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World's Most Expensive Cities

World's Most Expensive Cities
© DNA Seattle

Manhattanites pay more than twice the national average in living expenses, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research in its sixth annual cost-of-living index, which calculates what professionals pay for goods and services in U.S. urban areas. A city’s index figure is based on a national average of 100. Manhattan’s cost of living is more than twice the national average, at 225.4, and the only place with a score above 200.

Most Expensive Cities:

  1. New York (Manhattan)
  2. New York (Brooklyn)
  3. Honolulu
  4. San Francisco
  5. San Jose, Calif.
  6. New York (Queens)
  7. Stamford, Conn.
  8. Washington, D.C.
  9. Orange County, Calif.
  10. Boston

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What's New in New York

What’s New in New York
Courtesy of Westin New York Grand Central

If you think New York’s cramped LaGuardia Airport is a hassle now, wait until 2014: That’s when work could begin on the reconstruction of LGA’s Central Terminal Building, a seven-year, $3.6 billion project that will happen in stages so flights can keep operating. Plans call for a 1.3-million-square-foot terminal with 35 gates, with demolition of not only the current building but also the adjacent parking garage and departures level roadway. At Kennedy Airport, a May 2013 opening ?is scheduled for the expanded and improved Terminal 4, the new home of Delta’s international hub; the expansion means that JFK’s Terminal 3—the historic Pan Am Worldport building—will be demolished.

On the lodging scene, the former Helmsley Hotel on East 42nd Street is now the Westin New York Grand Central, while the former Setai Fifth Avenue is being converted into a Langham Place, the first Langham hotel in New York. Hyatt was due to open two properties in the first quarter—the Hyatt Place New York/Midtown South on West 36th Street off Fifth Avenue, and the Hyatt Union Square. A luxury SLS Hotel is scheduled to open later this year at 444 Park Ave. (at 30th Street), and Marriott is building a 68-story hotel at 54th and Broadway that will house both a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn.

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NYC Subways to Get Wi-Fi

NYC Subways Get Wi-Fi
© Abby Hocking

New York City subway stations are on track to get Wi-Fi access, which will be gradually rolled out over the next five years with a partnership between Transit Wireless and Boingo Wireless. Eventually more than 1.6 billion annual subway riders will be able to connect to the Internet using their smartphones, e-readers, tablets and other wireless devices throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

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New Booking Site: Hourly Hotels in NYC

Hourly Hotels in NYC
Courtesy of Dayuse Hotels

Booking a hotel room for the day only is a boon to travelers looking to rest, work or, perhaps, rendezvous. European-based Dayuse Hotels, which lists day rates at properties in France, the U.K., Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg, reportedly has added the day-use option to upscale, boutique hotels in New York, for day sessions lasting from three to seven hours. The concept is an upgrade of “love hotels,” which have existed for some time in Japan and Brazil. Daytime room tariffs are 30 to 70 percent below regular rates. Ooh la la.

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New York’s New Convention Center?

Aqueduck Racetrack
© Ambient Images Inc. / Superstock

Would New York City attract as many conventioneers if its newest and largest convention center is in Queens rather than Manhattan? Hoteliers and others began debating that question when New York governor Andrew Cuomo proposed plans to build a 3.8-million square-foot convention center—the nation’s largest—at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, about 16 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Gaming development company Genting Group will invest $4 billion in the new convention center, adding some 3,000 hotel rooms to the area. The move has already prompted Manhattan hoteliers to consider whether they’d need to add a free or paid shuttle to the new convention center. In the meantime, the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center, located on Manhattan’s West Side at 11th Avenue between 34th and 39th streets, is in the middle of renovations, which should be completed by 2013. Plans include turning the center into a state-of-the-art, mixed-use facility, with housing, hotels and office space.

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Delta Air Lines Expands Its New York Hub

Delta Hubs
© Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines is coming out swinging in New York, making a grab for prized business travelers at both JFK and LaGuardia. The carrier is spending $1.2 billion to expand JFK’s Terminal 4, where it will consolidate all its international gates and add a 24,000-square-foot Sky Club lounge, with a May 2013 target for completion. Delta’s antiquated Terminal 3 will be demolished. Meanwhile, Delta will go head-to-head with American and United at LaGuardia, where it plans to expand operations by more than 75 percent this summer with 264 daily flights from LaGuardia to more than 60 cities. Delta is spending $100 million to expand into LaGuardia’s Terminal C, though it will also continue existing operations at Terminal D. At the same time, Delta is trimming flights from Atlanta. It already discontinued service to Shanghai and is cutting routes to Athens, Copenhagen, Moscow, Prague and Tel Aviv this summer. However, ATL debuts a new Delta international terminal this summer, with a new Sky Club flagship lounge.

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