New York City

Go Forth and Multiply, Cupcake ATM

Remember our post about the world’s first Cupcake dispensing ATM? It was located in Beverly Hills, California outside of a Sprinkles Cupcake store.

The Los Angeles suburb of Beverly Hills has long been known as the home of ritzy Rodeo Drive shopping, by-the-book police officers and the country’s most famous zip code. Yet the cupcake ATM managed to grab its own share of the spotlight. The machine made cameo television appearances, including on TMZ, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and The Today Show. And it proved a huge hit across the spectrum of Beverly Hills residents, from celebrities to soccer moms and stoners (and travel bloggers). It was even the location of a wedding proposal!

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Yotel NYC

When Spot Cool Stuff was arranging a tour of the Yotel New York, a hip boutique hotel two blocks from Times Square, we suggested to their press representative that we meet her in the lobby. She wrote back: “I’ll meet you at Mission Control.”

That would not be the last time we would be reminded that, at Yotel, things work a little differently.

Yotel got its start in Europe as an in-airport pod hotel for passengers in transit or pre-positioning themselves for early morning flights. Their New York City property is Yotel’s first foray outside of an airport. Though, the hotel’s inspiration still comes of a romanticized version of luxury airliner travel. As such, Yotel New York does not have a lobby, it has the aforementioned “Mission Control.” Instead of rooms it has “cabins.” Instead of staff it has “crew.” The VIP section is “first class” and the shared kitchenette on each floor is the “galley.”

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The World’s Best Bakeries

Spot Cool Stuff loves finding good bakeries on our travels. Spontaneously coming across one while exploring a village or city neighborhood can make an ordinary walk special. But some bakeries are special in their own right and worth purposefully seeking out — either for the quality of their baked goods or for their interior design or for the atmosphere of being there or for some combination of all those.

Below is our review of eight such bakeries. We hesitate calling them the “best,” since the world has many bakeries and we’ve only been to a relatively small handful. But each of our selections has some superlative feature that’s well worth a detour when traveling nearby.

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A New York City Night Out,
Mad Men-Style

The bar offers “Martinis and Manicures” every night for the ‘60s bargain price of $10 for both!

The “swinging ‘60s” might be so last millennium, but partying like Mad Men’s purveyor of cool, Don Draper, is about as current as it gets. In honor of the new season of the cool AMC show Mad Men, here’s your guide to a retro night out in New York City, from kitschy New York bars to lounges specializing in Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps:

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6 Cool Bicycle Stores

There’s no other bicycle shop in the world where you have to give serious thought to your wardrobe before visiting.

The best bike shops in the world do more than sell and fix bicycles. They fill you with a sort of enthusiastic energy that makes you want to get out there and pedal.

There are lots of great community bicycle stores out there, too many for us to declare the six we feature below to be the absolute best. But each one is superlative in its own way:

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Camping? In New York City?

Can you (legally) go camping in New York City?

It might be a stupid question to ask about a heavily populated urban area that, save for Central Park, is notoriously devoid of large green spaces. Yet, in honor of Ask a Stupid Question Day (September 28th), we thought we’d research that very topic.

Turns out the answer is: Yes, there is a campground in New York City.

And we aren’t talking about pitching a tent on a desolate plot of concrete either. Take the 2 train to Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue, then hop on the Q35 bus, and you’ll be find yourself at a campground by Jamaica Bay. A campground with, you know, dirt and trees. The sort of campground where you can roast s’mores.

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Borrow a Chromebook From
Virgin America, Ace Hotel

Spot Cool Stuff recently reviewed Google’s Chromebook netbooks on our tech blog. The new computers runs the Chrome operating system is almost entirely integrated in with the cloud. The major disadvantage of the Chrome OS: It renders a computer mostly useless if it isn’t online. The major advantages: With a Chromebook there’s no need to worry about updating software, backing up files or running out of storage space.

If you’d like to try out a Chromebook for yourself on your next trip you now can. For a limited time, passengers on Virgin America and guests at New York’s Ace hotel will each be able to borrow one, for free.

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Yo, Cool and Cozy In-Airport Hotel

Take a modern, stylish boutique hotel. Then automate its check-in process. Then shrink down its rooms. Then place this hotel inside the terminal of a busy airport. What you’ll get as your result is Yotel—Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite chain of airport-only accommodations.

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