Algonquin Cat

Alice De Almeida takes care of The Algonquin Hotel Times Square Cat.

NEW YORK — Over the years I have had the good fortune of travelling to many places around the world. But this holiday season I chose one of my all-time favorites with a short trip to New York City.

Regardless of the season, be it the steamy summer or the cold winter, park me anywhere near Times Square and I am a happy camper. I like to drive there. Door to door, minus any backups at customs, it is just over seven hours. My recommendation is to stop over for the night in Albany or Poughkeepsie so you arrive at your final destination at a good time to maximize your activities the first day. The outlets in Lake George-Glens Falls are a good option as well.

There are many choices of accommodations, but our favorite spot is the historic Algonquin Hotel. Located on 44th Street, near 6th Avenue, walk out the front door and you are a block and a half away from Times Square. For well more than 100 years, the Algonquin has been greeting and lodging the country’s most prominent writers and literary personalities (no I am not including myself on this list), as well as the leading figures of the American stage. The hotel is best known, perhaps, for the members of the Round Table, a group of luminaries who had in common both the ability to fire blazing witticisms and to withstand being on the receiving end of them. This also the home of The Algonquin Cat, a tradition that dates back to the early 1920s. Three and a half years old Hamlet VIII currently occupies that status. What more could a feline lover like me ask for?

Montreal gets a few Broadway shows a year at the Place des Arts, but never for more than a week. In the Big Apple there are an endless array of award winning musicals and plays to choose from. On this trip we had a few shows on our list: Ain’t Too Proud, the Life and Times of The Temptations; the Broadway revival of Oklahoma, which closes Jan. 19; and Little Shop of Horrors, an Off Broadway revival.

Dining out in the Big Apple is always a big treat. Let me recommend TAO, the pioneers of the Pan-Asian trend that swept New York City over a decade ago. We like to dine at TAO Uptown. The chain has a second locale in New York, plus others in Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chicago and soon the Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut.

There is also Brazilian cuisine sensation of Fogo de Chão, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant, Il Mulino Prime, the iconic Junior’s, Geoffrey Zakarian’s The Lamb’s Club, Black Tap 35th, Odonoghue’s Times Square, Ocean Prime just to name a few,

I added Caroline’s on Broadway, the popular stand up comedy club, to my list for this trip. On past visits I have visited and enjoyed Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Madame Tussault’s wax museum.

If you are a sports fan you can catch the Rangers or Islanders in hockey, the Yankees or Mets on the baseball field, New York FC and Red Bulls on the soccer pitch and the New York Knicks or the Brooklyn Nets in the NBA. As for football, the Jets and Giants call themselves “New York” but actually play 50 minutes away at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

And of course there is amazing shopping, from the gigantic Macy’s near Times Square to bargain basement Canal Street and Century 21 near another must stop – the 911 Memorial.

Log on to https://www.nycgo.com and stay tuned to The Suburban website later this month where I will file more elaborate stories on this trip.

Something to share? Email mcohen@thesuburban.com, follow me on Twitter @mikecohencsl and on our blog section at www.thesuburban.com

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