This post is not in praise of the cocktail or the magazine, but rather the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca where we have stayed many times since December 2001. We had decided to spend our $150.00 post 9/11 refund check from the Federal Government (does anyone remember that refund?) in New York City, and in particular, Tribeca, where all businesses had been devastated. I will never forget the the sidewalks where the tiny fragments of the destroyed buildings had become embedded. They looked like starry constellations on each block. We have since stayed there for trade shows and holidays. We have even booked rooms for some French suppliers, who then returned to stay there when doing business in New York.
The Cosmopolitan may be the oldest hotel structure in the City according to Christopher Gray in a 2009 article in the New York Times. When we made a reservation in August of this year, our room rate now was not substantially higher than the price quoted in Gray’s column. The rooms are small and the bathtub size has become a Cuisinette joke over the last decade. We prefer to get rooms which have windows on West Broadway or Chambers rather than the blank wall of the facing building, but that’s minor. The same hotel group (triumphhotels.com) still owns the Cosmopolitan and has refurbished and upgraded the rooms. So we have flat screen TVs, Frette (really!) sheets and complimentary toiletries from Bigelows. Rooms have complimentary WiFi but no minibars.
Although you can get a reasonably priced room service breakfast, there really is no need. A pleasant little cafe is attached to the hotel (and a somewhat dreary Starbucks next door) plus, if you need a nearby New York bagel experience, Zucker’s is a half block down Chambers Street. But for us, one regular morning stop is Bubby’s. It is one of our favorite places for breakfast, brunch or lunch. (If you don’t have their Pie Book check it out the next time you are in the shop). Sometimes we bring a pie back on the train. On your way out for your day’s adventure, grab a free New York Times in the Cosmopolitan lobby.
We have eaten in lots of good restaurants at night– and some mediocre ones too–in the area. We love The Harrison, and The Odeon, both just short walks from the hotel. If you want to use the subway, it really does land right at the front door of the hotel – Lines 1, 2 and 3, that is. The subway is much easier now in New York than it used to be for us outsiders. Obviously someone in the City Transportation Department must have seen how much easier and cleaner the subways in London and Paris are and made a few notes. The announcers still sound like they are talking in a shower, but there are helpful maps in each car and better signage in the stations. You can take the red lines directly from Penn Station to the Cosmopolitan. Interesting shops, including several neat ones for children and wine shops for husbands, are in the area. And we like to go into Korin for their particular knife experience. It is like no other knife shop we have ever seen.
We also discovered the joys of the Uber app on my phone. Uber is controversial in some cities, but I must say that it is wonderful to get in a really clean car, with a very careful driver and have the fare with a tip taken care of on your phone. We used Uber to explore the Red Hook food and kitchen scene in Brooklyn where there is no easy public transportation (for us, at least). In New York, an Uber+ taxi service is also available.