In the Old City

It was a fiercely hot weekend in NYC, which is always made worse in a city where the pavement radiates heat and the subway tunnels are full of stagnant, vile-smelling air.  As someone who grew up in the heat of the South, let me tell you, it’s not the heat, it is the putrid smell of too many people living in close proximity to each other. Thankfully, this trip was almost blessedly free of other sweaty people crowding my personal space.  Aside from the 4 train to the concert, I didn’t have to worry about that at all, because New York was almost a ghost town this weekend with all of the real New Yorkers decamped to coastal resort towns for the semi-holiday weekend.  When we walked from midtown through the Upper East Side to see my old neighborhood and old apartment building, it was the quietest I recall New York ever seeming.  No one was there.

But my apartment building still stood, looking the same and reminding me of how much I really did love my tiny place in the big city.

It’s the red brick one in the center.

Ah, Yorkville.

Aside from walking to my old apartment building, we did some shopping, saw a movie we can’t see in North Carolina right now, ate at a great French restaurant, and visited MOMA. Also, number of celebrities spotted: 2, which was shocking considering it was a holiday weekend and I feel like I never saw celebrities when I actually lived in the city. This time we saw Patrick Wilson with his kids in FAO Schwartz and Annette Benning inside of Whole Foods.

I was very specific about where I wanted to shop on this trip to Manhattan. We avoided the big department stores entirely and went to a few stores that we do not have in North Carolina. On Friday night, we hit up the LK Bennett store in the Time Warner Center, where I treated myself to a birthday present of two dresses.  While we were in the store, we heard a few people come in and ask for “the shoes“, only to be added to the waiting list and turned away, since “the shoes” are almost always sold out. If you don’t know what I mean when I say “the shoes” then, obviously, you don’t pay much attention to this person’s attire. I didn’t need any shoes, but because how I respect what the Duchess has done to showcase dressing respectably for women of our age group, I did get a dress of a similar pattern (but different color) than one Kate wore previously.  Actually though, I just like the fit of LK Bennett dresses. It is pretty rare for me to find dresses that fit so well without the need for any additional tailoring.  The dress just happens to be really flattering.  After LK Bennett, on Saturday we planned on hitting up the Billy Reid store in NoHo, where sales abounded for David. David possesses the remarkable ability to look good on all clothing that he puts on, and so the only problem in Billy Reid was trying to decide what items to buy and what to put back.  I politely abstained from Billy Reid for myself, having spent enough on myself the day before.  But can I mention how much I love going to a Billy Reid store? I have been to them in three different cities, and let me tell you, if you are in a place where there is one, you should visit. The sales clerks in Billy Reid stores are uniformly friendly and make you feel comfortable. They will offer you a cold beverage and the next thing you know you’ll be petting adorable neighborhood spaniel puppies while your husband tries on linen trousers. Everything about a Billy Reid store is completely comfortable, including his clothes which are well made of great natural fabrics.

We next hit up the Barbour sale at their SoHo location, where there were great deals to be had. I feel like I am now well-stocked on outerwear for days in the woods or in the field. Finally, we took one expected detour into the J. Lindeberg SoHo store.  J. Lindeberg was not a menswear designer with whom I had any prior familiarity.  Apparently, it is a Swedish company, but our sales clerk was from the Bronx, and endlessly talkative and friendly once I told her I used to work at the family court there.  They had great clothes that fit David well too (David can wear the heck out of those European slim cuts).

And then, we were done with shopping so we headed over to the Landmark Sunshine on Houston Street to see the film “Beasts of the Southern Wild“, which was wonderful. Really, really great. A well-done movie about a unique Southern place. Perfect. I highly recommend it. You should watch the trailer right here.

On Sunday, we went to MOMA, where David had not been since the new museum was completed back in 2005. It was just fine and not too crowded. I fell in love with this Gauguin painting which was previously unknown to me, even though I have been to the MOMA. It is probably the first still life painting that I have ever really liked:

It is called “Still Life with Puppies”. I am sure that you can’t imagine why I like it. You put puppies on something and it instantly becomes better. Some of the other works of art at the MOMA could have benefitted from this philosophy. However, on this visit, I also appreciated the works in the Social Realism gallery, where probably puppies would have been out-of-place.  Maybe Thomas Hart Benton could have put a puppy on the farm, though:

I kid of course. I may no longer live in the city, but I haven’t gone full philistine, yet.

Otherwise, I didn’t really take many pictures of our weekend in NYC. I am not quite sure of what to take pictures of in the city. However, I did take a few pictures of our hotel room at the St. Regis. Sure, it may not be the hippest place to stay in NYC, but I have never slept under a chandelier like that before. I liked the colors of the room, but David found the bed uncomfortable.

I also have never had such a spacious bathroom in the city. Seriously, a separate tub and shower and double vanity?  Thank you St. Regis! My tired feet appreciated it.

Thank you, New York for your hospitality! Until we meet again…

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3 thoughts on “In the Old City

  1. They closed the Billy Reid store in Houston. I guess it didn’t fit the Houston lifestyle, which makes sense to me. I was sad though. I couldn’t afford to buy clothes there, but I liked to go in it.

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