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New York, New York

Last week, I attended the Backspace Writer’s Conference in Manhattan. The only other time I had stayed in NY was several years back when a British production company filmed two stories from my book Take Heart! The show, Ultimate Blunders, was never picked up, but my husband and I had a blast visiting NY anyway.

The Backspace conference hotel offered rooms at $200 per night, per person, double occupancy. I hate math, but I recognized that’s a nice way of saying “Your room is going to cost you $400 per night. Instead, I reserved a room at The New Yorker Hotel. It was one block from Penn Station, and an easy 4-block walk to the conference. Plus, The New Yorker Hotel was HALF the price of the conference hotel.

I added an extra day before the conference to reacquaint myself with the city I had visited every year as a child. New York had some sketchy areas back when I was growing up but I heard from lots of people (including my kids) that it was a very different, vibrant place to visit.

While there, I purchased discounted tickets for the play Screwtape Letters as well as Memphis, a new musical. I also received a ton of input for my new book from agents, editors and other authors. The week was a great success.

But here’s the real shocker: this morning I received an e-mail survey from The New Yorker Hotel. I rarely participate in these surveys because I’ve always suspected no one ever looks at them. But within minutes of submitting my evaluation, (and my only issue was there wasn’t a coffee pot in the room) I received a direct response from the Guest Services Coordinator at the hotel. She thanked me for my input and apologized for my not being told that coffee pots were available upon request. I thanked her for getting back to me and then she thanked me for my thank you. (I think this qualifies us as BFF’s.)

I now have a new favorite city and a new favorite hotel. I’ll be returning in August with two girls from Germany that I got to know while teaching at English Camp. I know the hotel we’ll be staying at, but any other suggestions for a visit to New York?

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