Second in a series of New York reports
NEW YORK – Location, location, location.
Price, price, price.
Convenience, convenience, convenience.
Whenever I traveled in the past, I’d book hotels to accrue frequent-stayer points.
I favored the Hilton brand, which included sister properties like Doubletree. And Sheraton also was a secondary favorite.
But when my back and leg pain worsened, a hotel located smack dab in the middle of the zone I preferred – in New York, it’s always been the Theatre District in Manhattan’s West Side –the focus of where my wife and I would stay mattered most.
And though we were totally aware of the Hotel Edison on W. 47th Street, we’ve never stayed there. Till this most recent trip.
We’d always walk through the Edison’s lobby, to get to 46th Street, and through the Marriott on 46th and 45th to further traipse through the short cuts to 44th Street. Everyone did this; the flock of theaters were located in this region.
When checking for housing this time, the Edison’s $238 daily rate was an unbelievable attraction, because Marriott down the street was charging under $500, just like The W next door.
Of course, the final tab would escalate when New York’s multi-taxes were added.
Still, when you rely on an electric wheel chair to tool around the theater district, location and convenience matter most.
Thus, the Edison in the heart of the Broadway action, was a gem. No need frequent stayer points. Location doesn’t get any better, and the price clearly was right. And the conveniences on W. 47th St., like the TKTS booth, attracts folks hunting for buy-one, get-one-free tickets to Broadway shows. Popular restaurants like Olive Garden are on W. 47th, and Applebee is just up the street, on Broadway. Junior’s, a Zippy’s-like eatery with a huge family following, is further up on Broadway at W. 49th Street, and we always have breakfast here.
Further, the MTA buses stop at W. 49th Street on Seventh Avenue, if you’re southbound; and subway stations similarly in walking distance.
But the largest convenience is the fact that Broadway theaters generally are in the mid-40s, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.
One theater, the Lunt-Fontanne, where “Sweeney Todd” is playing, is a mere minute away next-door to the Edison. Can’t get better than this.
We stayed at the Marriott before, when I was still a fully qualified walker; the problem with this hotel is that whenever the elevators open, they were always filled, particularly when everyone was headed to a show. The next available elevator would be generally filled to the max, too. With a wheelchair now, this would be wholly inconvenient. In contrast, the Edison’s bank of six or seven elevators are readily accessible; if one was full, the next one arrived quickly.
This past stay, the furthermost theater we visited was the Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center, at W. 65th Street. We caught a Yellow Cab going there and an Uber lift returning to the hotel.
The longest distance I walked was up to the August Wilson Theatre, on W. 52nd St., where “Funny Girl” is running. ‘Twas the longest journey by foot, augmented by my walking cane. But manageable.
To get to “Here Lies Love” at the Broadway Theatre, at Broadway and W. 53rd Street, I utilized the wheelchair and parked it in the lobby. Like many theaters, this one had a mezzanine balcony, and our seats were Up There, and I managed the ascent and descent by clinging to handrails. The movement was slowly, yes, and deliberate, to avoid a fall.
Also, wheel chaired to the Winter Garden, at Broadway and W. 51st Street, and had booked seats for “Back to the Future” in the last row in orchestra, with an open space for the chair adjoining the companion’s fixed seat. Didn’t have to park the chair in the lobby here. We exited the performance during the curtain call, enabling us to get a jump on the journey to the Edison.
Back to the hotel: If I book the Edison on a future trip, I’d try to secure a room with more space. Our room had a king-sized bed but little wiggle space, with the wheelchair parked in the midst of the room for nightly recharging.
The Edison, renovated some years back, had a spacious bathroom with a large shower stall. But storage was nil; just one small door-sized closet to hang clothing, plus a shelf.
The work desk for a laptop was a teeny table that also held the coffeemaker, the coffee packets, the tub for ice, and bottled water, with an office chair – the only seat in the room.
The bed had two tiny shelves with one small drawer on each side but was attached to the walls; perhaps two smaller drawers below would have been helpful.
The ledge of a large window was used as an iPhone and Apple watch recharging station, since there was no other space.
The Edison hosts a complimentary 24/7 gym, which I visited only once, for an hour of cardio pedaling on a bike, along with exercise machines I’ve used back home, under supervision. I didn’t want to overdo or underdo weights for leg and pulleying excersises without an on-duty official, in case of accidents.
The hotel stay included a daily free grab-and-go breakfast (with choices like an egg and bacon sandwich, a croissant, a yogurt sundae, and fruits like banana and orange) and Wednesday and Friday happy hour wine parties which we didn’t partake in since we were coming from or going to theater.
The Edison provided a new concept of breakfast in bed, since there was no space to sip coffee and eat – except on the bed. And a large TV mounted on the wall facing the bed, offered the “Today” show daily. …
By paying more and securing a larger room, perhaps the location-price-convenience formula would still be relevant. For potential handicapped visitors, these considerations count. We shall see if we return to the gem called Edison. …
And that’s Show Biz. …