A rare glimpse of deep inside the Chrysler Building lobby
A Wealth of Free Tours Exist in New York City. You Just Have to Know Where to Look.
Information imparted with wit and eloquence always seems to sink in to my head better and longer, and so I will forever remember the details provided by Peter Laskowich on the Grand Tour of the Grand Central Terminal neighborhood. Buildings tell us things was the theme of the tour; illustrated repeatedly as Peter lead us around the neighborhood, for a rare glimpse deep inside the Chrysler Building lobby, and throughout the terminal. His comedic timing, depth of knowledge and interactive style easily kept us engaged for 1.5 hours.
Although I live here, I occasionally join tours of my own city and this one did not disappoint. Amid the largest tour group I’ve ever been in since grammar school, Peter herded us around what I never knew was Terminal City, the multi block development around Grand Central that was the place to be after it was erected. Few of the original Terminal City buildings remain. Yet, the elite moved to Park Avenue and never left despite the Metro North trains rumbling below their million dollar real estate.
January 29, 2013. 5 Ships in Georgetown, Grand Cayman
Avoiding crowds of cruise ship passengers took on new meaning on Grand Cayman, where 4 ships per day was typical on most weekdays; 5 on Tuesday.
This is not an attempt to bash people who cruise; just evade them.
One of the 5 ships that arrived in Georgetown, Grand Cayman on January 29th – Independence of the Seas – holds 4,370 passengers and 1,360 crew. Even if half the cabins were unsold, there were easily 10,000 cruise ship passengers and crew on Grand Cayman that day. For a snorkeler who prefers not to have others’ fins in her face – it was necessary to be strategic. Plus, craft vendors tend to jack up the prices on the days cruise ships are in town. This isn’t specific to Grand Cayman; in fact Grand Cayman tends to have higher end stores with clearly marked, fixed prices.
To find out how many ships will be in port so you can plan around them check CruiseTT. A quick check of CruiseTT for January 29th showed 4 ships on a day I know there were 5, so if the difference between 4 or 5 ships makes a difference to you, you can also check the site for the port on the island you’re visiting.
Kimpton’s Newest DC Hotel, Well Located for K Street, Dupont Circle and Most Major Attractions
Empire State Building New Years Light Show 2012/3
Greetings from my rooftop in NYC!
My resolution – again – is to be a more active blogger in 2013!
Best wishes for a wonderful, healthy, happily employed and prosperous 2013! May your travels be frequent, fun and fruitful.
My personal Thank You to the management and staff of Kimpton’s Eventi Hotel and the Holiday Inn Manhattan
Eventi Hotel’s food court seating area – a haven for the Chelsea community and hotel guests during Hurricane Sandy
The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy would have been a lot harder to deal with, had it not been for the kindness of the Holiday Inn Manhattan, and the haven that the area behind the Eventi’s food court turned into for a lot of New Yorkers.
While at least one hotel – across from the Holiday Inn – blocked their outdoor outlets, these 2 hotels were saviors to New Yorkers and visitors alike, who needed running electronic devices to maintain a lifeline to family, friends and managers.
Ruinart’s Magnum Alley – paradise for any Champagne lover
Drinking Champagne is certainly my idea of a perfect way to spend a major birthday and so I planned a day trip to Reims for the big day during my celebratory trip to Paris.
My French friend Antoine, whose birthday was a week away, joined me. He offered to drive, but for obvious reasons we decided to take the TGV train.
Although visiting small growers in the countryside would be ideal, we stuck to the houses with tasting rooms in Reims. We were slightly limited by the fact my birthday was on a Monday, the day many houses are closed. Ruinart and Mumm were available and I booked appointments for one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. It was easy to do this via email in English.
Posted in Destinations, Food and Wine, Trip Reports
Tagged booking TGV, Champagne tastings, Day trip to Champagne, day trip to Reims, day trips from Paris, do we need car for Champagne, do we need car in Reims?, Hour from Paris, Paris day trips, visiting Mumm, Visiting Reims, visiting Reims cathedral, visiting Ruinart, walk to Ruinart from train
Reading back on my Travel Photography page here, it all seems so quaint. Photo storage devices; portable hard drives. I wrote that content last March, now it is outdated.
Cloud computing makes all of this unnecessary. You can store all – or your most important images in the cloud and not have to take the time to backup to an external device.
When I was developing his site earlier this year, my client Francois at the Saint Barth Dental Association introduced me to Dropbox. Dropbox gives you 5 gigs of free cloud storage. As you refer friends or add devices, you get more storage.
The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Program and What it Means to You
Over 5000 products from 128 countries can be imported into the United States duty free due to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. Started to promote economic growth in developing nations, it has the benefit of providing customs exemptions on many of the craft items visitors bring home from traveling.
Most crafts, handmade jewelry, ceramics, glass, most handwoven textiles and some carpets are covered by this program and do not count toward your $800 customs allowance. Apparel, footwear, watches, handbags and luggage are not covered by GSP. Manufacturing products, including chemicals are included but I hope you’re not planning to bring them home in your suitcase. Here is a lengthy list of covered products (you need to scroll past the bovines).
This means you can buy that $800 lens in Bangkok and still purchase hill tribe embroidery and jewelry in Chiang Mai.
Philadelphia’s Swann Memorial Fountain, with Color Race participants in background
A Day Trip is good; a Weekend is better. Overnight works.
Lower Merrion, PA always seemed elusive for this reluctant driver, and I was thrilled when I found out the Barnes Foundation was opening a Philadelphia location. The day tickets went on sale to the public in mid May, I booked. My nearby cousin Mark and his wife Cindy were interested in joining me.
There’s a lot to see and do in Philadelphia, so I planned on making a night of it. With an overnight trip, you can see at least 2 museums, or a museum and another attraction. Maybe crucial historical sights like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall? The city is also a mecca for those interested in antiques. Plus, Philadelphia has so many restaurants worth visiting, it will be difficult to limit yourself to one dinner.
Posted in Culture, Destinations, Trip Reports
Tagged getting around Philadelphia, Getting around Philly, getting to Philadelphia from NYC, Philadelphia best art, Philadelphia day trip, Philadelphia dining, Philadelphia hotels, Philadelphia sights, Philadelphia weekend, Philly art, taking trolley in Philadelphia, visiting Philly