Welcome to the Thrillerfest V Blog!

We hope you'll bookmark us, just as you bookmark so many of the hundreds of the International Thriller Writers that participate in our annual conference, held in New York City in July.

ITW is a youthful organization, always ready for a new way of looking at things. You'll find that dynamism here, in blog posts from authors, agents, editors and Thrillerfest attendees, past and present.

And that same excitement you feel from your favorite reads is evident in everything ITW does, and no wonder--the organization, staffing and publicity for ThrillerFest--including this new blog--is undertaken by volunteers, most of whom are ITW authors themselves.

So pull up a chair and stay awhile ... discover the latest news on what Thrillerfest V--the fifth anniversary of the conference--has to offer. Visit old friends, make new ones, ask questions, and hear about the remarkable things in store for the conference.

Whether or not you can come see us in New York--and we hope that you can!--please join us here. It's gonna be ... a thriller!

Kelli Stanley, Thrillerfest Publicity Committee Chair

Thrillerfest Publicity Committee:
Jeannie Holmes
CJ Lyons
Carla Buckley
Grant McKenzie

Saturday, March 14, 2009

ThrillerFest on a Budget -- Handy Tips, Part 2

Last week's post had sort of a traveling theme for my series on handy tips for attending ThrillerFest on a Budget. This week it's all about food.

New York has great restaurants -- over 20,000 of them to be exact. With that many choices and with prices ranging from fast food dollar menus to a couple of hundred bucks a plate, it can be overwhelming. Especially when you're also facing a time crunch because you don't want to miss the co-author sponsored roast of Clive Cussler. (Yes, that is an event planned for ThrillerFest 2009. Check out the official ThrillerFest website for more details.)

Here are just a few of the places I've found within easy walking distance of the Grand Hyatt, TF's host hotel. I'll begin with my favorite food category: coffee.

ThrillerFest Food Tip #1: Java java java java java java

Ask anyone and they’ll tell you I’m a coffee junkie. Speaking to me before I’ve had my morning java fix is akin to poking a rattlesnake with a stick. It’s all fun and games until someone gets bitten. Fear not, my fellow coffee fanatics. I’ve scouted the area and know where to find the flavorful bean that is our life’s blood.

First, the Hyatt does have a coffee kiosk/stand in the lobby but the selections are somewhat limited. If I remember correctly, they also stop serving in the middle of the afternoon. . .just when we need our fix the most. That’s okay. I know the secret to having an eternal caffeine buzz.
Coffee location #1: Starbucks in Grand Central Terminal
From the main Hyatt lobby, take the escalators down to the street level but don’t exit the building. Turn right and you’ll see a set of glass doors. These lead to a tunnel that connects the Hyatt with GCT. Go through the glass doors, follow the tunnel to the right, go through another set of doors, and turn right again. Starbucks is on the left, just before you reach the street exit. It’s a small shop and has a street entrance so it’s often crowded, but it’s close by and that’s what matters.

Other nearby Starbucks: 450 Lexington Ave, 43rd St and Third Ave, 150 E 42nd St

Coffee location #2: Dunkin Donuts.
Not everyone likes Starbucks. Maybe you like to have donuts with your coffee. Personally, as long as it has caffeine in it, I’m good. I’ve found a couple of nearby Dunkin Donuts for those who crave powdered sugar and chocolate sprinkles. Find them at 370 Lexington Ave and 47 E 42nd St.

Coffee location #3: Grand Central Terminal Dining Concourse.
GCT boasts a huge dining concourse on the lower level. The tunnel connecting the Hyatt and GCT offers the most efficient route to the LLDC. If you can’t find coffee from one or more of the restaurants in GCT, you’re not looking hard enough.

ThrillerFest Food Tip #2: Starving Writers on the Prowl for Munchies and Crunchies

Here are a few of my favorite spots for cheap but good food:

#1 – Scotty’s Diner: 336 Lexington Ave, between 39th and 40thScotty’s is easy to find. From the lobby, take the escalators down to the street level, and exit the building. Turn left. At the intersection, turn right and cross the street. Walk past the Chrysler Building and keep going for about two blocks. Look for a blue awning. Scotty’s isn’t much to look at inside but the service is friendly and fast, and the food is good and affordable. Check out their online menu here.

#2 – Two Boots Pizza: Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level Dining ConcourseI always have to visit Two Boots at least once during my stay in New York. Offering unique pizza creations, as well as build your own, Two Boots is a great place for a quick bite. They will deliver to the Hyatt, for a minimum purchase amount, if you’re too tired from a day of panels and ThrillerFest fun to seek them out in the LLDC. To see what they have to offer, check out their online menu here.

#3 – Brother Jimmy’s BBQ: Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level Dining ConcourseI’m from the South and I love barbecue. However, not all barbecues are created equal. Brother Jimmy’s offers ‘cue good enough to satisfy my cravings and at prices that I can afford. I recommend the South Carolina pulled pork sandwich as well as the fried catfish sandwich for on the go meals. The Brunswick stew isn’t bad either. Click here to see their full menu.

#4 – Ciao Bella Gelato: Grand Central Terminal, Lower Level Dining ConcourseI tasted my first authentic Italian gelato in Grand Central and I fell in love. Ciao Bella offers a wide variety of decadent frozen creations, which is perfect for the balmy July days of ThrillerFest. Check out their full menu here.

#5 – Wendy’s: 447 Lexington AveStandard chain food fare, but they have a dollar menu. When you’re on a budget, sometimes a dollar is all you can spare.

#6 – McDonalds: 451 Lexington AveBig Macs, Quarter Pounders, and Chicken Nuggets. . .who hasn’t feasted on these at least once? As with Wendy’s MickyD’s offers a dollar menu so if your budget is stretched to the max, it’s good to know where you can go to make those last few pennies count.

If you, or someone you know, has more great dining ideas for the Midtown Manhattan area, share them with us! Post your recommendations in the Comments section.

Jeannie Holmes

No comments:

Post a Comment