Get Your Freak On

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Okay, I know that it SNOWED last night. (Seriously, Mother Nature? COME ON.) But here’s a sure sign that summer is no-kidding-really-truly coming right around the corner: Saturday marks the season opening of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow!

I went for the first time only a few years ago and afterward kicked myself for taking so long–it’s a hoot, people!  After paying the nominal admission fee (ten bucks), settle yourself down on the (admittedly) gritty and sticky bleachers and prepare yourself for 45 minutes of cheesy fun. Fire eaters, glass chewers, snake charmers, sword swallowers, ventriloquists, people walking on glass or a bed of nails…just name anything that will make you squirm and I guarantee at least one of the performers can or will do it. Its campy, it’s bawdy and it’s crazy fun.

After the show, grab a drink next door at the Freak Bar, head over for a terrifying ride on the Cyclone or Wonder Wheel, then grab a dog at Nathan’s. It’s Coney Island…you need to take all of it in!

Oh–and for those who are looking for a career change, the sideshow troupe operates a school, where they’ll teach you how to breathe fire or become a human blockhead and hammer nails up your nose. (Because you really need to know how to do that.) In fact they claim that their facility, “is to sideshow culture what the Actor’s Studio is to American acting: we are the International Center of Sideshow Arts.”

Who’s going to disagree?

 

Chag Pesach Sameach!

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That’s “Happy Passover” for all of you folks who can’t speak Hebrew.

What a beautiful afternoon for a Seder dinner. We hope all of our Jewish friends are having a wonderful day, spending time with the ones that they love!

Love,

Your friends at the Washington Square Hotel and North Square

Cherry Blossoms Are (Almost) Here

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Little darlings, it’s been a long, cold lonely winner, but now the cherry blossom trees are thisclose to blooming in our parks. Hooray!

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden reports that its first tree is starting to blossom. The BBG updates a map on the buds’ progress regularly, so you can plan the best time to visit.

Central Park also reportedly has a few blooms. The trees are located by the Delacorte Theater, on the southeast edge of the Great Lawn, the Reservoir, the Ramble and Bethesda Terrace.

And the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx also plays host to the Spring beauties.

FYI, you can expect the season to last about five weeks, so start planning now!

 

9/11 Memorial Museum: What You Need To Know

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Opening day: May 21st.

Cost: $24 for adults, $18 for seniors, veterans and college students, $15 for kids 7 through 17. Small children and victim’s families pay nothing. Free admission for all on Tuesday evenings between 5 and 8 pm. FYI, the tickets will also give you access to the Memorial.

What You’ll See: Artifacts associated with the events of 9/11, plus individual stories of loss and recovery; personal effects, recorded remembrances, photographs. All in all, a collective telling of the 9/11 story by all those who remember it.

Remember that everyone experienced this tragedy in their own way. Whether you were physically there or not, you can add your own story here.

Tickets are on sale now.

 

 

 

 

Easter Egg Hunt

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So this sounds cool. How about an Easter egg hunt for the 21st Century? Over 250 large, i.e. 2-1/2 feet tall, Faberge-style egg sculptures have been hidden throughout all five boroughs of the city.

These are not just any eggs; they’ve been designed by renowned artists, designers, architects and photographers. (Jeff Koons, Ralph Lauren,Tommy Hilfiger, Bruce Weber, Carolina Herrera, Peter Beard and Julian Schnabel are just a few of the artists involved.)

The hunt began yesterday and runs through 4/17, after which the sculptures will be displayed in Rockefeller Center for a few days before being auctioned off by Sotheby’s.

Folks who want to join in the search need to first download the Faberge Big Egg Hunt app. They then can use the app, Facebook or Twitter to receive clues on locations of the eggs. Once they spot one, they can scan a code next to it, which will note on their phone that they’ve found the egg and enable them to enter a sweepstakes. The prizes are no joke. Once a week a spectacular Fabergé precious gem stone pendant valued at between $30,000-$50,000 will be won by one lucky hunter.

It’s great that 100% of the money from the auction will go to two charities:  Elephant Family, which raises money for Asia’s endangered elephants and Studio in School, which funds visual arts education for children in New York City.

Happy hunting!

 

We’re Going To Be Television Stars!

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Everyone here at the Washington Square Hotel loves what we do. The hospitality business is beyond rewarding. (Seriously. Who wouldn’t want to host folks when they’re on vacation and having the time of their lives?) We relish the idea that we could be that good friend that you enjoy visiting once or twice a year.

But then we thought, a few annual get-togethers may not be enough. We need to keep in touch with our guests on a more frequent basis. How will our visitors from Amsterdam know that Ronnie Jenkins has concocted a new, blow-up-your-mouth hot sauce? How can our Swedish friends possibly keep abreast of the romances brewing between members of our staff?

And then it hit us: a reality show! Restaurants have long been the focus of several successful television series, but hotels? Rarely. Because we want to bring our guests–and future television fans–into our world, we think we can fill that void.

Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing the future Bravo hit, Behind The Front Desk. Here is just a handful of the upcoming scenarios:

Is Dinnella, the Assistant Desk Manager really after Marta, the manager’s job? Or is Marta just being paranoid?

Who’s that taking a snooze in presently unoccupied room #912? Wait! It’s Valerie, our Housekeeping Manager! Will she come to before the new vacationers arrive?

Did Jose, Sous Chef extraordinaire, set the kitchen on fire accidentally, or is Kendy, North Square’s Hostess, up to her old tricks?

(For answers to all of these questions, you’ll have to watch to find out. No spoilers here, people.)

Who knows? Maybe we can eventually evolve into a competition show. Which Guest Relations employee should earn a $1,000 bonus and an all-expenses paid vacation? Kwesi, Reggie or Therese? You–our guests and our audience–can decide which one gets the loot.

Filming has already started and all hotel and restaurant customers will be asked to sign a release. But if appearing on the tube really freaks you out, not to worry. Producers can easily blur guest’s faces or replace them with an attractive actor or actress of their choice. (So if you see an episode where Angelina Jolie is checking in with Ryan Gosling, please remember that things may not be as they seem.)

Because we’re first and foremost in the hospitality biz, hotel management didn’t want to inconvenience anyone with unsightly tangled wires and bulky camera set-ups, so the producers came up with an ingenious idea: hidden cameras! So no need to worry–you won’t have the faintest idea if, when or where you will be filmed. A sure cure for any stage fright-prone guests!

One more plus–we already feel like all of our guests are stars, but now you can all cash in! Think of the potential: frequent hotel customers can use their new-found fame to hawk their own clothing, jewelry or skin care line. (Ronnie already has plans to take his hot sauce global.)

Andy Cohen, VP of Programming at Bravo, is optimistic about the show’s potential and is sandwiching it in between two of the channel’s biggest hits: Real Housewives of New York City and Top Chef. “Babes, Beds and Braise…that’s our mantra for this fall,” crowed the reality guru.

We agree. Please join us in taking our next giant step into the future!

P.S: One more thing. April Fools!!!!

Did we getcha???

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry Friday

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Yup, I just declared today Poetry Friday, because, well, I’m the blogger here and what I say goes!

P.G. Wodehouse was a 20th century English humorist whose writing encompassed novels, short stories, plays, song lyrics and journalism. From penning articles in the Saturday Evening Post to working with Cole Porter on the songbook of the show Anything Goes, Wodehouse left his mark in many formats, including poetry.

Here’s one called Greenwich Village, where he lived in 1909:

Way down in Greenwich Village
There’s something, ‘twould appear,
Demoralizing in the atmosphere.
Quite ordinary people,
Who come to live down here,
Get changed to perfect nuts within a year.
They learn to eat spaghetti
(That’s hard enough, as you know)
They leave off frocks
And wear Greek smocks
And study Guido Bruno.
For there’s something in the air
Down here in Greenwich Village
That makes a fellow feel he doesn’t care:
And as soon as he is in it, he
Gets hold of an affinity
Who’s long on modern
Art but short on hair.
Though he may have been a model,
Ever since he learned to toddle,
To his relatives and neighbours everywhere,
When he hits our Latin Quarter
He does things he shouldn’t oughter:
It’s a sort of,
Sort of kind of,
It’s a sort of kind of something in the air.

It is a sort of kind of something in the air around here, don’t you think?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Five Reasons To Visit New York City In April

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April brings a little something for everyone. Here’s why you should come and stay with us next month:

1. In just a few weeks, the cherry blossoms will be in bloom. Central Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are key viewing spots, but our own Washington Square Park has its fair share of the springtime-announcing buds.

2. The Tribeca Film Festival. This year it runs from April 16th through the 27th and includes free community events like the Tribeca Drive-In, which screens family-friendly movies like Mary Poppins and Splash outdoor at Waterfront Plaza.

3. It’s opening season for baseball fans! The Yankees toss out the first ball on April 1, while the Mets get a head start on March 31st.

4. Car lovers can check out the New York International Auto Show from the 18th through the 27th. Visitors can drool over the fancy cars with no alternate side of the street parking issues to worry about.

5. The average daily temperature is about 60 degrees….oh-so-perfect for exploring the city.

Take A Stroll Down West 4th Street

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Let’s take a walk along West 4th Street, long the center of bohemian culture in the Village. Check it out:

The Washington Square Methodist Church stands at #135, an early Romanesque Revival that was built in1859. Its nickname was the “Peace Church”, as it became a neighborhood base for activist groups such as Vietnam War protesters, Black Panthers and Gay Men’s Health Crisis. Sadly, the building was gutted inside and renovated into apartments, but the facade had attained landmark status and remains untouched.

The Pink Pussycat, at #167, should be able to fulfill all of your sex shop needs.

In an area known for its smoke shops, Shisha International, at #171, seems to have a devoted following. Hookahs, rolling papers, vaporizers…they’ve got it all.

At #184, The Silversmith is touted as the Village’s smallest shop. Tons of beautiful jewelry, with an emphasis on Native American pieces.

Vol de Nuit is a cool Belgian beer bar at #148. Dozens of brews, plus mussels and fries with homemade sauces.

At #169 Music Inn World Instruments sells what seems like any musical instrument from all over the world. In a market for a didgeridoo? A kalimba? They’ve got them plus more.

Make a pit stop for a cannoli: Sant Ambroeus is a lovely Italian pastry cafe at #259.

At #267, check out A.P.C. for the latest in euro-hipster looks. The designs are clean and customers are devoted to their great-fitting jeans.

Designer Marc Jacobs’ store, at #301, hawks his women’s accessories and shoes.

Bookleaves is a small, independent book sore at #304. (Yes, they do still exist.)

The Corner Bistro at #331 is a relic of the past. Great burgers, cheap beer and a soulful jukebox–the three key ingredients of a memorable, inexpensive night out.

And finally, around the corner on 6th Avenue, between West 3rd and West 4th, check out the West 4th Street Courts, also know as “The Cage”, a smaller-than-regulation basketball court that regularly hosts fierce pick-up games.

Have a great day!