NYC trip report

New York City Trip Report

Mrs. JumpStart, JS Jill, Jill’s friend, and I took a quick trip to New York City before Christmas.  My previous post described the train trip.  It was our first stay at the Times Square Sheraton, and we reserved 2 rooms for 2 nights.  The Sheraton costs 12,000 Starwood points per night.

NYC hotel

Sheraton Times Square

New York City is full of chain hotels where I can get rooms with hotel points.  I chose the Sheraton due to my platinum status with Starwood hotels, which unfortunately expires in Feb.  We checked in and received adjoining rooms on the 38th floor.

Elevators

Maybe this isn’t new, but there were tablets on the wall where the elevator buttons should be.  After ordering an elevator for your floor, the tablet displayed an elevator #.  Once inside, there were no floor buttons on the wall of the elevator, and it only stopped at the floors input on the tablet earlier.  The system seemed to work well, and we never waited for an elevator long.

However I really enjoy pulling the elf prank and lighting up all the floors before exiting. I’ll miss that gag.

Hotel Room

Manhattan hotel rooms are notoriously small, and many times face the wall of another building.  Our rooms did not feel small, and felt pretty standard for most other parts of the country.  The mattress, television, and bathroom were nice, but nothing to get excited about.

The room had a minibar fridge filled with drinks, but I didn’t check the prices.  I prefer an empty fridge, but there was an ice machine on our floor, and we had coolers.  After unloading our food, we had quiet a spread for our 2 night stay.

hotel food

The view was better than I usually get in New York, but not spectacular.  We faced and office building and a Hilton, and we could see a bridge between some of the buildings.

hotel view

Wifi was excellent in the Sheraton, and it stayed connected throughout our stay.

Club Lounge

Part of the platinum benefit is club access, and it featured drinks, Hors d’Oeuvres, and breakfast.

Drinks in the club included bottled water, canned soft drinks, a Starbucks coffee machine, and an expresso machine.

Hors d’Oeuvres were great, and included a bar with fruit, cheese, chips, nuts, etc.  There were even 2 hot dishes including pasta with meat sauce and vegetarian pot-stickers.  The hot dishes could have been entrees, but they attempted to limit serving size by only putting out 4 inch diameter plates.  About 15 pieces of penne pasta fit on each plate.

I had decided to fill a paper Starbucks cup with penne, but Mrs. JS wasn’t allowing it, forcing me to settle for 12 elf-sized plates of pasta instead.

Breakfast was good, and featured real plates, along with bagels, eggs, bacon, and all the usual breakfast bar items.

The club lounge is located in the front of the 1st floor of the hotel.  There were round tables with comfy leather chairs, and windows with a view of bustling 7th avenue.  It never took too long for a window table to open up, and the lounge was a great place to relax and watch out the windows.

The girls and I never left the lounge empty handed, and as a result did not buy a single diet coke, coffee, or bottle of water on the entire trip.

Transportation

Time Square, 5th avenue, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center are so close that walking was easy.  We took 4 rides on the Subway which cost about 40$.  With 4 people, it may have been cost effective to take an Uber, but I kind of enjoy the craziness of the Subway.

Activities

Sometimes I feel embarrassed answering questions about our New York trips.  There were no shows, restaurants, or museums. 

JS Jill and her friend only had one must-do activity on their list, and it was Cookie Do NYC.  The girls each had a scoop of cookie dough.  I thought it tasted like cookie dough from refrigerator section at the grocery store, but the girls were really excited, and loved it.

cookie do

Cookie Do NYC was about the only time I consulted a map to find a destination.  We mostly wandered around, occasionally walking in and out of shops.  On Manhattan there is great stuff everywhere.

Wandering Highlights

JS Jill bought a waffle with ice cream from food cart in Central Park, and it looked awesome.

I sat in a $70k Tesla, and enjoyed watching the salesman’s face change after mentioning I was a high school teacher.  My policy is to never go anywhere near new car lots, but I must admit the Tesla is a beautiful car.

I never knew there were sweaters for trees, but I now feel bad for my freezing, cold, naked, maple tree back home. 

If you have to go shopping, the Chelsea Market is an interesting place. It is a historic building filled with small shops and restaurants.

The High Line is an old elevated train track that has been converted to a walking path with gardens, sculptures, and park benches.  We got lucky and timed our stroll, with the setting sun.

High line NYC

We saw an $850 scarf in Saks 5th Avenue, but did not pull the trigger.

I learned that J Crew has the best chairs to lounge in while the girls are shopping.

My only purchases were a beef empanada, slice of pizza, slice of cheesecake, bottle of Budweiser, and glass of Peroni.  They were all solid purchases that made me pretty happy.

The girls bought a few clothes, to finish up their Christmas shopping. Their favorite stores were Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, which was 4 floors.

Recap

My only regret was that Magnolia Bakery was closed by the time we got there.  We bought a second piece of cheesecake at a deli, and somehow it actually survived in the cooler all the way home to JS Jack.

I always enjoy NYC, and would hop back on the train tomorrow morning, if I had another free hotel with lounge access.  Manhattan is an expensive place, but we managed to stay on budget, and have a wonderful Christmas trip.

Posted in Trip Report.

7 Comments

  1. You are right, the best part about visiting NYC is just walking around. Your shot of the High Line at sunset is lovely. Glad you and your family got in a special holiday trip – I dragged mine to Georgia for a bit of a family reunion, which was not quite as awesome…no blog posts or photos forthcoming, ha, ha.

    Happy New Year and all the best in 2018!

  2. Amy and Othalafehu. You guys must visit NYC.
    I’ve got a list of never been places including LA, Chicago, and Boston. I’m going to LA in June.

    Kat. Getting lost in a big city is the best. (As long as you don’t wander into the wrong neighborhood, and stay on busy streets.)

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