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Our first foray into the city was not that long ago, but was directly impacted by COVID when both stars of Plaza Suite were infected.  We went to see Hangman instead, an OK play, but not really all that.  And then it was back in Virginia for the advent of the Spring green.  Were some of us disappointed?  Why yes we were.

So, soon enough we were back in the city to take another crack at Plaza Suite do some business on the side.  The original plan was to fly in Saturday evening, so we booked a room at the Muse, one of the Kimptons of yore.  Bottom line: the IHG takeover of Kimpton is complete.  These days, the lobby of the Muse seems to be filled with aging midwesterners who have accumulated enough IHG points by staying at many Holiday Inns that they are splurging on a trip to Broadway and the big city.  Kimpton is hip no more.

Times Square remains a Disneyfied tourist attraction and a traffic snarl.  That’s nothing new.

The Muse does retain much of its old staff, and that is nice.  But its computers are corporate and the wiggle room is gone.  So our request of room 1703 was ignominiously ignored due to the fact that we expanded our stay to two nights instead of one (really with plenty of time for the hotel to adjust) and didn’t feel up to switching rooms halfway through our stay.  That leaves us surly and disappointed.

Somehow I think we ended up accumulating lots of IHG points due to all of this.  But guess what?  NPS does not give one shit about IHG points.  None.  We just want really great rooms for our cash money.

Plus it rained the whole time, so 1506 was not all that it’s cracked up to be what with a soggy balcony.

It was great to see Madou.

The rain made business in Brooklyn interesting too.  Traffic was a thing.  Our visit to One World Observatory for dinner was hilarious with zero visibility.  LOL.

Finally we ditched the tail and ended up at Katana Kitten for some real fun (thanks to Jacques for the pointer).  I mean, check out this before and after!

Before Katana Kitten

 

After Katana Kitten

Things were blurry.

Thankfully the canary extracted us before the blurry things got much farther out of hand.  They did get far enough though, and Saturday morning was hard.

Returning to 1506 after a night on the town?  Nah.  The Muse days are over.

At least the shower is NPS approved.  A very nice one.

After recovery, we visited the Guggenheim for a Kandinsky fix.  Ahhh.  That and ramen will do it every time.  It was a glorious afternoon.

There are times when ramen can save your life

After a nap that stretched on just a little too long, it was dinner at Junoon.  Highly recommended.

Breakfast at Banter (the original one south of Washington Square) is fantastic.  The mushrooms are worth talking about.

All dressed up and ready for Plaza Suite

Now it’s time to see the play and then scoot to EWR for a quick hop home.

Four showerheads and a demotion for the Muse.  We miss our Kimpton.

 

 

The Muse: New York City

October 6, 2015

The Muse is a new one on NPS. Our jaunts to NY often have us at 70Park or the Eventi. All three hotels are Kimpton properties. The Muse turns out to be very close to the Marriott Marquis where the conference I am keynoting is being held.

So here we are smack dab in the heart of Times Square tourist-land in NY. Hmm.

I arrived at the Muse just in time for the end of wine hour. After the prop-plane flight up on united, a glass of wine was just what the doctor ordered. Prop-plane? In 2015? Really?

The Muse is currently under massive renovation. From what we can tell from our room (915) the result will be fabulous.

Room 915 console

Room 915 console

A few minutes after arrival, a nice amenity (cupcakes! and sparkling water) arrived with a note. Thanks to Sean Flanigan who heard tell of our arrival from the Boston spy ring and arranged for a nice welcome.

Kimpton Karma welcome amenity

Kimpton Karma welcome amenity

915 comfortable bed

915 comfortable bed

915

915

The bathroom is a bit crowded but very nicely appointed. The shower is great.

IMG_0371

Not plastic!  Two showerheads.

Not plastic! Two showerheads.

Another classic Kimpton touch worth pointing out. Kimpton knows that we all have devices to charge by the bed. So they make sure power is available. Together with the free wifi, we have all we need to get work done into the wee hours of the morning.

Power by the bed

Power by the bed

Just after arrival is was off for a cocktail at Lantern’s Keep. Their mixology remains top notch even though Barman Bob is long gone (John has filled in very well indeed). I had a tweaked Manhattan made with Fernet.

Then we headed down to Bryant Park for dinner at Koi. Koi is very nice and impressed my starving college aged son.

There was a little time for some art at the Whitney museum.

All told, five showerheads for the Muse. It’s only drawback may well be its reason for existing in the first place (proximity to tourist-land).