New York City — Tribeca Film Festival & Sheraton

If you are following me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know that a few nights ago, my dad and I attended a screening of the movie Mansome at the Tribeca film festival in New York City. The screening and party were held at TriBeCa Cinemas (54 Varick Street) and was exclusively for Starwood American Express members. As you can see from the photos below, they had all kinds of food on offer (including pizza art!), and lots of drinks and snacks. You have to love a screening when they give you all your favorite treats (popcorn, snowcaps, peanut butter cups, Smart Water ….) for free!

Mansome is a documentary film looking at men’s identity in the 21st century. It’s directed by Oscar-nominee Morgan Spurlock (‘Supersize Me’), and executive produced by actors/comedians Will Arnett and Jason Bateman. It’s also starring Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, and Judd Apatow.  The 84-minute movie was entertaining but wasn’t great. The funniest scene was “fresh balls” and the line “bat wings” … I won’t give away the punch line. You’ll have to see it for yourself!

Afterwards, director Morgan Spurlock was supposed to do a Q&A but he was a no-show so instead he sent screenwriter Jeremy Chiplock and the movie’s editor. The best part of the evening was meeting all of the staff members from American Express and Starwood and of course, hanging out with my dad.

My dad and I on the red carpet

Full disclosure: American Express flew me and my dad into town and put us up at the Tribeca Sheraton, which turned out to be a comfortable hotel — my only complaint is that the connecting door to our room was really thin so you could hear your neighbor sneeze. My other observations of the hotel are below:

1.    The bellmen are attentive and always opened the taxi door for us and asked if we wanted help with our bags (they didn’t know I was a travel blogger).

2.    The hotel is plush on the inside but I can’t say the same for the exterior.

3.    The front desk charged a refundable $100 room deposit to my credit card so make sure not to use a bankcard.

4.    Internet cost $9.99 for 24 hours.

5.    The windows are not completely soundproof so you will hear some car horns.

6.    There’s an iHome clock radio/charger on the nightstand near the bed, which of course is handy for charging your phone and setting a wake-up call.

7.    There is a coffee pot with a few packets of Starbucks coffee for die-hard java junkies.

8.    Everyone who works at the hotel was really friendly and seemed happy.

9.    The views were excellent – especially looking north towards the Empire State Building.

10. A half a block from the hotel is Saluggi’s Pizza, which sells slices for $3.

11. There are subways to the East and West side of town just a couple blocks away.

12. Speaking of the subway:  I took the A Train to meet up with my dad and a character named “Homeless Ed” announced himself and said we can just call him “Homeless.” He asked for soap, money or a cheeseburger. He was funny and didn’t look homeless.

Also good to know, here are some key points about SPG Card from Amex, if you’re planning a stay at one of their hotels.

1. Redemption Flexibility – Redeem Starpoints for free at over 1,000 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries and for free flights on hundreds of airlines with SPG Flights—all with no blackout dates.

2. Exceptional Earn Potential and Starpoint Value – Earn up to 5 Starpoints per eligible $1 spent at hotels and resorts participating in the SPG program. One Starpoint per eligible $1 spent on the Card everywhere else.

3. Status Benefits – Receive credit for two stays and five nights toward the next level of SPG elite status.

4. Plus, all of the services and protections (Purchase Protection, Return Protection, Travel Protections) that come with Amex Cards.

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