Thursday, July 13, 2017

Where to Stay in Santiago

I just returned from a trip to Santiago, Chile. Although this particular trip was for a vacation, I stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton in the upscale Las Condes neighborhood and I highly recommend it if you're ever in Santiago for business. The rooms are quiet and comfortable (as you would expect from a Hilton property), and you get a perfect view of the Andes mountains if you get a room facing east or the San Cristobal Hill, if facing west. The neighborhood is great for getting out for a walk if you have a few minutes with a lot of shops and restaurants. There's also a short paseo (La Pastora) between Avenida Aprquindo and Isidora Goyenecha with ten sculptures made from stone, bronze and steel.
The best thing about this hotel though was definitely the warm, friendly staff. They made sure we felt welcome, gave us great information about the area, tips on restaurants and hints of places to visit (time permitting). I've stayed in a lot of hotels throughout my travels and I think the staff at this DoubleTree was among the best I've ever encountered. Kudos to the whole team and to the management for obviously providing great training!

Let me know if you've ever stayed at this hotel and what you thought. Or have you stayed somewhere else in Santiago for work that you would recommend for your fellow biz travelers?

Av Vitacura 2727, Las Condes, Región
Santiago, Chile 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Thai One On

I just returned from a trip to Chicago and realized that I haven't yet mentioned one of my favorite restaurants that I go to regularly when I'm in town. It's called Dao Thai Restaurant and Noodle Palace conveniently located just east of Michigan Avenue on Ohio.
They have terrific food and service, but one of my favorite features of this restaurant is a row of tables down the center aisle that just have pads as seats with an opening for your legs. I break my own usual pattern of eating at the bar when alone to sit at one of those.

Dao Thai Restaurant and Noodle Palace
230 East Ohio Street
Chicago, Il 60611

My faves:
Pad Thai with extra tofu (fried) and peanuts and the Crab Rangoon Wantons

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Buona Caccia

Eataly is an indoor Italian market/restaurant/cooking school/wine shop/all around fun place to hang out. The original is located at 200 5th Avenue (at 23rd) in NYC and has become one of my new favorite places to spend time in Manhattan when I find myself with a bit of spare time on my travels there.

Last time I went, I entered through the small door on 23rd Street that led into the huge open space humming with 100's of people perusing the markets filled with gorgeous fruits and veggies, mozzeralla cheese, pasta, rice and fresh baked breads,coffee and gelato, and sitting at tables or standing at long wooden counters after ordering from one of the dozen or so restaurants that are housed in this fantastic space. According to its website, the goal of Eataly is to "challenge the idea that quality products are accessible only to a select few"

It's fun just to wander through and look and get caught up in the crowd of people and the buzz of the markets, but if you can find a table or space at a counter and have time for a meal or a snack, it's also fabulous for the solo diner (I can't image that you'd be alone for long.) I've been to Eataly many times and every time I go, I find something else to love about it!

There are now several Eataly markets throughout the US. including 2 in NYC, Chicago, Boston and coming soon to LA. Have you ever been to Eataly? If so, let me know what you think.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Take a Peek Into the Industrial Revolution

With the Miami Beach Convention Center currently undergoing a $615-million state-of-the-art transformation that will be ready in 2018, you can bet more of us business travelers will likely be heading down to South Beach (SoBe)for meetings and conferences. 

If you are one of the lucky ducks who has a conference in SoBe and you find yourself with a spare hour or so, think about heading over to the Wolfsonian- Florida International University Museum. It’s right in the heart of the city, just blocks from the Convention Center at Washington and 10th and its permanent and rotating exhibits dating from the Industrial Revolution through the end of the Second World War are fantastic.
The building itself, the Washington Storage Company, was expanded and renovated in 1992 by architect Mark Hampton in collaboration with architect William Kearns to convert it from a storage place for Mitchell Wolfson, Jr.'s large collection of rare books and objects on modern design, architecture and decorative arts into a museum and research center. The modernist lobby, museum café and shop are just a prelude to the exhibit space for permanent and temporary galleries dramatically arranged around light wells, 

The museum is open various hours every day except Wed. and it’s just $10 to get in (or free on Friday nights from 6-9 if you happen to be there then) So if you're in Miami Beach for work and find that elusive bit of time that we business travelers sometimes get, head down to Washington and 10th and poke into the Wolfsonian-FIU and get lost in a whimsical "blast from the past" 

Wolfsonian- FIU
1001 Washington Avenue
(corner of Washington and 10th)
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

MOMA For Free

If you're ever in NYC over a Friday and you find yourself with some open time in the evening, you can head to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) for UNIQLO Free Friday nights from 4:00pm - 8:00pm. You can't buy tickets in advance so you have to go there and get in line - but I promise, even if it looks monstrous, the line moves pretty quickly once the doors open (or you can just get there a little later and miss the opening "rush")
It's terrific to be able to go and wander through the different galleries - Or you can just choose one exhibit or just walk around the building and admire the architecture. You can even get a free headset if you like to hear excerpts about some of the pieces that you're looking at. And because it's all free,(usual cost is $25), you don't have to feel guilty if you don't have a lot of time to spare and just want to visit briefly.
It's a great way to while away an hour or so without spending a dime.

11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY

Note: There is another location in Queens

Tip: If you can't get to the museum on Friday evening, you can go to the MOMA design/gift store directly across the street anytime for free (44 West 53rd Street) It's a great place to browse and find jewelry, furniture, accessories and gifts that reflect pieces from the museum.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Zaytinya - A Taste Treat in DC

When I'm in DC for work, I always try to make my way over to Zaytinya - which means "olive oil" in Turkish - for lunch or dinner at least once. It's an easy walk from the Convention Center if you're there for a conference, or located directly across from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop on the Red, Green and Yellow lines.

The inside of the restaurant is sleek and modern and it has a great outdoor patio for al fresco dining (weather permitting) However, as much as I love the atmosphere of Zaytinya it's the food that keeps me coming back whenever I'm in town. World-traveling chef Jose Andres and his team have created a menu of fantastic small plates (mezze) inspired by the cuisine of Turkey, Greece and Lebanon (my mouth is watering as I write this just thinking about it!) Smaller portion plates are particularly great if dining alone or fun to share if you're in town with your team or clients.

Head to Zaytinya if you want a break from the steak or seafood restaurants that are plentiful in DC - and have an order of delicious baba ghannouge for me!

Let me know if you go and if so, what's your favorite dish? Or do you have another favorite restaurant near the convention center?

701 9th Street NW
Washington DC 20001
Corner of 9th and G Streets

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Walk in the Park

If you're in NYC for work and you happen to be above about 56th and find yourself with that elusive 1/2 hour or hour before your next meeting or dinner, take a walk in the park. Central Park is haven away from the frantic bustle and noise of Manhattan and no matter where you enter, there is something wonderful to explore.

If you enter more toward the south end of the park you can wander to the carousel which has been a park attraction since 1861.

Toward the center of the park - you'll find the Belvidere Castle with its two balconies giving you a birds eye view of the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond and Delacorte Theater

 That Imagine mosaic (honoring John Lennon) is located in Strawberry Fields near 72nd on the West side and if you're way up in the Upper East side, you can roam the Conservatory Gardens.

There are hundreds of things to see in the park but you don't need to have an attraction in mind, just get out of the hotel, put on your walking shoes and enter the magic of Central Park. Wherever you roam, you'll feel like you're a million miles away from your hectic day and be prepared for the next meeting.

What's your favorite site in Central Park?