so you have meetings in . . . BALTIMORE
Best business hotels: Harbor Court Hotel (550 Light St.; 800/824-0076 or 410/234-0550, fax 410/659-5925; doubles from $295); Radisson at Cross Keys (5100 Falls Rd.; 800/756-7285 or 410/532-6900, fax 410/532-8602; doubles from $189). Expense-account restaurants: On the top floor of the American Visionary Arts Museum, Joy America Café (800 Key Hwy.; 410/244-6500; dinner for two $85) for harbor views and tasty Latin and Caribbean food; Obrycki's (1727 E. Pratt St.; 410/732-6399; dinner for two $76), for its famous—and messy—steamed crabs. Car service of choice: EMS Limousine (410/277-9400). If you have a free afternoon: Stroll through the Walters Art Gallery (600 N. Charles St.; 410/547-9000) or the Baltimore Museum of Art (10 Art Museum Dr.; 410/396-7101). Web resource: baltimore.areaguides.net.
DVD lets you choose the in-flight movie
Third cross-country flight in two weeks. Sick of working, don't feel like drinking, can't sleep. What's the movie?Entrapment . . . again. Then the guy next to you opens his laptop and gets down to work. Wait—he's actually watching Pulp Fiction.
You may not have realized it, but digital video disc (DVD) drives are just about standard on laptops; Dell and Gateway now include them, as does the IBM ThinkPad i1721. Because DVD's play up to 133 minutes of video, you can say good-bye to the paltry selection of movies offered in business class (or the lone one in coach). Power isn't usually a problem, as more and more airlines have added outlets to business-class seats. Still, a few extra batteries are good insurance—you might not get that upgrade. As for the movies themselves, more than 3,000 are available on DVD. Chains such as Blockbuster stock discs; even better, two-week rentals at www.netflix.com cost just $3.50.
thank you, w
Starwood's new W hotels have made two billing innovations that, however small, show they're on your side. 1. Most of the bill looks like what you're used to, with charges listed by date. But at the bottom, W has also thoughtfully organized them by date and expense-report category ("Rm & Tx," "Fd & Bv"). 2. Too many companies force employees to pay for more and more things. Well, W sneakily calls in-room movies "business services"—and accounting will never know the difference.
going my way
Name: Missie Rennie
Occupation: Executive producer, CBS News Sunday Morning
Home base: New York City
Excess baggage: Our crew always travels with heavy equipment, as many as 28 pieces of luggage. On some trips we've had to negotiate for 2,000 pounds of extra weight, so we rely on "fixers" to arrange the logistics.
Slim packing: My list is always the same: the pants and skirt that can get through any day occasion, one thing to look presentable at night, running shoes, and always a bathing suit. I have two daughters, and when we travel together their bags have to fit in the overhead, too. No one gets to check luggage.
Souvenirs: I try to bring home pieces of history connected to whatever I'm working on. I have the front page of the Hong Kong paper from the morning of the handover, and a piece of the Berlin Wall. I saved all sorts of little things connected with Diana and Prince Charles's wedding.
Pocket stash: I always take a half-dozen of those little tins of hard candies. They're just right for a boost of energy.
Hotel room necessity: A bathtub. It's the only assurance that I'll get 10 minutes of relaxation in the day, and it can make all the difference.
Sign of the times: You can't get away from television. I was in São Paulo with my husband recently and when I turned on the TV, there was my show, live and in English. I watched in agony because there was nothing I could do about the parts I didn't like.