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Gone Phishin'

The Empire State Building from my room.

Manhattan, New York

August 1st and 2nd 2017

25 years. 25 years it’s been, since I saw my first concert of a band that I have always had a deep connection with and affinity for. I remember the first one clearly in 1992, at a little dingy club called The Spectrum in Toronto, capacity was about 1000 people. No need to bore you with the last 24 years of memories because there are too many shows and cities and venues to name. But I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to see them at Madison Square Garden in New York City, capacity about 21,000 people.

This summer Phish played 13 nights, almost in a row, at MSG and called it the Baker’s Dozen. The theme was donuts, where every night there was a new flavor and they even gave said donuts to concert goers as they entered the arena. They would also play some songs that mirrored the theme. More on that in a “tim”bit. I got tickets and planned to go with the Mrs. We were going to see a Broadway show one night, Phish the next, walk miles and get lost, and eat a tonne. There is an old Yiddish adage that goes “Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” – Man plans and God laughs. Well a’int that the truth. The Mrs. got bogged down with work, timing of the Broadway shows didn’t work out, yada yada yada. Not looking great. About 4 days before the first show, I got a text from a friend saying “hey – what’s up.” This wasn’t any friend. A special friend, one that I have know practically my entire life, one who introduced me to Phish, one where the conversation is easy, fun and flowing and one where the conversation doesn’t need to happen at all. A true brother. The text to him was simple – “plans have changed, I’m solo to NYC”, to which he replied “where are we staying?” Who’s laughing now!

We found out before the first concert that the theme was Maple. Of course, our first thought was what great Canadian song will they play. As it turns out, they opened the show with an instrumental version of O Canada. Needless to say, we belted the words out loud and made sure we were heard. It was welcomed beautifully and the night was off and running. As an aside, Phish played all 13 nights without repeating one song. Impressive. I look forward to the next 25 years of great music and great friendships and of course, great hotel mattress reviews. OMG, LOL, BTW, LMK, THX, SLS, MSG, NYC.


The Paul. 29th between 5 and 6. Very close to The Garden. One queen bed in a room about the size of a closet. Mattress was on a wood recessed platform. No foundation required and the overall height was actually decent. Being tall and old, the last thing I need is a super low, Euro style bed.


Simmons Beautyrest. A classic in the industry. I did some research on the Shakespeare Collection and actually found out that this was part of the Simmons open lineup. That is to say, that it is a bed that can be purchased at any retailer in the U.S. and even some of the bigger ones like Macy’s. The hotel must not have used the hospitality division and gone direct to a retailer.

The Recharge that you see on the label is a good thing, because Simmons introduced the recharge line not that long ago, so the mattress itself is relatively new. It has about a 3″ pillow top on it. You may know by now, that I am not a huge fan of pillow tops, as over time they tend to sag and not provide the support they once did. Luckily, I caught this mattress on the early side of aging. Very comfortable, not firm, and not ultra soft. It was the kind of mattresses you could flop onto and not break your back and also not touch the floor with. I flopped a lot on this one and it held up.


Not much of it, to be honest.

After late night Korean on night 1, didn’t get to bed till about 3 AM but did manage to sleep for 7 hours. Night 2 was more normal, we passed on the late night extravaganza, as we had early morning flights.

As a result about 7 hours. Both nights, though, were sound.

Not even the construction across from the hotel, nor the extremely loud bathroom fan, nor the fire alarm test managed to wake me up, until it all did. A piece of Kleenex over that fan usually does the trick.


60/40. Cotton/Poly. Yes/No. Good/Bad. Duvet was the same 60/40. At least the cotton was the 60. Now that I think about it, if my kid got 60 out of 100 on a test – I would make him study some more, so maybe more bad then good. One thing that was unspeakable though was the fitted sheet, or lack there of. It was a flat sheet. No problem, many hotels use flat, as it gets away from tucking corners in. It puts the lazy in bed making. I’m okay with that. I am not okay with the flat sheet being too small for the mattress! Brutal in every respect. It was a double flat sheet on a queen mattress. I had to sleep diagonally so my feet wouldn’t touch the protector. Gross! And I don’t mean Steven Keaton.

There were some highlights here though. Instead of 2 massive king pillows, which I find a waste, there were 4 smaller ones. All very soft and limber and great support. Also, they had on a full zippered mattress encasement. This is great. You don’t often find this on a hotel mattress, but I love it. It is mostly due to the bed bug outbreak that numerous cities around the world have had. The encasement has a full zip bug lock, so nothing can penetrate it. Safe and smart. Kudos for getting that right.


A good stay on a quality mattress. The Paul has done well here in their choice of a non hospitality mattress. Really nice mattress with overall support and a luxury firmness that needs repeating night after night. I would recommend this mattress to any one who likes a good night’s sleep.



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