Tag Archives: new york

Staying across the pond at a hotel in London? Be sure you have the right power adapter to charge all your devices.

The Definitive Guide to Outlets Around the World

These days, most of us want to travel with our electrical gadgets, whether that be a cell phone, tablet or similar mobile device, laptop, camera, music player or hairdryer. But not using the right power adapter when you are traveling can be worse than an inconvenience–it can damage equipment and lead to electrical failures. What’s more, it can be hard to find the adapter you need in some parts of the world, so it’s always best to travel prepared.

While most modern electronics are able to take 220 or 110 volt (V) power, many devices still need adapters even if you don’t have to convert the voltage. An adapter will allow you to connect to the power supply for the country you are in.

Whether you are staying in the fanciest hotels in New York or the best Las Vegas hotels, it’s always worth asking, as they may be able to offer you advice or lend you an adapter–find out before you travel.

And while many hotels provide some of the actual gadgets you may need, not all will. Most cheap hotels in London, for example, won’t be able to supply hair dryers in rooms or computers in a business center. (Though they may have one if you ask.) Therefore, it’s important to understand the various types of power adapters on the market as you travel, and be able to read the voltages labels on your gadgets so you choose the right equipment you need.

Reading Power Labels Properly

You can find information regarding your gadget’s power supply requirements on a label stuck to the back of it, on the plug or on the transformer box. The input will mostly be AC100-240 V 50-60Hz 14W with an output of DC 1.2V 23A. The input line reveals whether a gadget is single, dual or multi-voltage.

In the U.S., power supplies use between 110 and 120 V; in Europe it’s more likely to be between 220 and 240 V. Other parts of the world will have other variations. Again, check before you travel.

Power adapters are usually 110-120 V to 220-240 V or 220-240 V to 110-120 V. They convert incoming voltage into an output your gadget can operate on. But in addition to the right power adapter, you will need the right plug adapter as well, as follows:

  • The UK standard has three rectangular pins in a triangle.
  • The EU standard has two circular prongs.
  • The U.S. standard has two parallel prongs of different sizes.

Some countries will be different, and, again, some may use different plug types for varying devices.

Finally, consider a universal adapter, which combines a power adapter with a plug that fits into varying socket types. (Expect to pay more for these, however.)

Book hotels in these cities throughout the U.S. to get close to some great local food joints.

The 10 Best Places Across the United States to Chow Down like a Local

Treat yourself to a good meal, festive drinks, friends and family with this list of the 10 best places in the U.S. for scrumptious local fare. From Hawaii to Virginia and everywhere in between, there’s a great restaurant for everyone.

1. Carmel’s Breakfast House, Phoenix, Arizona

This cute restaurant was opened by a local weatherman and serves up local favorites like tartines, Panini and fresh brown-butter scones. Start your day at a great hotel in Phoenix, like the Hermosa Inn, and make your way to this breakfast haven.

2. Taqueria del Sol, Atlanta, Georgia

Locals and tourists flock to this hang-out which serves traditional Tex-Mex flavors, including the house specialty, Beef Enchiladas, with a to-die-for red chile sauce.

3. Grits & Groceries, Belton, South Carolina

Nestled in an old farmhouse, Grits & Groceries is a restaurant and small grocery store that features delicious lunch and dinner fare like homemade pimento cheese sandwiches, grass-feed beef hamburgers and more.

4. Ad Hoc, Yountville, California

This restaurant’s three-course dinners (which change nightly) bring in diners from all over the country. Other favorites include a delectable wine list and the restaurant’s signature cocktails.

5. White House Sub Shop, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Frequented by locals, tourists and celebrities (including Frank Sinatra and Ellen Degeneres), the White House Sub Shop has a large selection of hot or cold sandwiches, including the famous White House Submarine.

6. Elizabeth Street Café, Austin, Texas

A fusion between Vietnamese and French cuisine, the Elizabeth Street Café in Austin is a favorite among locals in and around the city; the restaurant’s most popular dishes include pho (a Vietnamese soup) and pork buns. Try it out for lunch after a stay at the nearby Hotel San Jose.

7. Coconut’s Fish Café, Maui, Hawaii

Set against the panoramic backdrop that is Hawaii, Coconut’s Fish Café in Maui offers up the freshest fish and seafood, including famous fish tacos, seafood chowder, seafood Caesar salad and fish burgers.

8. Swan Oyster Depot, San Francisco, California

This century-old San Francisco culinary institution (which turned 100 years old in 2012) features fresh oysters, crab and more. There are many superb San Francisco hotels nearby, such as the Nob Hill Hotel, to stay at after a delicious meal.

9. Lombardi’s, New York City, New York

Touted to be one of the city’s best pizza places, Lombardi’s features classic pizza pies and more unusual varieties like the famous clam pizza, homemade meatballs and fresh sweet Italian sausage.

10. Cocoro, Chicago, Illinois

Last, but not least, on this list is Cocoro in Chicago; this restaurant features an eclectic menu, including dishes like Pork Terrine, muffuletta and the delicious Short Rib Grilled Cheese sandwich.

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The view of the skyline and New York city's hotels from the East River.

Cities Divided By water

Many of the world’s great cities are situated on oceans or riverbanks. In historical times, access to water offered clear advantages for resources and defense. Some cities have expanded across their waterways over the centuries; this act has often shaped internal and external city perceptions. Paris, Istanbul and New York are three such cities affected by the channels of water that divide them.

Water as containment

New York City’s identity is largely formed by Manhattan’s watery borders. The island will never become larger, so its sense of place simply intensifies with time. Every iconic vision of New York — Central Park, Wall Street, Times Square, Fifth Avenue or Greenwich Village — is contained within the boundaries of Manhattan. The “outer boroughs” (Queens, The Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn) didn’t become part of New York City until 1898; even now, residents of those boroughs still call Manhattan “the city.” The elegant Bentley Hotel is located right on the East River, with a view of the 59th Street Bridge.

Istanbul, with a far longer history, similarly concentrates its identity in the water-bounded spot of its original founding: the European side of the Bosphorus. While the city has grown in all directions, its most important historic features are contained in the section that was once Byzantium. The Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Taksim Square are so absorbing that many Istanbul visitors only board the ferry to get a good photo vantage point. Istanbul’s Golden Horn Sultanahmet Hotel provides an immersion in the European side’s ancient glamour, with easy access to ferry landing points.

Waterways define identity

Paris is defined by its waterways. Over time, even though the “left bank” and “right bank” were part of the same city, they developed different cultural identities. Until recently, the right bank was associated with grandeur, authority and establishment wealth. The Champs-Élysées, the Louvre, the Bastille, the Palais Royal, tony nightlife and historic glory rub shoulders here. The left bank has held onto its identity as the creative heart of the city. The Sorbonne students, the artists and intellectuals who gathered in Montparnasse cafes, and the crowded backstreets of the Latin Quarter: these places convey a deeper consciousness and a more affordable human scale. The Hotel Pont Royal, located just a block from the Seine, puts you in the heart of left bank’s cultural riches.

Istanbul’s Asian side is home to residents who feel strong generational roots in its quieter, less-crowded neighborhoods. The leafy parks along the waterside and the more peaceful pace of life allow traditions to linger. At the same time, Marmara University students and the youthful culture in the Kadikoy district give the Asian side of Istanbul a sense of connection to the larger world.

Iconic crossings

In all three cities, the bridges and ferries that cross the water express the iconic city glamour. There is a fast subway line underneath the Bosphorus, but few people use it for travel. Watch the seagulls wheel in the blue mist over the heads of fishermen, or buy toast and tea aboard the well-worn ferry. These experiences are an integral part of experiencing Istanbul.

In New York, various bridges and trains offer rapid access to Manhattan, but the iconic crossings are made on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Staten Island Ferry. Thousands of pedestrians and cyclists make their way across the Brooklyn Bridge each day just for the experience, while many more ride the free Staten Island Ferry.

Paris has 37 bridges crossing the Seine, but a handful at the city’s center (Pont Alexandre III, Pont Neuf, Pont des Arts) have won the hearts of visitors and locals. Almost every view of Paris includes one of the central bridges.

With the help of Hipmunk, flights — and fascinating international destinations — are easy to find. Travel makes the world more accessible; pick three port cities in the world, and see how their identities are shaped by their waterways.

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Tech Startup Scene – New York vs San Francisco

San Francisco?

New York?

San Francisco?

New York?

I’ve been debating between San Francisco and New York as a place to settle down after spending the past few years globe trotting. As some of you may know, I’ve wanted to move to New York since 2009 but haven’t followed through (yet). I’ve spent the last few weeks in San Francisco, and now I’m in New York for the next week checking out the startup scene here. A big plus to New York (for me) is that it’s so different from Seattle where I grew up, whereas San Francisco is the same general vibe with a much larger tech scene. Of course, San Francisco is closer to family and close friends. One of my goals while here is to spend time at a number of co-working spaces — I visited Projective Space yesterday, today I’m at WeWork hanging with Zeb from Renthackr, and tomorrow I’ll be at General Assembly with Michele from DoorSteps. The startup scene in NYC seems vibrant & diverse from what I can tell so far — just a lot smaller than San Francisco. Seems there are a number of events as well, such as Walkabout NYC next Friday.

At this stage, I’m still leaning toward New York. Yet every startup founder and investor I speak with tells me to go build Oh Hey World in San Francisco. Easier access to capital. More talent. Better network of mentors.

If we make it into Startup Chile, then it’ll be awhile until I have to decide since I’ll be in Chile until June.

[SF photo via http://www.starbasejet.com/]

Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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