Markus' Travel and International Living Blog

Markus is an enthusiastic traveler, who lives in Houston, TX (USA) most of the time, but also spends some time in Saalfelden, near Salzburg (Austria). He is fascinated by travel and also by his experiences gathered by living in two different countries and continents.

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Friday, June 17, 2005
New York, New York

Less than 12 hours after my "enjoyable" experience with America West, and after a few business meetings, I was back at Houston airport to get on a plane to New York City. As my friend Rick always says, sleep is highly overrated anyway... ;-)

Going to New York City is always an interesting experience for me. I do not go there as often as I go to - say - L.A., Orlando, or Seattle. So it is always a bit less familiar to me, even though I have a pretty good idea in terms of finding my way around. I just couldn't really imagine living in New York, even though I like the energy of the city. This makes for an interesting constellation, because it always makes me feel like I am "going to a foreign place". I do not get this feeling very often anymore, and it kind of reminds me of going on trips with my parents when I was a little boy. So I always find going to New York exciting.

Although many things do get fairly familiar in New York now. For some reason, flying into any of the NY airports always seems to be a rough experience with the landing resembling a trip in a kangaroo-pouch much more than an airplane ride. Then, you get on a cab-ride with a very grumpy driver, who makes you put your own luggage in the trunk, yet still expects a big tip. Gee, nice to meet you too! Taxis are inexpensive in New York though. It always amazes me how much cab-fare varies between cities.

We are staying at the Sheraton Manhattan hotel, which is right across from the Sheraton New York. Our hotel is a bit smaller than the one across the street, and we got a good deal on the rooms. $285 a night "only". In return, we get a small room with a dirty bathroom. By the time we get there, it is 10:30pm, and we are hungry and tired at the same time. A perfect scenario for room service! So where is the menu? After a bit of searching, we discover it on top of the TV. We choose, call them up, and... it was an old menu, so the items we want are not available anymore. They promise to bring one to our room. OK, we'll wait. 30 minutes later we decide to not wait any longer and just call them again. They must have a club-sandwich, right? They do, but now it is after 11pm and room-service is no more. So much for "the city that never sleeps". We talk them into delivering the sandwich and all is good. We even have a high speed Internet connection. (And the menu never shows up during our entire stay...)

The next two days we spend at a conference (CircMan Show) at the Marriott right on Time Square. Pretty nice setting. As we hurry to the location in our business-attire, past all the tourists, I feel a bit like a real New Yorker.

At the hotel, the only problem is that I need an Internet connection to do my presentation. The setup fee is $800, even though I can see the wireless network. All I need is a password. Not the value proposition I had been expecting! As a result, I am doing my presentation offline. Who would have thought a trip to New York City is like a trip to the technological equivalent of the stone-age. But, everything else turns out very well.

We also have one evening to enjoy ourselves. Even though we practically stay on Broadway, we simply do not have enough time to enjoy a play. As on every trip to New York, we promise ourselves to come back here just for fun one of these days. We do however have time for a good meal, and we decide that we are in the mood for Thai food. We discover a little place called Pongsri (244 West 48th Street), which turns out to be excellent! I had the obligatory Panang Chicken, and find it to be one of the best I've ever had. The food is so good, we decide to even have dessert, a treat I almost never go for. If you are looking for Thai food in that area, stop by at Pongsri.

Posted @ 7:33 PM by Egger, Markus (








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