OK, first of all we will still do anything to avoid United. They can have my loyalty back when they ditch the worst CEO in the United States. (Jeff Smisek. Smisek sucks. Ruined a whole airline.) Meanwhile, we’re trying to figure out how to navigate the East coast when we’re not on JW’s plane. We’re desperate, we’ll fly anybody!

Jet Blue works just fine from IAD to Boston. But NY? Not so much. Here’s the problem. JFK is just not going to work. Jamaica?? Yeah, that’s pretty far from the city.

For example, getting there on a Friday in the frozen tundra from Brooklyn (which is basically halfway there from Manhattan) takes an hour. Argh. Imagine if my flight were actually on time.

But what’s worse is that the Jet Blue terminal at JFK is off the beaten path. Car service parking? Ten minute walk. And once you are trapped there? It’s just like a very bad mall. You know, malls are dying out. Some of us know why.

I did find a good Negroni. But then I got some serious food poisoning. Really. Not good. I finally feel human again 48 hours later.

Plus Jet Blue pulled the drip delay thing that United does, flew a plane with no wifi, and well, frankly, reminded me too much of United.

Anyway, no more Jet Blue for me to New York.

hah hah hah. yeah. BZZZT.

Jet Blue fail.

Jet Blue fail.

The Eventi: NYC

February 20, 2015

The corporation has ditched the apartment in NY. Which means we now have to stay at the Eventi or 70Park when we’re in NY. Life is so hard!

It’s cold this week. Less than ten cold.

NPS is situated in 2304 on the top floor with a clear view of the back side of NY. See how cold it is?

Frozen city.

Frozen city.

2304 Eventi sitting room

2304 Eventi sitting room

The comfortable bed in 2304 bedroom dominates

The comfortable bed in 2304 bedroom dominates

Of course, we’re here for the showers. The marble clad Eventi design is great.

Two headed marble shower complete with bench

Two headed marble shower complete with bench

After our late-ish arrival, a welcome package made its way up. Thanks Christopher. Sparkling water.

Reward for Kimptoning

Reward for Kimptoning

In other NYC news, we hit Quality Meats for a nice dinner spiced up with way too much Pappy 23. Ouch. Then Roc Restaurant in Tribeca (a family place where they know us now and we speak some Italian). Get the oxtail ravioli. The Brandy Library is a superior place for a relaxing nightcap.

This NY run was fantastic. Five showerheads for the Eventi.

Oh, and we flew Jet Blue up here in our quest to avoid United at all costs. Jet Blue was fine, but JFK is not all that convenient.

By now we all know that Cary remains an acronym for “containment area for relocated Yankees,” right? Well, some of the Yankees must be rich. The Umstead is a gem.

The balcony view from 312.

The balcony view from 312.

There's a lake down there somewhere.

There’s a lake down there somewhere.

Last time I was here, they welcomed me with a nice amenity (chocolates! water! wine!). Why? Who knows. But I am apparently no longer on the list. This time I ordered my own (rather expensive) bottle of sparkling water. We’ll see if they get the memo before my April reservation.

Room 312 is very nice. In particular, the shower rocks.

It's all about the bathroom in 312

It’s all about the bathroom in 312

Umstead cubicles. One for the shower.  One for the toilet.

Umstead cubicles. One for the shower. One for the toilet.

That shower.  Yes!

That shower. Yes!

Five stars minus an amenity to the Umstead.

The capstone of this visit to NCSU was an over-capacity sold out Cyber War talk. Afterwards, a visit to Fox Liquor bar was superb. What a find. Real cocktails and real expertise. Garrett Waddell exceeded expectations by blending a Manhattan derivative with a (verboten) Blood and Sand. For the record, Scotch is not my thing. But this cocktail was great!

Message in Blood
1.5 oz Aberlour highland scotch
1.5 oz Punt et Mes
bar spoon cherry heering
3 dashes Agostura
Stir down. Serve up. Garnish with an orange twist.

Dinner at Buku was very good. They could use a pass to update their winelist, but the food was very tasty and the service great.

After dinner, we returned to Fox Liquor to round out the night.

This is a drink discovered in Denver, Colorado at the Williams and Graham bar (quite a fantastic place). This cocktail was invented by Chad Michael George one evening with a gaggle of geeks—a delicious beverage that runs hot and a little sweet with a bitters kicker.

Sexual Chocolate
2 oz Rye (barrel proof)
.75 oz Cocchi Torino vermouth
.5 oz Cynar
teaspoon of cherry liqueur (heering or luxardo)
7 drops chocolate bitters
stir. strain over big cube. add a luxardo cherry on skewer

The best part of the Palomar Hotel in San Francisco is the masterful bartending of Brian Means at Dirty Habit. Always learn something every time. Thanks Brian. (For you twitter people, see @myamericandram.)

Tonight it was a curry bourbon cocktail on the savory side that was just fantastic. Then a punch. We’ll call it On the Fly:
6 oz pierre ferrand 1840 cognac
6 oz citadelle gin
4 oz pierre ferrand dry cura├žao
4 oz lemon juice
4 oz pomelo cordial (pomelo, sugar, jasmine tea)
12 oz prosecco
create. top with shaved cinnamon and black cardamon plus orange slices.

And there was Hirsch 20. Holy cow.


Special thanks to Christopher Smith for finagling a table during a busy time.

Here at NPS we have a long and storied history with the Hotel Palomar. This is our annual base of operations during the RSA show (with thousands and thousands of computer security types). And every time we do a Silicon Valley swing we try to tack on a night in the city. We even fomented the “Battle of the Palomars” between DC, Chicago and San Francisco! Feels like home.

[If there were some fresh flowers, we would put a picture of that here.]

But as GM Christopher Smith points out, “Seems like you have a knack for swinging by mid renovation or mid conference shift :).” Yup! So sadly I am sequestered in 831 instead of in my more favorite room style (which when I walked by was in a state of disarray with furniture being moved around in circles.) In the beginning, I was assigned 904 which sounded about right, but that room had a plastic shower?! Horrors. The situation was quickly rectified by Justin.

The right kind of shower on 831.

The right kind of shower on 831.

Anyway, there will be no getting lost in this room! But the Internet works and my phone call filled day is going well. About the only other fly in the ointment is a sentence to have dinner in Pleasanton (or Dublin) at McNamara’s Steakhouse. Woe is us.

The room in all of its entirety. 831 Hotel Palomar.

The room in all of its entirety. 831 Hotel Palomar.

831 Hotel Palomar. All hail the door!

831 Hotel Palomar. All hail the door!

About the only thing that will salvage tonight is a stop by for some cocktails with Brian Means at Dirty Habits. Looking forward to that!

Five showerheads with less water pressure than they need to properly operate for the Hotel Palomar this time. We’ll be back.

United Airlines is terrible. We are attempting not to fly them in 2015. But don’t just take our word for it. Read the Wall Street Journal airline report.

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 8.53.08 PM

Jeff Smisek should be fired.


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