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July 20, 2007

How To Get The Best Deal On LuxuryLink

WHERE'S BROOK? contest winner Susan Cory (middle), Brook (right), and I had lunch in Manhattan last Friday, July 13, 2007.

by Wendy Perrin

Okay, gamesters: Wanna guess where WHERE'S BROOK? contest winner Susan Cory and Brook and I ate last week?  Susan, a residential architect, chose the restaurant because she's a fan of its modernist architecture.

Here's another clue: Note the plate that Susan's Dover sole arrived on.

You may recall that Susan and I had lunch last month when I was up in Cambridge, Mass., where she lives. It ended up hardly being a proper contest-winner lunch, however:  Thanks to a delayed train to Boston, I was so rushed that we had time only for a burger.  And of course Brook was dying to meet Susan too.  Plus Susan has so many great travel tricks up her sleeve that I wanted to hear more.  We needed a do-over.  So, when everyone's paths crossed in Manhattan last weekend, we had a proper celebration. It also just happened to be my birthday.

Cotton_candy_at_four_seasons_rest_6 The main topic of conversation was LuxuryLink, a Web auction site that Susan swears by. She's scored huge bargains at first-rate hotels and resorts.  Three years ago she paid $800 for three nights, including tax and breakfast, at La Samanna, the posh resort on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Two years ago she paid $900 for five nights, with breakfast daily and one dinner, at the Grand Hotel in San Remo, Italy.  And in October she's headed to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she's bought a five-night package for two at The Astoria for $1,264, which includes tax, daily breakfast, one dinner, and an hour-long massage for both her and her husband. Considering how crazy expensive St. Petersburg is, that's a steal. The retail value quoted on LuxuryLink is $3,534.  You go, Susan!

Susan's tips for getting the best price via LuxuryLink:

Continue reading "How To Get The Best Deal On LuxuryLink" »

June 11, 2007

Where In The World Did Wendy Lunch?

This is Susan Cory, the winner of last month's WHERE'S BROOK? contest. Can you guess where we ate lunch on Friday?

by Wendy Perrin

Remember how the prize for winning the WHERE'S BROOK? contest was lunch with either me or Brook at the restaurant of the winner's choice?  I'm the one who lucked out: This past weekend I happened to be visiting the very city where winner Susan Cory lives. We ate at one of its institutions:

So much local paraphernalia hangs on the walls of this eatery that if I were to show you more than this section of it, I'd give away the location.

Susan is a residential architect . . . not to mention a saint: First she picked a restaurant conveniently close to the place where I had to be at 2:00 p.m. -- another of this city's institutions. Then, when I accidentally missed my 6:14 a.m. Amtrak train on Friday (who knew Amtrak's EWR station cannot be driven to in a car?!?  I should have, of course!), which meant I was going to be half an hour late for lunch, Susan generously offered to pick me up at the train station in her car so I wouldn't have to spend time on the subway.  After lunch -- during which we discussed Susan's upcoming trip to Russia -- it was just a short walk to the building where I was scheduled to speak on a panel at 2:00.

Susan Cory in the place where I served on a panel entitled "The Changing Media Landscape" on Friday.

This old building used to be dark and dingy. Then, a few years ago, it was renovated in much the same way that Susan renovates old houses: Sunlight was brought in and it was redesigned to be far more user-friendly. This building happens to be down the street from the graduate school where Susan got her architecture degree.

Okay, all you clever travelers and Googlers out there:  I've given you enough clues to figure it out. Where did Susan and I eat lunch?