Last week I left off from New York City. I wrote a post about how to get the best seat in coach but didn’t tell you about my trip. I ended up meeting Natalie at the W Hotel in Union Square and grabbed some spicy Asian food at nearby Republic. In the morning we checked out and took the Metro North train out to Rowayton, Connecticut to go see my nephews and spend Labor Day Weekend on Long Island Sound with all my friends from high school.
W Union Square
The day before Natalie went home to Toronto we went back to New York City to spend another night at the W Hotel. I liked the hotel but wasn’t too impressed with their lobby staff. The doormen were rarely there and on one occasion I opened the door for them! The most disappointing part was the front desk. Natalie arrived before me and there was one guest in front of her and only one person working. There was a problem with the customer’s reservation because Natalie had to wait 15 minutes to check in. That’s not acceptable at a $300+ a night hotel. Don’t you agree?
The good news is the hotel is in a great location, their beds are uber comfortable and their housekeeping rocks. The first thing I did when I arrived was hand Natalie my baptism certificate which wasn’t the easiest thing to get. She was so excited to see me (so she says) that she didn’t put it in her bag and we ended up forgetting it in the room when we left. I thought for sure the maids would just throw the opened envelope away but Natalie argued they wouldn’t. When we checked back in two days later she called down to the reception and sure enough they had it! I ate crow and was happy to do so.
2012 U.S. Open
The highlight of being in the city was attending the U.S. Open thanks to Starwood American Express. Back in April they announced me as one of their “star bloggers” which enables me (and a guest) to attend some really cool events like the Tribeca Film Festival, Fashion Week and the U.S. Open.
Subway to U.S. Open
To get out to The U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York I took the 7 train from Grand Central (you can also take it from Times Square) to the Shea Stadium/Willets Point Station. It’s about a 30-minute ride and what’s nice besides the fact it only cost $2.25, you don’t have to worry about traffic jams. Plus, since it’s above ground most of the way, your phone works and you get some great views of the city.
Azarenka, Stosur and Sharapova
The first day I took my brother and we watched number one Victoria Azarenka defeat last year’s U.S. Open champ Samantha Stosur in an exciting three set match. I was rooting for Stosur since she was the underdog, Australian, and because Azarenka has the most ridiculous grunt that sounds like a deformed missile after each stroke. It really should be illegal. Then the rain came so most people left but we stuck around so we could watch Maria Sharapova play Maria Bartoli from France. We moved up six rows to make our already incredible seats the best in the house (see photo gallery below).
Lindsay Davenport SPG Amex Event
The next day I was back at the U.S. Open to attend an exclusive SPG Amex Cardmember-only event. The first 85 card members who purchased ($165 per ticket) got lower promenade seating at Arthur Ashe Stadium, a cocktail reception with Lindsay Davenport and a special gift bag. It was pretty darn cool not only because we had access to a hospitality room with all kinds of free drinks and grub (filet mignon anyone?) but I met Lindsay a few times through a mutual friend so she was extra nice to me.
Serena Williams and Roger Federer
After the party we watched Serena Williams roll over her opponent and Roger Federer get beaten by some dude from the Czech Republic. All in all it was a great week and the views of the sunset over Manhattan were breathtaking.
Tip for next year: If you are an American Express card holder all you have to do is show it at their U.S. Open booth and they will give you a free souvenir radio so you can hear the TV commentators in one ear.