Hitting the Hot Spots in NYC
The winners of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's Behind-the-Scenes Hot List Experience at DB Bistro Moderne in Manhattan, April 17, 2008.
by Wendy Perrin
Three great travel tips came out of my lunch earlier today with Mike and Paula Hlastala, the charismatic and incredibly nice Seattle couple who bid for, and won, this year's Behind-the-Scenes Hot List Experience. The Hot List Experience is a trip to New York City that includes two nights in your choice of Hot List hotel (one of the properties on the magazine's annual Hot List in our May issue), dinner at your choice of Hot Table, entry to the magazine's Hot List party happening tonight at Mansion--including access to the party's VIP area, where the celebs hang out--and lunch with yours truly.
The hotel Paula and Mike chose? A new Kimpton property called 70 Park Avenue in Murray Hill, where they checked in earlier today. The restaurant they chose for dinner tomorrow night? Market Table in Greenwich Village. As for lunch with me today, we chowed down on chef Daniel Boulud's signature $32 hamburgers--sirloin burgers, actually, filled with braised short ribs, foie gras, and black truffle--at his not-so-new but still hot (and close to my office) midtown bistro.
Of course, I had to ask Mike, who runs a Seattle real estate development firm called Othello Partners, and Paula, the stay-at-home mother of their two children who plans all the family trips, what travel secrets they've gleaned so far during this New York City jaunt. Three excellent tips came up:
1. Flying JetBlue? Get one of the seats up front with extra legroom.
The magazine paid $25 extra per flight so that Mike could get one of JetBlue's Even More Legroom seats, with a pitch of 38 inches. On some flights these seats cost only $10 extra. Mike says they're well worth it: He's six feet six, and the extra legroom is the reason he was able to sleep on his red-eye last night. (Paula flew into town a couple of days earlier.)
Read on for the two other tips.