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Trip Report Road trip to DC area and NYC - short TR

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We love NYC and have spent a lot of time there over the years on business and for pleasure.

When I read that Cabaret was returning with Alan Cummings it was a certainty we would see it - missed it the first time around and wasn't going to miss it again. Then Hedwig and the Angry Inch went into previews and I added it to the list. Plus the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney - so many wonderful things to do and see!

First we drove from Toronto to Falls Church Virginia to visit a friend - 8 hours door to door from Toronto (we leave at 5am). Had a lovely visit with her and spent a delightful few hours at the Smithsonian Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center. There are so many highlights there - the SR71, Shuttle Discovery (with the Canadarm!), Gossamer Albatross and the very haunting Enola Gay (which has the most evident security). It's a great place to visit.

Then drove to NYC and to our new (for us) cheap and cheerful hotel - the Travel Inn on 42nd at 10th. We were really happy with it. It has parking on site (which until recently was free but is now $20/day which is still a great deal and is in and out). Our room was a large double/double with a frig and microwave. Parts of the hotel are reminiscent of a motel - our room opened onto an exterior hallway looking over the large, very nice pool. The hotel is a hollow square so the inner rooms look over the pool - and are very quiet as a result. The rooms facing the street are reportedly noisy so I would request an inner room like we had. The room was spotlessly clean - not the newest but perfectly serviceable. And probably the best shower water pressure/volume we've ever had!

The location was great for us - easy navigation into Manhattan from the Lincoln Tunnel and out via the West Side Highway. It's a little further from Times Square than our other cheap and cheerful hotels but that just meant we walked a bit more which we enjoy.

Price? $200 Canadian plus taxes - great value. Note it doesn't include breakfast or wi-fi (which is $6/day but we just used our cell data). There is a diner next to the hotel which made good, very reasonable breakfasts.

http://www.thetravelinnhotel.com/default.aspx?pg=home&mcid=gc42k1

Theatre/Galleries - Cabaret was fantastic and our seats in the first row of the Mezzanine at Studio 54 are some of the finest seats we've ever had - view was perfect (including Mr. Cummings up close and personal at one point); comfortable, tons of leg room and a waiter offering wine in sippy cups.

Hedwig was a remarkable experience - Neil Patrick Harris's performance is amazing as is Lena Hall's - he's going to be a hard act to follow as his last performance is this weekend.

We had one night open so I bought last minute tickets to Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill - I love Billie Holiday *and* Audra McDonald - it was an outstanding performance. Hadn't been to Circle in the Square before which is a great venue.

The Jeff Koons show at the Whitney was fantastic - I expected to like it but LOVED it. I wish they had done timed tickets though as we had to wait quite a long time in line to get in (we got there half an hour before the gallery opened Friday at 1pm)

Restaurants - we returned to Cafe Edison for Corned Beef Hash (per my last NYC trip report) - delicious. And Marseille at 44th and 9th has become "our" bar when we stay in the Theatre District, so we finished most nights there (with some frites). Upon arrival Thursday at 1pm we walked down to Chelsea Market and had a delightful lunch at Colicchio and Sons - service was terrific and our meals were delicious (Richard had a shortrib sandwich and I had skate with radishes). Wandered through Chelsea Market (had never been - how did that happen?) which was fun. Also went to the Gotham West Market (very near our hotel) - just walked through but next visit we'll explore the food there. On Saturday we met a group of friends in the East Village at La Palapa - our usual meeting place with them. Delicious margaritas and for this Canadian really good Chiles Rellenos! Another restaurant we visited (but just for a drink) was Salumeria Rosi on Madison at 74th. We quickly decided not to wait in the long line at the Whitney so walked down the street and went in for a drink. A very friendly welcome and a chef from Lucca so we will definitely return for a meal next visit.

Weather was fantastic - sunny/warm but not humid. An all round perfect week! (finished up in Montreal for a couple of days)

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