I knew the NYLO hotel on NYC’s Upper West Side passed muster when I got a thumbs up email from my brother, who also decided to stay there and had arrived at his room before we did. The hotel turned out to be a real find, especially for $120 a night ($151 with tax). The room was small, as expected, but well appointed, huge bed, comfortable linens, edgy but not too edgy furniture, art, light fixtures, clean and streamlined bathroom. Not too noisy at night even though we ended up with a room overlooking Broadway when I had asked for a presumably quieter interior room (my brother’s room got no traffic noise). I found out NYLO stands for New York Loft and the Texas-based hotel chain has outposts in Texas, Warwick (near Providence) (RI) and soon Nyack (NY). Good to know!
Remarkably, the restaurant my uncle had chosen for dinner turned out to be connected to the hotel. It’s called Serefina and it had good affordable Italian food (I had good bolognese, pizza etc). Monday morning we went for coffee and pastries to Irving Farm, a little basement cafe on 79th just south of Broadway (there are several other Manhattan locations). After a quick visit to Zabars for bagels to take home to Iowa (I still miss H&H bagels) we walked across the park to meet my aunt at PJ Bernstein, a good deli on third ave near 71st street (that’s their cheese/meat plate above).
Our flight home from Newark went well despite a few stressful moments when we inadvertently left the subway station at 34th street and had to figure out where Penn Station was – above ground – and drag our suitcases through throngs of people at 5 p.m. At the airport, we somehow ended up again in the TSA pre-screened category but it didn’t make much difference this time around. We still had to stand in the same long line and take out our stuff and even take off our shoes (hrrummphhh). A guy in line ahead of me said that TSA pre-screened only really produces perks at Newark if you’re passing through Terminal C (we were in Terminal A). Whatever…I was just happy we made it to Newark with ample time to catch our flight – and it left on time and we got home on time! Love that direct flight!
I never spent time downtown when I last visited providence but this time I did and it was interesting. I stayed at the Hampton suites which is unlike other Hampton suites i’ve seen. It’s in a lovely 1920s building that began as a bank and late became a catholic church. Surpringly charming and very nice staff who took good care of me. I wandered down Westminster AndWashington streets which has some spectacular old buildings that have been well restored, including some terra cotta beauties. There are some interesting boutiques and gift shops and a good independent bookstore and some restaurants that look great. Many were closed on sun and Monday when I visited. Next time. Here’ a few places that caught my eye: trinity rep, Gracie’s restaurant, acc(o) food, local 121 restaurant, craft, modern love (where I bought shoe stylish shoes I hope will prove moderately comfortable), Cuban revolution, another restaurant. I also had a meeting at the hoteprovidence, ananother charming old hotel downtown.
As I did yesterday in Salem, mass, i did again today in providence rhode island, I walked for miles exploring the city…except this time I held onto my wallet, checking several times during the trip. A few highlights/observations:
– the train from Boston to providence was easy andfast. Only 40 minutes or so. Hardestpart is figuring out the Amtrak schedule which is confusing. And it’s important to check out the train priceswhich vary, from $54 to$14
– the city is sleepy on aSunday and many of the good restaurants are closed. I am staying at the Hampton suites downtown. So far so good. It is in a surprisinglylovely 1920s building with a high ceilinged ornate lobby/breakfast area.
– I walked all the way from the hotel to ears providence and black stone walking path along the river. The path wasn’t impressive but I walked thu many lovely oldneighborhoods.Ended up at India point park which was pretty at sunset although the water view was more industrial thanexpected. I liked the bohemian neighborhood. Along wickenden street and saw severaltechnic restaurants that looked promising but I wasn’t hungry (I ate a late lunch – a falafel wrap – at a middle eastern deli in the brown university college town I have been to before.
– one of the prettier streets I wa