New York - where eccentricity rules!

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Feb 06, 2010

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Flag of United States  , New York
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New York - Well today started very sluggishly, I was feeling poorly after not getting much sleep (still on that damn UK time in our heads) and the cold had started to go to my chest so stayed in bed until 10am just to rest, we just hung out for a while and worked out a plan. Bill was really keen to see a play on Broadway (our friends Cheryl & Paul said it was so worth it) so we decided to pick a play (Carnage of God with Jimmy Smitts in it, loved him in Dexter and the play was a comedy so that sounded great), headed down to where you buy the half price tickets and line up with the hundreds of other people who apparently are doing the same. We got there, and there was only a couple people ahead of us and as we already knew which play we wanted to see (and go to a matinee) we got the tickets really quickly and fairly cheaply, no fuss at all. It was a beautiful day, with hardly a cloud in the sky (not that you know, you can barely see the sky with all the massively tall buildings).

Now, as most of you know, one of my passions (other than photography) is sewing and I haven't done any for almost 2 years (hoping to lose the weight I put on with all the medication I have been taking for the past 18 months). But I have decided I am over trying to lose it only to put it back on when I have to take steroids again during a flare-up and feeling so despondent about it and I am keen to get back into sewing (I am doing a 8 week patternmaking course when I return so I can make my own patterns instead of fighting with  commercial patterns all the time and getting frustrated) and as we have Foxtel (cable TV) we watch a lot of the popular shows like Dexter, True Blood, saving Grace, etc and my favourite show is "Project Runway" and I have watched every episode religiously since it started. For those who aren’t sure what this is – yep, its a reality show (we normally stay clear of reality shows) and they have 16 fashion designers (who have not made it big yet) and every week, they are given a challenge to make a garment in an allocated time (sometimes they have to make things out of recycled garbage or plants or vegetables) and then they are judged and 1 person is kicked off until there are 3 people left and they get to design an entire wardrobe to be judged  at “Fashion Week” in Bryant Park (New York) and of course I had to take a photo of Bryant Park. Anyway, when they have to design and make something, Tim Gunn (compare) takes them off to a massive fabric shop called “Mood Fabrics” where they get to choose the fabrics they need.

Well, I had to go to Mood Fabrics just to buy a button (and get my photo taken there as well) and poor Bill had to get me there and then hang around until I looked at literally hundreds and thousands of bolts of fabric – my god, Fabric Utopia! I just wanted to buy a button, just to say I had been there but Bill actively encouraged me to buy as many fabrics as I wanted (and because we only had one suitcase, we decided to buy another small one to even out the load for poor Bill who was dragging around the one we bought in Barcelona which is full with the clothes we bought in Barcelona as well as Newcastle) so now I had room in the new suitcase to put whatever I bought.

 As this took a while to do and we were running out of time, I bought my fabrics and buttons (gotta pick the buttons when you are there that will go with fabric) we went back to the hotel room, dropped off the “bootie” we bought and headed down to Broadway to see Carnage of God at the Jacob theatre. Wow, what an amazing theatre, there appears to be heaps of theatres all over Broadway (don’t know how they can continue to stay open as there is stiff competition). We had seats in row J and as it was only a little theatre we were quite close to the front, great seats too and the atmosphere was electric. Jimmy Smits was amazing, looks the same on stage as he does on TV and we loved him in Dexter (he played a villain). It went for 1.5 hours with no intermission but it seemed to be over really quickly and it was so funny with really serious bits in the middle – we came out feeling fantastic and so very glad we took our friends’ advice (I really wanted to take Bill to see Avitar at the IMAX theatre because he is keen to see it and what better place to see it than in New York but he really wanted to see a production on Broadway, I just wished we had more time here).

We went for a drink in this really big Italian restaurant which looked like something from a scene in The Godfathers – complete with the “mafia” looking guys sitting at a table.

 By now, it was 4:30pm and we still had to buy a couple of gifts and a suitcase so we headed down to Macy’s – OMG, OMG, OMG, what an amazing place - really huge just doesn’t cut it – just enormous (apparently the largest retail store in the world) and I managed to convince  Bill to have a look at their watches (he was keen to buy a new one somewhere along our travels). Now, in Brisbane in particular, say, David Jones or Myer, you would have about 2 or 3 counters with a few brands and you get to choose from them – here in Macys, they had about 50 counters  and the selection was overwhelmingly. Bill has a Skagen watch that I bought him about 11 years ago and he has always liked them so off to the Skagen counter (there were 3 of these) to select something stylish and we were successful, he got this lovely watch that really suits him, he was really chuffed as he said that before we got home, he would buy a nice watch and he was successful and in the largest store in the world!

They have a couple of wooden escalators, we had to take a photo of this – wow, wooden   escalators – how cool! The luggage was very expensive but we had a look anyway and just walked around (we only got to the 9th floor) wide-eyed and amazed. Back into the street where it was very dark so bought a hard suitcase with 4 wheels (very easy to maneuver), some souvenirs for some friends and back to the hotel to drop off yet more bootie (its amazing how easy you fall into the mindset of just buying stuff when you know you have a suitcase to put it in and wont go over the 23kg limit, the pressure is off you and you can relax).

We went to an Italian restaurant just next to the hotel for dinner and it was great, we really felt at home here and could easily live in NY or at least spend some major time here. Due to the lateness of our arrival on Monday night (we had originally planned to get to the hotel at 3pm then go sightseeing) and only being here for 2 full days and one of those days was the walking tour, there were a number of things we didn’t get to see – Rockerfeller Centre, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (you have to allow a full day for this because the Statue of Liberty has just reopened after the 9/11 attack and you can go up inside so every man and his dog would be down there lining up and trying to do just that), and the Empire State Building. Now I know some of you may be saying “how can you go to New York and not see these things”, well, NY is so huge, you cant comprehend the “largeness” of New York until you actually get here (we should have allowed at least 1 full week, good excuse to return) and I am surprised we managed to fit in as much as we did in the 2 days we were here even with spending 1 hour at Mood Fabrics (the walking tour took us to places we would have never ended up at so this was great).

Off to bed, as the shuttle bus is picking us up at 4:30am (yep, another early start because of the security checks) and so ends day 2 in New York.
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