Monday, 3 January 2011

Catch-Up Post No. 1: New York

Let's rewind a little; take a stroll down memory lane with me to a distant, pre-Christmas world; all the way back to Friday 10th December. Yes, it's not that long ago really, is it? But can you remember it? I'm trying my best so that I can tell you all about our trip to NY, but my memory isn't what is was and things are a little hazy already. Anyway, here goes:

The alarm went off way too early - even DC doesn't get us up at the ungodly hour of 5am anymore! We drove to Heathrow, parked up and were settled in Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in T5 enjoying an early breakfast by 7am. Our plane departed at 8.20am and I made the most of the in-flight entertainment by watching Toy Story 3 (excellent), Eat, Pray, Love (very enjoyable, makes me want to go back to Bali) and Tamara Drewe (dreadful, but still watched all the way through.) We landed at JFK about 10.40am NY time and hurried as fast as our little legs would carry us to the immigration area - we've learnt from experience that the queues can be very long so it pays not to dawdle when disembarking! Not too long a wait, then it was a case of grabbing our bags and heading for the airport train. We'd decided that since it was just the two of us we'd get the train/subway rather than spending $100 on a taxi. Seems we made a good decision as it didn't take too long, was very little hassle and only cost about $20 each.

We were at the apartment we had rented on the Upper West Side by about 1pm; we pretty much just dumped our bags and headed straight to the nearest Starbucks to refuel and decide on a plan of attack. One Pumpkin Spice Latte and a Peppermint Choc Brownie later, I was ready to hit the shops. First stop was Harry's Shoes where hubby treated me to a fab pair of *Ugg* Adirondack boots for Xmas:

Then it was onwards and downwards block by block from 83rd Street along Broadway to 71st Street, across a block to Amsterdam and back to the apartment to deposit our goodies. Then we walked down Columbus Ave to Alice's Tea Cup for a spot of afternoon tea to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. Feeling slightly sluggish, we stumbled into a taxi it over to Bloomingdales for even more shopping (from the Clinique counter mostly, and the lady there was very generous with the freebies!), then it was a taxi back to the Upper West Side and 'dinner' (ie bar snacks) in the local Irish bar before crashing out about 10pm.

Saturday 11th December was spent shopping again, but this time in Greenwich Village and SoHo.We managed to visit the Apple Store without buying anything, although we did look longingly at the iPads... Old Navy was a different matter - I came out laden with goodies for myself and DC; same in Lucky Brand. We fortified ourselves with some lovely sweet tartlettes and a drink in Pain Quotidien before pushing on through the crowds. We got the subway back up to the Upper West and went for dinner in Sarabeth's - yummy meatloaf, then on to the cinema to see the latest Harry Potter installment. I must admit I fell asleep, but didn't think much of the bits I managed to keep my eyes open for, it feels like it's lost the "magic" if you'll pardon the pun.

Our plans to meander through Central Park on Sunday 12th went out the window when we awoke to pouring rain, so we started the day with a very leisurely brunch in Cafe Lalo. (Apparently it features in You've Got Mail, but I've only just found that out when I googled the link to put on here!) Their brunch menu is somewhat amusing - I had the 'Irish Breakfast' which I'm pretty sure if I was in Ireland would have consisted of a good old fry up, but here was a bowl of porridge (or oatmeal) with honey and fruits. The 'English Breakfast' consists of steamed eggs with herbs plus a scone with jam and cream - which is, of course, exactly the sort of thing us Brits like to start the day with.

Afterwards hubby went to get a shave while I had a manicure and we reconvened in my favourite bookshop in NYC - Barnes & Noble @ 82nd and Broadway. Then it was a quick subway ride down to Lincoln Center so we could do some more shopping... Is there a theme developing here?! Hubby got a few things in Banana Republic then it was on to Gap where I got a few (more) tops for DC; then we called in at Duane Reade so I could stock up on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and other sweet delights, before we walked back up to the apartment so hubby could pack his bags ready to head to the airport for his flight to San Francisco.

I walked with hubby to the subway stop and then made my way, lonely and alone, to the nearest Starbucks to seek solace in a White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha and a good book, while gazing out the window at passers-by struggling against the wind and rain - nice weather for a weekend break... Then I went back to the apartment to get ready for a night on the town. Well, a meal with a blog-land friend who I'd never before met in person - how adventurous! Caught the subway down to 14th Street and finally found The Standard Grill, in the oh-so-trendy Meatpacking District. My friend, Catherine, said the last time she'd been there, Bono was there too and this time I'm pretty sure Bob Hoskins was on the table next to us - it's a celebrity hotspot, clearly! We had a great time, chatting away as if we'd met hundreds of times before and going home time came far too quickly.

Monday 13th December, all alone in NYC. Just a credit card for company. Dangerous. Very dangerous. My first stop was Rockefeller Plaza where I picked up some gifts in a great card store - Christmas-opoly anyone? Before heading to Anthropolgie for more goodies and on to Saks for a make-over (!) at the Clinique counter and came away with a few items and some freebies (the photo below shows the result of the Bloomies + Saks + airport duty free counters, plus the freebies...)Then it was up 5th Ave, with a small detour to Gap, and along 57th St to my favourite stationery store, Kate's Paperie. Funnily enough, I didn't actually buy anything. Then it was over a few blocks to Columbus Circle and the Time Warner Center where I plundered the shelves of Williams-Sonoma (I got hold of some fantastic Star Wars shape pancake cutters for hubby) before settling in for a coffee and cookie in the Dean & Deluca cafe inside Borders; I needed to refuel before perusing the 'cozy crime' shelves. Then, laden down with bags, I caught the subway back up to the apartment. It was time to start packing. Took a while to cram everything in but when I realised there was still a bit more room I decided to take a trip to Barnes & Noble for more cozy crime. This was the result.

And then there really was no more room in my bag and it was time to leave the city that never sleeps and head to the airport. The End.


  1. OMG you can shop girl! All those lovely books. I've been to NYC in December before and it is COLD. x

  2. Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog :) OMG i havent got time now but i@m bookmarking this page to read about you NY trip! I went in 2009 and i absolutely FELL IN LOVE witht he place!! See you later! :)


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