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  1. Location and Rates for Tonight - Website with Best-Rate Guarantee In response to my request for Hotels at JFK Airport, I had a free hotel from hotels.com worth $207, so I used it to stay in a decent hotel near JFK airport for a next-day flight. This is my final free night with hotels.com, and I will now sever ties with that company, and use hotels' own websites to book rooms, rather than fiddling around with these discount booking services which simply haven't been worth it. My room at the Radisson JFK Airport (Jamaica, Queens) more than served its purpose. At $203, it wasn't cheap, but I needed to use as much of the $207 free room as I could; otherwise, it would be "use it or lose it," so the entire stay only cost me about $4.00! Both the Radisson and the Crowne Plaza are side-by-side, in the middle of a street which was almost completely residential on the other side - I didn't really notice any other hotels in the immediate area (although there are plenty in the vicinity), and these two were most likely built at the same time - although I didn't go inside the Crowne Plaza, they seemed to be almost interchangeable, so if you're looking at moderately upscale hotels near JFK, and you're considering one, then you should also consider the other. My guess is that they're also comparably appointed, but that's only a guess. Note also: both of these hotels are by a busy intersection (which you can see on the Google map above), but my room was perfectly quiet, and road noise was not an issue at all. I was completely zonked by the time I got to the hotel - it was a *long* day - so I went straight to my room, and didn't budge (except to go downstairs for coffee the next morning) until my late checkout time at 1 PM. Note: The kindly lady working breakfast at the hotel restaurant didn't charge me for filling two cups of coffee and taking them up to my room, and I'm not sure that's always the case. The hotel is in something of a working-class neighborhood, but is perfectly safe, and from what I could see, the parking lot was safe as well. Don't hesitate to stay here just because you think Jamaica might be a dicey area - it's perfectly fine for just spending the night. In terms of luxury, you can see the room for yourself (I got a standard King on the 10th floor which was probably their lowest-level room, but it met my needs and then some). Here are a few pictures of the room, along with its silhouette on the door so you can compare it with other rooms on the 10th floor, size-wise. This isn't a strong 3-star hotel, but to rate it only 2 stars seems unduly harsh when the staff was perfectly pleasant, they had a restaurant and a bar, and the room was clean with a nice bed and a good shower. Call this one a "low-level 3-star," which means it's adequate for business travel, and you won't mind staying here at all, but it's not somewhere you'd go out of your way for, or even remember a month later. It was a good call staying here, and if all you seek is a clean, comfortable room the night before your flight, then I can safely recommend the Radisson JFK Airport. At the end of a *very* long day, I treated myself by taking Uber here from West Village, and with 1.2-multiplier surge pricing, it was about $77 - for me, it was worth it because I was absolutely exhausted and I had luggage, but you should consider taking the train here from Manhattan. Free Parking, free WiFi, and free airport shuttle every thirty minutes (and, at least in my case, free coffee).
  2. I was in Springfield Plaza to have lunch at Pho Hong Anh and pick up some Springfield Butcher provisions when I noticed the sign, already up, announcing MoMo Nepalese Food "Opening Soon".... A quick search indicates that this is not a chain, and that "momo" is a dumpling. I don't know of any other strictly Nepalese restaurants in our area, but I recall in the '80s a Himalayan restuarant in the Adams Morgan area that had some pretty decent stewed goat dishes. I'm looking forward to visiting a new country, in a figurative culinary sense, in Springfield.
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