This was also my first NYC trip since the onset a year ago of the lower back pain, the most disabling of my various ailments. My last NYC adventure was a similar three-day visit in June 2011, a few months before the August car crash that triggered the lower back pain. How would I handle travel now?
I'm writing this recap mostly to sort out my own thoughts. I've thrown in a few photos to perk up the post.
We took Amtrak's 5pm Acela train and arrived in New York before 8pm. I agree with a cab driver who told me years ago, "New York has the best of everything and the worst of everything." I've found that the Times Square area includes the worst of the crowding, pushing, shoving, shouting multitudes. So I prefer staying at hotels near Times Square but closer to Central Park.
One of the many great perks of my BNA job was staying at the Plaza for over ten consecutive years. I was part of an editorial team that went on the road for two weeks every March, giving briefings on developments in labor relations. Each year began with a meeting at the Plaza.
These days, when I'm picking up the tab myself, I look for something less pricey. Still, to avoid that "NYC has the worst of everything" feeling, I'm willing to pay more for a hotel there than I would elsewhere. In recent years, I've booked the Hilton on 6th Avenue, but this time I wanted a smaller, quieter boutique hotel. I've often used Frommer's guidebooks for suggestions, and one of their recommended hotels was the Shoreham on 55th between 5th and 6th. It was a good pick.
This excursion was Bhawana's introduction to the city and its wonderful craziness. So we started off Friday night by walking around the corner from our hotel to the Trump Tower with its five-story waterfall.
When playing tourist guide in NYC, I prefer the "Top of the Rock" to the Empire State Building. From there, you get a great view of the Empire State Building.