Check out Part 1 if you missed it yesterday.
We stayed at the newish Hampton Inn just blocks from the South St. Seaport. 'Twas a nice place in a cool area (2 short blocks to the #4 and #5 trains...and almost under the Brooklyn Bridge which I took a picture of with my iPhone - the room pic here is from the hotel's site). The rooms are small but do feature a very soft, comfy bed and a 27" flat screen TV. The small theme is continued in the lobby and the "dining" area offering free breakfast in the A.M. and warm cookies/cold milk in the P.M. yet it all comes without a small price tag (rooms are consistently going for $300+ a weekend night).
There is a neat little playground 1 block to the south of the hotel's door, so that's a plus if you stay here with your gang but considering the rooms will likely be a tight squeeze for a family, you may want to consider another hotel in Lower Manhattan, maybe the Embassy Suites on the Hudson river side, near Battery Park. One big positive was the air-conditioning system in the room - it was effective and got the room cold in an instant (we all like to sleep in a chilly room, bundled up with blankets) while not being too obscenely loud. Another nice perk was the $20 validated parking (for 24 hours/no in-out) nearly across the street (not the outdoor spots right next door though, I almost made that mistake). The Embassy Suites, in comparison, will charge you closer to $50 to park for 1 day.
We checked out early on Sunday then went for a drive, something that a sane individual normally wouldn't find enjoyable in Manhattan but, much like D.C., was a ton of fun early on a Sunday morning. We cruised up FDR Drive so the Bear could see more bridges and the boats out on the river then cut over to cruise past Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where I visited for my "real job" several times (the girls had never seen the Upper East Side) before eventually heading into midtown for a stop at M&M World. Another good thing about Sunday mornings? Street parking 2 blocks from Times Square and no meter to feed! I felt like a King after I scored that spot. I stood there for a moment admiring my work while the Mrs. and the Bear were eager to being the short march to candy heaven.
The sweets were nice (as was the quick stop into Other Music where I picked up four new records!!), but the main event of Sunday was at Joe's Pub on Lafayette St at Noon...Ellis Paul's family matinee show. Mr. Paul, as you may recall from my glowing "Dragonfly Races" review, is a big hit in the OWTK house. His debut kid's album is stellar and seems to have real staying power - it's still requested by the Bear and the Mrs. every time we take a drive.
I had the thought a few days before the gig to put in a request for "Abiola" by emailing his camp. He received the request and was gracious enough to work up a live version of the Bear's favorite tune about a smart girl who is crowned princess for her honesty and bravery. I spoke to Ellis after the show and he said he had never once played "Abiola" live because of the vocal work needed for the song - namely a female's voice, as Abiola herself, for 1/2 the singing. To compensate for the fact that he is not both a female and male he modified his vocals a bit for Abiola's lines. Was very cool and very nice of him...it made the Bear's day.
Buy Ellis Paul's terrific kid's debut right now. You won't be disappointed...I promise.
M&M WORLD GIVEAWAY!!!
OWTK brought back some goodies from M&M World to give away to one lucky winner. Simply leave a comment on this post by midnight ET on Wednesday April 23rd 2008. In the comment, let OWTK know about your all-time favorite candy.
I'll kick it off: my favorite growing up was a candy bar (not the record label) called BAR NONE. I don't think they make it anymore. My favorite now is TAKE 5.
ONE (1) winner will be selected at random and will receive a NYC M&M World Little Miss Liberty M&M Dispenser and a heaping of green-grass speckled Central Park GREEN M&M's - a NYC exclusive packaged in a a snazzy plastic wine bottle.