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marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 10:46 AM

A mouse in winter: bundled up in the big apple
Brief trip report on my time in NYC

First, big thanks to imdonehere! On Christmas Day, I ate at the Yemen Cafe. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am service, but great food. Wonderful spice and flavors!

Other food of note: Sadelle’s bagels. Yum.

Lodging: I stayed at the Jane Hotel. Unfortunately, the first room I was in had bed bugs. Luckily I caught them before going to bed. Check extra carefully if you stay on the 5th floor- it’s definitely a recurring problem. The bellhop blamed it on their permanent residents; I don’t know if that true but it’s recurring for that floor. Despite this, I definitely recommend the Jane. They took the issue seriously, moved me to a bug free room, dealt with the issue, and comped me one night. I was overall impressed by the service. Very friendly, clean bathrooms. And I really liked the location so much better than HI on Amsterdam. I spent a lot less time on the subway, and it’s a good neighborhood in terms of food and shopping. The attached restaurant (old rose) is pretty good- delicious homemade sourdough.


Frick: I see why everyone recommends this place, lovely. I spent a very pleasant few hours here and I especially enjoyed the courtyard.

Whitney: Wow, what a great museum on art, culture, and social justice. This is one of those places I would have a membership to if I lived closer. Every exhibit fascinated me, and the building has some wonderful views. The Jimmie Durham exhibit is especially great, go see it!

I went to the Met and NH. Crazy, crazy crowds. The Met Middle Eastern galleries are fabulous and fairly empty. NH really was crowded to the point of unpleasant, but I really just went to hang out with the dinosaurs. The origami tree was great and the topiary dinosaurs were my favorite Christmas decoration. I wish I had gone to the cloisters and breuer but to due to the crowds in the city, everything took longer than expected.

Downton Abbey exhibit: I was pleasantly surprised by this. Did a great job of interpreting and explaining history with some nice touches of humor from the show. Of course the costumes were fun to see.

Saks Fifth Ave light show was amazing, but personally I liked the windows at BG’s more. NYC as a whole lived up to my festive expectations. I didn’t really care for the village at Bryant Park but the city is decked out and terrific.

I really enjoyed Mood Fabrics. I spent one day wandering in and out of art stores and garment district shops.

Rockettes: cute show. If you go the week after Christmas, even though the theater is enormous, you should buy tickets ahead of time. I could buy $200 dollar tickets or obstructed view tickets at the door. I did the former. Granted, amazing view but even at half that I probably would have felt it was a bit overpriced. Also forewarned is forarmed. I asked the ticket seller when I should show up, and he said no later than 45 minutes before. He wasn’t kidding. I showed up at 7:20, and barely made it to my seat by the start. Lots of people missed the opening act. If you have vertigo/motion sick issues, take note that they HEAVILY involve projections in the show. I mean to the point that my relative who has those issues would have had her eyes shut for a lot of it. But it was a fun evening- I dressed up, bought m&ms and pretended I was a kid.

Went to the Botanical Gardens for the bar car night at the train show. Really fantastic. I would definitely go again! Many of the building models are of buildings that were demolished years ago. And the ones I recognized were grand in scale and detail. Fabulous. My metronorth return ticket went to waste though- the train only comes once an hour and I missed it by a few minutes. You can access the gardens by subway too, but Metronorth drops you off right in front of the gates; the subway involves a long walk.

My general thoughts about going this time of year:

It’s a wonderful time to experience the city. Not a great time to SEE the city. The crowds are intense, and I would have been very frustrated if I hadn’t been before. I mostly just relaxed and saw what I could see.

And despite what some people say, bring your long underwear and extra warm hats and gloves along. You may not need them. But this week it was 10-18 degrees F and had I left my thermals at home, I would have been a mouse-sickle. Brr!

Macross Jan 1st, 2018 11:48 AM

Glad you saw the Downton Abbey exhibit. I saw the one with the clothing from before season five. Was yours from all seasons? The beadwork was amazing.
Brrrr. That is cold.
Were the bed bugs obvious? Did you pull the sheets back from the mattress? I always check there. I am so glad that you found them.

marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 12:18 PM

The bead work was awesome. Yes, it appeared to be from all seasons although don’t quote me on that because I actually haven’t seen many episodes beyond season 1. It was less timeline oriented and more theme oriented- like this is how they dressed for dinner, this is what servants wore, this is typical Edwardian dress, and twenties dress, wedding dress, etc. They didn’t provide enough costume analysis to suit me, but to be fair, I’m really into clothing history and textiles, and most people going to the exhibit would not care for as much in depth information. I enjoyed the kitchen and pantry sets the most.

I did pull back the sheets and checked, lifted up the mattress, I always do. But actually I saw no signs right until one crawled out onto the pillow while I was watching TV. And then started to see a few others- trapped one under drinking glass and called for an engineer! So this taught me that unfortunately you don’t always find signs. Yuck.

Dayle Jan 1st, 2018 02:56 PM

Glad you had a good time in the city. Sounds like a very full trip!

Fortunately I've never experienced bed bugs. So I want to know what you did about your clothes and luggage. Did the hotel fumigate everything for you?

marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 03:14 PM

Oh, forgot to mention- another highlight was the dinner I had at the restaurant Storico in the historical society. It was mostly out of convenience, but really delicious, and a nice break from the crazy crowded places I ate at otherwise. A good space, excellent service. Could be more hectic during lunch when the museum is open, but I think people possibly overlook it for dinner.

Museums on my list for next time: the historical society and Tenement museum. Also note that if you at this time, prebook everything you possibly can. I did not commit to the tenement museum and I should have- they basically sold out of all tours by noon every day.

The subway had revisions again but this time they were much better posted. I got my money’s worth on the seven day pass by the 3rd day probably. It was cold enough that riding around sounded like fun. And surprisingly, they did not feel that crowded except for select areas. The pass is a ridiculously good deal, escpeially considering that you can ride clear across the city for a pittance while it takes 5 bucks to exit the airport via the air train. Don’t ride the bus if you’re in a hurry, or at least not in the Times Square area- you will be treated to a tour so slow that you could walk faster. But hey it was warm;)

It snowed the last day and that impacted my plans but the city is lovely in the snow.

Despite the crowds and the creepy crawlies, I love NYC even more that I did upon my last departure. Folks, I just need to move closer to those fabulous museums!!

marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 03:31 PM

They had me separate my clothing and my non clothing into two bags. They put the clothing and the luggage in special ovens for a few hours. They wiped down everything else with alcohol. I had to take a shower before going into the next room. They ran the clothes I needed immediately through the dryer, so I had my purse and the days clothing back in 20 minutes. Someone in the reviews on TA complained about the process but who on earth wants to not shower or risk taking the critters home?! Anyway- they really were nice about it and it wasn’t as big of inconvenience as it could have been, probably because I had no real taxing plans, although I will now never no how that hallmark movie ended. The tragedy.

The only thing that makes me wonder is that I’m not sure if their efficiency is due to great management or merely the fact that this is a very common problem for them. It’s a bit worrisome to me that they admitted it’s a recurring issue on that floor and they hemmed and hawed about how often they do it or how they treat the rooms afterwards. There’s this oldish panel of fabric padding along the bed for padding (it’s like ship berth) and with that and the set up and carpeting, the rooms look like they’re be hard to completely sanitize if you know what I mean. I mean, it was clean and pleasant, terrific for the price, and I completely understand bed bugs can happen anywhere. Just one of those design choices that made me think hmmmm.

Songdoc Jan 1st, 2018 04:31 PM

It sounds like a wonderful trip. But regarding the creepy crawlies, I think you are far more accepting and understand than I would have been!

marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 04:41 PM

Lol, songdoc. I suspect that was less a reflection on my character and more that my spirit was a bit broken at that point. I’d been travelling for 2+ weeks and believe it or not, my hostel in London was bad enough management wise that after the first night I insisted on a refund and ran screaming. At least the Jane had clean sheets, clean bathrooms, and a working shower. It was an...interesting... trip lodging wise to say the least.

Dayle Jan 1st, 2018 05:06 PM


Thanks for the description of the process. Somehow I thought there would be fumigation involved. I guess the "special ovens" were drying ovens that dehydrate the little suckers.

Yes, I would gladly go through the process to keep from bringing them home. But I wonder if they can live in super dry climates? In Utah we don't have a lot of the nasties like cockroaches, fleas, etc. because it's too dry for them. Just another of the many reasons I love our climate!

marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 05:33 PM

Bedbugs can live anywhere. I have seen them in Utah. High heat usually kills them, adult/egg/larvae, but they’re hardy and difficult to get rid of. They can spread in luggage compartments, furniture selling, multi family housing, guests visiting you for the holidays, etc. Hopefully that treatment did kill them. But luckily they’re benign- disgusting but they aren’t disease carrying like other insects.

And actually, not to creep you out, roaches can live in dry climates too. There’s even evidence they can adapt to desert conditions. They don’t like altitude and cold but they can adapt. Where I lived in Idaho, it was fairly dry and cold but cockroaches thrived in the humid basement of the college’s admin building. From an entomologist’s POV, they’re fascinating. (I hate roaches. Ew. Just the thought makes my skin crawl.)

But it is definitely true that in the places that have true winter have fewer nasty critters. I could not live in the south. I definitely could not live in Florida. It’s like the breeding ground of all the wildlife you never want to meet.

marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 05:37 PM

Added- I never did have flea problems with my dog when I lived in Idaho. They exist but not a huge problem. They’re like a freaking seasonal plague in B’ham.

IMDonehere Jan 1st, 2018 07:34 PM

You are absolutely welcome.

Inakauaidavidababy Jan 1st, 2018 08:10 PM

What a nice report. I mouse trap just snapped. In a yankee bungalow over 120 years old, when its this cold outside, they invite themselves in, no disrespect

marvelousmouse Jan 1st, 2018 08:46 PM

I am caught between cheering on your mouse catching endeavors and feeling sorry for the poor mouse who no doubt just wanted to enjoy your company and cozy bungalow.

Well, I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned vermin...since you mentioned your mice now I’m dwelling on whatever is living in the wall of my 100 year old building. I think squirrels. Because squirrels are jerks and this one likes to make a racket at 1 am. Also saw rats in the subway station- entertaining but made me want to buy hand sanitizer. And not let my bag or clothing touch any metro related surface. I’d rather have deer munch through my garden than encounter rats on my daily commute, I think.

I apologize sincerely for the skin crawling content. Next time I’ll go somewhere and report back about wild life that people WANT to encounter.

Inakauaidavidababy Jan 1st, 2018 08:50 PM

You are a marvelous mouse!

SusanM Jan 2nd, 2018 11:38 AM

"Because squirrels are jerks" LOL.

I always recall an exchange between 2 Big Brother houseguests one season:

- If you could be any animal, what would you be?
- A squirrel.
- What?!? A squirrel?!?
- Who doesn't love squirrels? They live in neighborhoods and stuff.

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