Friday, April 13, 2012

Viewing NYC from the Palace to the Bulldog

I did a major change in scenery when I headed from Florida to New York City.  I had a lot to get in and decided to stay in Manhattan for a few days for the first time ever. There was no quick in and out this trip. I was going to explore, taste and visit my way around the Big Apple.

There’s almost nothing better than a greeting of fruit, snacks and refreshments after a long day of traveling, but I found the something better next to my bed at the New York Palace. I have traveled to many hotels around the world, from comfortable to luxury.

This one stumped me with something I have never seen before. It was so simple, just a little remote control on my night table that controlled the room lights and temperature.  Without getting out of bed during the night I could turn up the air conditioning, the heat, or turn either off. One of these days I will make a list of my favorite hotel room amenities and this will be toward the top!

The temperature control helped me get a good night’s sleep and I was in for another surprise when I opened my drapes. There right in front of me was St. Patrick’s Cathedral! Regardless of your religion (or if you have one at all), the sight of this beautiful, historical building is something worth seeing. I took some time to luxuriate in my large bathtub before heading downstairs to meet my pal David Kenas.

David and I have known each other for many years as we both covered a lot of the same players at the U.S. Open. He’s known as a tennis photographer, but what many don’t know is that he’s also a part owner in Bulldog Gin. We’d been talking for a while about getting together for a tasting and we were finally able to arrange it.

It was a cool day in Manhattan as we walked around trying to pick a place for lunch. Ironically, we ran into a Bulldog Gin truck along the way before settling into the lounge at Pop Burger. I ordered a gin and tonic then (which happens to be my favorite cocktail), but have since tasted Bulldog straight. While I usually go for the gins heavy in herb, I loved the smoothness of this one and I’m not alone. Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave this gin its highest ranking for the spirit.

Don’t expect the usual juniper jumping out at you when you’re sipping Bulldog. Instead, this London gin shifts the focus to dragon eye, a fruit related to lychee, and poppy. It comes through with a hint of spice rather than herb, and is easy sipping even on its own.

I had some free time to take a long walk back to the New York Palace before my daughter, Sam, met me. We decided to head down to Times Square to one of our favorite places. While many come to New York City in search of that five star restaurant, I was in search of comfort food and for me that’s a bowl of chicken noodle soup, some potato pancakes and a piece of chocolate marble cheesecake at Juniors. I have yet to find a place that does any of those better in my opinion.

We decided to head out for a drink and had some time to make it a relaxing one. We had never been to The View at the Marriott Marquis and I’m glad we decided to do it. We headed for a window seat at the top and enjoyed the view as the lounge rotated with our drinks. It was a Pear Ginger Cocktail for me and a Malibu Breeze for Sam before we called it a night and I got ready for a full day to come in Manhattan.




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