401 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
I was moving to NY and didn't have a gas bill yet, but needed a local bank. Citibank didn't seem interested without a gas bill, despite the fact that I had a lease and all manner of other identification and proof of residence. I was disappointed by the lack of flexibility. I used Citibank in Chicago before and never liked their tendency to append charges onto my account, and so I guess it wasn't so bad they forced me to look elsewhere (even though you can't find a bank with this kind of ATM coverage of the nation if you're a traveler).
6920 Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018
The reason why they get all the music tours at this boxy, uncomfortable monument to bad acoustics is because there's a tax on the venues further in that the acts don't want to pay. The walkways behind the seating are so poorly designed that many traffic jams result, but you'll never notice that at a minor league hockey game. They are pretty tight about the parking lot, so even if you're not doing anything it makes you feel uncomfortable. Only go to the show here if there's no alternative.
John Barleycorn Lincoln Park
658 W Belden Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
I remember (to my slight shame) just loving places like this in college. People everywhere, loud as hell, sloppy. But the thrill is gone mere years later, and now John Barleycorn seems to me a sad meat market full of desperate kids, many of which will be full-fledged alcoholics in 5 years. The thing is, if I read that statement back then, I would have been there the next Friday night...
The Wilshire Hotel - Los Angeles Hotels
3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
They've got some great amenities, including a serious Japanese restaurant and a coffee stand with Krispy Kremes. The rooms themselves are so-so at best--I had an alarm clock from 1972 on one recent stay, and the bedding is flimsy and rough on the skin. Staff is professional and accommodating, they seem suited for a better hotel for the most part.
House of Blues
8430 W Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
I love HOB venues. The acoustics are usually outstanding, each one is different (but vary on the same basic rusticated, down-home look), and their talent bookers keep it pretty interesting. The Sunset Strip one is has a wide layout with several hideaway porch areas for smoking and cityscape-viewing. The acoustics and coziness aren't as outstanding here as some other HOBs (esp. Chicago), but Sunset's 2nd-level bar area opens up like a spaceship, and that's worth big points.
Inn At Little Washington
309 Middle St., Washington, VA 22747
If you can imagine paying well over $100 for each person at your table and considering it well worth it, then try the Inn at Little Washington. Service is perfect--timely and inobtrusive. Every morsel (and they give you many little extras) has richly varied flavor and is presented beautifully. The setting is lush, deep-hued and cozy. The wine list is amazing--not much to have under $80, but they don't mark it up very much at that level so it's more than fair. It's about 2 hours outside DC, but even if you can't stay the night, the daytrip is worth it.