How many times have you seen this glorious City in movies, on TV, and now the internet? How many songs do you know about our glorious City, including the one above from ON THE TOWN? I feel like a lifelong New Yorker, but really, it's only been 40 fabulous years I've lived here. In fact, I come from old "York"shire!
So, WELCOME to my City, to my World, you're going to have an Affair to Remember. Remember that movie - made famous by Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, and rekindled in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE? Can't get away from the movies and New York. Every day our streets are filled with movie stars, and movie trucks, and shooting scenes, and fashion models on shoots for glamorous magazines.
Everyone will tell you, New York happens on the Streets. Once John Lennon was asked why, when he could live anywhere in the world, he chose to live in New York. "It's the energy man, you can feel it as soon as those doors at the airport open. It's like no other places, it happens on every street and street corner. You can breathe the energy." Yes, it is a "City that Never Sleeps," a 24/7 place, where if you have a jet lag, you can find a fabulous meal until the very wee hours of the morning.
As part of the LUXURY PATROL, I'm going to spin you through Cities and Countries without real thought to cost. As boomers, we now have the time, and if we worked, saved and planned well enough, we also have the money, to enjoy the best life has to offer. The Sybaritic Life - the one Fitzgerald told us that is different, because we're rich!
If it's your first time, or your 100th, you will find something new and different and splendid around every corner. If it's shopping you want - then bring your black belts and your Black AmEx cards, you'll put them both to good use. If it’s the Theatre, then it’s as good as it gets anywhere in the world. The Ballet, The Opera, The Music, we have culture palaces for them all. And, for the legions of world class foodies, we have the best Food & Wine places in the world, with Chefs from around the globe practicing their art form across the City.
I must confess, I will be offering you New York, but essentially it will be Manhattan. The boroughs (the outer boroughs) as we call them, are springing to life with a new generation of New Yorkers. With costs in the City (that's Manhattan) sky high, along with our skyscrapers, younger folks, families, extended families, and any other combination of living arrangement you can think of, is moving to Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, or Staten Island. But, our pursuit of the most luxurious will be right here in New York City. Where, indeed the Bronx is up and the Battery is down.
Let's start with your hotels. Another confession - I'm a strict traditionalist. I just love old world luxury, amazing architectural design, imposing buildings, walls that hold history and gossip. And if some of them could talk, what a tale they would tell.
So, in choosing a hotel, if it's a first time visit or you're a steady sampler of our greatness, let's begin with the top stays in my Luxury Book. The Plaza Hotel, The Waldorf Astoria, The Peninsula (and by way of disclosure, they were all my clients over many years). The Pierre, The Sherry Netherlands, The Carlyle (a favorite of President Kennedy and his family, and noted for his amorous trysts there). Princess Diana also favored the Carlyle. The Mark Hotel, The St. Regis, The Lowell (love seeing George Clooney exit in a crush of paparazzi).
These are the veritable Grande Dames of the City, who cast their presence over the history of the City over the past Century. Of course, over the years, they have been upgraded to modern day technology - and plumbing! If you stay at the Waldorf, ask for the Towers, it's where Cole Porter and later Sinatra owned in 33A. It's were the President of the US has stayed since FDR days. And on the top floor, The Royal Suite, which has housed many a Head of State to lay their crowned head, sits opposite the permanent residence of the US Ambassador to the UN. Imelda Marcos also called this aerie in the sky, home!
The Plaza, nestled at the side of Central Park and fabled Fifth Avenue has gone through many re-constructions. The latest incarnation is questionable (at least for we New Yorkers), but the location is sheer perfection. You'll bump into celebrities everywhere in the hotel, and they've made many a famous movie there. For children, ELOISE of THE PLAZA is a big lure, and they've created an Eloise Suite for the kids in your life.
At both these hotels, go to the lobby bar, sip a drink, and watch the nightly parade of glamorous and famous New Yorkers on their way to the latest Gala, Ball, Premiere, whatever. The Black Tie (even White Tie every now and then) Gala isn't over. Ball gowns and Jewels reign on such occasions. Rock Royalty perform. It is still the Glory Days of nightlife in New York.
As the World's Greatest City and with 54,000,000 visitors every year, the world's most popular, I'm going to give you the City a little at a time. You need to savor it. Plan it out for yourself, discover it. I will be your guide. So, sit back, relax, enjoy and know there is more to taste!
May 25, 2013