For Christmas I am planning a trip to upstate New York which will take me through Manhattan for two days and two nights. My daughter and I will hook up at the Newark Airport where she will be arriving from Mexico and will have left her car in the parking lot – and then we drive to Kingston, two or three hours away, where she and her family live, and where I’ll spend the holidays, returning December 26.
I’ll get to the city on the 14th, and have prevailed upon friends to provide lodgings for three days and two nights. That is, I thought I had prevailed. My friend who lives in a downtown loft agreed to let me sleep on her sofa for two nights. I was fine with that but she kept emailing me how uncomfortable I was going to be and suggesting hotels – so I got the message. I am on a budget, but not so much that I can afford to impose.
This took me to many websites for “Cheap hotels NYC.” She recommended the QT, which is a chic little place with elegant amenities, and rooms that go for about $400 per night. Not exactly on my budget. I was saved when they had nothing available on my nights. I searched and found a couple of places with prices hovering around $100 per night. Damn, I remember when The Plaza was $100 per night! Anyway, I was looking a fleabag hostelries and having the devil of a time finding anything. I found something in the Times Square area for $99 per night, which was described as having “décor reminiscent of Las Vegas…and minimal infestation.” I asked my friend and she went to its website (which didn't have the "infestation" line) and said it sounded fine. But as I drifted off to sleep I realized it was probably a brothel, or one step above. Couldn’t do it.
But every other hotel, in or out of my price range, said on their websites that they had nothing available for my dates. There was a little place in the Gramercy Park area, called The Gershwin, which sounded quaint and Parisian, but had nothing available. I liked the sound of a place over on the West Side, off Columbus Circle. These hotels have user reviews, and this one had a reviewer complain that it was noisy and didn’t have cable TV. What jerk goes to New York to watch cable TV? And what spot in the city isn’t pretty noisy? I find the noise of the city comforting; I can sleep to it.
The Columbus Circle place had nothing available, but when I woke up I decided to telephone and see if I could wheedle something. All I need is one little bed and a little bathroom. When I called, the clerk was pleasant enough, and sure enough there was a place! My NYC friend says I’ll love what’s happening over there in the Columbus Circle area. And I know my way around the city well enough to get anywhere I want to go from there.
So a little adventure on the Internet panned out. And it will lead to a real-life adventure of two days and two nights in Manhattan, catching up with a few friends from the distant past, and the city itself, the love of my life. What could be bad about that?