When we realized that flying out of New York City was much cheaper than flying out of Pittsburgh, even factoring in the cost of the hotel, we jumped at the chance to make a quick return visit to the Big Apple. Truth be told, New York City was a bit of a bust this time around. In an effort to kick off our new adventurous, frugal style of travel, we decided to stay at the Jane in the West Village (http://www.thejanenyc.com/). I had heard about the Jane from a post on The Lost Girls’ website (www.lostgirlsworld.com). When we booked our room, we knew that the room would be small, bunk beds would be involved, and we’d have to use a shared bathroom outside the room. We were trying to just get something reserved, without having to do our normal advance research, and the reviews were good and the website was persuasively trendy. And really, everything was exactly as advertised. But reading that a room is 50 square feet in passing is different than actually taking a step inside.
|From Departure and New York City|
|From Departure and New York City|
Things had been good up to that point. The street leading up to The Jane was cobblestone, the lobby was awesomely vintage, and there was an antique elevator operated by an actual operator. Following the porter down the hall, I felt the familiar anticipation I always experience when I am about to view new accommodations for the first time. The porter opened the door to our room, and I entered first, Sean following. He ran into me when I stopped short, realizing that both of us could not stand inside the room together. The space situation was even worse once the backpacks involved.
Despite the lack of space, or most likely because of the lack of space, the room was exceptionally well designed, with hooks on the wall to hang your possessions, and a personal TV at the end of each bunk bed. The shared bathroom, located down the hall, was clean and full of black and white tile. I was having flashbacks to college, what with the bunkbeds and random half dressed strangers in the bathroom.
The biggest problem compounding the space issue was the constant downpour outside. The rain frequently blew sideways, causing many New Yorkers to abandon their useless, inside-out umbrellas on the street. On the plus side, we determined our Gortex shoes and jackets really did work as advertised. At one point, we caved and got a cab to take us across town to my favorite New York bagel shop, only to discover upon arrival that it was closed for Passover. I was planning to be consoled by a black and white cookie I purchased to eat later, only to discover on the plane that the cashier gave me a completely different type of cookie. The rain also caused us to forgo exchanging the defective camera filter we had ordered online from a camera shop in New York, rationalizing that it really wasn’t that broken anyway. We did manage to get some tasty New York style pizza, paired with Magnolia Bakery cupcakes for dessert. (As a side note, Vanilla Pastry Studio cupcakes in Pittsburgh are still my favorite).
However, things are looking up in Europe. We have a five hour layover in Brussels. The layover itself is not fun, except for the abundance of waffles and Belgian chocolate for sale in the airport. I am focusing on this, instead of the coke and oj we just purchased for 7 euros, pretending it is morning instead of the middle of the night, and the lack of free wifi in the airport.
Here’s hoping it is sunny in Spain!