Mt Business Travel: Frequent Flyer - Colin Byrne's Guide to New York

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HOW TO GET THERE: In these cost-conscious times, I go premium economy with BA from Heathrow to JFK. You get enough elbow and leg room to work and get some sleep without the silly prices. JFK airport is slightly more convenient for Manhattan than Newark.

AIRPORT TO TOWN: Only one way really - a New York yellow cab (dollars 35 + tolls). The traffic can be murderous, and you may end up feeling like murdering the cab driver, but it's the best way to arrive in Manhattan. For all their fearsome reputation, I like New York cabbies. Last year I accidentally left a designer-label bag with two designer shirts in the taxi rank at JFK. When I returned to the airport a few days later, they were waiting for me at check-in. A cabbie had handed them in. Try that at Heathrow.

BEST HOTEL: New York has the best hotels in the world, especially if you want to avoid expensive but identikit chain hotels. I like the Roger Smith 1 at 501 Lexington Avenue. It's a wacky boutique hotel with art gallery attached. Very non-corporate and very central.

BEST BUSINESS RESTAURANT: I love Italian food so I go to Barbetta 2 (321 W 46th St,, 00 1 212 246 9171), which combines authentic Italian cooking with the look and feel of old-world Italy. It's been a New York dining institution for almost a century. Or try Gallagher's steakhouse 3 (228 West 52nd St, +245 5336). With checked tablecloths and walls lined with photographs of sports stars, it's as good for a business lunch as it is for a relaxed evening. Be aware, though that more and more New Yorkers avoid alcohol over lunch.

BEST BARS: Being half Irish, I like the bar at the Fitzpatrick Manhattan hotel 4 near Bloomingdale's at 687 Lexington Avenue (, +355 0100). Just like stepping into a friendly bar in Dublin. Or - and I know it sounds touristy, but who cares? - there is the Oyster Bar 5, that tiled cavern below Grand Central Station where you can down oysters and some of the best beer in the US (E 42nd Street, +490 6650). Why can't we have places like this in our rail terminals? …


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