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Hot Summer in fun New York

Well New York City really has it all.

That is a line from Sheena is a Punk Rocker by the Ramones. I found myself listening to the Ramones in my car today on a bay drive to Santa Cruz. They are a great sing along band. Second verse is generally the same as the first so pretty easy to pick up the lyrics. I saw them play in Santa Cruz in 1978 and their energy made me a punk rocker.

I saw New York as a fun city for a tourist last week.

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Times Square looks like a street party on a Thursday night Sep 6, 2012.

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There is actually a Ferris wheel in Toys R Us at Times Square.

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NYPD goes neon on Times Square.

The Paramount Building (built 1926-27) in background is located at 1501 Broadway Times Square. This was built as the headquarters of Paramount Pictures and when it opened was the tallest building in Times Square. Today it ranks about #360 in skyscraper height for NYC. Hard Rock Café is located in the corner of the Paramount Building.

The four clocks on the faces of the pyramidal structure are a striking feature of the Paramount Building. I could see two of the clocks from my room at the Westin New York Times Square.

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View of Paramount Building clocks from Westin New York at Times Square.

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One great feature of Times Square is a large pedestrian zone.

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Showtime at Times Square.

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The USS Maine Memorial at Columbus Circle means walking a gauntlet of Central Park bike buggie pitches.

The sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor spurred the Spanish-American War in 1898. Somehow I think that war contributed to my grandfather coming to the USA from the Philippines two decades later.

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The hotel I was most excited to see is the Essex House. This Central Park facing hotel from 1931 rebranded to JW Marriott this week from Jumeirah Essex House.

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JW Marriott Essex House seen from Victorian Gardens Amusement Park, Central Park.

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Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 on 8th Avenue, New York

New York seemed to have its share of microbreweries.

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My eye spies Heartland Brewery from Union Square. Located in the shortest building on the block.

Starwood’s W Union Square is on the opposite side of Union Square from the brewery.

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W Union Square, New York.

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New York has it all. Old and new and wooden water towers too.

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West Village “Just kicking down the cobblestones” – Paul Simon.

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“Come on up for the rising” – Bruce Springsteen

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“When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose” – Bob Dylan

Dylan played his first gig in New York City January 24, 1961 at Café Wha? on MacDougal Street.

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MacDougal Street, West Village

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“You can sleep when your dead #DontGoHome”, MacDougal Street

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Hot summer in fun New York. Washington Square on a 90 degree Friday afternoon in September.


Disclosure: My flight to New York and stay at the Westin Times Square last week was free as part of 2012 SPG Amex US Open experience. I also will be staying free at W Union Square for SPG Amex Fashion Week experience.  I snapped these photos on the trip last week.

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Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.



  • IMH September 12, 2012

    Loved it. A nice report that gives us a feel for how YOU saw and experienced the city, that lets us get to know you a little better, and that has links that could keep us busy for hours (those Village Voice stories…) — and doesn’t include any clumsy attempts to sell us stuff. Makes me realise that I really do need to get to NYC before I’m too old to enjoy it. This is travel blogging as it should be — thanks!

  • dubaych September 12, 2012

    Nice stroll through town.
    IMH: You can almost never be too old to enjoy NYC. In fact, more and more people are choosing to retire there as it’s so convenient and enriching for non-drivers and fixed-incomers. Coupled with a post-9/11 baby boom, the demo of the city is changing in interesting ways.

  • James September 12, 2012

    Here’s to hoping you’ll break down and post some old photos of you sporting a mohawk…

  • Ric Garrido September 12, 2012

    @IMH – thanks.

    @James – My mohawk days were 1972. I had lived on White Sands Missile Range New Mexico for a year while my father was serving his third tour in Vietnam. I was really dark skinned after a year baked by the sun.

    The school principal at our new military base home in Newport News, Virginia stated he did not allow the teenage flip at his junior high school and demonstrated by flipping his head as if to throw his hair away from his eyes.

    I came to school on my first day with a mullet/mohawk. Students thought I was an American Indian for some reason and I spent the next two school years with the nickname Mohawk.

    My actual punk days also had me looking like the outsider. I had long hair (Ramones like) and jeans fashion. I was in my 40s before I ever owned a leather jacket.

    Punk rock was more about a DIY attitude than the musical style. I worked in a record store in 1979 and I followed music journalism. I was blown away by the crap records taking years and millions of dollars to produce when there were really exciting sounds coming from bands who went in and recorded an album one day and mixed it a second day and pressed a record.

    Bands producing their own shows and records were what I found in the San Francisco scene that gave me hope in 1978-80.

    For me blogging is a similar punk scene three decades later. There are so many people today who are producing great content in social media and all it takes is a computer and other simple equipment.

    And some of these new media artists will have a lasting legacy like the Ramones and the Clash did in the music scene.

    Hey even I am now a punk blogger with an SPG Amex Star gig in New York :).

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