Category Archives: travel

Funniest & Scariest NYC Hotel Review – Criminals, Hookers & Bed Bugs Oh My!

I had never heard about the Glenwood Hotel in Brooklyn until it was mentioned in the news as being the location of a terrible crime. As I am often researching hotels for business and friends, I am well aware about the pitiful conditions of NYC’s hotel industry (tiny dirty rooms, exorbitant prices, too good to be true, etc.) BUT THIS IS BY FAR THE WORST OF THE WORST OF THE WORST places to stay I have ever come across. The few reviews out there all say sleeping on the street would be better and describe what is often the most terrifying/traumatic experience of their lives.  The review below made me laugh in fear so hard that I found it difficult to get past some of the words. Please enjoy and please be warned:

DemianC from Seattle, WA  – July 4, 2010

“So, looking for a NY getaway on the cheap? Have I got a suggestion for you! The streets, or hey, just ride the subway all night. Even the internet wouldn’t want to publish pictures of my feet, legs, arm or back, due to the insane amount of bedbug bites I have on me. In roughly 72 hours, I was able to get about 9 hours of sleep. The room is smaller than your closet. “I don’t have a closet” you say? It’s still bigger! My first night, it was roughly 90 plus degrees in there. But that was the comfortable part. The ceiling is a screen door. There was a guy constantly sitting right outside my room who looked like the evil love child of Mickey Rourke and Gary Busey. The gent “sleeping next to my room, loved to wake up at 5 every morning and hock phlegmies for an hour or so straight. And that is when he stopped snoring. He also liked to cut some long gas passages, the last one I clocked at roughly 23 seconds. My guess, he was no more wanting to use their bathroom than I or the rats were. The rats, you don’t see them so much as hear them, and I think they were weary of the surroundings as well. The guests, many of them residents. The ladies were kind of nice, because they’re hookers namely. The evil creep behind the cage was somehow in cahoots with them. One guy likes to sit in the lobby and sleep and drool ropes. I also saw him going into the bathroom, his pants were not part of the deal, but he did have his hands over his crotch and buttocks as the bathroom trip clearly got started before he could get there. The shower was scary, and if you can sit on their toilets, you will likely get leprosy. And then, the bedbugs. Oh, the bedbugs are RAMPANT! In my 8 to 9 hours of sleep over three days, I was able to get hundreds, yes hundreds of bites. And I never once pulled back the sheets. No one offered to wash or change them, so you can still see my bloodstains if you go now. It is not just that they have bedbugs, they are the SOURCE of the bedbugs. NY is supposed to be having an issue with them, and if the D.O.H. would stop accepting bribes, and burn the place down, then burn the ashes, the bedbug problem would likely end. Not just in NY, but the whole wide world. Seriously folks, graveyards are a less creepy place to sleep. They don’t mention their name on Craigslist, but it is the $30 ad with the tiny bed. It’s so bad, you may just want to avoid Brooklyn altogether. I’m going to go write a horror movie about the place, and you know what? None of it would be fiction.”

I honestly can’t wait until DemianC publishes his first screenplay or book.

Milan’s Unique Sense of L.O.V.E.

Yikes – Maurizio Cattelan‘s “L.O.V.E” statue in front of the Italian Stock Exchange in Milan sure doesn’t embody the normal sentiment of “love” during this Valentine’s Day season! This controversial artist’s marble hand measures 13 feet and will live there for 1 year until next October. Those crazy Italians..

Exactly How it Feels To Be In/See/Hear Tokyo

Watch this if you’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo— or you have already been and want to revisit those memories.

This simple and raw video is amazing because it shows you EXACTLY how it feels to be in Tokyo. The calmness, the cleanliness, the facemasks, the autovoice in the subway, the music from giant LCD screens in Shinjuku, the crazy chaos of the early morning Tsujuki fish market, the people yelling to hand out stuff at the subway entrances, the gravel underneath your feet at the Meiji Jingu temple, the digital music video madness of Akihabara, the giggling picnics underneath the cherry blossoms…this guy’s camera kit is amazing! (Canon 5D2,EF24mm-F2.8, STEADICAM MERLIN )

The Science of a Good Vacation

Nice article in the Globe about vacation happiness research. We’re nearing the end of summer so here are some interesting tidbits to help maximize your holiday:

  • How long we take off probably counts for less than we think
  • Taking more short trips leaves us happier than taking a few long ones
  • We’re often happier planning a trip than actually taking it
  • How a trip ends matters more than how it begins
  • Who you’re with matters as much as where you go
  • If you want to remember a vacation vividly, do something during it that you’ve never done before
  • People are happiest thinking about the trip when they are anticipating it and a few days after it ends – the least happiest is when you’re on the trip (due to dealing with logistics of traveling plus the pressure to be enjoying yourselves.)
  • How you feel during intense moments of the trip (excitement, pain, contentment) is more memorable than the average overall feeling of the trip. So if you have to decided between extending your stay or using that extra hotel money for an exciting dinner or show – splurge for the intense experiences, not the extra days. Intense > duration.

Eat Brains Love

NO, I will not read Eat Pray Love and NO I will not watch that movie!

(Happy Friday the 13th, btw.)

[Added Sunday, Aug 15 12pm]: Found this funny chart that tells you if you should see the movie or not. One of the questions literally asks “Do you feel compelled to write a whiny blog post about it?” haha…


It’s the Weekend… Watch Those Tan Lines!

PS. If you don’t know what “reddit” is, pretend it says “computer geek”.

Zurich Looks Like Barney?

I was researching Expedia.com for hotels in Zurich, Switzerland when I scrolled down to this map and yelled, ‘Barney!’ Doesn’t Zurich look like Barney with a beat up black eye and jaundice?

Mini Monument

Jefferson’s Cherry Blossoms

A shot of the Jefferson Memorial during D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival.

Subway Etiquette Signs You Don’t Need in Tokyo

A New York artist took a survey of peoples’ subway pet-peeves and printed up 400 of these fake MTA flyers to paste up around the city’s subway stations. Some of the other ‘rules’ are based on religion, noise pollution, physical contact, hygiene,  garbage disposal (or lack thereof), eating, and subway stair etiquette.

I think this is great! And a little sad. Having just come from Tokyo where, no matter how crowded the subways are, it is very quiet & peaceful and all phones are set to silent so you don’t “annoy your neighbors” (says the intercom lady in her British English accent). The stations and trains are clean and the cushions are extra thick (and heated on chilly days!).  Also, when you enter the ‘turnstyles’ you just have to tap your card (no awkward swiping) and the gates are left open by default unless there is a problem with your card/ticket (sorta like ‘innocent until proven guilty’) which saves time. Plus, I think the Japanese don’t sweat or something because there’s no body odor to complain about. So basically, no, you don’t have to watch out for flying nail clippings.