2007 Team Universe Review: Manhattan Hosts Annual Event!

Face it, you are on an island called Manhattan and the competition is held very close to the financial district of the world. Here is a quick review of what the competitors experienced as they made their trek to the annual event.

As with most of my reviews, I always try to give you the behind the scenes ideas of what is going on at these competitions. I also try to give you the best tips to make the whole visit more enjoyable. New York is a difficult trip in itself.

Face it, you are on an Island called Manhattan and the competition is held very close to the financial district of the world. Most competitors don't realize that the event is less than 1/4 mile away from Wall Street and the tragedy of 911.

-> The Embassy Suites:

    The "host" hotel was changed and the Embassy Suites was selected. To help you get to the correct hotel, tell the cab driver from the airport that it is the Embassy Suites located in the financial district. Remember that important point, since there are several Embassy Suites in New York and telling them the one by "Battery Park" doesn't work very well and could land you back up in Queens.

    Battery Park is huge and wraps around the tip of Manhattan. The hotel is only a few steps from the famous "Statue of Liberty" and Ellis Island ferry ride. While the temptations to shoot photos are overwhelming, better take notice of the rules posted around, since they prohibit anything except candid shooting. Permits are available through the city and run about $120.

    J.M. Manion can tell you that first hand, while shooting the winners, he was asked to leave. And being the great guy he is, offered no argument. It doesn't cause rope burns to get through to him (inside joke).

    The Embassy is home to the New York City Sports Club and it is the best hotel gym you will ever train in. Boosting over 18,000 sq. ft. and on two levels, it has enough cardio equipment to train a Marine battalion and enough weight that the Jets actually trained there for a while.


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2007 Team Universe Championships.
View More Pics From The 2007 Team Universe Championships Here.

    A large room is available for yoga, Pilates, boxing, etc. You can also step into the sauna or steam room to relax or cut that final bit of weight. The best part of that the gym is admittance is FREE if you stay at the hotel. No photos are allowed in the gym and of course I have no idea where those ones attached of that gym are from.

    Another great perk of the hotel is a "made to order" breakfast that is FREE. Trust me in NYC the idea of free is not readily available. One of the best things about the Embassy is; A MICROWAVE IN EVERY ROOM. Yeah baby! Bottled water is in walking distance from the many stores located on the same block. Great pizza for after the show is all around as well as a sidewalk café Mexican style restaurant located in the hotel.


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2007 Team Universe Championships.
View More Pics From The 2007 Team Universe Championships Here.

    I spoke to the hotel manager after the show and his biggest complaint of the weekend was other hotel guests who did not appreciate the girls shooting photos around where the breakfast area was located. I spoke to him about possibly having a curtained area to eliminate direct line of sight.

    Zaldy Cordova, who is the hotel's assistant front office manager, was extremely helpful and invited us all back next year. Truth is, if you stay in Manhattan, this is the best deal going for hotels and you can catch the "E" train to uptown Manhattan, and the whole world is there. Of course if you want to go to another world, there is New Jersey. More humor.

-> The Team Universe Crew:

    Many of the competitors took the two block walk to the venue and I treated a couple of athletes for heat stress. Carla and Nikki from "pro tan" worked their butts off keeping everyone looking their best. Rob Klein had a large fan available for the competitors and most camped in front of it during the show and he was also seen passing out chocolate covered espresso beans.


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2007 Team Universe Championships.
View More Pics From The 2007 Team Universe Championships Here.

    Kim Klein and the rest of the crew of Matt, Mark, and Yvonne work like fools to line up the athletes and give them their best to make it to the stage in one piece. Many thanks to the local volunteers for bringing it all together. Biggest thanks to Steve Stone and his wife Andrea, who are there more than anyone else and run the whole event a smooth as silk.

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    Bev Francis and Kenny Kassel (the announcer of the NPC) were there to round off the edges of the evening and make everything run smoother. The location for the event is fantastic and although the expo is small, the free samples run amuck and it is great for everyone to get some free stuff. Hats off to the person who thought of coupons in the competitors bag, that sure saves time; however, those bars are great for the late call out outs.


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2007 Team Universe Championships.
View More Pics From The 2007 Team Universe Championships Here.

    So if you are planning a trip to the NYC for Team USA, I suggest the Embassy, where the rooms are large enough for athlete check-ins. Enjoy your stay and end it up with a special trip to the Jekyl and Hyde restaurant located in uptown, it is a themed restaurant around mystery and humor. Make it a fun trip and that keeps you on the top of your game for the next show.