Tag Archives: NYC Experience

Traditions of Broadway

There’s nothing like tradition…

One of my mother’s great New York traditions was having what she called “Girl Days” on Broadway. Whether it was taking me to see a show or spending a weekend with her college girlfriends at a fancy hotel and seeing 5 shows over 2 nights, I always grew up with the idea that seeing Broadway with friends was just something you do… that you do as much as you can!

My mom at Marquette in the 1960s

My mom graduated from college in 1967 and, for nearly 40 years, she carried on a tradition of meeting her girlfriends in the city for weekend of shopping and shows.  No matter how tough times got the girls always met in New York in the fall.  Sometimes, if I was lucky, being the only daughter of the group, I was invited to join in.

Since my mother has passed, I have served as her younger substitution and this year I saw Catch me if you Can starring Tom Wopat and Norbert Leo Butz. We laughed a lot, admired the costumes, gazed lovingly at Tom Wopat, who happened to have grown up with one the girls, and laughed at the memories of trips past.   I know that this one tradition that my mom is happy to know that I am carrying on.

One of the greats parts of my mother’s trips that I always laughed at was that, despite their financial success, the girls always shared one standard room. Just like they did as freshmen, they bunkered up and never wanted to be more than a few feet from each other for fear on missing out!   One hotel that I love for this is the Sheraton Tribeca. The rooms are large enough for 3 ladies to feel comfortable. Plus an inexpensive upgrade to SPG Club floor ensures access to the gorgeous lounge that comes with complimentary breakfast and is stocked with all the libations necessary for hours of endless chatter.  The lounge also has one of the best views in NYC! The hotel is just stone throw from the shops of SoHo where you can spend all the money you are saving!

Outdoor terrace at the Sheraton Tribeca's Club Lounge

Let our team here at New York Guest team help you plan your own “Girl Days” on Broadway! We’ll set you up with a great package including your Broadway tickets and the perfect hotel for you and your friends. Simply call us at (212) 302-4019 and we’ll get the planning started!

— Jeannette

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Filed under Broadway News, New York Stories, NYC News and Information

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway Review)

Greetings from Manhattan! My name is Danielle, I am another one of New York Guest’s hotel concierges. I have been a hotel concierge for 3 years and love helping people discover exciting New York City! When it comes to seeing shows, I’m the best audience member and I’m always pulling for the cast like a stage mom. Now if a show’s a stinker then there’s only so much I can like about it, but normally there’s some redeeming quality or something that I can appreciate.  Like The Pirate Queen. That show was a hot mess but they had FANTASTIC costumes!! And the interaction amongst the queens was wonderful. Great elements of the show they just didn’t go all together.

Also, I’m a straight shooter. I’m great at prescribing shows for anyone’s interest even if they’ve never seen a Broadway show. There are so many choices and interests– Broadway and Off-Broadway are really for everyone.

I was lucky enough to see a preview of the brand new Broadway show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Tuesday, March 8 2011.  I loved it!!

You might have heard of this show before since this is the third time the show has played on Broadway. The original run was back in 1961-1965 when it ran for a whopping 1,417 performances during which the show won 7 Tony Awards and the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Then in 1995 How To Succeed… came back to rave reviews with Broadway favorite Matthew Broderick, who also won a Tony for his performance. And now the show is back! In the role J. Pierrepont Finch is Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe who plays opposite Emmy Award winning actor, John Laroquette in the role of J.B. Biggley.  Radcliffe did an exceptional job in the show Equus last year, so I was really glad to see him back on stage.

The Marquis at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre

The costumes were fantastic very vibrant, beautiful color palette of teals, lavender, rose, mint green and so 60’s!!
The Costume Designer must have been inspired by the choreography which is just as fun, poppy and vibrant.

Daniel Radcliffe really holds his own a corporate ladder climbing J. Pierpont Finch, F-I-N-C-H. The role isn’t an easy one as it requires just the right about of charm which he has in spades. The comic timing is very refreshing as well. So nice to see him in a fun light hearted show and to see another side of this talented actor.

Daniel Radcliffe by Annie Lebovitz for Vogue Magazine

Also surprising was John Laroquette. Although, this man is very talented and a total veteran performer so I don’t know why I was surprised. His comic timing is impeccable and where his character could easily be seen as a no-good louse, he actually comes across as charming and forgivable. And by the end, we definitely do forgive his extracurricular.

John Laroquette in How to Succeed Without Really Trying

No shortage of audience interaction with guffaws to applause to our right whooping from some of the younger fans.
Some of the songs were a bit slow because it was left in it’s original style where someone will sing a line, pause pause pause, and then someone else will sing a line, pause pause pause.  But I have no doubt that this talented cast will work out the kinks and have the audiences in the palm of their hands through those quiet moments by the time of the show’s official opening scheduled for March 27th. There are some definite show stopping numbers are contained in this gem. Most notably a numbers toward the end of both acts.

The first act is quite long, clocking in at about an hour and 40 minutes. But the second act is definitely shorter making the show 2.45 hours including intermission.

Oh– and look out for celebrities! Katie Holmes was in attendance at my show with little Suri in tow. And they stayed for the whole show! So even a 5 year old enjoyed the show!! (Although this is really more recommended for audiences 10 and up)

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

I would definitely recommend this show for those who are also fans of Promises, Promises, The Producers, Hairspray, Sweet Charity (yes, I just brought up that amazing musical that should still be running)!

Contact my colleagues in the office to get your tickets– and don’t wait! This show is sure to be sold out more nights than not. You can inquire about tickets by calling New York Guest at (212) 302-4019 or e-mail info@newyorkguest.com

— Danielle

I’m all over How to Succeed.
I was lucky enough to see a preview on Tuesday, March 8 2011.
I loved it!!
Great classic 60’s Broadway Musical.
The costumes were fantastic very vibrant, beautiful color palette of teals, lavender, rose, mint green and so 60’s!!
The Costume Designer must have been inspired by the choreography which is just as fun, poppy and vibrant.
Daniel Radcliffe really holds his own a corporate ladder climbing J. Pierpont Finch, F-I-N-C-H. The role isn’t an easy one as it requires just the right about of charm which he has in spades. The comic timing is very refreshing as well. So nice to see him in a fun light hearted show and to see another side of this talented actor.
Also surprising was John Laroquette. Although, this man is very talented and a total veteran performer so I don’t know why I was surprised. His comic timing is impeccable and where his character could easily be seen as a no-good louse, he actually comes across as charming and forgivable. And by the end, we definitely do forgive his extracurricular.
No shortage of audience interaction with guffaws to applause to our right whooping from some of the younger fans.
Some of the songs were a bit slow b/c it was left in it’s original style where someone will sing a line, pause pause pause, and then someone else will sing a line, pause pause pause. But I have no doubt that this talented cast will work out the kinks and have the audiences in the palm of their hands through those quiet moments by the time of opening.
Some definite show stopping numbers are contained in this gem. Most notably a numbers toward the end of both acts.
The first act is quite long, clocking in at about an hour and 40 minutes. But the second act is definitely shorter making the show 2.45 including intermission.
Oh! and look out for celebrities. Katie Holmes was in attendance at my show with little Suri in tow. And they stayed for the whole show! So even a 5 year old enjoyed the show!! (Although this is really more recommended for audiences 10 and up)
I would definitely recommend this for fans of Promises, Promises, The Producers, Hairspray, Sweet Charity (yes, I just brought up that amazing musical that should still be running)

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Filed under Broadway Review, NYC News and Information, Staff Intro

Melba: Fuerza Bruta Review

Hello! My name is Melba Guerrero and I am a New York Guest Hotel Concierge. I was born in New York, raised in Dominican Republic and moved to New Jersey as a teenager. Even though I’m just across the Hudson River, my heart is always in the city which is why I like to stay really close to it. I’ve been working in the hotel business for over 4 years and I love it– even more so now that I am a concierge because I have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and help them appreciate New York City as much as I do.

I’m a singer/musician, aiming to get my Music Education degree, and I’m also the musical director for my sorority, which I now do part-time. In school and in other areas, I’ve had the opportunity to perform musically, however, I didn’t experience seeing a professional performance on Broadway and off Broadway until becoming a part of New York Guest. Seeing the shows is part of my job since it helps me learn about the current shows and the great ones from the past.

Last week my mom, my sister and I went to see Fuerza Bruta, an avant-garde off-Broadway show. Prior to arriving, I was not aware that this show does not have chairs and that we were going to have to move around during the performance. I thought it would be fun for me and my sister, but my poor mother can’t stand for too long (luckily they had a couple of benches on the sides) and she didn’t want to miss anything, so she remained standing for the whole show.  In Spanish, Fuerza Bruta means ‘brute force’.   I wondered what I should expect from a “brute force”.  I did see some previews from the website to see how it is, and I thought it was cool and was really looking forward to it. The preview is only a glimpse of what you’re going to see– meaning there is so much more to see than what you expect.

In the beginning of the show I felt as though I was in a 20th century version of a silent film, where the audience is sucked in to it to see it live! I was moving to the beat of the music; at some points it felt like I was in a Brazilian dance club. It was crowded, and the more rhythmic parts can catch you unexpectedly but I didn’t mind. I don’t want to give away too much, but you might get a little wet on purpose from the performers. It was so much fun; I was so happy with the outcome and understood what Fuerza Bruta finally means. The energy of the performers and dancers, the dynamics of the music, the tempo of the rhythm would make that a Fuerza Bruta!  I will definitely go again with close friends and dance dance dance!

Look up!

Let New York Guest help you find some of New York City’s off Broadway treasures like Fuerza Bruta. Just give my colleagues a call at (212) 302-4019 for advice and assistance!

— Melba

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Lora: Shop Vintage!

Come to New York City and you will surely find your 5th Avenue designer duds and your Soho best-sellers.  But being the Fashion Capital of the World, New York City has so many hidden vintage gems.

I love shopping; some might even say I have an addiction. BUT I am a very savvy shopper! Nothing thrills me more then a great bargain. Sure, I could go to Bloomingdales or H & M with everyone else (which of course I sometimes do), buy something off the rack at full price then walk down the street and see at least 5 people with the same top. Or I could seek out the hidden vintage gems New York City has to offer. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe what I have found! I am constantly getting compliments on my pretty purchases and I love to say I shop vintage!

Beacon's Closet - My initiation to all things vintage

Truth: At first, I couldn’t do it. There is something about buying something new and fresh that has no comparison. Putting on clothing that someone else has worn took some getting used to. But once I got over that, I was in vintage state of mind.  My first vintage experience was at Beacon’s Closet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I went to the Brooklyn Brewery with some friends and across the street this hot pink building was calling my name. I went in and was a bit overwhelmed by the endless racks of clothes. But I decided to sift through and found some great stuff! The price tags were amazing: I found designer duds for CHEAP and I can be confident no one else will be wearing the same outfit.

Do these come in my size? Hope so!

I was hooked but I didn’t exactly try to seek any new stores out. I was convinced that I would have to travel to Williamsburg when I wanted to get my vintage fix.

Was I wrong! One of my favorite things to do is explore new neighborhoods in the city. I love to ride my bike and explore New York City and each time I am delighted to find something new. Sometimes I find a new vintage store. It’s definitely hit or miss, which my bank account is okay with. However, when I hit, I hit big and my shopping addictive self feels NYC-satisfied!

Contact me for shopping suggestions!

 

If you are coming to New York and need any shopping tips, please call me for my expert advise– I have the receipts to prove it! Reach me at LGreen@newyorkguest.com or at (212) 302-4019.

My other favorite Vintage Spots:

New York Vintage
Screaming Mimi’s
1 of a Find
Buffalo Exchange
Cheap Jack’s
Chelsea Girl Couture

— Lora

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Filed under New York Shopping, NYC News and Information

Jana: The Best Spa Experience in New York City

Hello! My name is Jana, I am a Senior Travel Consultant at New York Guest. I help people from all over the world plan their New York City getaways. I wanted to share with you a recent amazing experience I had here in my hometown. There are so many wonderful Spas in New York City, but by far the most relaxing and breathtaking that I had been to was the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The entire spa visit was relaxing from head to toe – literally! I had the pleasure of experiencing this with my boyfriend after he won a visit to the spa and of course he took me along with him for some treatments! How lucky was I?! From the moment you enter the Mandarin Oriental, the soothing music and atmosphere totally transforms you into a calm, relaxed mood. This was extremely special as we had been walking around our wonderful city all day. Taking time to enjoy the sites and attractions of New York City is always a  great time, but it was such a delight to know that New York also offers tranquil places to visit as well.

Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental Spa

We were welcomed with delicious tea and a change of footwear. The slippers were very comfy and immediately soothed our feet from all of the walking we had done. After leaving the Tea Lounge we parted ways into our Massage rooms. They were lit with candles and the music was very relaxing. The entire room smelled of aromatherapy oils and my masseuse allowed me to choose the scent that I liked best.  The service was absolutely amazing and transformed me into a very calm, relaxed state.  It was fantastic! The hour-long service was just perfect.

Relaxation Room at the Mandarin Oriental Spa

After my Massage I was greeted by my Masseuse with a glass of water and whe then escorted me into the Spa Relaxation Room. There are full length windows that encompass the most spectacular views of the New York City. Looking out at the amazing view, it made me so proud to be a native New Yorker! In the Relaxation Room I was surrounded by other women who had also enjoyed many different spa services. We were talking, reading the provided magazines, enjoying fruit and RELAXING! The Chairs were long chaise lounges that curved to your body– so comfortable I wanted to take one home with me.

Steam Room

Upon my exit from the Relaxation Room I entered the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room and the Vitality Pool. When I was ready to end my spa session, I was reunited with my boyfriend. We were so relaxed and ready for the romantic dinner ahead of us! It was one of my favorite New York City experiences ever and I highly recommend it!

Vitality Pool

I would love to help you plan your own New York City spa experience on your next trip to the city! Having been to many of the area hotels and day spas, I have a great sense of what’s available and what’s worth the splurge (like the Mandarin Oriental) of taking time during a busy trip to pamper oneself. Just give me a call at (212) 302-4019 or email me at JUrban@newyorkguest.com.

— Jana

There are so many wonderful Spas in New York City, but by far the most relaxing and breathtaking that I had been to was the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The Entire spa visit was relaxing from head to toe- Literally! I had the pleasure of experiencing this with my Boyfriend. He had won a weekend in New York City and the Spa at the MO Hotel was one of the perks! How lucky was I?! From the moment you enter the soothing music and atmosphere totally transforms you into a calm, relaxed mood. This was extremely special as we were travelling all day! We were visiting busy museums, walking on cramped streets, dealing with loud noises, honking horns and MANY people trying to “get through” all day! Don’t get me wrong, it was a great time and so much fun but it was such a delight to know that New York also offers tranquil places to visit as well!

We were welcomed with delicious tea and a change of footwear. The slippers were very comfy and immediately soothed our feet from all of the walking we had done! After leaving the Tea Lounge we parted ways into our Massage rooms. They were lit with candles and the music was very relaxing. The entire room smelled of aromatherapy oils and my masseuse allowed me to choose the scent that I liked best! The service was absolutely amazing and transformed me into a very calm, relaxed state. It was fantastic! The hour service was just perfect.

After my Massage I was greeted by my Masseuse with a glass of water. She then escorted me into the Spa Relaxation Room. There are full length windows that encompass the most spectacular views of the city! It made me so proud to be a native New Yorker! It was breathtaking. In the Relaxation Room I was surrounded by other women who enjoyed many different spa services. We were talking, reading the provided magazines, enjoying fruit and specialty waters and RELAXING! The Chairs were long Chaise Lounges that curved to your body. They were extremely comfortable.

Upon my exit from the Relaxation Room I entered the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room and the Vitality Pool. When I was ready to end my spa session, I was reunited with my boyfriend Joe. We were so relaxed and ready for the romantic dinner ahead of us! It was one of my favorite New York City experiences and I highly recommend it!

Consider the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental after a fun filled, vigorous day in New York City- you will not regret it!

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Lora: Double Decker Delight

Double Decker Bus in Times Square

I recently got the opportunity to go on a double decker city tour! It has always been something I wanted to do. I have done it in Boston and Washington, D.C. and always thought it would be interesting to do in my own city: New York! All my life I have been touring New York City like a tourist, even though I am a native of the area.  This tour in particular shouldn’t be left just for tourists, it’s a great way to discover the city you live in as well.

I woke up early wanting to be the first in line with all of the other eager tourists.  When I suggested we wear the foam Statue of Liberty hats my friend said I was taking it too far.  What a party-pooper.

Throughout the day we went on four different buses; the nature of this tour is that you get to hop on and hop off at various bus stops around the city. The double decker buses circulate on a route all day long and you can get on and off as much as you like during the time your ticket is valid. We got off in Greenwich Village, SoHo, Ground Zero and Little Italy for food, shopping and sights.

I have to say that I am ashamed to admit I had never been to Ground Zero before taking the double decker tour. It was an emotional experience for me, especially the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site (the full memorial will open closer to the time of the 10 year anniversary later this year).  Listening to 911 phone calls, the photos of the firemen and the plans for the rebuilding were so intriguing. I didn’t even know that museum existed until recently. On your next visit to New York City, I highly recommend that you include this stop on your itinerary. I am proud to tell you that New York Guest is a strong supporter of the 9/11 Memorial.

Most interesting fact of the day: Murray Hill (where I live) was named after Mary Murray, a former owner of an estate in the area. Her family were Quakers said to be responsible for delaying William Howe and his army during General Washington’s retreat from New York by extending an invitation for tea. Who knew? Our tour guide on the double decker bus knew!

Our last tour guide was a woman named Kathleen. She was the kind of person that loved life and loved her job even more. She has been giving tours for over 20 years and never gets sick of it. She gave me her card and told me she does private tours and is trying to start her own business.  She was the kind of person that beams life; someone that makes you rethink your own. The crowd loved her. If you are coming to the city and need a private tour guide, I would love to put you in touch with her!

Overall, the double decker tour of New York was a great experience– you can book your double decker tour right on our website (tickets are on sale right now!) or contact my colleagues for booking assistance.

Other tours I highly recommend:

Sex and the City Tour

On Board New York Tours (all day tour with a professional guide)

The New York Pass (see over 55 NYC sites and attractions at an incredible rate)

New York Helicopter Tours

New York Harbor Cruises

Here are some shots I have taken while sightseeing in NYC over the years!

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I recently got the opportunity to go on a double decker city tour! It

has always been something I wanted to do. I have done it in

Boston and Washington DC and always thought it would be interesting to

do in my own city.

I woke up early wanting to be the first in line with all of the other

eager tourists. When I suggested we wear the foam Statue of Liberty

hats my friend said I was taking it too far.

Throughout the day we went on four different buses. Getting off in

Greenwich Village, Soho, Ground Zero and Little Italy for food,

shopping and sights. I have to say I am ashamed to admit I haven’t

been to Ground Zero. I never found myself in the area other then to

drive by. It was an emotional experience, especially the museum.

Listening to 911 phone calls, the photos of the firemen and the plans

for the rebuilding were so intriguing. I didn’t even know that museum

existed.

Most interesting fact of the day: Murray Hill (where I live) was named

after Mary Murray. A former owner of an estate in the area. Her family

were Quakers said to be responsible for delaying William Howe and his

army during General Washington’s retreat from New York by extending an

invitation for tea.

Our last tour guide was a woman named Kathleen. She was the

kind of person that loved life and loved her job even more. She has

been giving tours for over 20 years and never gets sick of it. She

gave me her card and told me she does private tours and is trying to

start her own business. She was the kind of person that beams life;

someone that makes you rethink your own. The crowd loved her.

Overall, this was a great experience. Something to check off the list.

If you are interested in any City Tours, please contact my colleagues at New York Guest. I also highly recommend the Sex and the City Tour!

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Filed under New York Sightseeing, NYC Icons, Out on the Town

Terra: You Never Forget Your First Glimpse of New York City

My 7th Grade Class before getting on the bus to NYC

When I was in the 7th grade in the early 80’s I signed up for a school trip to New York City with my teachers and classmates. I had never been to NYC before so I didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to go with my school!  I think it cost $300 for the bus ride from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan, 2 nights hotel near Times Square, meals, sightseeing and a ticket to see the show 42nd Street on Broadway.

I will never forget that first glimpse you get of Manhattan when driving up via the Jersey Turnpike. All the kids had their noses pressed up against the bus windows, looking for the Empire State Building and the shine of the Chrysler Building. We were all giddy with excitement for the weekend that lay ahead.

I don’t remember what hotel we stayed in, but it was clean and comfortable and fit 4 students per room. I am sure we didn’t get much sleep, with all the excitement of being away from home. But who needs sleep in the City that Never Sleeps? We all ate breakfast together before heading out for some sightseeing. We went to the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, one of the museums and of course Times Square.  We learned a lot about US History, art, architecture and social studies on this trip; it brought what we were learning in the classroom truly to life.

Seeing 42nd Street was the crown jewel of the trip. I had never been to the theatre before, much less a Broadway show! It was full of energy, dancing, glittery costumes and was just every thing a 13 year-old could ever want. I was hooked on New York City and knew right then and there I would move here. And then not too many years later, I did!

One of the things I love about working for New York Guest is that I get to provide that same exciting experience for student groups (and other travelers as well) that come to New York from all over the world.  It’s just not possible to forget your first visit to New York City! For so many people that experience shapes how they see the world. For me, it was the spark that led me to lead a life filled with travel and exploring new places. I truly believe it was a turning point, even at such a young age.

Are you a teacher or school administrator? Why not consider bring your students to New York City? We can provide educational itineraries to supplement classroom learning in many subjects. We make it easy for teachers and other group organizers by providing excellent group rates and all the logistic help required. Why do all the time consuming group travel planning when we can do it for you? Contact us today to start booking your New York City group travel!

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Filed under Group Travel, NYC News and Information, Student Travel