5 Ways This Bustle Editor Made The Most Of Her Hometown Business Trip
There's nothing like coming home after you've been away for a long time. I mean that trip you make back to your heart center — the place where you've made stories and memories with your family, your friends, and more. For me, that place is New York.
Up until around six months before this piece was written, I was one of the people who had never strayed very far from my heart center, barring the occasional trip. I grew up in New Jersey, went to college in New York, and worked a series of odd jobs before getting my career-making job at this website. I was the one my friends never saw leaving — the New York lifer.
That is, until right after my 30th birthday, when I committed the proverbial New York sin and moved to Los Angeles. As it turned out, trading Metrocards for car payments was just the fresh start I needed. Six months in, and I feel like I'm becoming a good Californian/ east coast expat.
All the while, I had a trip back to New York on the horizon. And it wasn't just a "coming home and making the rounds" trip — it was a business trip, of all things. It was to cover Bustle's annual Rule Breakers music festival, but at the same time, I had a laundry list of loved ones to spend quality time with. Lucky for me, I was able to partner with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, which enabled me to make the most of my business trip by staying in the center of the city. They offered the perfect amenities and convenience to balance my social and work schedules, while also giving me some quality time to check in with New York itself.
I found my home base at Hilton Brooklyn New York near my old neighborhood of South Slope. Here are five ways that I made my business trip home do triple duty — getting work done, making the "catch up" rounds, and checking back in with the New York Arielle, and how Hilton Hotels & Resorts helped me do it.
1. I Kept Convenience In Mind
It was a given that I'd be bouncing this way and that during my week in New York. With Bustle HQ in Manhattan, the Rule Breakers festival in Prospect Park, and my friends in South Slope, I wanted somewhere in the heart of it all — close to plenty of subways and buses, so I wouldn't fall back into my habit of being lazy and taking cabs I couldn't afford.
Hilton Brooklyn New York couldn't have been better situated for my purposes. A mere seven-minute walk from Barclay's Center (a hub housing most of the city's major subway lines and the LIRR), it was easy for me to make it to the office and Rule Breakers on time. Better yet, the hotel is just around the corner from Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street, where I was able to grab the bus to my friend's neighborhood for a catch-up Italian meal at our old favorite place.
Not to mention, check-in could not have been easier. On the Hilton Honors App, I was able to check in prior to my arrival, choose my room, and download a digital key. Finally — the threat of losing my key was a thing of the past.
2. I Made Myself At Home
Anyone who does the bicoastal thing understands the LA to NYC time difference and the ensuing sleep hangover issue. That said, I was looking for some extra soft beds, effective blackout curtains, and a nice big TV to help me chill out at the end of a long day. My room at the Hilton Brooklyn New York checked all of those boxes, with some complimentary coffee thrown in. Bonus: The TV was a Smart TV, so I could queue up some of the shows from my favorite streaming services. I hooked my streaming services up to it, and was able to jump right back into the shows I was bingeing. Nothing makes me feel more ~in my element~ than that.
And though it may have been possible to make myself at home staying with a friend, the individual space was a serious luxury — to not impose, as well as to give myself room to spread out. With extra hangers, I was perfectly set up to hang out my clothes for the week. The robe and complimentary slippers didn't hurt.
Sure beats piling all my belongings in a corner of a friend's living room and feeling low-key guilty about the mess.
3. I Caught Up Over Cocktails
One of the best things about visiting from out of town is that your friends will come to you. I used my "visiting from out of town" card with abandon, and convinced my friend and former roommate to join me for drinks at the Black Walnut Bar & Restaurant located in the lobby of Hilton Brooklyn New York. Craft cocktails and literally not having to leave the building I was already in? I'll take it!
I lingered for a moment on the "Dark & Snowy" (Tito's Vodka, lime, ginger beer, red wine float) and the "Classy Monkey" (Monkey 47 gin. St.Germain, lime, rosemary) before deciding on the "Good Vibes"(Widow Jane bourbon. smoked pecan maple, bitters, smoked sage). You can say I was compensating for the lack of fall experience I would be enjoying this season, and this drink seemed very "New York Fall." Needless to say, it was the perfect way to unwind at the end of a long day of meetings, and I was able to knock out face time with one of my oldest and best friends.
4. I Focused On My ~Wellness~
One thing I definitely miss about New York is the walkability. Sure, Los Angeles has plenty of gorgeous hikes that you don't need to leave the city to enjoy. But still, you have to get in a car and drive there. The New York sidewalks are trails unto themselves, and you have the best running path right outside your door. With the familiar and central location of my hotel, I was able to lace up my running shoes, and take a quick jog right down Smith Street — one of the main commercial thoroughfares of the neighborhood. Jogging around my old stomping grounds was a great morale hack for appreciating the unique chance to catch up on my old life that this trip gave me.
To make it even better, Hilton Hotels & Resorts have fitness centers that help you maintain your exercise routine (or enact one on the first place, as I was doing). Hilton Brooklyn New York had a great gym in the basement. With state-of-the-art machines (treadmills & ellipticals), a full weight suite, and plenty of room to stretch, I could supplement my run with a few weight lifting and conditioning exercises. There was no better set up to maintain my LA wellness with my jam-packed work and social schedules.
5. I Set Myself Up To Appreciate The City
Make no mistake — I will always love New York. But living there for 12 years, the tougher parts of the city got to me — crowded subways, astronomical rent, the pace of my work life... the list goes on. On top of actually working in New York, living in New York often felt like a second job.
But oddly enough, my first business trip to New York post-move felt like a vacation. This was, in no small part, thanks to the amenities and services offered by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
Staying at Hilton Brooklyn New York, it was easy to hack moments of "me time" out of a would-be-hectic business trip. It was like I had never left, but with the responsibilities of being a New Yorker lifted. And though I had plenty going on at work, the comfort of my accommodations set me up with plenty of time to catch up with all the people I love. And of course... with the city I love.
So, if I could impart one pearl of wisdom for those trying to make the most out of a business trip in which the destination is coincidentally... your home town, it's this. Choose a home base that minimizes stress, and maximizes comfort — somewhere that you'll feel able to prioritize yourself, even with a constant stream of emails filing into your inbox. When it comes to these things, Hilton Hotels & Resorts checks all the boxes.
For more content on making the most out of your business trip, visit our "Doing The Most" hub.
This post is sponsored by Hilton Hotels & Resorts.