends and family— the apartment that was presented to them ended up being unsafe, filthy, or illegal.

Now I’m sure it doesn’t come as a shock to you that New York can get expensive.  It’s hard to find a hotel in Manhattan for under $200 throughout most of the year, and during the holidays prices can get exponentially higher.  We know what makes travelers tempted by the “too good to be true” offers— you’re on a budget and you want the most bang for your buck when it comes to your vacation.  Many people assume that renting an apartment for a few days or weeks is the most cost efficient option left; it is actually illegal.

It is illegal (against the law) to rent an apartment for less than 31 day in New York City.

That’s it.  No “ifs,” “ands” or “buts.” Don’t believe us? Here’s a link to the actual law: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/downloads/pdf/NYS_chapter_225.pdf

There are several reasons why this minimum is imposed; however it ends up coming down to safety.  The so called apartment units can lack fire alarms, sprinklers, and create fire hazards to residents in the neighborhood.  Most people discover that at the end of the road, when you come to New York and you make it into the apartment.  Unfortunately most people don’t make it that far, for them the road ends when they produce payment.

We had a case last year when someone had produced payment and thought she was all set to go, only to arrive to New York and find out that the apartment she was intending to stay in didn’t actually exist.  I’ve also heard a story about someone just sending off their credit card information only to never hear from the “owner” again.  The most terrifying story I heard was when a couple arrived in New York from abroad.  They were able to get into the apartment and decided to leave for the day, only to find themselves locked out of their apartment when they returned later that night.  Locked inside the apartment were all of their belongings and passports.

If you are interested in economical options for your visit, we suggest looking into hotel in Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey.  You would be surprised at how easy it is to get into Manhattan and how much more cost efficient hotels are outside of Manhattan.  We love hotels outside of Manhattan because you get to see real communities and neighborhoods.  New York City has one of, if not the most, comprehensive transit system in the world.  Our subways are in service 24/7 365 days out of the year.  We always recommend investing in a Metrocard since it is a pass that allows you access to New York City.  Getting around the city is as easy as swiping a Metrocard!

Don’t be fooled by anyone trying to rent you a short term apartment – remember that they are knowingly breaking the law by making this offer, and by providing them with your personal information or trusting them with your vacation, you are putting your money and trust in the hands of someone who is knowingly breaking the law.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have! We’re here to protect your best interests and provide you with the most cost efficient ways to travel in NYC. For more information on budget trips to NYC, read our New York City on a Shoestring blog or e-mail info@newyorkguest.com!

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Your Favorite Shot: The Top 10

We’ve never had a tougher time determining your top 10! Some of the most interesting and unique shots we’ve seen since launching the photography contest came in this month, and narrowing it down was rough. We hope you don’t have as much trouble choosing one to vote for as the winner! Scroll down to check out the contenders, and then cast your vote. Voting will close on May 16th!

#1 by Eric Tsai

#1 by Eric Tsai

#2 by Gabriela Ciarallo

#2 by Gabriela Ciarallo

#3 by Kalee Barry

#3 by Kalee Barry

#4 by Kelsey Daugherty

#4 by Kelsey Daugherty

#4 by Kesley Daugherty

#5 by Kesley Daugherty

#6 by Koen Vermesen

#6 by Koen Vermesen

#7 by Lali Galuppo

#7 by Lali Galuppo

#8 by Leanne Maxwell

#8 by Leanne Maxwell

#9 by Linda Brown

#9 by Linda Brown

#10 by Wendy Tyack

#10 by Wendy Tyack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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