Saturday, May 26, 2007

On the Road #1: Avoid Orbitz If You Can

Just a few short notes before I start roaming about town:

I was not disappointed by Amtrak’s service – though I had envisioned horrific things happening – super delays among the worst of them. But for my purposes at least, Amtrak was a very efficient, if expensive, way to travel. And I didn’t even have to deal with New York traffic!

I did have to deal with New York foot traffic, and a thousand people who felt obliged to just stand around in New York Penn Station not moving while I barreled toward them. The subway was far less of a nightmare than it was in November. I took the #3 train to 96th, and then to my hotel. Now, because I had made two different reservations on two different days – cheaper than paying an extra $25 fee to Orbitz (notice I am not linking; you will soon see why) to extend my time, I booked a second night through – I was not quite sure how that would show up in the system. Turns out my Orbitz-booked room was not even in the Continental Hostel’s reservation system, but the one was. Well, that’s the last time I use Orbitz. They’ve been a pain before – why do I keep goin’ back when they do me wrong?

Fortunately, the hostel was able to accommodate me – I did pay for the room after all – and without extra cost. I might have to change rooms in the morning, but at least I have something.

Don’t reserve a hotel room through Orbitz, people. In fact, don’t reserve anything through them. They just mess up your reservation sometimes.

Back to the train ride: the snacks on the train were, well, underwhelming – though not the prices. For $6.75 I got a bottle of Heineken and a container of yogurt. All their sandwiches were out except for microwaveable cheeseburgers and two bratwurst. Maybe it would’ve been better had I not eaten at all, which I really didn’t need to in the first place!

Well off I go! Today I try to find cheap eats before my big night out – I’m going to see Company, in a similar staging as another recently-staged Sondheim classic, Sweeney Todd, where all the actors and actresses double as the orchestra. Cool. I found this book in the library published by Frommer’s – NYC Free & Dirt Cheap. It will be my Bible – Qu’ran, Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon, whatever you wanna call it – for the next 48 hours.


charm city cupcake said...

If you like Thai food, you MUST go to Sripraphai ( in Queens - take the 7 to Woodside. It's deeelicious. While you're in Queens, take the 7 further out to the Main st. stop and walk about 10-15 minutes to the Hindu temple. Their canteen has outrageously delicious South Indian food.

Those are today's recs :)

cybele said...

I usually take the train to NYC if I'm anywhere north of DC or east of Pittsburgh if I can. Much easier than any other way to get there. And usually cheaper.

I've not tried Orbitz. I've fallen in love with Site59 after serveral good experience but mostly book direct or through Expedia. Orbitz messed up an airline reservation for me once but I think I'm over it.

I saw Sweeney last year (with my husband who saw the original), I quite enjoyed it, though I'm not a huge Sondheim fan. Wonderful performances, truly inspired staging and sets.

Baltimore Snacker said...

CCC: I'm not sure I'll be getting out to Queens this trip, but if I can I will look for that Hindu temple. I am just mad for Indian, and you just can't find much in the way of South Indian cuisine in Bawlmer. The Thai sounds good, too.

Cybele: I guess I'm just a Sondheim fan. I loved this staging too - all the actors playing all the instruments! How nifty!