Blitzing NY at Christmas

Dec 22nd, 2010, 10:04 AM
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Blitzing NY at Christmas

Arriving on a business trip at about 10pm, I stayed at the Paramount Hotel on 46th St. between Broadway and 8th. I was starving from a no-food, delayed flight so walked to one of my NY favorites -- Joe Allen's on 46th. The beet and butternut squash salad along with a steaming bowl of vegetable puree soup was delicious on a very cold night. I think they make one of the best Cosmos in town. Its $11, but you get a little carafe on ice and there is easily two drinks inside.

The Paramount hotel is not one of my favorites, but at $170 during mid-December it was a real bargain. The hotel has had a major redo. The rooms are looking much better (cleaner) and have been jazzed up with new furnishings and bedding. My room on the 9th floor overlooked noisy 46th Street. Running the AC fan at night produced much needed white noise for sleeping. The king room had a comfy bed with great pillows and bedding. The lighting in the room is completely silly. The bedside reading lights are florescents built into boxes that shine up to illuminate the wall. Cute - but totally useless. The room was large enough for a bit of furniture, but only had the bed, one chair and a rolling table - like one of those hospital bed trays that fits over the bed. The bath had good amenities and towels, but getting hot water on the 9th floor (the hotel has 20 floors) was challenging. Oh well....a cheap place to sleep.

Next day I started out early by getting an $8.25 Unlimited Fun Pass for the subway. I road to Columbus Circle and started walking to see the Christmas windows at Bloomies, Barney's, Bergdorf (amazing!) and Saks. After a look at Rock Center ice rink and tree, I headed to Macy's for the windows (just o.k. this year). Back to midtown and the hotel for a warm up and some lunch at a little French bistro nearby -- pumpkin ravioli and a wonderful Shiraz.. Then off to the Bryant Square Christmas Market. Very pretty, but most of the things on offer were a little on the tacky side. Lots of redundancy in the merchants. I had been told that this was the better market, but I think I liked the one at Union Square better. It seemed to have more on offer and a wider selection. Great sidewalk and subway entertainment all along the way.

By the time I finished the two markets, the sun had gone down and it was really getting cold. Back to the hotel to warm up. (I really could have used some water pressure as it took a full 30 minutes to fill the tub with barely enough hot water for a soak).

I grabbed a cheap ticket for The Adams Family at the last minute. Great seat -- Row L, Center Orchestra with no one beside me or in front of me for three rows. I thought the show was cute. Not nearly as bad as reviews would make one think. Its not high art, but it was charming with solid performances by the mostly original cast. Big set with lots of moving pieces kept up interest. I also liked the creative use of puppetry for some effects. The best was only two doors from my hotel on a very cold NY night.

Did I mention that it was freezing cold? So after the show, I popped back to Joe Allen's for their superb meatloaf and steamed spinach with a great Pinot. Again, you get a small carafe when ordering "a glass" of wine. I think JA is a fare bargain for easy NY food.

The next morning it was off to LGA and home. Short, but sweet, Christmas visit. I'll be back in January for more. Happy Holidays All !
TC is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 11:51 AM
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Hard to believe a hotel of that caliber can't provide hot water. Did you report this to the front desk? Was the French bistro Le Rivage on restaurant row? Thanks for posting. Merry Xmas!
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 11:59 AM
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I know, mclaurie, but the fact is in those old NY buildings there's just not much that can be done short of re-plumbing the entire place. I would have hated to have been on the 20th floor. Wonder if they got a trickle? The bistro was Pigalle, 48th & 8th.
TC is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 12:11 PM
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Thanks for the report, TC! Sounds like lots of fun despite the cold weather.
yk is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 02:07 PM
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When did you have time for the business part of your trip?
Centralparkgirl is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 02:26 PM
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I wondered the same but didn't want to ask.
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 03:01 PM
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What a nice trip report!!
MichelleY is online now  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 03:11 PM
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OK now I'm hungry for some kind of winer squash something. Great report!
suewoo is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 05:54 PM
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I am a courier and my mission was concluded when I arrived in NY. I then took an extra day for fun.

Suewoo, I'm making couscous with butternut squash, pecans and dried cranberries for Christmas Eve. That salad at Joe Allen's is wonderful. Roasted beets and butternut squash, a sprinkle of goat cheese and a thick, sweet balsamic reduction. Yummmmy.
TC is offline  
Dec 25th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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What a great report. Had a great beet salad at Wild Olive in Charleston this week. Beets and goat cheese is the best.
willowjane is offline  
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