Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New York - A Whole Bunch of Random Thoughts, Observations, and Tales...

New York was lovely - I could live there TOMORROW... Sigh...

United Nations, photo courtesy of The United Nations

Our hotel was very near the United Nations, and the first afternoon we were in town, we went on the tour there. Just do it, trust me. It's a lovely facility, which makes mid-century modern architecture and decor look amazing. The guide that we had was both smart as a whip and a lovely young man, and the experience of being somewhere where everyone is working toward peace and prosperity for the entire human race is absolutely calming and invigorating, all at the same time...

If there aren't active sessions, you get to go into the General Assembly and the Security Council chambers. And I'm just sayin', the gift shop and the bookstore are worth a few minutes of your time too!

Other stuff, in no real order, and with no sense of logic... (my excuse is that if I try to organize things, I will mentally edit and leave out something really cool - are you buying that?)

  • Benoit, French bistro at 60 West 55th Street was lovely - not too dressy, so that none of us felt that we needed to dress up more. Not the cheapest meal in New York, but reliably excellent food and great staff. 2 of us sent back our steaks as being too "under-done," and we got no attitude from anybody - just concern that we be happy. Just as a fine meal should be... And the chocolate souffle? Which came with TWO scoops of pistachio ice cream? Memorable... (I can't link to Benoit - it says the connection is insecure?)

Benoit chocolate souffle, courtesy of the New York Times

  • Pershing Square Cafe, just across 42nd street from Grand Central Station, is boisterous near the front bar, but more relaxed as you get back into the dining room. I had a glorious piece of tuna, perfectly prepared, and some soba noodles that I wish were here on my desk right now! Desserts aren't terribly massive, which is always nice. A good place to choose if you're with people who have varying dinner preferences - everything from sandwiches to (a delicious smelling) chicken pot pie to pancakes and waffles. There's always a breakfast person in the crowd. The service won't blow your hair back, but you'll leave well-fed...

  • Piccolo Fiore was in our neighborhood, and recommended by the Concierge at our hotel. La Photographe had been out all day on Ellis Island in the wind and the dust and the chill, so she was more than ready to tuck into some comfort food, and this was the right place. Good homemade pasta, a lovely assortment of charcuterie, and a few glasses of prosecco were just the ticket!

  • If you're a Chicago sports fan, and find yourself in New York when there's an important sporting event underway, you'll want to find overlook. It's VERY "sports bar," but we ate and drank well. Be warned that many of us can easily make a meal out of an appetizer from their menu! But the service was very helpful (and made a custom coffee/alcohol drink for me without whinging or griping) and the crowd was cheerful and friendly. I'd definitely head back there...

  • There's currently an Irving Penn exhibit at the Met, running through July 30, 2017. While I always think of him as a fashion photographer, he was MUCH more than just that. La Photographe was absorbed in everything there, and I found that I wasn't in any kind of a hurry to move on, either. His gorgeous wife was one of the models, and it was delightful to see the sort of "knowing" look that she would give him in some of the photographs...

  • YES, I NEEDED A RAINCOAT. OH GREAT FLAMING TEARS OF BUDDHA, I NEEDED A RAINCOAT... I wore a quilted Barbour jacket which under normal circumstances would have been perfect. However, the monsoon that we walked through (for miles - no sissies, us!) could have justified a full-body rain suit... And I don't even have a nice rain coat at home, because I gave my lovely Eileen Fisher coat to my mother! So the next day I bought this:

rain coat - COS

  • If you're walking up in the area of the Met, don't miss Albertine, a bookstore that carries books in both French and English. The store is a project of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and it is absolutely lovely. Upstairs, the ceiling is painted with a striking blue and gold zodiac-like star-chartish kind of image... It was a great place to dash in and dry off for a while, and I never make it out of there without at least a couple of books! (972 Fifth Avenue, at 79th Street) Check their schedule of events before you visit - they have frequent, often amazing, speakers...

  • Something I've been meaning to mention to you all for AGES - when you get dust or schmutz of some sort on a garment, the very best thing to use to dust it off is part of the same garment! For example, if you spill artificial sweetener on your skirt, take another part of your skirt and use it for the dusting. Something on the front of your jacket? Use your sleeve to brush it off! I don't have a clue why this works, but it was conventional wisdom at the department store almost 35 years ago, and it still seems to be true!

I did some serious people-watching, and checked out what the store windows had to offer in terms of upcoming "style" needs - posts tomorrow and Thursday!

So nice to be back in the saddle, in a way...

New York - A Whole Bunch of Random Thoughts, Observations, and Tales...
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  1. On my very first trip to NYC many decades ago, my friend and I climbed over the fence at the U.N. in the middle of the night and sat in the dark among the sculptures in the garden, listening to the low roar that envelopes NY nonstop and admiring the lights. It was probably the naughtiest thing I've ever done, but it was harmless.
    New York is such a wonderful miasma of eccentricity and tolerance. I love it. It's too bad it's so expensive. I could never live there again unless I won the lottery.

  2. oh do give me an alert the next time you're heading this way!

  3. Janice,
    You were only one state away !
    Yesterday hubby and I attended a banker's stockholder's meeting and I observed the attire of the women in the room , as I often do when at a random gathering of people I don't know, and sometimes when I do know them too, and almost to a woman I observed the ubiquitous black ! This was at an informal country club in a country setting, and the bank is a small town bank with several branches in other towns . Me -- in subdued rust browns with a silk scarf. I did see two outfits in cream, and one bright lime green top over black, of course ! I refuse to give in as black is just not my color ! I was appropriately dressed for the level of formality, and quite comfortable that I did not look like a sore thumb and out of place ! I confess that color wise, I did feel a bit like a minority, however, and amazed at how we've all been brainwashed to wear black, whether it suits our coloring or not , even if it is a financial realm event ! One stand out outfit was a tall woman in white denim jeans and a black top ( there it is again ) with the shoulders cut out, and a turquoise chunky necklace and earrings. Dressy and casual all at the same time !

    1. I'm sure some people really love them, but I am SO tired of those "cold shoulder" tops. I've seen so many cute tops in the stores only to pick them up and find no shoulders.

  4. Great to hear about your travels, and looking forward to hearing more. I felt hungry hearing about the restaurants, even though I have already eaten - a pasty, a flapjack and a coffee, sitting in the sun on a bench in Snowdonia, after a long walk around a lake, wearing a fleece jacket, a Scott Travel Vest and hiking boots. Very un-chic! I haven't yet been to New York, and it may be a while before I do go, but planning to do lots in Europe in the meantime. I have missed your posts about your travels, glad they are back. Linda M


  6. That chocolate soufflé, mmmmm! xoxo

  7. Another great stop was the Paul Nicklen Gallery, 347 West Broadway. If you can't get there, check out the gallery website to see the images on display.
    Yes, I was in my element. --le Photographe

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