You Can Go Kayaking In The Shadow Of The Brooklyn Bridge…And It’s FREE!!!

Sometimes you get free stuff in places and it’s nice, but really no big deal. A 1/2″ piece of fudge at every touristy fudge store in the country. A cheap Christmas ornament (with every $50 purchase). You know what I mean. But then every once in a while you get something really cool for no cost at all!

Like go kayaking near the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Yes, FREE in NYC!

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Hotel Review: AC Hotel New York Downtown

We needed a hotel in New York for a quick weekend trip. We were only staying two nights and wouldn’t be in the room much. We’d also be heading out of our normal area to visit Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn. With a seemingly endless number of possibilities, my focus narrowed when I saw an AMEX Offer for $40 back when spending $200 on a Marriott branded hotel. I looked for a hotel which would cost just over $200 per night and I found one.

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The Brand New Shopping Outlet In New York City

When you think of New York City, most people think of stuff in Manhattan. Times Square. The Statue of Liberty. Central Park.

But some people think of something else. Shopping. Not so much the crap shops that line the tourist areas (but hey, where else are you going to find a bobblehead of whatever current politician giving you the finger?), but outlet malls.

The problem was that the two outlet malls closest to NYC were a royal pain to get to. If you didn’t have access to a car, you’d have to take bus from the Port Authority to get to either Woodbury Common Premium Outlets (it’s about an hour north of Manhattan) or to Jersey Gardens (it’s about 35 minutes southwest of Manhattan). And, of course, you’d have to pay $6.50 per person in each direction to take those buses.

Welp, a brand new outlet in New York City has just changed that narrative, and it’s just a 25 minute free ferry ride away.

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How We Saved $80 On A Two-Night Stay In New York

We needed a hotel room in New York City, preferably Manhattan, for two nights. Instead of looking for rooms in our normal Mid-town/Times Square/Theater District area, I had a much larger range to look at. This was the trip where we were visiting Peter Luger Steakhouse, so one of my requirements was to be able to get to Brooklyn easily. I looked for locations near subway lines but for future trips, I’ll also look at places near the NYC Ferry.

I was originally considering a room at The Chatwal. I booked it before the Marriott Bonvoy devaluation for 60,000 points (now it costs 80,000). Between the feeling that I didn’t want to drop 120,000 points on two nights, I would have needed to call Marriott to complete the booking since it was only on hold waiting for me to earn enough points for the stay. Between buyers remorse (before even paying for the room) and the fear of getting #Bonvoyed on the phone call to finalize the reservation, I kept looking for other options.

Then I received this offer on my American Express cards:

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6 Scams To Be Be Aware Of When Visiting New York City

New York City gets over 60 million visitors per year. There are a whole lot of tourists in that number and unfortunately, they’re the people – the ones who don’t know any better – that shysters and con artists prey upon.

I grew up in New York and learned how to deal with these jerks from a very early age. For me, it’s easy – don’t give eye contact, don’t talk to them, and, if need be, let them know I’m a local and know better (OK, so I haven’t lived there in almost 20 years [OMG, has it really been that long?] – I still can act like a New Yorker like the best of them. In fact, it comes right back to me the second I step off the plane LOL). But if you’re a tourist in NYC, these are a few scams you should watch out for…

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