At the end of January, Carrie and I traveled to New York City to attend The New York Times Travel Show! The travel show is a full 3 days, with sessions for travel professionals on the first day, followed by two days of sessions for the public and access to the exhibit hall where hundreds of destinations market themselves to would-be travelers. It’s the event for anyone interested in travel.
The NY Times Travel Show was held at the Javits Center in midtown Manhattan, so looking to make a weekend of it, we chose to stay in the neighborhood. Anyone who has stayed in New York City is well aware that midtown Manhattan can be an expensive place to stay. Luckily, we booked our hotel four months before our trip and found a great deal at Distrikt Hotel on W 40th St, just 10 minutes walk from the Javits Center and less than that to Times Square. We took the train from Union Station in Washington, DC to Penn Station so another plus was that the hotel was only 8 blocks away from Penn Station!
Besides the great location, the hotel is well designed and the room we stayed in was spacious and comfortable. We could not have been happier with the hotel. The hotel staff is also extremely friendly.
On our first night, Carrie and I had reservations at Danji in Hell’s Kitchen - it happened to be Restaurant Week during our visit. Danji showcases itself as an authentic Korean restaurant that prepares food using organic ingredients with classic techniques. Before dinner we grabbed a cocktail from the small bar, I had the Su Jung Kwa made with rye whiskey, jujube, lemon and angostura bitters and Carrie the Soju Sangria made with sparkling shiraz, fruit-infused soju, and aranciata.
For dinner, we had the spicy yellowtail sashimi with crispy potato flakes, spicy rice cakes with Berkshire sausages (my absolute favorite and therefore top recommendation), bossam (braised pork belly served with dehydrated daikon kimchi with a pickled daikon wrap), and the soy poached black-cod with spicy daikon. All that heavenly food was accompanied by a bottle of soju (a Korean distilled alcoholic beverage made using rice). Every dish is shareable.
The NY Times Travel Show
Looking to expand our knowledge of travel, network with other travel professionals, and learn more from destinations promoters, Carrie and I attended The NY Times Travel Show, the largest consumer, and trade travel show in North America. They dedicate the first day of the show to travel professionals with sessions throughout the day covering different regions, different travel (cruise, honeymoon, adventure), and travel media. Carrie and I could cover more ground by going to different sessions. Carrie attended Focus on Cuba, Focus on the Middle East and North Africa, and Focus on Asia, while I attended Focus on Travel Media, and Focus on Travel Bloggers. I could hear well-known travel bloggers like Adventurous Kate and Divergent Travelers talk about their experiences and share their thoughts on what’s next for the travel industry.
After lunch, we checked out the expansive exhibit hall featuring over 500 destinations like South Africa, Puerto Rico, Jordan, and lots more. The most popular were those handing out beers (Slovenia) and cocktails (Puerto Rico).
That evening the Association of Adventure Travel and Destination Chile held a networking event, which was the perfect opportunity for us to talk with other travel bloggers. Prior to the travel show, I had been in contact with Diana of MVMT Travel Blog and we had the opportunity to meet up with her and her sister Hope who also blogs for MVMT. We also had a chance to speak with David of Divergent Travelers. Meeting other travel bloggers was by far the best part of the whole experience.
Even though the first day of the travel show is directed towards travel professionals, the following two days were geared towards the public with cultural performances, hundreds of destination exhibits, book signings from authors like Arthur and Pauline Frommer and educational sessions with speakers like Nomadic Matt exploring how to travel on a budget. Overall its formative for every type of traveler.
Great Northern Food Hall
At the recommendation of a colleague of Carrie’s, we decided to check out the Great Northern Food Hall in Grand Central Station for breakfast. The food hall offers an impressive and delicious selection of Nordic (the region that includes Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark) inspired food with seasonal menus featuring New York’s best produce. For breakfast, I had a smoked salmon sandwich on a marble rye and Carrie Øllebrød, a variation of the traditional Danish beer bread porridge.
The food was so good we decided to grab two more sandwiches for our bus ride back to DC later that day. For the trip home I got a seabuckthorn jam and a peanut butter sandwich and Carrie a hummus and tomato sandwich. In search of Nordic food? Then head straight to the Great Northern Food Hall!!
All photography by Albert Bond
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