New York City Love Letters: A Spin (Almost) All Around Manhattan

I had sincerely intended to simply hop on my bike and enjoy a nice long socially distant exercise bike ride … but I just can’t help myself. A historic building caught my eye; then a view of Brooklyn and before you know it, I snapped a few more photos. Sigh! Hope you enjoy these haphazard images. 🚴‍♂️

One image I think is symbolic of these rides is the near perfect trace of Manhattan as captured by my Strava (cycling tracking) app. (Check out the last photo.)

Beneath the Williamsburg Bridge, a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278). Completed in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge span in the world until 1924.
This has the catchy name of Slip 5 Battery Maritime Building (BMB) — in New York, New York.
A view of Red Hook, Brooklyn from the southern tip of Manhattan — in New York, New York.
The bikeway beneath the colorful underside of FDR Drive. — in New York, New York.
A view north of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges — in New York, New York.
The Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is located in the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, a Roman Catholic parish church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York at 7 State Street, between Pearl and Water Streets in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. — in New York, New York.
Love this contrast of the old and the new (the same church from the previous photo is peeking in at the lower right) — in New York, New York.
Who says nothing pretty came out of the 60s? 😉 1 New York Plaza is an office building in New York City’s Financial District, built in 1969 at the intersection of South and Whitehall Streets. It is the southernmost of all Manhattan skyscrapers. The building is 640 feet tall with 50 floors, and is the 100th tallest building in New York City. — in New York, New York.
The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge in New York City across the East River connecting the Lower East Side of Manhattan at Delancey Street with the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn at Broadway near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (Interstate 278). Completed in 1903, it was the longest suspension bridge span in the world until 1924. — in New York, New York.
Abandoned building on East River
Cool view of the Empire State Building looking north and west from a bulge in the lower east side of Manhattan so that a portion of the East River is in the foreground.
These two residential buildings are conjoined via this glass walkway which includes a pool! “The dancing building.” (See comments below)
So beautiful. Headquarters of the United Nations Building. The United Nations is headquartered in New York City, in a complex designed by a board of architects led by Wallace Harrison, and built by the architectural firm Harrison & Abramovitz. The complex has served as the official headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1952. It is located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manh… See More
View west of the Chrysler Building through Tudor City, which is a Tudor City is an apartment complex located on the southern edge of Turtle Bay on the East Side of Manhattan in New York City, near Turtle Bay’s border with Murray Hill. It lies on a low cliff, which is east of Second Avenue between 40th and 43rd Streets and overlooks First Avenue. Construction commenced in 1926 making it the first residential skyscraper complex in the world. Tudor City was one of the first, largest, and most important examples of a planned middle-class residential community in New York City It is named for its Tudor Revival architecture.
This was the route of my bike journey (as traced by my Strava tracking App)

New York City Love Letters: Traipsing around Hamilton Heights & Sugar Hill (Harlem)

These attractive brownstones, statuary and flora captured my eye in my neighborhood on today’s socially distant walk 🚶

Statue of General Alexander S. Webb (1835–1911), second president of CCNY (1869–1903) — at The City College of New York.
Gorgeous little planter on Convent Ave. Her counterpart is the very last photo of this series. — in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan.
Brownstones — in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan.
Love this horse relief. There are two on the facade of this parking garage which is a former stable. — in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan.
A bouquet of tulips in St. Nicholas Park
Mount Zion Lutheran Church. I was disappointed to learn it’s only 75 years old. It looks 275 years old! LOL 
Compton-Goethals Hall City College New York at City College New York
Gorgeous flowers in St. Nicholas Park

New York City Love Letters: Photos from a Bike Ride around Randalls and Wards Island

Today’s socially distant exercise bike ride took me east through upper Harlem and across the Madison Avenue Bridge through Mott Haven in the Bronx and onto Randalls and Ward Islands, which I just learned are conjoined islands separated from most of Manhattan by the Harlem River, from Queens by the East River and Hell Gate, and from the Bronx by the Bronx Kill.

The entrance to Hell Gate Bikeway on Randalls and Wards Island

Despite these scary-sounding place names, it’s a gorgeous parkland offering myriad sporting activities. Well, normally they do. No baseball games these days! But plenty of socially distant cyclist, walkers and a few picnickers.

About to head out on my socially distant exercise bike ride touring Randalls and Wards Island
Entrance to Hell Gate Bikeway on Randalls and Wards Island
Cool underside to Hells Gate Parkway above the bikeway on Randalls and Wards Island
Tugboat steaming along the East River bordering Randalls and Wards Island
Park along the East River bordering Randalls and Wards Island
Heading home through the Port Morris section of the Bronx
Adorable buildings in Mott Haven, a charming neighborhood in the Bronx
A mural in Mott Haven, the Bronx
I LOVE Strivers Row, which is in my neighborhood in West Harlem
Looking west along 138th Street towards City College of New York

My First Quote as an NYU Professor on the Hospitality Job Prospects for 2020 Graduates (Skift)

I have my first quote from my work at NYU. It’s in this article in Skift, Hospitality School 2020 Graduates Confront an Evaporated Hotel Jobs Market.  I’ve been quoted a number of times in Skift regarding my work in the travel space in general so they know me there. I’m happy about the quote but my heart breaks for seniors graduating into this bleak environment. They’ll come out of it with amazing experience but it’s going to be a tough path ahead.

Excerpted from the Skift Piece by Cameron Sperance

Faculty members are bringing coronavirus into daily lessons to offer real-life crisis management training. Ed Salvato, a professor at NYU’s tourism and hospitality marketing graduate program, cancelled the business case study he originally planned this semester in favor of having students follow a brand and analyze their coronavirus recovery strategy.

Faculty at NYU’s graduate hospitality program have incorporate the coronavirus downturn into lessons.

“It’s not that I’m expecting students to come to class with a magic bullet for the industry, but I want to get their heads in that space,” Salvato said. “Ideally, they’re going to be at a job on a group still thinking of recovery into 2021.”

New York City Love Letters: Photos from Bike Rides Around A City in Perpetual Early Sunday Morning (1)

New York City has become the opposite of what it’s known for: quiet, empty and pretty much shut down. It feels like a perpetual Sunday morning especially in these gorgeous first weeks of spring. But there’s an undeniable beauty to this city which I’ve attempted to capture during my socially-distant exercise bike rides.

Of course too many people are dying and we are taking quarantining seriously to keep ourselves, loved ones and fellow New Yorkers safe. We have bottomless gratitude to those incredible first-responders, hospital staff, front-line workers, grocery store clerks, public transportation and others who risk their help to keep us all safe, healthy and fed.

Which ones do you recognize here? Comment below! I’ll publish more here as I get the time and inspiration.

"The Great Empty" — A Virtual Tour of Beautiful Spaces in the Coronavirus Era

Paris, March 18 from the NY TImes

New York is very quiet. As are Paris, London and other great cities

Most of us are stuck at home self isolating in this time of fear and uncertainty with a possibly deadly virus lurking everywhere we breathe and on every surface we touch. For those of us who travel for a living, it’s been not only a devastating blow to our incomes but a whack at the core of who we are as curious wanderers. But at least this article from the March 23 New York Times, The Great Empty allows us to view some of our favorite spots around the world like we rarely get to see them: quiet and still. They’re also waiting for us to come back. They’ll be patient. So we have to as well. We’ll get back there soon.

For now, enjoy this gorgeous photo journey. I’ve included one of their photos above and one of mine below during a recent (socially distant) bike ride around an empty Manhattan. The Statue of Liberty stands socially isolated with no visitors but she’s guarding us in this foggy time and will be there when New York welcomes visitors again. And that’s me on my bike riding along a very empty Fifth Avenue.

What’s your next trip?

How are you coping with this forced home isolation? And what’s the first trip you’ll take when this is over? I’m planning on heading to Paris! (Comment below!)

The fog-shrouded Statue of Liberty will be there when visitors return
Me on my socially distant bike ride on an eerily empty Fifth Ave

Disinfecting your space on an airplane (reposted from the NYT)

If you have to fly in this ear of COVID-19/Coronavirus (or anytime), here are a few tips from an expert writing in the New York Times for how to disinfect your space on an airplane.

This is an excerpt. Here’s the full article.

And check out the fabulous Naomi Campbell’s much mocked but super appropriate-at-this-time airport routine including products she purchases and her cleansing her airplane space.

“Wiping down surfaces on a plane won’t hurt, as long as it doesn’t give you a false sense of security,” Andrew Mehle, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, said, stressing that sanitizing your space on a plane should be done in conjunction with washing hands and following other best practices. …

study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window. Researchers studied passengers and crew members on 10 three- to five-hour flights and observed that people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. …

When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down too. Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them. …

More >>

Is it safe to travel in the era of the Coronavirus?

The NY Times published a timely article answering travelers’ questions about the Coronavirus. Here’s an excerpt. Visit their site for the complete article.

Arriving passengers wear masks at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Anyone who has been to mainland China within 14 days of arrival is not allowed to enter Singapore.  Credit…Adam Dean for The New York Times

The coronavirus outbreak that has sickened almost 75,000 in China and killed more than 2,000 worldwide, has upended travel and commerce across the world. In light of the spread of the disease, which has been named COVID-19, would-be travelers to Asia and even parts of the world with few or no cases are wondering what to do.

The Times asked readers for their most pressing questions and got a flurry of queries: Should I cancel my trip to Asia, despite the financial penalties? Or go ahead? What about going to other parts of the world? How hard is it to disinfect an airplane, anyway, and is a mask enough to protect from the virus?

For anyone planning to travel, the website of the World Health Organization is a good starting point. (W.H.O. has been issuing daily updates about the spread of COVID-19 and the status of cases.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has advised Americans to cancel all nonessential travel to China, also offers information and guides for travelers. The Times has a map of the number of cases reported in each country.

In addition to those agencies, travelers should consult the websites of their home country and their intended destination to see what policies have been put in place.

ADVERTISEMENTContinue reading the main story

“You should also be double careful to do the things we say everyone should always do like hand washing with soap and water, especially after touching surfaces or coming in contact with someone who has been coughing,” said David Eisenman, director of University of California, Los Angeles’s Center for Public Health and Disasters, and professor of community health sciences at the university’s Fielding School of Public Health. “You should be avoiding close contact with others if you’re sick and you should have your flu shot.”

Click here for of the most common questions and the current advice from health and travel experts. Questions have been combined and condensed for clarity.

This event has passed. Come Meet us at the LGBTQ Pavilion at the NY Times Travel Show Jan 24-26!

All travelers are welcome at The New York Times Travel Show’s third annual L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion — the biggest in the show’s history! Register here and use code LGBTQIA for complimentary one-day ticket.

The pavilion gathers 28 tourism brands offering trip-planning inspiration, experiences, tours, cruises, travel packages, hotels, luggage, travel insurance, free apps and special pavilion-only offers for the enjoyment and safety of L.G.B.T.Q. travelers and their allies, friends and loved ones. Open to the public on Saturday, January 25, and Sunday, January 26, and to trade on Friday, January 24.

For the first time ever the pavilion includes its very own stage:

  • Hear from the world’s leading L.G.B.T.Q. travel experts.
  • Enjoy original music by an award-winning Fort Worth-based queer singer.
  • Bring your little ones (or just yourselves) to Drag Queen Story Hour designed for the kid in all of us.
  • Win prizes!

Whether you’re a member of the L.G.B.T.Q. community or know someone who is, find information and travel products tailored to

HospitableMe in the news

your interests and needs. Snap a selfie with famous drag performers who’ll sashay around the pavilion during the weekend festivities.

Be inspired, informed and entertained. And bring a credit card: Take advantage of many pavilion-only offers on cruises, tours and more.

Follow the giant, historic, 25-foot Gilbert Baker-designed rainbow flag proudly hanging above the L.G.B.T.Q. Pavilion on the northwest side of the show floor.

These are the travel brands that you’ll meet:
  • AIG Travel Insurance
  • Atlantis Cruises, Tours and Events
  • Blue Walk European Walking Vacations
  • Choose Chicago
  • Collier County, Fla. (Naples, Marco Island, Everglades)
  • Cunard Luxury Cruises
  • DavidTravel
  • Discover Puerto Rico
  • Fluide Beauty
  • Gaybnb, Gay-Friendly B&B, Australia
  • GeoSure Global
  • HE Travel, Gay Travel and Tours
  • HOMOCO Queer Swim Brand
  • IGLTA, the International L.G.B.T.Q.+ Travel Association
  • Keihan Hotels and Resorts, Kyoto
  • NY State Tourism (I LOVE NY)
  • Out Adventures, Gay and Lesbian Tours and Holidays
  • Out in the Vineyard
  • OutRight Action International
  • Pride Japan
  • Pride of the Americas, Fort Lauderdale
  • Provincetown
  • ROAM Luggage
  • Sikeleli Travel L.G.B.T.Q.-friendly African Safaris
  • Quiiky L.G.B.T.Q Italy Travel
  • VACAYA: All-LGBT+ Cruises & Resorts
  • Visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Visit Fort Worth, Texas
Friday, January 24

2–2:45 p.m.
L.G.B.T.Q.+ Travel Safety and Empowerment
L.G.B.T.Q.+ consumers face unique challenges when traveling. Experts discuss the resources available for them to travel with greater confidence.

2:50–3:50 p.m.
Everyone Welcome
HospitableMe’s signature hospitality inclusion training program.

4:15–4:50 p.m.
Straight to the Bottom Line
L.G.B.T.Q.+ allies discuss how to generate business in the queer travel segment in an authentic, respectful and sustainable way.

Saturday, January 25

11–11:30 a.m.
Travel Safety and Confidence
L.G.B.T.Q.+ consumers face unique challenges when traveling. Our experts discuss the resources available for them to travel with greater confidence.

Noon–12:45 p.m.
L.G.B.T.Q. Travel: Tours, Cruises, Events and Destinations for 2020
Moderator Ed Salvato leads a lively discussion of new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Bring your travel questions!

Noon–1 p.m.
Live From the World’s Largest Gay Cruise
We’re patched in LIVE to the Atlantis Oasis 2020 Cruise — check out the fun happening now on the Caribbean Sea.

1:30–2 p.m.
Fort Worth Presents Rachel Gollay
Feel the vibe with the city’s most fascinating songwriter, the award-winning and openly queer artist Rachel Gollay.

3–3:30 p.m.
So You Think You Know New York?
Test your knowledge and win prizes at the I Love New York State Quiz Show.

4–4:30 p.m.
Puerto Rico Presents
Puerto Rico is sunny, ringed by beaches and bathed by the warm waves of the Caribbean.

Sunday, January 26

Noon–12:30 p.m.
Drag Queen Story Hour
The library sensation comes to the L.G.B.T.Q. Pavilion. Officially for kids, but fun for kids of all ages!

1–1:30 p.m.
It’s a Queer, Queer World
Inspirational stories from real L.G.B.T.Q. travelers.

2–2:30 p.m.
Hack Your Trip!
From getting in the right headspace, to packing your suitcase, our experts share the best travel tips, including how to take the #BestSeflie.

3–3:30 p.m.
Spend It HERE (Not THERE)
Representatives from our L.G.B.T.Q.+ friendly travel providers and destinations tell you why you should travel with the people and places that love you back.

CheckOut: Moxy Boston Downtown

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineA welcoming option located in a choice area of the city, the Moxy Boston Downtown offers terrific value and plenty of inviting spaces including their small but well-equipped rooms with staff that’s super friendly but also incredibly responsive and professional. 


The location is truly central. You’re located smack dab in the middle of Boston’s small but well-regarded and popular theater district with live performances of all genres available all year long. You’re steps away from other key Boston treasures including the Boston Common and Public Garden; the financial district; Downtown Crossing (retail); the New England Medical Center; and a 10- to 15-minute walk to Boston’s South End, the historical LGBTQ+ neighborhood. There are Bluebike stations (shared bike system) nearby as well as several T (subway line) stations; and if you pack light, South Station Train Terminal (served by Amtrak; bus lines; Silver Line free transport from Logan International Airport); is a mere 10-minute walk. 


Marriott’s millennial-focused brand Moxy is a vibrant, friendly hotel concept with a youthful and fresh atmosphereMoxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine and an emphasis on the experiential aspects of lodging rather than the room. While the accommodations are small they have a bed, outlets, a TV, a clean well-lit bathroom and bath amenities (though oddly lacking body lotion and shelves for bath products). Most of the rooms have 149 square feet of space (including the one we stayed in recently). The Wicked Awesome View corner rooms have 174. The all have nearly floor-to-ceiling windows with great views of the city which allow in lots of light making the room feel much bigger. Request a higher room if you like views. They are pretty much unobstructed the higher you go. And with four elevators in service you’re never waiting long even during peak periods.

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAmenities

The focus of the Moxy brand is on the shared spaces which are playful and inviting. At the Boston property, which opened in late 2019, the ground level includes a photo booth — with very flattering theatrical lighting — encouraging guests to share their pictures on their social media platforms. The second floor “Living Room” includes most of the width of the tall, slender modern tower and offers grab-and-go options, a snack-and-light-bites oriented restaurant (in partnership with a local restaurateur), a full bar and cafe. Upon check in you’ll receive a  voucher for a Moxy cocktail.  

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThere’s plenty of space in the Living Room to spread out and work. There’s also a foosball table and nostalgic board games available to patrons. This area is open to the public. The rooftop Mezz, which is only open to hotel guests, is an unfinished space with seating and an outdoor balcony with stunning views of the city. Grab a cocktail on the second floor and head up here to soak in the views.

The hotel also offers a small gym which has several cardio machines, a good selection of free weights and other machines, mats and medicine and Bosu balls. You can also fill your refillable water bottle at the fountain.

A note on service: The staff here is young but very professional and super friendly. If you wish to be addressed with your honorific, perhaps try the Ritz Carlton. If you want to engage in friendly banter with a truly hospitable staff, the Moxy is the better choice.

Gay Factor

The brand’s friendly, anything-goes vibe encourages self expression and uniqueness, both of which make LGBTQ guests Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinefeel comfortable and welcome. Showing up with your same-sex partner at check in for example doesn’t raise an eye. You’ll almost always find other queer guests as well as staff. If anything, guests older than millennials may wonder whether they’ll be welcome but we’ve found in our many Moxy stays that it’s not about age as a number but rather as an outlook. If you’re an app-based person of any age, you’ll like it here. If you like the idea of spending less time in the room and more just and out exploring or chilling with a Chai tea or cocktail among other travelers in a common area, you’ll like it here. If you want more upscale experience or more services, you may want to just go across the street to the W Boston; but you will be welcome here no matter what your age. 


Like most properties in Boston the rate here can really vary especially depending on events including theatrical and other performances in the nearby cultural venues. During a recent holiday stay we found rates of around $100 per night, which is extraordinary given the amenities as well as the Bonvoy points you can accumulate. At peak times including graduation season (there are many institutions of higher learning throughout the region), rates throughout the city can be exorbitant. Those periods may be a good time to cash in those Bonvoy loyalty points but reserve as far in advance as the system allows.  

Ready to go

Tape here for rates and reservations at the Moxy Boston Downtown

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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