We're waiting for a snow storm here in NYC, this seems to be the usual drill here this winter and I am not too worried about getting out on Saturday evening when Sarah Lahey and I depart for Paris. Meanwhile, we're snuggled into a very nice room in the new InterContinental Hotel Times Square-- wouldn't mind being snowed in here at all. The hotel is in a great location, although frankly I remember when nice girls didn't visit neighborhoods like this-- now there's a Shake Shack below and a Westin hotel across the street and most importantly a giant Duane Reade on the corner at 42nd Street. We're in the heart of the Theatre District, with Phantom playing right across the street.
Now, about that Duane Reade, it used to be a pharmacy-- which it still is-- but the chain has taken over a lot of empty real estate and expanded not only their stores but the categories of goods they sell. Many stores have fresh foods and baked goods; some will soon sell beer on tap (!) I only cared about the makeup department-- of course. Since I am headed to Paris, I am trying to go light on the debit cards now...but after a trip to Sephora and then Saks, I did my spending at Duane Reade where I discovered, among other things, a line of tini cocktail makeup (you gotta have a gimmick)...this is tini as in martini, not tini as in tiny or small. I paid $16.50 for a lipgloss (Cuba Libre-- everything has a cocktail name); this is a lot of money in my makeup budget, but it seemed like a Chanel product I know from duty free shopping, so maybe I saved $$$. this DR is open 24/7; has an MD on premises and offers three floors of shopping ops. I even found a favorite makeup base from France (Lierac) that is no longer sold in France, although I used to pay 25 europs for it and today paid $40...which is more than 25 euros. Although it saves on airfare and a time machine.
I've noticed that all the streets in this area now call themselves Times Square addresses, as if trying to cash in on the glamour. A new burger place on west 40th street says it's Times Square whereas this hotel, created from a parking lot, on west 44th is also called Times Square. Although we are very loyal to the Intercontinental brand, we picked this hotel partly because of it's location near the Port Authority. We leave for Paris from Newark Airport, which is easy to get to when you are based this far west-- or if you take a bus from the PA.
Now we're off to dinner at Bistro DB Moderne, one of Daniel Boulud's restaurants which is handily on the same street as our hotel. In between the hotel and the restaurant is the new bowling alley, BowlMor, 222 W 44th Street. We'll take a look at it as we go by but frankly, since I am still recovering from my spine injury, I don't think a game of bowls is in the cards. But this location is sublime.
In fact, there are more theatres and restaurants on west 44th street than I think any other location in Manhattan. Tomorrow night we'll dine at Osteria Al Doge, also on west 44th, a favorite Italian restaurant from the days when I lived in the tri-state area. Of course, that will be a double headed for my hips with Italian food since we're planning on lunch at Eat-ly; I will write about that tomorrow...and the bowling alley, of course.