Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back from NYC

My daughter and I are just back from a wonderful trip to NYC. We could have spent a lot more time there but work and school called us back. In three days, we crammed a lot of shopping in (which, truth be told, was the reason for the trip). We stayed at the Lucrene Hotel on the Upper West Side.

However, we probably spent the most time in the Village. The only cultural site I was able to get to was the New York Public Library. I love it there. We arrived on Monday evening and had a wonderful dinner at Nice Matin, which is next door to the Lucrene.

On Tuesday, we hit Canal Street. My daughter learned about negotiating for the knock off D&G bag she wanted. Then we headed off to Soho--or so we thought. I am clueless when it comes to direction. We ended up in Tribeca before realizing that we were off track. It didn't matter though because I was enjoying just walking around and taking in the City. Finally, we got pointed in the right direction and made it to Soho. I stopped by Purl because I thought I might as well since I was in the neighborhood. I knew that it was a tiny shop; I wasn't quite prepared for just how tiny it is. They were putting out fall yarns and there wasn't any room to move easily--not that I imagine that is easy to move around without boxes of new yarns in the middle of the shop. From Soho, we walked to the West Village and paid homage to the cupcakes in the window of Magnolia Bakery. The line was long and we weren't in the mood for sweets. From the West Village, we walked up to School Products and Habu. Where I bought nothing. That's right, nothing.

Wednesday we went to the emporium of discount designer clothing, Century 21. Letting a 14 year old girl loose in such a place is interesting to say the least. She found a few things that she really liked and that fit--quite a feat when you are 5'10.5" and wear a size 2. So being a good mother I got out the credit card. And yes, I found a skirt for myself. From there, we headed back to the West Village and The Point. On the way there we had lunch at Moustache, a funky little cafe with handmade pita bread hot off the grill. The chicken sandwich I had hit the spot; my daughter had one of their "pitzas", which is really a small pizza on handmade pita. Feeling full and re-energized, we continued on our way to The Point.

I was feeling rather doubtful that The Point would really be a "knitting cafe". After all, I had been fooled by the Knit Cafe in LA. There I had expected at least coffee as well as yarn. The Point proved me wrong--it really is a knitting cafe. There was a menu posted above the bar and an expresso machine. You really can order food and drink here. Best of all, people were sitting at their tables knitting, eating, and drinking coffee and tea surrounded by yarn on walls. It is a small place with great light. I bought 4 skeins of Punta Del Este Mericash Solid to make their fishtail lace top. It is wonderfully soft yarn. I will go back next time I'm in NYC. (I also want to have a place like this in the East Bay.)

From The Point, we took the subway back to the Upper West Side. On the short walk from the subway station to the hotel, I stumbled upon Knitty City. It was the largest of the yarn stores I visited. They had a fairly large selection of knitting books and nice variety of yarn. This store was more like the yarn stores I'm used to compared to School Products and Habu, which are in office buildings and not at street level. I bought a skein of Fleece Artist Merino Sock and a copy of Cookie A's Thelonious Sock Pattern. I've never seen Fleece Artist yarn in any of my local yarn stores. I just want to pet it.

After a short rest, we headed to Central Park and Strawberry Fields to visit "the bench". (I first saw a picture of this bench on the Harlot's blog. So I am totally stealing the idea of posting a picture from her, but it is my own photo. ) It was really nice to sit in the park and people watch. New Yorkers seem to appreciate and use their green spaces differently than here in the Bay Area. The parks and squares seem to be an extension of their living space, much like people in Europe use their squares. Or, perhaps it seems that way to me because New York actually has summer in summer. When I lived next to Golden Gate Park, it was never summer in summer. I just remember being cold all the time.

Thursday we just had to have cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery so we traveled back to the Village and bought an assortment of four cupcakes and a copy of More From Magnolia so we can have Magnolia inspired treats at home. We headed back towards midtown and Bryant Park. In a very New York seeming moment, we found a table and chairs in the park and realized that an Opera in the Park sound check was taking place. It was the right moment to break open the box of cupcakes and eat one--really yummy. Next we headed to the NYPL and then back to the Upper West Side. We got caught in a rain storm on our way, ducked into a Starbucks to wait it out. As soon as it looked dry enough to go out again, it rained even harder. So we ran for the subway station and took the subway back to the hotel to grab our umbrellas (this is what happens to me when I don't listen to the local news or read a newspaper--I get caught in weather). Of course, as soon as we had umbrellas in hand it stopped raining. The rest of the day was spent wandering around the Upper West Side and the Park.

Friday morning we had time to go to Zabar's and to walk to Barnes and Noble on Broadway and W. 66th (I think it's W. 66th) to buy books for the flight home. Our shuttle picked us up on W. 79th, then drove to another hotel on W. 52nd and then headed uptown again to yet another hotel two blocks from where we had started. I figure we could have spent another hour walking around the UWS if we had been picked up last. Go figure! After going through security, we found out our flight to Chicago was delayed about 20 minutes, which ended up really being 4 hours and 45 minutes. The last hour and half of that was spent sitting on the runway. At one point, the captain announced that if we didn't take off within the next 14 minutes work rules required him to return to the gate and cancel the flight. Two minutes before the 14 minutes were up we were taking off. Of course, we missed our connection in Chicago and had to rebook for the following day. So it took us about two days to get home. But it was so worth it.

And I did get some knitting done while in New York. I finished my shaped arch socks out of Sockotta and started a pair of Monkey Socks in some Lorna's Laces that I've had for a very long time--the label is the original Lorna's label; the colorway is "whitewater".


Julia said...

You are a sock knitting machine! Sounds like it was a great trip! Thanks for letting me know about your blog -I'm enjoying it!

Marlowe said...

I wish I was a "sock knitting machine" right now. I'm stuck on the foot of the first Monkey sock. Could be that returning to work just sucked the knitting mojo
right out of me!