Getting to New York City was not as easy as I imagined. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. after a long night of packing to make sure I got to the airport on time and didn't actually arrive at my hotel until somewhere around noon. Only then to be told that I couldn't check into my room until 3:00pm. So the trip began with hurried exhaustion followed by exhausted waiting. Luckily, they allowed me to check my bags so I could go galavanting in my half-awake state around the Upper West Side.
Staying at the Park 79 Hotel was actually great, it is definitely an ideal place to stay for anyone looking for a hotel in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It is literally across the street from the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park, so I was close to some great attractions. It was also just off Columbus street, which is lined with wonderful restaurants. In particular, it was close to World Coffee that was a great place to grab my morning cup of coffee with some decent pastries (not exactly the greatest in the city, but definitely it hits a spot in the morning). One block up is Amsterdam with great bars and a block up from that is Broadway with some great stores, including one of my mother's favorites, Filene's Basement.
Transportation was also easy. It is just off Columbus, where you can usually catch a cab within five minutes. And for those taking the subway, it is just about a block or two away from a train station.
The hotel room was nice, although tiny. And I mean really tiny - it was easily smaller than my freshman year dorm room. But for the price and for Manhattan, it was very accomodating. There was enough room for the dresser and the bed, with a small bathroom inside. The bathroom was greatly appreciated because many places I was looking to stay required patrons to share...something I wasn't exactly comfortable with. The service was also wonderful. Any time I had a question about the amenities or finding a cab, they were happy to answer.
If I have any complaints, it is one small one. That is the slowest, hottest elevator I have ever been in. It was one of those antique jobs that moves at a glacial place. There was enough room for one or two people, maybe for one to swing their arms, but not much more than that. And as we climbed the floors to my room at the top, I began to seriously fear that it would stop and I would be trapped in the tiny gold and mirror plated coffin for the rest of my trip. It never happened, but I held my breath for the entire five minutes it took to go up or down.