6 September 2011
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I get inquiries about traveling to do sessions from women who are new to doing wrestling sessions or who simply haven't traveled much to do sessions. The purpose of this page is to offer women information that they can use when they travel to do sessions. I hope to provide practical information about where to stay to do sessions, and how to get around, and also a bit about what to see and do. Most travelers aren't lucky enough to be booked for 6 to 8 sessions a day everywhere they go, and doing nothing but sessions makes for a boring and exhausting (if profitable) trip. This page is always under construction, and and I solicit information and contributions from anybody with local knowledge of anywhere session providers commonly go. Information about reasonably priced hotels that are well located and offer large rooms adequate for wrestling sessions is particularly welcome.
Men tend to like variety, so few session wrestlers, particularly if they are specialized in one or two areas, can do a huge amount of business without traveling, even when they live in places like New York City. But this and other Internet sites have made touring fairly easy. Twenty years ago the few session women who toured regularly had to rely largely on snail-mail to promote their trips, and that was both expensive and a lot of work.
The usual rule that a relatively small number of places account for most of the business applies here. The WB270 top 10 US cities list, in order of their importance for traveling session women:
Perhaps half of all US touring sessions take place in one of these areas. This list doesn't strictly track population, although NYC is the most populous metropolitan area, and wonderfully concentrated: it's surely much the favorite destination of traveling session women. LA, second in population, is too diffuse, and there is more local competition there than anywhere, so travelers don't do as well there as a population of 12 million people might indicate, but some women like to go there anyhow, perhaps because of the mystique of Hollywood, and because the Venice/Santa Monica area is a sort of Mecca for bodybuilders. Chicago is third in population and the action is concentrated downtown, or near O'Hare airport. Boston has little local wrestling or muscle talent, and is pretty concentrated, so a lot of women do very well there. It's also the shortest hop from Europe. Las Vegas doesn't have a big local population (ranks 35th in population), but there are bodybuilding shows that draw women and lots of traveling men - and, as we all know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Atlanta is the only big city between Washington, DC and Miami and is a major air hub.
Hotels for sessions have particular constraints. If you do serious wrestling, you need lots of room. You may want to bring a portable mat with you. Bodybuilders and some other session women have particular dietary constraints, and may not have much time outside of their sessions to chase down something acceptable to their diet and training. It has to be easy for the woman and her local customers to get there. In many cases a good hotel needs to be either right downtown, or near an airport.
The Big Apple is the number one destination for session wrestlers. I won't name any names here, but I've had to almost coax several women to go to NYC, because they were scared of the place and its reputation, despite the fact that they were among the physically toughest women in the world, and much more than a match for the average NY street mugger. People in NYC are often loud, brusque, aggressive, or even outright rude, to those of us from more gentle (and gentile) places (i.e. almost anywhere on Earth but maybe Boston and Philly), however New Yorkers are loud but not all that tough and most of Manhattan is actually pretty safe, and reasonably clean and orderly, certainly safer and more orderly than many American cities.
New York City proper consists of Five boroughs: the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan, but the action is almost all concentrated in Manhattan, although some women try to save time and money by staying in Northern NJ, often near the Meadowlands or Newark Airport.
There are three major airports in the area, Newark
Jersey, and JFK
and La Guardia,
Long Island. None are particularly convenient to midtown Manhattan,
wirhe direct subway service to midtown (at the least you have to change
trains), but Newark
is probably the least inconvenient. You can also get between Penn
Station in midtown Manhattan and Philly, Baltimore and DC fairly
conveniently by Amtrak train. The Washington, New York, Boston
about the only place left in the country with frequent intercity
The cheapest way to travel between NYC and Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, or Washington, DC (in which five cites maybe half of the total sessions in the United States are done) is by the fabled Chinatown Buses. It's not the most luxurious way to travel between Manhatten (usually from Chinatown or Midtown) and the downtowns of other east coast cities, but it's surely the cheapest, fairly convenient and the buses often are pretty good, and seem about as reliable as the train (which are not as good as the trains in much of Europe). Drivers of the Chinese busses may not have much English. But for about $25 you can go one way between Manhattan and Chinatown in Washington, DC, or for about $40-$50 you can get a round trip. You make reservations and pay on the Internet. There are about a half dozen compaines offering the service. Some now have no association with Chinatowns or Chinese, and most of the busses also drop-off or pickup near Penn Station in New York. There are a couple of companies   that go between Arlington VA, or Bethesda, MD in the inner DC suburbs, and the Penn Station area, and the drivers of these buses do speak English and the coaches are clean and comfortable. Shoppers and students love the service; less than half the riders now are usually Chinese, even on many of the Chinatown to Chinatown buses. Downtown Bethesda has a Metro station and is not a bad place for sessions in the DC area. See also the Wikipedia article.
Large hotel rooms tend to be expensive in Manhattan. Here are some relatively inexpensive (in NYC terms) hotels that I know women have stayed at:
If women will pass on particular NYC favorites for doing sessions, I'll be glad to include them here.
If you're going to enjoy Manhattan you need to learn to find your way around the NY subways. Driving in cars and riding in cabs on Manhattan just sucks. The subway system is old and, like the old subways in London or Paris, a bit of a challenge to navigate, but it runs 24 hours a day, there are frequent trains, and it goes just about everywhere you might need or want to go, except directly to any Airport. It's also pretty cheap, at this time $2.25 a ride. Almost everything else in NYC costs a bit more than you are probably used to, but the subways are very reasonable. The NYC subway system is confusing because it's really three different old systems, all built privately, and then hijacked by the city and never really well integrated or designed to operate together. Undoubtedly the City of New York runs the system less efficiently than the original companies ran them, but the city ran the companies into bankruptcy by freezing subway ticket prices and then bought them for fire sale prices. The system is heavily subsidized, so the prices are reasonable.
There is a subway system map here, and the official NYC Transit map is here. There are dozens of little maps and guidebooks you can buy. You have to be a little careful because there are both express and local trains, and, of course the express trains don't stop at every station. Also, to cause the maximum possible confusion for visitors, you never get simple north, south, east, west signs in the subway system. If you are in Midtown, where a lot of people stay, "uptown" means north, and "downtown" means south. Downtown is pretty dead at night, but midtown, and north of it on the west side, the Theater District, swings. To navigate the subway you really need a rough idea of where the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Downtown are, so study a map for a bit. You probably won't ever go to the Bronx (unless you catch a Yankees game). You might go to Queens, possibly, since there are several session wrestlers in Queens, and you might possibly go to Brooklyn, but probably you won't, unless it's on the way to the airport, but knowing where they are will help you tell what train to catch to get around Manhattan, because that's what you'll see on the train or the platform.
Stay alert, you can get your pocket picked or even mugged on the train or station, but such a problem is not as likely in the New York Transit as it is in the Paris Metro or the London Underground.
There is only one Airport very near Boston, Boston Logan Airport (map), which is across the harbor from downtown Boston proper, and is connected by tunnels under the harbor; the tunnels have different names in each direction, which can be confusing. There also is a subway ("T" ) station at the Airport and a shuttle buss to connect it to the terminal. You can get downtown by the T, although somehow it seems a bit more daunting than many places. Some folks even fly into Nashua, NH and drive down. Nashua is served by Southwest Airlines. Boston Logan is a major international Airport and a convenient arrival or jumping off point for Europe.
A lot of travelers seem to stay in Cambridge (which is north and west of Boston proper) or Revere MA (which is North of Boston and Logan Airport). It is easier I'm sure to get to Revere by cab or rental car from Logan Airport than it is to get to downtown Boston or Cambridge by cab. MIT and Harvard are in Cambridge. There are some hotels right by the Airport, but I don't think that it's particularly convenient for clients to get there. Driving in Boston is an adventure and not for the timid.
Some hotels women seem to stay at:
Los Angeles covers a huge area and about 12 million people. It's a great town for men to do sessions in, as there is a lot of local talent, drawn from the many young women who come to town with Hollywood on their mind, but it's not nearly as good for visiting session women, because the town is so spread out (and, of course, because there is a lot of more or less local competition).
To the north, separated from the LA basin by the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains is the great suburban sprawl of the San Fernando Valley, just called "the Valley." This includes Van Nuys, Burbank and North Hollywood. There are plenty of local women who live and do sessions in the Valley, but traveling women essentially never stay there. There is an airport in Burbank with flights to a number of cities.
To the South of the LA basin is Orange County, which ranges from Newport Beach on the coast all the way to Anaheim, home of Disneyland and the Los Angeles Angels baseball team.. John Wayne Airport in Orange County is a fairly busy Airport. Session women do occasionally visit Orange county, but there aren't any special hot spots, and I don't know where to tell you to try. To the South and East of LA is the desert city of Palm Springs, and this is a moderately popular place for women to visit.
Then there is the LA basin proper, including the cities of Long Beach, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. Hollywood is a rather run down area, where lots of session women live on the south side of Hollywood hills; as you go west the neighborhood improves until you reach Beverly Hills, and on west to Westwood, where UCLA is. West of there along the coast is Santa Monica, Venice or Venice Beach, and the area around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is really right on the Pacific Ocean. South of LAX are a couple of surprisingly nice beach areas, Palos Verdes, and the port city of Long Beach.
Downtown LA is 15 or 20 miles North and East of LAX, and a few miles south and East of Hollywood. Although the city government is in downtown and there are a number of big hotels there, and I've occasionally had to stay there for a meeting, session women rarely stay there.
To a pretty good first approximation all visiting session women stay either in the immediate vicinity of LAX, or just up the coast in Venice Beach or maybe in Santa Monica. There are a ton of hotels along Airport Blvd. and Century Blvd., near the LAX terminal, many with courtesy shuttles, and a lot of visitors never get out of the immediate area of the airport. I can't recommend many in particular, because in maybe 100 visits to LA I've stayed only 1 or two nights near LAX, but I do have one recommendation. The Hilton Garden Inn is just south of the Airport on Mariposa, a couple blocks East of Sepulveda (map). It's in a business district and it's obviously a business hotel, with free high speed Internet service. The weekends are quite cheap, for a nice hotel, and the hotel is immediately next to the Mariposa Metro station, and within an easy walk of a supermarket and some restaurants.
It used to be that there was no public transit in LA worthy of the name, but the LA Metro has now grown to the point that you can ride the Metro Rail lines from the Mariposa Station, next to the Hilton and the Airport to downtown LA, Pasedina, Hollywood, North Hollywood, and even Long Beach. Before Long you'll able able to go to Van Nuys and farther west in the Valley. So you could spend a relatively cheap weekend there near the Airport, then ride the Rail to downtown or North Hollywood or Pasadena, and get in another day or two in a slightly different location. It's the newest subway system in the country, and I've only ridden it once, several years ago, when it hardly went anywhere, but it looks like it has finally become a useful system.
Many women seem to go a few miles up the coast to Venice Beach or even Santa Monica, which are nice areas, and you can get there by cab. One hotel seems to get a lot of session women: Best Western Marina Pacific Hotel & Suites, now, (apparently under new management) the Hotel Erwin, 1697 Pacific Avenue Venice Beach, California 90291. I've never been there but I'm tempted to give it a try some day, just to see what the attraction is. I guess the Venice Beach location is nice and we'll see if it contiues to be a favorite.
The Washington/Baltimore area is one of the major metropolitan areas of the country; the census bureau ranks DC area 7th in population and Baltimore 19th. Sometimes Washington and Baltimore get lumped together as I am doing here; Baltimore is about 30 miles north of DC, and it's pretty much solid suburbs between the two nowadays. The two have about seven and a half million people. There are about 4 areas where session wrestlers stay regularly, and a couple of others where they stay occasionally.
In addition to driving (which opens up the hotel selection a bit) there are 4 ways travelers get to the area:
In addition to area of the three airports, travelers may stay in downtown in DC, downtown Baltimore, Tyson's Corners in Virginia, or in hotels in Alexandria, Falls Church or Roslyn, all inside the beltway in Virginia. Downtown DC is probably second to BWI in popularity, and it is served by the Metro subway system. It has the attractions of a big city downtown, with restaurants and nightlife, and has spectacular museums and tourist attractions. Hotel prices undoubtedly reflect this.
One of the nicer places to do sessions is the Georgetown Suites Hotel in Georgetown, which has suites, and is located in a fashionable old part of the city, with plenty of restaurants and nightlife. There are actually two buildings about a block apart, one at 1000 29th St. NW and one at 1111 30th St NW, make sure that you tell your clients which one you are in. It's not a cheap place to stay, and across the street is Citronelle, one of the best (and most expensive) restaurants in the country. At the other end of the scale is the Moby Dick House of Kebab on 31st St. a couple of blocks away: Inexpensive, mainly carry-out, but rather good Iranian kabobs. There are at least 50 restaurants within an easy walk of the hotel. The disadvantage to the Georgetown Suites is the nearest subway stations are about a mile away, as is the White House.
On the Edge of Georgetown is the Washington Suites Georgetown, at 2500 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. I'd guess that it's a bit less expensive than the Georgetown Suites, and a bit more convenient to the Foggy Bottom Metro Station. Take a stroll nine blocks down Pennsylvania Ave., past the World Bank to the White House.
There are a ton of hotels east of there and just north of the White House (Map); any are accessible to Metro and I couldn't begin to comment on the rooms of most. I like Kimpton hotels (at least in San Francisco) and the Hotel Rouge, at 1315 16th Street NW is one of these hotels. One woman who stayed there says, "the hotel room is big enough, it just requires moving a couple of chairs and a coffee table and there is plenty of floor room. The hotel was very nice, but not much of a menu, that's the only downside to the place." The rooms are very nicely furnished, and some of them at least are "studio suites" with a big king size bead, and enough room on the floor for most kinds of wrestling - maybe a bit tight for truly competitive.
A few blocks away at 1823
NW is the Quincy
a moderately priced hotel with a great location a block and a half from
either the Farragut North and Farragut West Metro stations, and about 7
blocks from the white house. The rooms are studio suites, not too
different in size than the Hotel Rouge, although not early so nicely
furnished and appointed, but the price is quite reasonable.
If you stay reasonably near the White House
and like Oyster bars, the Old Ebbitt Grill
, 675 15th St., NW, Across the street from the Treasury Dept. HQ,
has a half price happy hour 3-5 pm weekdays, and the best selection of
oysters in DC. The Oyster Bar is a separate bar in the back, ask
for directions once you get inside.
If you stay near Penn
Quarter or the Verizon Center (I
can't recommend a really close by cheap hotel, there is the Grand
Hyatt nearby, and the Hotel
Monoco, but both are expensive) There is Jaleo
7th St., the flagship of the chain DC Tapas restaurants of DC celebrity
chif Jose Andre.
is now Andre's crown jewl, but insanely expensive and reservations are
nearly impossible to get. Michel Richard Central,
place, but cheap for Michel Richard, is also nearby,
and my bargain pick for lunch on weekdays is the Hot Potato
(614 E. St. NW) a little place that probably does more carry out
business than eat in, but offers baked potatos with a bunch of stuff on
them that are a complete meal for a few bucks. Next door (624 E.
St. NW) at Lukes
Lobster you can get a really good Lobster roll, chips and a soft
drink for $18. Lukes is a branch of a New York City operation and
they truck lobster down from Maine - it's very good.
There are all kinds of attractions nearby
including: the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Ford's Theater, the National Portrait Gallery, the Spy Museum, the National Archieves, and the National Gallery and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
are all conveniently nearby. You're also near DC's little
Chinatown, and some of the Chinatown Buses to New York City Pick up and drop off there.
I recommend the National Portrait Gallery at
8th and F Streets, which is actually the old Patent Office Building,
not so much for the art (which is interesting) as for the building
itself. Go up to the third floor, which has a long gallery
originally used to store patent models: it's one of ehe most
interesting rooms in DC or anywhere else in the country. Another
fascinationg building nearby is the National
Building Museum, at 4th and F (Judiciary Square Metro stop), which
has the most spectacular interior of any building in DC - it's a
favorite place for inagural balls.
You might be able to save a bit by staying near DuPont Circle or Adams-Morgan, and there are a couple of huge hotels off Connecticut Ave. near the Cleveland Park/ National Zoo subway station. My suspicion is you might draw a bit better (i.e. richer) clientele downtown than at BWI, but I'm not sure. The nearest airport is National, but there are limo services and Amtrak trains from the other airports, and there is actually train service from BWI airport to Union Station in DC.
Tyson's Corners is on the Beltway in Virginia, fairly near Dulles Airport. There is a huge shopping center there (actually a couple), lots of restaurants, lots of office space, and a number of hotels. Not an easy place to get around without a car, however. Basically, few men from the Baltimore Beltway north are likely to see you if you stay in Virginia, or downtown DC, and If you stay at BWI you won't draw lot from Northern Virginia, which is a prosperous areas so it may pay to hit say Crystal City or downtown DC one time and BWI another.
I live in Montgomery County Maryland, along
with Fairfax County in Virginia one of the richer counties in the
country, with about 800,000 residents, and we have plenty of hotels but
I can only remember a dozen or so women staying in Montgomery County in
the past ten years. Downtown Bethesda is convenient to the
Beltway, has a Metro station and several hotels. The nicest is
Hyatt - if you can get a good rate on it, it's a nice place to
stay, right directly above the Bethesda Metro stop. Plus there is
very convienient and rather good bus service from downtown Bethesda,
very near the Hyatt, to very near Penn Station in New York. Vamoose, the "Jewish Bus" picks
up a block from the Hyatt, and TripperBus picks
up right behind the Hyatt and offeres Internet service while you're
riding. You're about 2 blocks from Black's Bar & Kitchen
on Woodmont behind the Hyatt, which has a great raw bar Happy Hour
Monday-Fri 4-7 PM. And Jaleo, about thre blocks
away from the Hyatt in the other direction is a nice Tappas
Stay away from most of Prince George's county,
it's generally the low rent district. The same ges for North East
DC and any part of DC east of the Anacostia River. A lot of
potential customers just won't go there, and you probably won't feel
comfortable walking around there either, although there are some
comparative hotel bargains.