Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Morgan Library and Museum

We are going to visit today one of the most beautiful libraries in the city. It was recently named one of the 50 Most Beautiful Places in America by CN Traveler. Above of course is the wonderful Empire State Building, near the Morgan! 

To add some of our RHONY tour, Sonja Morgan was married to John Adams Morgan ( a descendent of John Adams and John Quincy Adams) who is the grandson of JP Morgan Jr who built The Morgan Library and Museum. 

From the Morgan Library and Museum website: 

In 1924 J. P. Morgan, Jr. gave his father's extraordinary library to the public. The most influential financier in this country's history, Pierpont Morgan was also a voracious collector. He bought on an astonishing scale, collecting art objects in virtually every medium, including the rare books, manuscripts, drawings, prints, and ancient artifacts that are the core of The Morgan Library & Museum's holdings.

I have visited this wonderful place before, but never took photographs. I am very happy to be able to share this lovely museum with you. 
We are going to start in the West Room, and the information below is from the museum's website: 

During the last years of his life, Pierpont Morgan spent a great deal of time in his richly appointed private study, away from the Wall Street offices of his banking firm. In this lush but intimate room, among some of his favorite works of art, Morgan worked, relaxed, and met with art dealers and business associates. It was here that he gathered a group of bankers in 1907 to orchestrate a dramatic resolution to a national financial panic. Low shelves containing rare printed volumes line the study's walls. To the left of the massive fireplace, Morgan's impressive manuscript collection was once secured in a vault lined with solid steel. The red silk wall covering (a reproduction of the deteriorated original) contains the insignia of the Chigi, a great Sienese banking family, and much of the furniture was commissioned by Morgan in the Renaissance style. Pierpont Morgan's portrait hangs over the fifteenth-century mantelpiece, and that of his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr., is displayed between the west windows

The stained glass is just so beautiful 
Mr. Morgan himself 

The Rotunda is just breathtaking - I could stare at this ceiling all day - 

This piece was very, very cool and I think George was a pretty handsome guy! 

The detail in this museum is just mind blowing! I don't think we will ever see homes like those from the Gilded Age ever again. 
We are now in Mr. Morgan's actual library, and the books on display are just quite unique 

To think this book is from 1025-50 just blows my mind! So fantastic! 

These are tarot cards, painted so lovely and in such great shape as well 

This marriage certificate was just lovely. Wouldn't this be neat to have in 2016 when you marry? 

The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street
New York, NY 10016

Tel: (212) 685-0008
Fax: (212) 481-3484

The Morgan Library & Museum and the Morgan Shop are open
Tuesday through Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Morgan closes at 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve and at 5 p.m. on New Year's Eve.
Closed Monday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

The Morgan will be open on select Holiday Mondays:

$20 Adults
$13 Seniors (65 and over)
$13 Students (with current ID)
Free to members and children 12 and under (must be accompanied by an adult)
Admission is free on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission to the McKim rooms only (Mr. Morgan's Library, Study, Rotunda, and Librarian's Office) is free during the following times: Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m to 6 p.m.
Admission is not required to visit the Morgan Shop, Morgan Dining Room, and Morgan Café.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

10 Best Museum Gift Shops in New York City

I cannot tell you enough how much I love museum gift shops. You find some of the most unique items in these shops, and lucky for us, NYC has some fantastic museums. These are the 10 which I feel you should visit when in the city, and if looking for a gift for someone, you will probably find that special gift in one of these shops. I love original gift giving, I hate giving the same old stuff everyone else has, we want original, artisan items. You can also shop at many of these wonderful places without paying the fee to enter the museum if you are just looking to shop their products. The best thing as well is most of them have online shops so you can shop from your own couch, and have it shipped to you or direct to your favorite person! In no particular order:

1. Brooklyn Museum
2. Metropolitan Museum of Art
3. MAD Museum
4. Cooper Hewitt 
6. Neue Galerie
7. The Frick
8. Rubin Museum of Art
9. Museum of the City of NY
10. The Morgan Library and Museum 

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Roger Smith Boutique Hotel Review

My stay in the city in June was at the Hotel Roger Smith, a three star hotel on Lexington Avenue. I have stayed in this area before, at the InterContinental New York Barclay, it's a fabulous area. I wanted to see what the difference from a 3 star and 4 star would be. This hotel has been around since 1929, purchased from the Roger Smith Group in 1938. 
This is the lobby. It's a very quaint design, old fashioned kind of hotel. 
They offer granola and yogurt in the lobby. One couple took a look at the yogurt, and the guy said to the girl "oh you don't want this it has 11 grams of sugar" and put it back. I just chuckled to myself. 
This very cool mailbox or letterbox was right near the vintage elevators.  
My junior suite was not ready when I arrived, so I was upgraded to a deluxe suite but didn't get in until close to 4pm. I had things to do, and couldn't wait at the hotel for the room to be ready. The decor was interesting, to say the least. It was pretty large, I will say.  
When I walked in, the air was not turned on, so it was an oven. I was not too happy, and turned on both air conditioners, and headed out again shortly after I unpacked.  

A mini kitchen area, microwave, Nespresso machine and fridge.  
The bedroom area was pretty large, photos above and below plus another tv.  

My view from one of the many windows.  
The extremely small bathroom 

  • Room service (delivery from local restaurants and option to charge to room)
  • Gym passes to New York Sports Club
  • Assorted Greek yogurt and granola bar and fresh seasonal fruit
  • Apple computers and printer in lobby
  • Seasonal rooftop bar with city views, plus another bar with happy hour
  • 10 minute walk to MOMA and Rockefeller Center
  • Lexington and Fifth Avenue shopping 
  • Short walk to several subway lines

I am not one to be looking for a cookie-cutter chain hotel, but things like above should not be in your room. It's just common upkeep of a hotel to not have peeling wallpaper, peeling paint on a table, and some kind of large mark on the dresser in the bedroom. These are easy fixes in my opinion. 

  • No Fitness Center on site 
  • No Restaurant on site 
  • Very worn furniture, wallpaper peeling in room 
  • Old fashioned air conditioners in rooms
  • No outlets in lobby to charge devices 
  • Bathroom very tiny, no space for toiletries 
  • Outlets in room not near chairs or bed 
501 Lexington Ave @ 47th Street 
New York, NY 10017


136 rooms, guest rooms - junior and deluxe suits -   
Location: Midtown East 

Three Star Hotel 
Established in 1929 as Hotel Winthrop, purchased by Roger Smith Corp. in 1938
Valet Parking
Non Smoking Hotel  
Free WiFi
Pets are allowed, under 20 pounds, fees involved 
Trip Advisor Ranking 156 of 475 (as of 07/09/16)
Trivago Rating 80 out of 100 (as of 07/09/16)
Price Range: $199 - $440 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room) US Dollars

Hotel prices are at their lowest in the months of January and February; their highest September and October. Sunday nights are the lowest prices for hotel rooms, in most cases. My go to places for checking prices for hotels are TrivagoTrip and Travelzoo. I am learning quite a bit about booking hotels during this process of featuring different hotels on this blog. 

Always remember to check the hotel's website itself, they are really trying to have you book direct and sometimes offer specials or a discount with AAA that is cheaper than the websites I mentioned above. I am also finding that if you book on your mobile device, you can save some money as well. I actually got a better rate via my mobile phone than using my AAA discount online direct at the hotel. You should really do some research on your price for hotel a few different ways, and ALWAYS book a room that you can cancel, you never know what may happen in the future. 

Remember to take into account for your total cost the NYC Hotel tax of 14.75% plus Daily $2.00 per room occupancy fee.

Would I stay at the Roger Smith Hotel again? I don't believe so. Even though a clean hotel, and excellent location, just not my type of hotel. The worn furniture in the rooms, the peeling wallpaper and just overall dated look didn't impress me. If you need a stay in the city, and funds are limited, you will be okay staying here. The funny thing is, I actually paid less for my stay at the amazing Giraffe Hotel than this hotel. Do your research, always book when you can cancel, and keep your options open when choosing your New York City Hotel. I would not pay more than $200 per night to stay here, you can do much better. 

My rating for this hotel, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being perfect in every way, is a 5. 

Be sure to sign up for my future posts, so you do not miss the next hotel review. You can also follow me on Instagram for live photos during my stay, and see where the next stay will be! 

Disclosure: This stay was paid for by me. I will always state at the end of each review whether my stay was paid for by myself or if I was hosted by the hotel. I will honestly tell you about my experience at this hotel, not being swayed in any way by complimentary services. I know you value my opinion, and it is important to me to be as honest as possible. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much.

To be assured not miss a post, sign up for each one to be emailed to you HERE. Be sure to check for your Feedburner confirmation email, or your subscription will not be processed. Your email is not sold or shared with anyone. Thank you so much for being a reader of this blog! 

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