For months, New York State has been trying to shut down the rental of private apartments in New York City by sites such as Airbnb. State law prohibits the rental of almost all apartments in NY for less than 30 days. But a few weeks ago, consumers won a victory when New York’s Environmental Control Board ruled that as long as one permanent occupant of a rental unit is present during a stay, the short-term rental law doesn’t apply.
But the battle isn’t over.
New York’s top prosecutor is demanding Airbnb turn over data on city residents who have listed their properties on the popular site. And the city’s tourism agency, NYC & Company, issued a statement saying private rentals deprives the city of tax revenue and offers no consumer protection against fire and health-code violations.
I travel frequently to Manhattan—used to live there, in fact. And I know it’s very difficult to find hotel rooms most of the year there, and when you do, the price is usually sky high.
I wonder if private renters paid lodging taxes if the city would change its tune? Sites such as Airbnb, Flipkey.com, and housetrip.com offer much-needed alternatives to hotels.
Conde Nast Traveler magazine surveyed its readers for this list. See if you agree with the magazine’s readers’ selections that were based on a destination’s cultural attractions, friendliness, atmosphere, restaurants, and lodging and shopping options.
Number ten was the town of Napa, which is both a town and a region, of course. One voter called it a “mini-Tuscany.” Number nine is the always-popular Savannah, GA. New York City came in as number eight, and I can’t disagree with that. It’s where I’d live if I had inherited—or earned—a fortune.
You might be surprised by number seven, New Orleans. I take that as proof the city is back after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
If you’ve ever visited Carmel, CA, than it shouldn’t surprise you that it would be number six. Number five is Chicago, four is Honolulu, three is San Francisco , two is Santa Fe.
And the number one top city in the US according to the readers of Conde Nast Traveler? None other than Charleston, SC (pictured).
Or what if you become disoriented on an afternoon hike into the Sahara desert?
Who ya’ gonna call?
If you happen to be wearing a new watch from Breitling, you can relax. The Breitling Emergency II has a built in personal locator that, when activated, sends out an SOS signal for 24 hours to search and rescue teams around the world.
The watch company had to get approved GPS coordinates from every country in the world to make this work. Two hidden antennae in the very masculine, silver-metallic metal watch broadcast your precise location to rescue teams that will hopefully find you before you’re buried beneath an avalanche or perish for lack of water.
There is, unfortunately, the question of price, of course. The Breitling Emergency II costs $14,825. Before taxes. Then again, the December holidays ARE approaching, so you might want to let Santa know it’s number one on your wish list.
The Breitling Emergency II—it’s not just for the James Bonds of the world.
Yesterday I gave you a taste of some of the country’s scariest places to celebrate Halloween courtesy of the Haunted Attraction Association. But there are plenty of other places all over these United States.
In Cincinnati, there’s the Dent School house whose janitor in the ‘40s and ‘50s committed unspeakable deeds before vanishing from town forever. Spirits are still said to roam the halls there, and you can join them.
In New Orleans, visit the House of Shock that’s been terrorizing visitors for 21 years. About 20 miles outside of Fresno, CA, is the place to wander a Haunted Forest in the dark of visit the Hobby Family Home by first passing thorough the eerie family graveyard.
And in Minnesota, there’s Buck Hill (pictured) where—well, let me read the description of Frightmares from the web site: “Over 100 ghouls, goblins, and vampires . . . are ready to welcome you into their homes.”
There are hundreds of other attractions worthy of your attention in the US. You might be able to find one near you by visiting the website Haunted Attraction Association.
Make this Thursday night a Halloween you spend the rest of your life trying to forget!
From haunted houses to haunted hayrides, this is a country littered with attractions designed to thrill. There’s the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia (pictured). Every Halloween, one building of the abandoned prison is tuned into a huge, haunted house featuring six scary attractions.
In Pittsburgh, there’s The Scarehouse that was designed by a PhD. sociologist who’s studied the science of fear. And also in Pittsburgh, there’s the Hundred Acres Manor, a dilapidated family estate with 600 attractions.
Salem, MA, has long been associated with terror, beginning with the trials of alleged witches in 1692. About 250,000 folks descend on Salem every year for ghost tours, costume balls, a haunted-street fair, and other stuff too horrible to mention.
Of the 60 haunted attractions in Michigan, don’t miss the Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, MI. There, 45 carefully placed cameras in a single room displays a “Matrix-style”, 180-degree image of yourself screaming your head off.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about more places to find cheap thrills. But if you can’t wait, visit the Haunted Attractions Association’s web site to see locations in your state.