services 01.30.07

The Pod Hotel

For many years, the Pickwick Arms was among the best deals in town when it came to stashing friends and relatives. Granted, you had to think, as we did, that 'staying at the Pickwick' had a hilarious ring to it, given how utterly un-New York it sounded. Un-NY or not, we always had a special fondness for the place.

Well. So long Pickwick, hello Pod, 230 E. 51st [2nd/3rd] 212.355.0300. We spent a night here recently to check things out at the Pickwick's metamorphosis, and we're happy to report that the Pod is, at this very moment, the best hotel deal in New York.

Just to remind you of how out of control hotel room prices have become, let's say you want to book a room for a friend next week. A luxury hotel such as the Mandarin, has a starting rate of $739. The hideous Marriott in Times Square: $299 for the cheapest room. Most budget hotels that you'd want to stay at check in at about $200 a night.

So the Pod's current rate of $127, including taxes, is amazing. A few caveats. The hotel isn't 100% finished yet (though pretty close). The room rate will jump quickly, though a check of future prices has rooms at well under $200. The rooms themselves are small, though still bigger than what you find at, say, the Paramount. The design is as contemporary as the Pickwick was 1950s London bed-sit. So that may not suit everyone, though we like it a lot (with of-the-moment amenities such as flat-screen TVs and an iPod docking station). Even things like the shower heads have been given attention: they're the good-sized 'waterfall' showerheads.

While friends will miss being able to say, "We're staying at the Pickwick," we think "We're staying at the Pod" still has a nice ring to it.
Joe at Jen's
MUG's Joe Holmes has five large-format prints from his new Workspace series showing in a group show at the Jen Bekman Gallery, 6 Spring [Bowery/Eliz] 212.219.0166, thru March 3rd. Go, Joe!



Jonathan
As far as we're concerned, Jonathan Adler is the perfect choice to give the whole subway system a design makeover. Seat cushions with a funky pattern on the L trains — is that too much to ask? Yes it is. But, you can get a taste of this fanciful idea right now at Grand Central's Shuttle platform. Adler has created a series of interior design vignettes that include plug-ins for iPods and cell phones. It's a week-long promotion for Bravo's new show "Top Design," which premieres tomorrow night. We'll have more to say in a couple of weeks about why we think the people at Bravo are so brilliant.


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