I arrived at my Manhattan loft rental yesterday afternoon at 5 pm following a 40-minute passport line (thanks, guys!) and then a grueling, traffic-snarled 75-minute bus ride from Newark Airport. (Next time I’ll taken the air train to Newark and then a train to Penn Station.) Dinner with pallies at Friend of a Farmer, and then gelato at Eataly, a massive, brightly-lit Italian food deli-restaurant, followed by ping-pong at Spin on East 23rd street.

If you want to save yourself the usual $200 to $250 NYC hotel room cost, this — a bedroom in a loft on Lafayette Street — is one alternative. Not too bad.

We all have to adjust to the oppressive and disgusting sweatbox atmosphere on NYC subway platforms during the summer, but here is it mid-September and yesterday the platforms still felt inferno-ish. The bottom line is that September and sometimes even early October are summer in Manhattan, and then you have nice fall weather for maybe four or five weeks, and then then it’s suddenly Siberia. NYC sweater weather is my one of the greatest things about this town, and there seems to be less and less of it each year.

On the soft-drink racks inside Etaly.

Admittedly shitty photo taken during last night’s ping-pong game at Spin.