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Posts tagged new york

Over the past several weeks work has been taking me to New York City, specifically, an office in downtown Brooklyn. There are a couple of decent hotels eight blocks away and they are quite nice. My issue is more with the surrounding area and finding somewhere to eat at 7pm. The options are not plentiful and I really do not want to take the subway into Manhattan every night to eat.

My co-workers all stay in lower Manhattan near the Bowling Green subway station. It is a quick train ride from the office (10 minutes) but has the same issue as the hotels in Brooklyn, there really are not a whole lot of dining options in lower Manhattan (unless you enjoy pub food every night).

Why is food so important you ask? For one, I’ve gotta eat, but more importantly, going out to dinner is a way for me to not think about the day’s work but instead focus on other conversation. Even better is if I am able to meet up with some of my friends and talk travel or planes or some other non-work topic.

The last hotel stay I had was at the Four Points in Chelsea. The location is perfect, tons of restaurants around and easy access to the subway. It does take an across the platform transfer to get to the office, but that is really no problem. The downside of this hotel and what keeps me searching for other options is that it is somewhat dingy and not well kept. I do not worry about bed bugs but the hotel has seen better days. The other options I am exploring are the Four Points in SoHo, the Sheraton in Tribeca, the W on Lexington, and the Four Points in Midtown. The last option I have already kind of written off though, I have no interest being near Times Square or dealing with the trains, crowds, etc. there.

But, I am open to suggestions. Any thoughts or experiences with hotels in Manhattan? My main requirements are close to a subway stop (preferably the 4/5 or the 2/3), in an area with a decent number of restaurants, and a hotel staff that likes to keep the property clean.

The plan for my Monday is usually pretty simple, get to the airport, get on the plane, fly somewhere, and get to work. Today was not much different, right up until the point where we passed up our destination, New York’s LaGuardia airport, did a 180 degree turn over Connecticut, then started our approach to the airport. That’s when things got really interesting.

As we approached LaGuardia, I looked out the window and saw what looked like a wall of water in front of us. The captain had informed us that there was weather in the area but that they were still taking arrivals so I thought the rain may have been isolated off our left side. On final approach, right around 200 feet, all hell broke loose. Day turned to night and our plane dropped suddenly. I heard the engines spool up and felt the plane’s nose go up. We made a sharp left turn over the main terminal building and continued climbing.

Ten minutes later and the pilot announced that due to our long approach, the plane’s fuel was low and we would not be able make another attempt at landing at LaGuardia. Instead, we would be diverting to Newburgh’s Stewart International Airport. That landing was normal and we taxied to the FBO (fixed-base operator) that United contracts with at Stewart Airport where we sat and sat and sat. Eventually the weather at LaGuardia cleared and our plane was refueled and we were on our way back to New York City.

Newburgh - Stewart International Airport

The view of Newburgh - Stewart International Airport from my window

Almost three hours later and we landed at LaGuardia. In the United States I have never experienced people clapping after a landing, but they did after this touch down. Can’t say I blame them; That missed approach was one of the more hair raising flying experiences I have ever had, but it did my make Monday interesting.

I should add that the United crew did a great job keeping everyone informed of what was going on and at Stewart Airport they walked around handing out drinks and giving free access to DirecTV. They were even letting people who wanted to deplane and drive to NYC from Newburgh do that. So, my hat is off to the crew of United 1280. You handled a less than ideal situation professionally and with a lot of courtesy and I appreciate that.

Analysis: Delta heats up competition for New York flyers →

At LaGuardia, Delta is offering 100 new nonstop flights this summer to 26 new destinations. The expansion was made possible by an unusual deal with US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N), which swapped air traffic slots at LaGuardia for Delta assets at Reagan National airport in Washington.

[…]

“New York is a dogfight, and it’s really the holy grail for many of the competitors out there,” said Chuck Imhof, Delta’s managing director for New York sales.

While sitting on the tarmac at LaGuardia a couple of weeks ago it was very obvious that Delta is making a huge push at the airport. Seeing how American and United respond should make for an interesting fall season.