What’s #Trending on The @Revinate Blog

Hey Guys!  So I’ve been fairly inactive with the blog lately due to still settling into my new San Francisco lifestyle and what have you, but I wanted to at least share with you some links to a few work-related pieces that I’ve published thus far in my new role as Marketing Manager at Revinate. The Revinate Blog has become “my baby” as of late and I will be contributing many more posts in the near future. Anyways, hope you enjoy and please do subscribe to our blog if you find what you’re reading at least somewhat interesting:

  1. Klout’s Update Aims to Account for Real-World Influence
  2. All-Star Example of Real-Time Response
  3. School’s Back in Session: Bring Revinate into the Classroom
  4. How To: Instagram Tips for Hotels and Restaurants
  5. How To: Twitter Tips for Hotels and Restaurants
  6. #WebWednesday Must-Reads
  7. Webinar Recap – Google Plus Tips for Hotels and Restaurants

If you are especially enthused by this content, be sure to follow Revinate on Facebook and Twitter (as I manage both of those profiles diligently as well)

Technology’s Massive Impact on Travelers (Notes)

Last week, the folks at Sabre Travel Network hosted, in conjunction with Tnooz, a webinar on Technology’s Massive Impact on Travelers. A thoroughly compelling session full of current industry trends and future predictions, you can enjoy the entire webinar and accompanying slides here. In case you didn’t have enough time to digest the entire presentation, however, I’ve pulled together some key takeaways and facts from the session below, which underscored this fundamental fact: more information can enable better decisions by travelers just as too much can overwhelm when making those decisions. Continue reading

My Life: The Last 60 Days

It’s been a long while since I turned to the blog to share some insights on my personal life.  Not since early spring, in fact, have I taken the little spare time that exists in my schedule to just sit down and reflect for a moment on all that is on the go.  Now is that moment.

After sitting in draft mode for now nearly a month (this post was originally titled “the last 30 days”), it’s time to deliver to you – my few but devoted subscribers – the long-in-the-making life update post.  It’s particularly fitting that I sit down to write this on the 2nd of August, as the journey begins appropriately precisely two months ago.  That particular June day was atypical for two fairly significant reasons. Continue reading

101 Days, 101 Nights, 101 Adventures in NYC

So the old cliched adage is true: time truly does fly when you’re having fun. As today marks my 101st day (but who’s counting…) as a full-time Manhattan resident, I thought it apropros to publish this self-explanatory “Best of NYC” list that promises liquid inspiration, cultural stimulation and hunger satiation. So here it is – a comprehensive alphabetical list of 101 favorite locales that I’ve frequented – or, more specifically, checked-into via my Foursquare addition – during my first 101 days as a New Yorker (the 101 is, of course, a nod to my all-time favorite Walt Disney animated film – 101 Dalmatians).

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Hustle & Bustle: A Social Traveler Update

It’s probably appropriate that I’ve gone a bit dormant these last two weeks in the blogosphere, as the hustle and bustle of the holiday season kicks into full gear with the arrival of Thanksgiving today.  For the fortunate, lucky few of you that subscribe to this blog – which portends to chronicle all that is good (or interesting) in social media, current music, and hospitality travel trends – you may have been inquisitively pondering what I’ve been up to.  Well, here’s the post for you, which unveils many of the exciting new developments that have been going on in my life and, appropriately, covers many of the topics this blog focuses on.

Since my last post, I have continued to play the role of the long-distance commuter, taking two consecutive weekend bus trips back-and-forth from Boston to New York City, via my beloved Bolt Bus and, just recently, giving its close competitor Megabus a try (which was, happily, an equally pleasant and hugely affordable means to travel between the two East Coast hubs). The purpose of each of these trips, unlike my previous meanderings to Manhattan, were more focused on leveraging professional networking opportunities, with the social aspects of the trips left as ancillary benefits. The first weekend that I allude to – the weekend of November 11 – 14 – meant participating in the Cornell Hotel Society, Collegiate Chapter‘s annual trip down to New York City for the globally-attended International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show, a hotelier-aimed trade show held at the Javits Center of primarily B2B idea and product exchange.

The Author of this post

While I did not personally attend the trade show, (for, quite frankly, it has always been an event best suited for those with purchasing power in their respective companies) I did fully engage in the litany of Cornell Hotel School related networking events that took place over the course of the weekend, which included a young alumni and undergraduate happy hour social, an intimate mentor-mentee dinner with a group of highly engaged and motivated freshmen and juniors, and, of course, the 650+ attendee, exclusively Cornell Hotelie, annual CHS Hotel Show Reception – this year held at the lovely Bryant Park Grill.  This event I have been involved with in the undergraduate capacity for many years prior – as both a volunteer and board member of the Cornell Hotel Society (CHS) Collegiate Chapter – but this was the first time attending that I was integrally involved as a member of the CHS NYC Professional Chapter, a role that I relished.  Along with the three official planners of the event – all very familiar, friendly classmates of mine – we managed and coordinated what I contend is the networking event of the year for New York City-based Hotelies.  It was a tremendously fun time, and I enjoyed reconnecting not only with familiar professors, staff, and classmates from school, but equally enjoyed forging new relationships with other prominent alumni in the New York City area.

This Manhattan mention is significant as it brings me to my most exciting piece of news: come December 1st, I will be a permanent resident of New York City.  As many of my previous posts have matter-of-factly alluded to, I’ve been living in Boston (in my parents house) since I left my position with Fairmont Southampton, Bermuda in late September.  It has been an enjoyable time getting to know the city that I never really knew, and I’ve been lucky to frequent many notable Beantown locales – including the Boston Public Library for freelancing sessions, the Lenox Hotel for the best public restrooms in the city (I kid you not, and thank you @BostonTweet), and, of course, The Fairmont Copley Plaza, to visit both The PR Palace (the office a few of my best Fairmont friends share) and The Oak Bar for a delicious Express Lunch of chateaubriand, lobster bisque, and a classic old-fashioned Mad Men-style.  I’ve also been fortunate to get closer to several Boston-based Cornellians (like my really good friend Justine Avila) due to fun nights out and family dinners.

In spite of my Boston fun, it has been a challenge trying to maintain a consistent level of stimulation in this place, as trips to the library, weekly dinners out, and daily visits to the local Planet Fitness can only satisfy a gent so much.  As fate would have it, the weekend of the Hotel Show offered me an opportunity that – quite honestly – has been the ‘break’ I’ve been looking for: an immediate chance to live in Manhattan, in a great, affordably-priced Upper East Side apartment,

Soon to be my Upper East Side apartment

with some fantastic fraternity buddies from college.  And so it goes, I will be relocating, in one weeks-time to the city – without a permanent, full-time job lined up – but with lots of ambition, a network of professionals to connect with, multiple freelancing roles already lined up, and a revitalized sense of purpose that I haven’t felt in months.

In addition to the permanent job application process – which, at the time of this writing, is ongoing yet moving along optimistically – the freelancing roles I mention above are the main reasons why I’ve been kept away from the blog for so long.  One of the freelancing jobs I currently hold is a Social Media Strategist role for a newly re-launched social PR firm, catering to lifestyle and hospitality brands based in the city, called Collective Media Group, LLC, co-founded by a Hotelie alum, and good friend of mine, Stephanie Abrams.  Steph was one of my key supporters during my summer struggles, and she is certainly provides me with consistent inspiration to this day, as I am addicted to her blog, Earth Laughs in Flowers.  The second feather that I just added to my freelancing cap is for another Hotelie-initiated start-up called GiftHit, which another close Hotelie alum friend of mine introduced me to.  For this company – which is essentially is a goods and services e-commerce platform that enables small businesses across the country to sell their featured products online, nation-wide for a marginal fee – I will serving as a leading Sales Representative, charged with bringing new businesses on board to the platform in the Boston market and various East Side Manhattan neighborhoods, as well as looking to recruit campus representatives in both markets to leverage word-of-mouth marketing about the soon-to-be-launching concept.  Both of these freelance roles are very exciting to me, as I get the opportunity to not only work with small businesses and make an immediate impact on their marketing reach and effectiveness, but I also get to engage my tandem passions for hospitality marketing and sales.

HSMAI Greater New York Chapter

Other ways I will be able to stay active within the sales and marketing space in New York is by renewing my leadership inclination – this time as an industry professional – for the Greater New York Chapter of Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI).  As an undergraduate at Cornell University, I was Collegiate Chapter President of the organization for nearly three years and, as anyone close to me during university will attest to, the Chapter was both an integral passion and near obsession that defined my collegiate years.  In my role on the leadership team for the HSMAI Greater New York Chapter, I will support both the Chapter’s Partner Relations efforts – working closely with our President to secure sponsorship support for events and functions – as well as the Marketing committee – assisting with various ad hoc social media and web-based initiatives that come up.  I am tremendously excited about this opportunity to rejoin the organization in an active capacity once again and expect the experience to be both familiar and fortuitous.

Besides the professional benefits of my nearing move to Manhattan, there are so many personal advantages that the city is going to afford me.  The city has the largest network of Cornell Hotelies in the world – a school that, if you haven’t noticed by now, I hold a deep affinity for – and is where all of my closest, non-Hotelie collegiate friends are also based.  Moreover, I have an outstanding pair of cousins (aged ten and soon to be eight) and an extremely generous and caring aunt and uncle living only a stone’s throw away from the city in Montclair, NJ – whom I look forward to seeing with much greater frequency as I ease into my city dweller role.  Finally, my side passion for running will also be looked after in my new locale, as my new apartment –which, coincidentally, is located directly across the street from Madonna’s luxurious compound on East 81st Street – is only 3 blocks east of Central Park, which is truly a runner’s paradise and offers a welcomed respite from the craziness that is NYC.

As I sign off from this post and get my stomach prepared for a traditional Thanksgiving feast of significant proportions later today, I have much to be thankful for, and am grateful for all of the hustle and bustle that has defined much of my past two weeks.  For those that are itching for my next posts, there will be plenty of entertaining features to look forward to very soon, including: a music round-up review of some terrific new mainstream records from Rihanna, Mary J. Blige and Daughtry, a commentary on why Planet Fitness’ ‘judgment free zone’ slogan needs to be reevaluated, and a playful write-up on what I consider to be the best party booze-brunch experience in New York City at YOTEL New York called “Eat YO Brunch”.  Happy Thanksgiving to all, and until next time…

The ArtBar Cambridge is a Delectable Delight

When you think of The ArtBar in Cambridge, you might first wonder inquisitively – where exactly is it? – or secondarily even ponder – what is it? – as the name itself doesn’t necessarily clue you in on the restaurant‘s identity.  Should the name be taken at self-explanatory face value – is it a bar with art in it? – or is it something more?  Well, the answer to these imperative questions you may pondering are two-fold. First, The ArtBar is both a bar and Contemporary American restaurant concept – servicing all day-parts and offering an eclectic, enticing menu – and second, is located within, but has a separate identity from, The Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, located right along the Charles River and only a short-walking distance from both the Orange and Green line MBTA stops (also, very conveniently located directly across the street from the well-known CambridgeSide Galleria shopping complex).

Dining at ArtBar

Image courtesy of ArtBar website

What inspired this post today was that, fortunately enough, I was able to try out The ArtBar for myself for the first time, as I shared a delicious meal and great conversation with a fellow hospitality e-marketing friend of mine.  While we divulged our passions for travel technologies and marketing innovations, we enjoyed a meal that was both interesting and comfortably satisfying.  Upon entering the restaurant, which is cozily located near the inviting common lobby areas of the hotel, you are immediately struck by the very modern art-deco designs and artistic ambiance that pervades the space.  Moreover, upon being seated, you can bask in the glorious natural sunlight that fills the space as well as take-in the beautiful blues of the Charles River that the restaurant is nestled besides.  I was told during our lunch date that, in the summer months, the patio deck is opened up, which I imagine would be an entirely enjoyable experience in its own right.

As far as the cuisine is concerned – full disclosure: I can only speak to the restaurant’s lunch menu – it is attentively prepared and portioned to perfection.  After a meal of roasted apple and butternut squash soup – the perfect seasonal starter for any meal, in my humble opinion – and lobster cobb salad, I was both full yet incredibly satisfied.  The cappuccinos that followed the meal too were expertly prepared and piping hot, a quality that, unfortunately, I have too often been disappointed by.  Also, for you Foursquare fans out there, the restaurant offers a 15% discount for all lunch patrons during any weekday.  Couple this with the very reasonable prices the restaurant affords – lunch sandwiches and entrees alike are priced from $12 – 19 respectively, depending on your choice – and you are left with an utterly satisfying, affordably priced meal in a creative and centrally located setting.  As I did on my Bizzy application shortly after my lunch experience, I would recommend The ArtBar to anyone and everyone who’s looking for a scenic, interesting lunch experience in Cambridge.

Social Media Finds: Follow the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter, and again, be sure to check-in on Foursquare and snag that 15% off lunch discount!

Bolt from Boston for a Buck

Due to a million (or three) different projects that I have on the go today in my new freelancing gig, I have to keep this post brief. That said, I felt it was definitely necessary to exude my tremendous enthusiasm for Bolt Bus.  I’ve already expressed my love for the bus brand in a previous post about my New York City adventures, but this post is just a pitch for all you Boston (or NYC)-based folks that are looking for the cheapest, best option to get back and forth between the two East Coast hubs.

Courtesy of NY Daily News - do not own rights

With Bolt Bus, you not only get free wifi (even though, I must confess that the free wifi on my last Bolt experience was extremely spotty, so beware) but power outlets behind almost every aisle seat (feel free to harass the person next to you to plug-in if they are the lucky one with the outlet – they have double plug-ins) and plenty of leg room.  Plus, they probably offer the most no-hassle kind of travel experience out there.  With flying, you deal with all of the hassles of leaving enough time to get through the lines and lines of people queuing at the check-in counter, the TSA pat-downs at security, and the all-too-often frequent delays and cancellations.  Conversely, with Bolt Bus all you do is show up 20 minutes early and have your receipt ready for viewing, which is conveniently sent to you via text message on your phone.

New York City

Image by kaysha via Flickr

Provided the weather is decent, you avoid all of the hassles of flight ravel with Bolt Bus, and at a far cheaper cost.  The best deal Bolt offers  – and probably the reason why I’m writing this ‘ode to Bolt’ to begin with – are their $1 fares, which you can secure if you book far enough in advance and are flexible with the dates you are traveling (i.e. Thursday to Monday trips instead of Friday to Sunday).  I’ve now lucked out twice with $1 fares over the course of a month, and makes the journey to and from The Big Apple from Beantown the easiest trip possible.  So get on the Bolt bandwagon if you haven’t already and Bolt from Boston for a buck like I am this weekend.

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