Hotel Penn

5:28 PM Elizabeth Seckman 16 Comments

Hotel Pennsylvania
By Italianfreak00 at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, 
Last August, when my husband and I took our oldest son, Caleb, up to law school in New York, we stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania across from Madison Square Garden. Now, I will admit, usually I'm pretty picky about hotels in cities and this place's ratings were awful. Lots and lots of one star reviews. The place was also cheap...much cheaper than you'd ever expect that close to Times Square. Usually, I have a rule about hotels in cites needing to be at least a certain base price to be safe, clean, and habitable, but I was totally enamored with this place's history, so I rolled the traveler dice and booked us a room. What's so special about this place to make me ignore some very scary one-star reviews? 

Wikipedia Public Domain
My grandpa was a Big Band swing musician in the 1940's  and even though he was no longer playing in any bands, when I was a little girl, he'd still put some Glenn Miller or Cab Calloway on the record player and play along with them. He could play most any instrument, but the double bass, the guitar, and the piano were the ones I remember most. My job during these makeshift jam sessions was to dance, and boy did I ever. The Big Band sound is so upbeat and hopeful, it became a natural favorite of mine. 

So, imagine my delight when I read that in its prime, the Hotel Penn's Cafe Rouge was the gathering spot for most of the Big Bands of the Swing Era. 
  It was so well known for hosting bands that the hotel's phone number became iconic. People would call Pennsyvania 6-5000 to find out what bands were playing. It was so popular a hang out for Big Band leaders and singers, Glenn Miller set the phone number to music... 

*Other lists of notables associated with the Hotel Penn- 
*Willaim Faulkner stayed there to finish a novel.  
*Harry Houdini debunked the claims of a mystic who claimed to have X-ray vision. 
*A crime boss threw a $40,000 party where there was reportedly tubs filled with champagne.
*May be the home of the Chef Salad. 
*Doris Day debuted Sentimental Journey. 
*Frank Olsen, US Army bacteriologist, jumped from a 13th floor window. NYPD called it suicide, others say it was actually a CIA assassination. 
*Home of the first Star Trek convention.
*Muppet character Statler or Statler and Waldorf was named for the hotel. 

The Cafe Rouge Photo Credit: Public Domain

So, did the hotel live up to the hype of history? 
I'll save that for next week. I don't want the post to get too long...

Onto this week's good thing check-in!!

Thanks to our hosts LexaL.G, and Tonja Drecker for this weekly good things check in! 

~It's spring break for WVU! Cole and Carter, are home for the week. 

~Cole's 21st birthday is Monday. I still can't believe my baby is now of legal drinking age. 

~My mother has been doing great. I'm super proud of her. She took a lot of major hits this winter- health problems and her husband left her- but she has been tackling life like a trooper, Sure, she caught a potato on fire trying to cook it in the microwave, but hey, crap happens. 

The writers for the Hero Lost Anthology (all but me, I'm riding their marketing coat tails!) have been working hard getting word out on this amazing collection. 

Check out the website: The Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life Website and if you haven't signed up yet, would you help with Thunderclap?

Please support the Hero Lost Thunderclap May 2nd


Congratulations to Kristin! Another great book is on its way!


Clean Teen Publishing is pleased to share the cover reveal for the second book in the thrilling DECEPTION GAME series by Kristin Smith. FORGOTTEN is scheduled to release on August 21, 2017. Readers can grab a copy of the first book in this exciting young adult dystopian series at your local Barnes & Noble store, as well as at all online retailers. Check out the new cover for FORGOTTEN and be sure to enter the giveaway!

FORGOTTEN by Kristin Smith

(The Deception Game, #2)
August 21, 2017
Pre-order your copy here

Book Blurb:

The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it's different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one's memories, and she's determined to get answers.

The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government's Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.

When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she's framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna's heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.


CATALYST by Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game, #1)

Too pretty. Too smart. Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.

With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.

In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

CATALYST (The Deception Game #1) Teaser:

Author Bio:
Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at


  1. How cool that your grandfather was such a great musician. I always wondered about the origin of PENNSYLVANIA 6-5000.


  2. Congrats to Kristin.

    That hotel has an incredible history, but looks really spooky!

  3. Does that mean a hotel has arrived when they name a Muppet after it?
    Happy birthday to Cole.
    Glad your mother is doing better and surviving it all. Yeah, she went through some crap.
    Great cover, Kristin!

  4. I LOVE Big Band music! Glenn Miller, Stan Kenton, and Buddy Rich are my faves. The deets about the hotel are awesome! Happy Birthday to Cole, and big yay for your mom! Kristin's books sound so interesting and mysterious. Wishing her much success!

  5. Hopefully it wasn't as bad a stay as the one stars say. Neat about the big band history. CIA can be cagey bunch and muppets too, quite the added history. If all she does is blow up a potato that is a win indeed. Congrats to Kristin.

  6. I think I'd have to give that hotel a try, too! We stayed at a historic hotel in Chattanooga that gets a LOT of bad reviews. But at one time it was THE hotel to stay at in the area. Even though it definitely could've used some renovations, there was some history there that you can't get if you stay in a newer hotel.

  7. Those old hotels were so elegant and charming. I took my mom to Chicago (her old stomping grounds) to stay at The Drake because her aunt and uncle had worked there in the 20's. From her oral history, I learned that it used to be the hangout for Al Capone and that her uncle was his barber. That added a lot to our visit and she enjoyed the time so much.

  8. Congrats to Kristin! I have to admit, I really want to know how or if you liked the hotel. The last time we were in NYC, we stayed in Brooklyn at a bed and breakfast that did not really offer breakfast. But it was cool being in a neighborhood.

  9. Ooh, I'm dying to know how your hotel experience turned out! I think it would be awesome to stay in a hotel with so much history!

    Thank you SO much for sharing the cover reveal for FORGOTTEN!!! I missed it on Friday, somehow. I'm sorry!! Hugs! <3

  10. I love Big Band music. And Pennsylvania 6-5000. I never knew it stemmed from the hotel. How cool! Now kindly stop keeping us in suspense because I must know if the hotel lived up to the hype. Kthx.

  11. Woot! Woot! Congrats on Kristin's cover reveal:) Looks awesome!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...