November 25, 2013

New York City: An A-List Itinerary In The Big Apple

Carla Hall, Sherri Shepherd & Jawn Murray with the cast of Motown the Musical
“New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of…”

WHAT TO SEE: We kicked off our trip checking out the hot-like-fire Broadway production, “Motown: The Musical.” Joined by friends Sherri Shepherd of “The View” and Carla Hall from “The Chew,” we danced and sang along to the trip down memory lane through the glory days Motown.

Set in Detroit, the birthplace of Motown, the Chrysler-sponsored Broadway musical centers around the storied record label’s founder, Berry Gordy (played by Brandon Victor Dixon). The music-heavy production shows how the visionary launched his famous record company and launched the careers of the play’s principals Diana Ross (Felicia Boswell), Smokey Robinson (Charl Brown), and Marvin Gaye (Bryan Terrell Clark); as well as all-star acts like The Four Tops, The Temptations, Gladys Knight & The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Teena Marie, Rick James and others.

The Temptations in “Motown: The Musical”

The music carries this show and threads this journey through the mind of Gordy and manifestation of Motown. Despite challenged reviews from Broadway critics, “Motown: The Musical” remains a box office juggernaut averaging $1.4 million a week at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

The 83-year-old music mogul took a Tyler Perry-approach to the Great White Way. Gordy wrote his own script for the Broadway show and didn’t want to work with theatre writers on re-writes of his script. His unconventionally way of writing and raising the money for this production himself, received some backlash from Broadway purists. Regardless, money talks and “Motown: The Musical” is a cash cow!

The show is a family-friendly good time and making the type of money its making, the show should play Broadway for a long time to come. You can also catch it on the road and they’re currently casting the touring version of the show.

WHERE TO STAY: Nothing is more convenient in New York City than being centrally located to everywhere you need to go. What better location to stay while visiting the Big Apple than The Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. This Starwood Hotel property recently completely a $180 million top-to-bottom renovation, which included a total redesign of all guest rooms, lobby facilities and other hotel amenities.

An ideal location for personal trips, business or even conferences, this property — a favorite of President Bill Clinton and rock star Bono — is a stone’s throw from Times Square, The Theater District, Columbus Circle, Central Park and so many other popular New York destinations. The property offers a welcoming Lobby Lounge and the convenient Link Café, which offers a full fitness facility with state-of-the-art equipment. The Sheraton New York Times Square also has the casual restaurant, Hudson Market. Just off the lobby is the hotel’s secret hot spot, Fireplace Nook. This room offers plush couches and seating, with cocktails and light bites available. Guests can grab a beverage before dinner or a show, or stay and enjoy seasonal cocktails while people-watching on Seventh Avenue.

A great addition to this property is the new Club Lounge. Located on a high level-floor, the Club Lounge has panoramic views of Manhattan and Central Park. The Club Lounge has 24-hour guest access, with coffee and espresso stations, and snacks throughout the day.

Sheraton Executive Suite

The 1,781 newly renovated rooms are large for a New York hotel. And if you upgrade to a suite like we had, you’ll have a living room, office space and a dining area for hosting. All rooms have a modern, sophisticated decor and the design what thoughtful, as the placement of televisions, usage of storage space and multifaceted nature of furniture makes life more comfortable.

Whatever you need, you can pretty much find it at The Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. And if you need something else, their attentive guest services staff will help you facilitate your request. For additional details on the property, go to

Sheraton Club King Room

GETTING AROUND: New York is known for its public transportation, but if you chose to drive in the city—bigger isn’t always better. I spent part of my trip in New York and then drove back to Washington, DC in the 2014 Corolla S Plus.

Despite being a small sedan, it was comfortable & had ample horse power for the highway (132 horsepower at 6000 rpm). It had great fuel economy, both in the city (29 mpg) and on the highway (37 mpg).

The Corolla is a practical vehicle, one that remains a bestseller for the Toyota brand. It has highly-functional interior design and much roomier backseat space. The trunk was spacious enough for several large pieces of luggage or a heavy grocery shopping outing.

The car offers auxiliary options for gadgets, Bluetooth option for safe telephone usage and navigation to get exactly where you need to go.

The 2014 Corolla S Plus has a sticker price around $19,000.

VIDEO: Take an inside look into the 2014 Corolla S Plus.



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