Recommendation Wednesday

New York (and I’m not just talking about the city here) has a TON of things to do and see; it’s impossible to do it all. But here is a comprehensive list that will help you narrow it down somewhat.

Best Things to do in New York

This website also has lists for Norway, Germany, Austria, and South Africa, among many others.

These lists are by someone else named Jen (I swear it’s not me!) and she (and her team) review products, for the most part. They also are heavily into health stuff (that I’m not recommending, but will not get into that here).

However, if you know where to look, you’ll find her travel blog and lists of things to do in many locations (it’s really well hidden! Tip: Go to the search and type in the place you want to go). I’m sure she will update this to include more. You can also email her and request that she add somewhere specific!

Image from Jen Reviews
Image from Jen Reviews

Are you interested in travelling? You can contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Waldorf=Astoria

This news hasn’t been broadcast all over Facebook yet, possibly because it happened during the DNC and everybody’s talking about that instead.

The Waldorf=Astoria in New York is closing for renovations at the beginning of 2017. I’m shocked, but after reading this article, it makes a little more sense. They’re going to be renovating more than half of their rooms into luxury condos, and the rest will be made into high-end, 5-star luxury hotel suites.

In the "men's" lobby of the Waldorf=Astoria. Image taken by Jen.
In the “men’s” lobby of the Waldorf=Astoria. This is where the financial transactions take place. Obviously, women are now allowed to pay for their rooms, and this lobby is open to all. Image taken by Jen.

I visited the Waldorf=Astoria in November 2014, and was blown away by the grandeur of the main spaces, but the rooms, other than the penthouse, were standard. The hotel was definitely showing its age. So the upgrade makes complete sense, especially since The Plaza Hotel nearby had a similar upgrade recently.

So why is a Fandom Travel blog talking about a hotel in New York?

While not used in a “typical” fandom movie, this hotel has been a setting in many movies, including some old and some new.

Week-End at the Waldorf” (1945) with Ginger Rogers and Van Johnson.

The Out of Towners” (1970) with Jack Lemmon

The Great Gatsby” (1974) with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow – even though it is set before the hotel was completed…

Godfather Part III” (1990) in the scene with with George Hamilton

Scent of a Woman” (1992) with Al Pacino – not sure if I like that movie title…

Maid in Manhattan” (2002) with Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes – for the exterior shots of the hotel she works at

Alfie” (2004) with Jude Law

If you are interested in booking a trip to New York to see the Waldorf=Astoria before it closes, you can contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Influences on Reality

Fiction has had a lot of influence in our daily life. Just look at all the gadgets that Star Trek suggested would be the way of the future, that we actually have now in 2016! Tablets, communicators, cell phones, etc. But I’d like to look at the places that have been influenced by fiction.

1. Stargate Command

Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado is the base for NORAD, but there’s rumour that there is a door that has a sign saying “Stargate Command”. Unfortunately, since the US military moved back into the mountain, only tours with “a mission-critical rationale for visiting the mountain, where the tour is essential in performing their daily functions in defending the homelands” may enter the complex. Darn.

2. Platform 9 and 3/4

Any Harry Potter fan would enjoy visiting King’s Cross station, and they’ve even set up a trolley halfway through the wall between platforms 9 and 10. The station also has “Hogwarts Express” listed on their screens at 11 am on September 1st. I would love to show up on that day at that time, dressed as a witch. Anyone want to do that with me?

Image from www.cdn.collider.com/
Image from www.cdn.collider.com

3. 221b Baker Street

Although the Sherlock Holmes house doesn’t exist at this address, there is now a Sherlock Holmes Museum that you can go visit. When Doyle wrote the series, Baker St only went up to #85!

Image from www.res.cloudinary.com
Image from www.res.cloudinary.com

4. Ghostbusters Firestation, NY

There is a fire station in New York, Hook and Ladder Company 8, that was the setting for the Ghostbusters headquarters. They have some cute little nods to the movie, both inside and out.

Ghostbusters_Firehouse_2_(2007)
Inside the building. Image from wikimedia.

 

Outside the station. Image from bradstudios.

Let me help you plan your trip. Contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Halloween fun

This weekend is Halloween, and if you’re looking for something last-minute to do, I’m sure there’s a Halloween party just around the corner. In Ottawa, Can-Con will have Trick-or-Treating in the vendor’s room all day, and it’s free to the public, so be sure to stop by!

But if you’re looking for something a little further from home and off the beaten path, here are some great last-minute options!

Ithaca, New York

Do you like Harry Potter? Would you be interested in visiting Diagon Alley? For five hours on Halloween, Ithaca NY is transforming Press Bay Alley into Diagon Alley and I desperately want to go!! There will be a House Cup Competition, a Horcrux Hunt, a costume contest, presentations on magical creatures, wizarding chess, Quidditch re-enactments, wizarding duels, and so much more! This is their first event, so maybe I’ll be able to go next year…

A real-life Diagon Alley in Ithaca! I want to go!
A real-life Diagon Alley in Ithaca! I want to go! Image from http://ithacavoice.com/

The Catacombs of Paris

You would have had to enter the contest with Airbnb, but two lucky (or unlucky?) winners will be the first people to spend Halloween night in the Catacombs under Paris – the home of seven million corpses. Dinner, a private concert, breakfast, and a storyteller will put them to sleep with creepy bedtime stories “guaranteed to produce nightmares”. Who would like to participate in this? Certainly not me!

Hope the winners never saw the terrifying horror movie As Above, So Below or it’s trailer.

Creepy! Image from www.i.telegraph.co.uk
Creepy! Image from www.i.telegraph.co.uk

The Stanley Hotel in Colorado

The Stanley Hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in the world. It was the setting for Stephen King’s “The Shining”. Reportedly haunted by Lord Stanley and his wife, as well as kids who run along the fourth floor halls at two in the morning, and many others, this would be the place to go to test yourself. It is open for business, and hosts a Ghost Adventure Package as well as standard room packages.

Just don’t order the Redrum…

The Stanley Hotel. Image from www.stanleyhotel.com
The Stanley Hotel. Image from www.stanleyhotel.com

If you are interested in going on any of these cruises, or others, please contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Happy Haunting!


References

https://www.facebook.com/events/1633034433638155/
http://ithacavoice.com/2015/10/2400-harry-potter-fans-to-transform-ithaca-street-into-diagon-alley/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11929209/Airbnb-offers-Halloween-night-in-Paris-Catacombs.html
http://www.stanleyhotel.com/

Goodbye New York!

This is the last picture from New York. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I sure enjoyed the trip! The lion looks like he’s saying “What is this on MY pedestal? Get it off!”

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I am helping to organize a new craft fair that is happening March 21, 2015. It is called CON Creative Ottawa Nerds. You can say that you’re going to the event here, and you can like our Facebook page here. Éric wrote about it here.

Lion in wait

The lion outside the New York Public Library was magnificent!

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I am helping to organize a new craft fair that is happening March 21, 2015. It is called CON Creative Ottawa Nerds. You can say that you’re going to the event here, and you can like our Facebook page here. Éric wrote about it here.

Bethesda Fountain

Oh no! Where are all the people? Where is the Doctor? The Angels are here!

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I am helping to organize a new craft fair that is happening March 21, 2015. It is called CON Creative Ottawa Nerds. You can say that you’re going to the event here, and you can like our Facebook page here. Éric wrote about it here.

Cherubs?

I don’t see the Doctor anywhere? Are there cherubs in the shadows? Hurry!!

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I am helping to organize a new craft fair that is happening March 21, 2015. It is called CON Creative Ottawa Nerds. You can say that you’re going to the event here, and you can like our Facebook page here. Éric wrote about it here.

Lay back

This statue was really cool because the woman’s face had been worn away by wind. There had also been little reptiles on the corners of the statue, and all that was left were the feet. We debated at length about whether another set of feet belonged to an infant.

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I am helping to organize a new craft fair that is happening March 21, 2015. It is called CON Creative Ottawa Nerds. You can say that you’re going to the event here, and you can like our Facebook page here. Éric wrote about it here.

Aphrodite

I suppose I should be saving this picture for Valentine’s Day, but Aphrodite is just too beautiful not to share! BTW, I recognized her out of all the other statues in the room! I was quite proud of myself.

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I am helping to organize a new craft fair that is happening March 21, 2015. It is called CON Creative Ottawa Nerds. You can say that you’re going to the event here, and you can like our Facebook page here. Éric wrote about it here.