Friday, January 31, 2014

World Trade Center fence to be removed after 13 years

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced this week that the fence surrounding the World Trade Center site for the past 13 years will finally be removed as New York City prepares for the National September 11 Museum to open in May 2014.

The 16-acre site, via a long blue fence, has been cut off from the rest of downtown during the rebuilding process. The September 11 Memorial opened two years ago, but access has been limited to ticketed visitors who pass through the fence on a narrow walkway. When the west and south sections of the fence is dismantled this year, people will be able to go back and forth freely between the memorial and parts of downtown.

It will also make hotels that are popular for corporate meetings, such as the W Downtown, much easier to access.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Writing and Warmth: Iconic NYC venues to channel your inner author

The unusually cold winter both in New York and throughout the U.S. has many of us thinking of those glorious days when we can take a book (or kindle!) and lawn chair to Central Park in New York and bask in the sun.

For now, you are probably thrilled to find a hot fireplace surrounded by old books, warm drinks and a little history.  We have a few "warm-up, read, write, and think" venues for you to consider if your meeting is in town for Super Bowl week or at any time during the winter.

The Marlton Hotel and its new bars.  This historic West Village establishment just reopened last fall and its developer and has brought back to life part of the vibe that inspired beatnik writers like Jack Kerouac.  Kerouac might not recognize some of the hip improvements, but it's definitely a hangout for some of Manhattan's art world movers and shakers.  And a few socialites.  Perhaps it's all those vegetarian choices on the menu. The lobby bar, however, looks like something right out of a Sherlock Holmes novel.

The Writing Room.  This is the old "Elaine's" on the Upper East Side that prior to owner Elaine Kaufman's sad passing, would attract celebs like Woody Allen and some of New York's snootiest literati.  It also attracted too many touristy gawkers.  The Writing Room has cleverly vaporized elements that were not as welcoming as one would think, overhauled the menu, and simply moved that famous 1,000 or so book wall to a new "study" where a courtyard used to be.  And some of those noteworthy customers from Elaine's are coming back as well.

The Ace Hotel.  If your meeting attendees are looking for a place to check email outside the confines of their rooms, sip very warm drinks on comfortable couches and enjoy a very hip winter scene, this is your place. 

Don't let winter and those Super Bowl crowds get you down. Shackman Associates looks for unique venues to help your attendees feel and spread some warmth, which can transform you into a real New Yorker.