Navigating in NYC with Fodors---a trip report

Mar 24th, 2011, 03:46 PM
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Navigating in NYC with Fodors---a trip report

I will post this report on both the USA Forum and on Europe, where I hang out.


I would be remiss not to begin by thanking all of the Fodorites who voted for me and made it possible for my wife and me to enjoy this wonderful experience. It was a fun trip and we are most grateful.

We had lived in Ridgewood NJ for three years in the 1970s and spent considerable time in the City then, but less so in recent years. We arrived at about noon on Sunday and went to our lovely hotel, the Michelangelo in mid-town

What a great hotel and location. We quickly got oriented and walked a short distance to the Rockefeller Center and then took the elevators to the TOP OF THE ROCK observation deck to get a fabulous view of the city on a sunny afternoon. We found the view to be preferable to our memories of the Empire State Building vista since you are closer to the actual buildings and to Central Park. After a few candid shots in the Rockefeller Plaza, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for dinner.

We met our Fodors hosts at the BASSO 56 ristorante just a few blocks from the hotel. This place is the real thing. If you are partial to authentic Italian cuisine then this is your place. But as good as my veal marsala turned out to be, it paled in comparison to our lovely and gracious Fodors hosts. Amy_D, the Marketing Coordinator for the Fodors Forums, was as charming and sweet as I had anticipated. She is really the one who manages our beloved Forum and was my contact for all of the pre-trip logistics. Grazie Amy! She was joined by the Marketing Director for Fodors, Susan__ H, a most enjoyable dinner companion. It was the perfect way to start our New York adventure.

My wife, Susan, has always been fascinated with the entire immigration scenario and had read about the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. She made reservations before we left for 1:30 on Monday, giving us just enough time to have lunch at the famous Katz’s Deli on Houston Street. What a phenom! She had the iconic corn beef sandwich for a mere $15.25 and I opted for their excellent split pea soup. We sat at the table next to the one made famous by Meg Ryan in the scene in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY but it did not seem to have the same effect on either of us. Perhaps we had the wrong food.

We enjoyed our one hour walking tour of the museum and had an excellent docent. We both have had considerable experience as docents and found his depth of knowledge to be excellent.
We then taxied back to our hotel to get ready for the big party with all of the Fodors people.

The celebration was held at the Bohemian National Hall on East 73rd and was in collaboration with Czech Tourism USA. Evidently the Czech Republic also claims Eugene Fodor as a favorite son. It was a big cocktail party with several hundred people---many Fodors employees. But, it did include several other Fodorites living in the NYC area. I was pleased to have the chance to meet these fellow Fodorites:
Ekscrunchy, ggreen, and Howard R. See the link for more about the program of the evening which was really a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Fodors as a publisher of travel guide books. The primary remarks were made by the Fodors Publisher, Tim Jarrell.

Tim Jarrell was most kind to invite us to lunch the next day. Amy gave us a tour of the Random House building, they are the parent company, and joined us for lunch as well. Let me report to my fellow Fodorites that I am most confident of the long tern viability of the Forums as an integral part of Fodors marketing strategy. They do indeed value our daily input as important “ intelligence” for their book editors. I love the term they use---TRAVEL INTELLIGENCE. We all are part of the Fodors family by our participation in the various Forums and they view it as exactly that. I was the one Fodorite privileged to experience it first hand and I came away duly impressed.

Of course, no trip to NYC is complete without a stop at the Metropolitan Museum---my wife’s’ favorite. We spent a lovely afternoon there, primarily enjoying the new exhibit of Chinese art, before heading out to LaGuardia and our flight back to Chapel Hill.

Thanks again to the Fodorites that made it happen for me and a special thanks to Fodors for sponsoring such dynamic online travel Forums for all travelers to enjoy.

bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 24th, 2011, 03:54 PM
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Sounds lovely, Bob! Thanks for posting a report.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Mar 24th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Congratulations! It sounds like a very nice trip for our Ultimate Fodorite. Glad you enjoyed the Tenement Museum - it's one of my favorites.

And you got to meet other Fodorites too?!
Did HowardR mention Wicked, by any chance?

Again, congrats and thanks for representing the rest of us
starrs is offline  
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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What a wonderful time! Congratulations, and thanks for representing!
sheri_lp is offline  
Mar 24th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all; glad it was such grand weekend.
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 24th, 2011, 06:24 PM
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Glad you had a wonderful time.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2011, 08:40 AM
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Thanks for the trip report -- enjoyed it.

In my experience, the sandwich to get at Katz's is the pastrami (I prefer it juicy, not extra lean) on rye with deli mustard. Haven't tried their corned beef, though have heard it's also very good.
bachslunch is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Congratulations! & Thanks for posting! I'm book marking to keep a record of the Italian ristorante.
dtph is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 01:03 PM
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Nice trip Bob!

PS: I lived in Middle Villiage in the late 70's!

bmw732002 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for the report Bob. The tenement tours are really well done, aren't they?

I had no idea ggreen, ekscrunchy, and Howard were employees at Fodor's? Please tell me thay aren't editors!
lcuy is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 05:15 PM
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Bob... Good moooooooorning from Vietnam!

Congrats once again on the win and on the trip. Saw the pix, and y'all are lookin' good. Sounds like a good time had by all!
mr_go is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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I had no idea ggreen, ekscrunchy, and Howard were employees at Fodor's

I don't see anywhere in Bob's report that said they were employees.
DebitNM is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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We are definitely NOT Fodor's employees!
HowardR is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 02:49 AM
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Congratulations, Bob! How nice of the Fodor's community to recognize you for the valuable contributions you make to this site. I enjoyed your report and pictures, always so nice to place faces with names.
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 06:57 AM
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Hey Bob:

I misread your Ridgewood, NJ for Ridgewood NY!!

So forget what I said about Middle Villiage!!

.....anyway. I am glad you got something back for all your years in helping others.

bmw732002 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 09:24 AM
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Hey Bob,

I wanted to add to the congrats my own and say glad you could represent us all -- fabulous trip report!

I didn't realize Katz's was the scene from When Harry Met Sally (one of my all time favorite chick flicks!) -- ah, another cool place to visit in NYC! You probably didn't order everything "on the side". That would have done the trick!
Surfergirl is online now  
Apr 1st, 2011, 11:26 PM
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Oh. I thought if they were invited to the party, they must be employees.
lcuy is offline  
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