I've stayed at a central hotel quite a bit in mid-town Manhattan, but haven't been into the Carlyle. Seeing Clooney, Tommy Lee Jones and Harrison Ford looking every bit the average schmoe themselves and acting like oh yes, we just hang around the lounge and every worker is like a dear friend and they cater, yeah they totally cater to me and you. Part of the reason a celeb can go into a Manhattan hotel and feel less intruded upon is because native NY'ers mostly and truly don't give a sh/t how famous you are. OK, I would probably have to say, we MIGHT care about the Royals for about a minute, but we won't act like it. So, can anyone walk in right off the street and get a room at the Carlyle or make a reservation? As a native NY'er, I love that certain institutions still exist. In that regard, I wish more did ~ we need more of what that era gave us. But the woman (an author whose name I can't remember) interviewed who snobbishly remarked about all the 'other' people flooding into NYC (people from Kansas) and standing in line behind them was really off putting. (Same woman In another documentary about Tiffany Jewelers and the movie Breakfast At Tiffany's basically says how incorrect it was for Mickey Rooney to be cast as an Asian person in the movie. Hypocritically PC snob much)? The main thing that has changed and altered vintage embellishments in NYC are all the modern buildings and establishments going up. Along with rents and purchase prices, NYC has lost much of its sparkle, and old-school charm. There's still an amazing vibe there - something that's hard to find anywhere else in the world and you feel it instantly when there. But if you're afraid of walking crowds, amazing food, fast pacing, loud speaking, workers on the street shouting at each other, brusque manners in some regards (don't hold up a line, decide or move to the side) and a melting pot, stay away from it.