Dorothy McGivney started jauntsetter after leaving Google, where she worked for almost six years. After spending the better part of a year visiting destinations like Argentina, Japan, India, Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia, she decided to turn her online experience and passion for travel into jauntsetter, a travel site for New York women. It's been a fun and valuable resource since, and you may want to consider following McGivney's Twitter as well, because sometimes she'll drop a last minute deal in there for the spontaneous amongst us. If you're interested in a short journey this evening, jauntsetter is hosting a party in the exotic Williamsburg neighborhood—more details here.

How and when did you come up with the idea for jauntsetter? A couple of years ago, it dawned on me that out of all the many travel sites out there, there really wasn't one that was targeting me as a traveler, and that I was wasting a tremendous amount of time wading through non-relevent travel information.

When I looked closely at the sites I usually read when contemplating a trip, I realized the vast majority of them were too segmented around extreme price points. They were either promoting the aspirational - featuring hotels or experiences that were exceedingly overpriced - or they were extremely budget oriented, to a fault. As in, the majority of their specials were super cheap, but also super cheesy: Shipmates-style cruises and frightening all-inclusive resorts and Disneyworld package deals. The budget-friendly travel deal sites were also way too broad in their geographic scope. I really didn't care about last minute flight specials from Chicago to Tampa; as a New Yorker, I only wanted to know about flights that were leaving from JFK, LGA or Newark.

So at the end of last year I launched jauntsetter, where I handpick the best travel deals for New Yorkers and recommend a weekly getaway that's value-oriented, but also provides opportunities for "splurging." In addition, there's a blog and a weekly interview with a New York traveler about her travel likes and dislikes. By the way, I originally created the site specifically for New York women, but really, the content is somewhat gender-agnostic. So "gentsetters" should definitely check out the site.

How do you get all of your content—do you have a team in place jet setting around and picking up tips? I write almost everything on jauntsetter based in some part on my own extensive travels. But the vast majority of the content is rooted in the countless hours I've spent interviewing New York women about their own favorite travel destinations and experiences for the Jauntsetter of the Week features. In the Istanbul issue, for example, I recommended three hotels - and each one is a place that gets generally excellent reviews on travel review sites, but is also, more importantly, somewhere that a "jauntsetter" has stayed and loved.

I also have a couple of awesome part-time interns who help out with blog posts and researching the travel deals section, which is a tremendous amount of work. We do the math on each deal, make sure the special actually has availability, and triple check that it's a real deal and not just a craftily-marketed promotion.

So overall, the site is really an amalgam of personal experience, New Yorker-based recommendations, online research, and time-consuming calculations.

What is your favorite escape from the city? Montauk, on the east end of Long Island. I've been camping at Hither Hills State Park there with my family every year since I was 5. It's pretty hard to get a spot there in the summer, but in May and mid to late-September, it's still beautiful, and there's lots of reservations available.

Where's your favorite escape within the city? I love riding my bike to Randall's Island, which is all kinds of amazing: Bunnies leaping across its state-of-the-art driving range; pedestrian bridges that raise and fall and go to different parts of the city; people fishing and having picnics and BBQs; two miniature golf courses; batting cages; random snack bars and food vendors. And then, sort of incongruously in addition to all the fun, there's this non-recreational, city-agency world interspersed with it all: Robert Moses's TBA headquarters, still in operation; anonymous old buildings and vague shelters and the imposing looking Manhattan Psychiatric Hospital; strange rusty pieces of equipment and abandoned city project materials lying about here and there. The whole place feels like a part of New York that the city government leaves a little wild - through laziness or bureaucratic confusion, I don't know. But whenever I visit, I feel like I'm in some bizarro NYC dimension.

If someone were visiting the city for the first time, what would you suggest they see and do? That answer really depends on who exactly is visiting, but some universally fun activities would be walking over the Brooklyn Bridge, riding the Staten Island Ferry (bring your own bottle of wine - it's legal!), visiting the Temple of Dendur in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and taking one of those Big Apple bus tours. They can be corny, but they're also pretty helpful for giving a vague sense of cohesiveness to the city for out-of-towners. Foodwise, you definitely have to have pizza at Grimaldi's and some dim sum in Flushing, etc, but the meal I'd be most excited to recommend is a weekday lunch at Jean-George. In my opinion, it's simply the best value for elevated cuisine in the world. For $28, you get two generous courses, a constant offering of exceptional breads, an amuse bouche, homemade marshmallows and petit fours, and amazing chocolates. Afterwards, Central Park is right across the street, inviting you to walk off the decadence. I actually way prefer lunch there to dinner. Every visitor to and resident of New York should try and go at least once.

Please share your favorite "only in New York" story. I remember when I was about 7, being driven home from the Museum of Natural History in a station wagon. And my friend and I were sitting in one of the old seats that actually faced out the rear view window, remember those? I was doing something innocuous, just being a kid and being silly, like crossing my eyes at a cabbie behind us. And he totally gave me the finger! With this completely serious look on his face - he wasn't laughing or smiling. And I remember feeling so shocked. It was the first time an adult had ever been randomly rude to me. I don't think cab drivers give kids the finger nearly enough in this city anymore.

Which New Yorker do you most admire? Robert Caro. Have you ever read the Power Broker? I was in a book club once, just for that book, and I went to go see him speak at The City Museum. The guy's an amazing speaker and writer. Just to think that he wrote that entire 1,100 biography pre-computer... His work ethic, his intellect, and his dedication to getting all the facts, his ability to put all his exhaustive research into such a cohesive opus. Yeah, Robert Caro totally blows me away.

Given the opportunity, how would you change New York? If I could erase the Meatpacking District and Herald Square from Manhattan, I would. I would also allow drinking in public parks if you are having a picnic. If you have a red-checkered table cloth on the ground and a basket of some sort, you are allowed to drink, even if the only food on your person is pork rinds.

Under what circumstance have you thought about leaving New York? Some friends of mine have a house up in Narrowsburg, where there's no cell phone reception, and they don't have WiFi either. Sometimes when I'm up there, I'll think, I should move here! I'll buy some cows or llamas and churn organic butter, and become a Luddite and have this bucolic existence and have 8 kids and home school them, and I'll write the Great American Novel when they're asleep. But then after a few days in the woods and visions of In Cold Blood, I realize I am not a country mouse and I head fleeing back to the city with its hot dog smells, slow subway-stair walkers, improbably loud neighbors and comforting crowds.

Can you please recommend a good weekend hang-out that isn't unbearably mobbed? My apartment? I'm actually kind of an introvert, and socially I'd rather hang out with a couple of friends at home. If you find an amazing, deserted old-man bar on a Friday night, though, let me know. I'll be there.

Do you have a favorite New York celebrity sighting or encounter? Not particularly, though I do have a least favorite celebrity near-encounter. I was eating at Lucali's for a friend's birthday. And I believe it was the owner who came up to us, right as the pie was put down. He was really rude and basically told us to hurry up and eat as fast as we could and leave, because he had an important customer coming in. There were plenty of other people in the restaurant that were farther along in their meal, but I kind of got the feeling that since we were a group of women at a table, he felt like he could pressure us. Maybe he's an equal opportunity jerk, though, I don't know. Anyway, when we pointed out that we had *just* gotten our pizza and we were celebrating a special occasion, he told us he'd pay for it - not our meal, just the pizza - which is kind of a ridiculous offer, as the pizza itself only costs $18! As it turns out, Beyonce and Jay-Z were coming in, and later sat at our table. And you know, I totally get it. Jay-Z and Beyonce! I'd think he was a complete moron if he hadn't hurried someone out to make room for them. But he could have done it in a much nicer way. Like offered to send me free pizzas for life or something, or at least insisted upon paying for the whole meal. Instead, he violated one of the most important New York credos, which is, simply, to not care about celebrities. And if you you do, for god's sake don't show it, except under very specific circumstances.

What's your current soundtrack? The new Fiery Furnaces. The album is genius.

Best cheap eat in the city. I have so many favorite cheap eats, it's hard to pick just one. If by best we can go by the place I eat most, then it's hands down Lomzynianka, which is 2 blocks away from my apt, and serves good Polish food for insanely cheap. As in, it's so inexpensive, it's like you're turning a profit just by eating there, just by breathing the air in the restaurant. For $4.50 you get a huge entree of food - roast chicken, mashed potato, and a side salad of vegetables. It's also BYOB, the owner is really nice and he's your waiter, and the decor is kind of kitschy grandma, just ramshackle and cozy. All around, a win. Sometimes I really wonder why I bother cooking at home instead of eating there every night. By the way, if you're interested in a roundup of the cheap Polish eats in Greenpoint, the Porkchop Express is a good resource.

Best venue to see music. Nothing beats the experience of going to the Met for an opera. You can get same day standing tickets for $12. The view isn't good, but I never care about seeing anything during the opera anyway. For me, it's all about the music, and listening to an aria there is the closest thing in the city to transcendence.