Some hotels give discounts to youth hostel association members. Get in touch with the Metropolitan New York Council. American Youth Hostels. Inc.. 132 Spring Street. N.Y. 10012 (tel. 431-7100).
The International Student Hospice at 154%Hast 33rd St.. N.Y. 10016 (tel. 228-7470 or 228-4689) offers lodging to male students at $12 a night. A valid student identity card must be shown.
Both the Martha Washington Hotel, 30 East 30th Street, N.Y. 10017 (tel. 689-1900) and the Barbizon Hotel for Women, 140 East 63rd Street, N.Y. 10021 (tel. 838-5700) welcome women visitors. Rates for rooms with and without bath are reasonable.
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I didn’t want to be in the new air force. My father flew Wellington Bombers at 19, then evolved into a Hurricane fighter pilot, duelling with Germans flying Messerschmitts in the skies over Europe when he was 21. My uncle was a Spitfire pilot who straffed Rommel’s staff car; how could I ever join the RAF and live up to that? My father took me flying in Chipmunks a couple of times, and once in a Jet Provost: I probably disappointed him by never showing any real interest in joining up. I never explained to him how I felt and he never asked. Then, one day, he gave me a magazine article and said: Read this. I did. The article was about going to sea as a deck cadet officer in the Merchant Navy. It was full of pictures of men in smart uniforms and gold braid, all sun-tans and rugged faces against a backdrop of exotica. I don’t remember being captivated, I just remember thinking: Yes, I’ll go to sea.’ That was a development within the family: my father and his two brothers had joined the RAF, while the men on my mother’s side had joined the Army.