Tag Archives: new york city

I keep running away to New York! – Affinia Manhattan hotel review

It really is a shame that one of the greatest cities in the world is only a few short hours from Boston – a shame for my wallet that is. Luckily this ‘biz has a couple perks and I was able to return last weekend for a quick little romp. I brought the boyfriend this time and was planning on some serious sightseeing and only having the laptop open for a couple of hours. We enjoyed wine-ing, dining, an off-Broadway play and my first trip to the strange yet fascinating Guggenheim Museum.

Before all that though, let me sing some high praises for the Affinia Manhattan Hotel. While I wasn’t on official assignment, I till was looking at this place with a writer’s eye and was totally satisfied with what I observed.

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Right off the bat the lobby is insanely impressive, if not a little daunting. What better way to a girl’s inner Audrey Hepburn though than chandeliers, right? The front desk staff were top notch and super helpful in getting me all settled in. I took the old school elevator up to the 23rd floor and was met with massive hallways and dated carpets, but the room itself was fresh and fun.

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I like the idea of not feeling confined to the bed when staying in a hotel, especially when I have writing to do. There was copious amounts of space to stretch out, from the comfy chairs to the sectioned off office space with a desk and countertops. And a fridge! I loved London and all, but having a fridge is key, even for some chilled water to grab in the middle of the night. No silly mini bar either to shove over – just a big, cold space for my own snacks and drinks.

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My temporary home office came with indulgently soft pillows – a few picked from their famous pillow bar, where you can choose the right style to best suit your needs (from hypoallergenic to pillow iPod docks!). Two big windows open up to the streets below, letting in plenty of light. Each wall had pretty gray, black and white flowers and accents to give the space a unique touch of style.

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Yes, the bathroom was super tiny. But hey, welcome to New York. To compensate for lack of elbow room, there was plenty of other superb amenities -including full size bottles of their bath products. For someone like me with a lion’s mane of hair, this was crazy appreciated, as I often have to hound the poor housekeepers for extra conditioner.

Overall I only have a few little gripes about the Affinia, which makes me fear I’m getting snotty and spoiled, but I digress. One, it was LOUD. There was a fire station below is I think that constantly had trucks raging in and out. A necessary evil of course, but it did make me think twice about staying in the dead center of Manhattan (in contrast, the Hotel Americano in Chelsea was much quieter, but a totally different and modern scene). Two, it was tough finding some cute bars and restaurants within quick walking distance. This really is not the Affinia’s fault, because it’s right next to Madison Square Garden, making it a high traffic and commercial area I suppose.

No real complaints, though – I adored Affinia Manhattan and was happy to lay my head to rest there for the long weekend. These short trips to NYC are getting a little addictive – I might have to reign it in and wait a few months until the next venture to repair my broken bank account.

Have a favorite hotel in Manhattan? Or just a really memorable stay anywhere in the world? I’m always up for future recommendations!

Freelancer Tip #2: Have no shame when starting out. Of course be smart and try to avoid those shady online projects without a contract just for the dollar signs, but also be willing to put in the work when opportunities arise. I literally fell over myself when I thought I had met a legit editor, and ever since I’ve been handsomely rewarded. Yes I had a few sleepless nights, but it was well worth this NYC trip and all the future adventures I’m bound to have. Don’t make traveling the goal – building a good reputation and portfolio should be the aim, and the trips will eventually fall into place.

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New York City, An Old Friend: Hotel Americano Review

The city is well-known to me as I’ve visited a dozen times in my life, but it’s also my crazy, insane, unpredictable friend. Like that one you keep from college who’s still taking tequila shots and waking up next to strangers. It’s hilarious to catch up, hear their stories and maybe even indulge the old lifestyle a little, but man am I exhausted by the end and ready to go home.

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I covered The New York Times travel show last weekend for In The Know Traveler and was able to brush shoulders with other freelancers, industry operators and tourism boards. Intimidating at first, because I had no idea what I was doing. But after watching some of the pros expertly approach booths and act like they owned the place, I tried to follow suit and did pretty decently for my first crack at it. From private jet tours and women-centered excursion to destinations like Korea, Costa Rica and St. Lucia, there really was a little bit of everything. I chatted and networked my tail off, hopefully made some great connections and look forward to the next show where I’ll feel even more ready.

New York itself was ridiculous and a blast. I stayed at the Hotel Americano and loved feeling on top of the trend for once, as its sleek decor and eco-friendly nature was fresh. Rooms were comfortable and minimalistic, stocked with a pre-loaded iPad, Aesop bath products and funky amenities like a denim bath robe.

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Friday was spent indulging in NYC’s restaurant week at The Red Cat in Chelsea, then off to a hookah bar on the seemingly other side of the world. Totally worth it though for the pineapple and passion fruit infused concoctions and pumping music. Spending Saturday on my feet and working was a lot to take on, so the night was a little more casual – dinner at Hotel Americano’s swank Latin/French restaurant (churros, get the churros, trust me), as well as a cocktail at their rooftop bar. I did venture out to be cheesy and see the Empire State Building too. Freezing, but the night time view and lack of lines was worth it.

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Back to work now as I sift through business cards and make sense of this whirlwind of a trip. Can’t wait to go back soon though, because no matter how much NYC turns you upside down you’re always dying to return and do it all over again.


Next stop: Zoo York City

There will a little adventure to be had in New York this weekend! I scored tickets to the New York Times travel show and couldn’t be more thrilled – thanks to the people at InTheKnowTraveler and a Lithuanian tourism company I’ll learn more about when I get there. It will be hectic and nuts, but I’m thrilled to be a part of it all.

Not only will I be at the conference for a couple of days, I scored a stay at the Hotel Americano, which may just be the hippest place to be in Chelsea. It will be fantastic, I’m sure, to have such a charming, sleek home base with all the work&play I plan to do!

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Oh yeah. Swanktastic.

Luckily enough Gary was free this weekend and will be joining me for support and to take notes when I forget. It will be fun to be a team again – he’s looking for memorable places to drink and be merry as we speak.

A little anxiety is creeping into my plans which I’m trying to keep at bay – mostly because I couldn’t find a lot of motivation this week and I’ma bit swamped. Hopefully I can get word to paper tonight and tomorrow so I can focus on the task at hand in new York this weekend. Fingers crossed.


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