Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New York Part 2: Bloggers, Shopping, and Sights

I've finally compiled some more photos and thoughts from the New York portion of my trip. There's more to come from Seattle and Oregon, but I'll get to that later.

Big train stations are one of my favorite things to see when I travel. I spent a whole day in Paris just going to each of the major stations and wandering around before hopping back on the train and heading to the next one. So obviously I had to spend part of my first morning admiring Grand Central, which was right down the street from where Sal and I stayed.

Here's Gertie, Sal, K.Line and I after dinner at Republic and drinks at a nearby wine bar, where I tried to convince everyone to have a taste of my Fernet Branca. As I recall, Gertie was utterly horrified at the taste (most people are the first time they try it), Sal was too scared to even let it touch her lips, and K. Line actually seemed to enjoy it. I was fairly amazed to see it served in a bar in New York; I think of it mainly as a San Francisco phenomenon, and increasingly a Seattle one thanks to the tireless efforts of Jess and Lisa. I tasked K. Line with spreading the word in Canada about the wonders of Fernet, because my goal is to make sure it's readily available wherever I may decide to travel. And Canada is on my list!

As I've already mentioned, Sal, K. Line, Sara and I spent a day shopping together, starting off at Barneys and then hitting another couple of the big department stores before we finally wore ourselves out and had to reluctantly say goodbye. Sara is every bit as charming and sweet as she comes across on her blog, and although it was wonderful to finally meet her in person, I'm now missing her terribly and wishing we lived closer together. It's one of the hazards of travel; you meet lovely people who you will never get to see nearly enough.
Here's Kenneth, Peter, K. Line and Sal during our morning of shopping at the Chelsea flea market. I only met Kenneth for a couple of brief moments, and had no idea he was somewhat famous until K. Line told me later; but then again I've stood right next to celebrities on the street and been completely oblivious until whoever I was with pointed it out. The Chelsea market was fun; I enjoyed poking around the booths and listening to all the great New York accents, but I was a little disappointed when one of the vendors steadfastly refused to come down in price for a full length black silk skirted I wanted to buy. Even for silk, I felt that $75 was way too much to pay for a used skirt; from a vintage store I could maybe understand, but from a flea market I expect to get a better price. I did manage to pick up a pretty beaded choker for myself, and a few vintage brooches to use for trimming hats.

I snapped this forbidden photo (not realizing it was forbidden until the salesman rushed over to admonish me) in a fancy department store in Chelsea. I can't remember who the designer was, probably because I was nervous after being busted, but I just loved the liquid metal look of the fabric. You'd have to have a body like the mannequin's to ever actually wear this dress, but it was so gorgeous to look at that I wanted to remember it. If anyone knows the designer, please let me know. As I recall it was some exotic-sounding name that I imagined being very difficult to spell.

We couldn't leave Chelsea without a visit to the All Saints store, if nothing else than to see the window full of vintage sewing machines. Both Sal and I brought back some goodies from there; you'll see what I got in a couple of days.

Here's the night I met up with a whole gaggle of bloggers at the Empire Hotel, didn't eat any dinner, and proceeded to drink several GIANT martinis (hey, they were delicious; what could I do?). This group photo was taken earlier in the evening, when I was still coherent; from left to right we've got Stacy of Taffeta Darlings, Kristin of BonBon Rose Girls, Cameron of 33 avenue Miquelon, me, Wendy Brandes, and K-Line. Wendy let me try on both her Cleves Black Swan ring and the one-of-a-kind Onyx Skull ring, and holy crap were they amazing. She's lucky I didn't get up and dash out of the bar with them, never to be seen or heard from again. I hope she's insured for that sort of thing; her jewelry could turn even the most mild-mannered lady into a wanton thief.

The next day I made my way all the way out to Coney Island at sunset, where I had a hot dog at Nathan's and strolled along the boardwalk until the chilling wind drove me back to the subway station. I'd never been out there before, and I loved the deserted feel of it; I probably enjoyed it far more than I would have if it had been sunny and packed with people. Empty amusement parks have an eerie feel to them, sort of like a dusty old antique store but on a much larger scale.

On Monday night Sal and I met up with Rad and Blokey in Brooklyn; I was still feeling the effects of the night before at the Empire, which clearly shows in how haggard I look here. Interestingly, the three of us talked very little about blogging or fashion; Rad is clearly an intellectual first and foremost and that really comes across when you meet her. A smart woman with style is always a joy to hang out with, no matter how hungover you are.


Amber said...

We serve Luxardo Fernet at the restaurant I work at here in Boston. If you are ever out this way you can come by for dinner and have one on me! =)

Blume said...

I find Fernet Branca available at most of the places I frequent around Boston. Cocktail culture has definitely had its effects here.

K.Line said...

I'm spreading the word! Swear!!

Anonymous said...

The salesman must've thought you were a spy for a competing designer or something. I do like the dress, though. Reminds me of that white hooded "dress" Kylie Minogue wore for the video of this song that I can't seem to get out of my head at the moment... la la la.

And what is Fernet? I never heard of it before. I'm sure I could find it, being in a state that makes bourbon after all.

Anonymous said...

I never got to see your Coney Island pix. GORGEOUS!

Anonymous said...

I think you have the BEST style - super inspirational! You manage to pull off so many different looks and trends and classics, so well.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a wonderful trip! And, you met two famous sewsits, Peter and Kenneth. I know maybe Kenneth isn't a blogger, but he has inspired so many of us who sew. (I have many of his books/CDs). And, Peter, well from his blog he seems like a really great guy.

Your pictures are just stunning of Coney Island. And, I truly agree about railorad stations. I think they are just amazing to see and a great place to do some people watching.

Thank you so much for sharing. Alwasy looking forward to reading your blog.

Phyllis said...

Kenneth King is definitely more than somewhat famous as a designer, instructor (he teaches at FIT) and he is a widely published sewing author. He knows more about fashion design, bespoke sewing and couture technique than Peter or Gertie could even dream. The man is a genius.

Anonymous said...

Those Coney Island pictures are incredible, Audi! It looks like you had such a great trip. I'm so glad we got to meet up (and I'm looking forward to seeing you again).