Day 3

I’m finding my way around this city quite nicely now, the map reading and train catching is a piece of cake. What I am struggling with, is my internal compass. So far I’m finding I need to walk a block before I work out I’m going in the wrong direction. It’s very frustrating and I hope things will improve when I have my natural navigator with me come Saturday.

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What can I say, I did some verified touristing this morning by taking the Rockefeller tour and a ride to the observation deck. The tour itself was the highlight. It’s always great when you have a tour guide who loves his job and loves his city. Today was his 39 year anniversary of living in the city, so his tour consisted of all his favourite art and architecture around the Rockefeller centre. The stories about the centre are so interesting, I’d highly recommend doing this if you ever go. The trip to the top of the building, was less so. I’m at the top, whoopee wow. Perhaps it’s more inspiring at night? The photos I took look cool, I just didn’t have an oh my gosh moment… Maybe the Empire State building will be better?

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Once again I did some yarn store visiting. A girl’s gotta do, what a girl’s gotta do. Yarn and Co. was awesome! A light and bright studio with some fantastic yarn and yarn I haven’t seen at the other stores so far. Ooh shiny and new. There are unverified reports I lost my mind. The sales clerk commented on my good taste in yarn 🙂 I got two skeins of the Verdant Gryphon Bugga in green and turquoise, Miss babs in pink and three more colours of Koigu. I was mentally singing Happy Birthday to myself. Hmm…

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And then because it’s in the neighbourhood (and I planned it that way), I visited Knitty City next. Once again a lovely store, jammed choco block full of yarn. I didn’t get a lot of attention, which I didn’t mind, carrying a great big bag of yarn from their competitor may have had something to do with it. I still managed to score some Koigu. ‘Score’, is probably the most accurate term to use here. I could have bought more, but I didn’t, I’d already exceeded my daily average of skeins purchased. How does one hide yarn from ones husband when on holiday?

I visited the American Folk Art Museum, I found this a little disappointing it’s quite small and the exhibitions (2) weren’t to my taste, the gift store was inspiring though and the staff were friendly.

Damian tells me it could be snowing on Friday, so I’m off the the Empire state tomorrow, wish me luck.

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Day 2 Hanging with the locals

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It rained today. I knew it was going to rain and it’s going to rain tomorrow also. So instead of going to the very top of the empire state building today as originally planned, I opted for Thursday’s itinerary instead.

I just want to say how I kicked metro butt today. Everything went to plan, I caught the right trains, found the right train stations, I knew what I was doing and where I was going. By the end of these two weeks I’m going to know this town like the back of my palm.

First up on Thursday’s itinerary was the Metropolitan museum of modern art, perfect for wet day weather, i guess everyone else had the same idea. I was warned about how big this place is, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what I experienced. It is the most amazing museum I’m ever likely to see. So much art on display, and how it is displayed is breath-taking. I recall hearing how our own national gallery in Melbourne, can only show like 10 percent of it’s collection at any one time due to space, after seeing what I saw today, I say build a bigger gallery. As per usual, I was running behind ‘schedule’, I didn’t actually leave the gallery until about 2:30pm. I was delayed slightly because I can verify this museum has at least 3 cloak rooms, 3. it was time for some more yarn store shopping.

I went to Annie’s and Co. which is a delightful store on Madison Ave. It had the whole rainbow of malabrigo, lots of Mongolian cashmere in different weights, art yarns fancy pants sequins and beads yarn, almost $50 for a 50 gm skein! There was lots, lots more of course. The staff were helpful and pleasant. I picked up these beauties. The mad tosh light had only just come in and was walking out the door, I felt obliged to grab a charcoal skein. The watermelon choices are self explanatory!

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I then caught the train down to String Yarns. It is a lovely bright store with beautiful yarns displayed elegantly. They have Koigu. Koigu RPMM, Koigu merino/silk and Koigu cashmere. I had to pass on the cashmere, at $50 for a 50 gram skein, sanity prevailed. Unfortunately I saw fit to get 3 skeins of the merino/silk for an unknown shawl, 2 skeins of RPMM and a skein of New Zealand yarn (yep) which made me loose my mind when I touched the knitted sample. It’s called Zealana AIR, and it’s been dyed by Koigu, koiguuu 40% Cashmere, 40% Brushtail Possum Down and 20% Mulberry Silk. Now do you understand?

It was a nine skein total day again. Oh dear.

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Day 1 Mayhem

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Now I didn’t really think to be ‘super’ organised with an itinerary as such until I saw Jen’s from her recent time in the city… that made me reassess my planning process. Of the time I have in ny, the first 5 days are solo, then the remainder of the time I’ll mostly spend touring with Damian. Which means, I need to see and do all the things i.e. yarn stores before that time.

The other helpful tip Jen gave me, was a warning and a heads up on the metro system. Let’s just say, the time I spent finding the correct train stations I could have walked to my destination. Hey, you don’t really know who you are until you get lost in ny!

In saying that I have felt pretty safe so far in the city, despite spotting a billboard on my taxi ride from the airport yesterday title ‘Cop-shot’, 10k reward for information about anyone shooting a cop. Any cop? Oh my, that must happen a lot here. There are a ton of police in the city, it certainly keeps everyone in line, but there’s still a lot of grumpy tooting drivers out there though!

So. My itinerary for Day 1 was as follows:

Breakfast at Katz’s Deli, you know the one featured in When Harry met Sally, when Meg has that moment.

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I ordered a lox and onion omelette, and I got this! I guess there is no need for lunch then.
It was delicious, perhaps I’ll just have a lox bagel next time.

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I then headed down to Century21 (this was a lot harder than it sounds in real life). Century21, is a discount department store chain which has big brands at greatly reduced prices. I bought a few pairs of shoes.

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I would have taken them back to the hotel immediately if it were not for Seaport yarns being so close and all. The owner’s husband apologised for the mess in the store, I replied ‘I don’t know what you mean, I see yarn!’ ~ it pretty much looks like my yarn shelf…

And then I attempted to get back to the hotel. Well, lucky breakfast was big, because by the time I had dropped off my purchases it was 4pm! (train stops may have had something to do with it) I still had 4 more things on my list to do for the day, thankfully all those places were within walking distance from the hotel.

Next I visited my kitten’s namesake Purl Soho. It was lovely. The store is presented so beautifully, I’ve heard people say how small it is, so I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn’t a shoebox. There were a few things I hadn’t seen before but I had heard about. I picked out some Spud & Chloe fine sock. 80% super wash wool 20% silk hello. I chose two colours to make striped socks, but you’ve probably already guessed that. I’ve been obsessed with pink and grey since Katie made that sweater last year; it reminds me of a dress I had when I was in primary school. I also got some koigu, it has happy sf memories associated with it and now it’s a souvenir of ny.

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Next was Kate’s paperie. A nice paper shop, but not really different from visiting Zetta Florence in Melbourne. I also past by a couple of other paper stores in soho that I thought were on par with Kate’s and I wondered why the guidebooks only mention this one?

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Lastly I visited Loopy Mango. Now I hadn’t heard of this place until I read Jen’s itinerary. I’m so glad I went. As well as having yarn (which was good yarn, but you have to blow my socks off these days for me to buy), they had beautiful items of homewares and crafts and argyle cashmere socks… hem hemm. I may have to go back and visit this place again, I don’t think the jet-lag and the ‘late in the day’ visit did it justice.

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At 6 pm I called it a day. I didn’t manage to get to the last yarn store on my list, but I think I may be able to squeeze it in tomorrow.

Tomorrow and Wednesday is meant to be colder, I might have to do some switching around for the things planned, can’t have me shivering at the top of the empire state building now can we.

Tidbits on NY

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I just wanted to record some thoughts of my impressions of NY.

Had I not already spent some time in the US, I think I would have found wandering around NY on my own to start with as terrifying. Extremely terrifying. They do things differently here. So I’m glad I’ve had some experience being amongst Americans.

The money is difficult to handle, I have to forage through my wallet to find the right notes. The only coins I remember using are quarters mostly. Don’t ask me the value of the other ones. When we left sf, we had a Giants thermos filled with small coins because we never used them, seriously just too hard. I left the thermos beside a street bin, so a homeless person would have a pay day.

They talk fast. They talk excitedly fast. Which is really fine because I can understand them. Things I overhear people say here, make them different to Australians, it makes them different to San Franciscans too.

There’s a pharmacy nearly on every corner.

There’s ATMs at every corner.

There are police everywhere.

Food is cheap, unless you go flashy.

The computerised talking conductor on the trains, sounds like the voice of the guy who sings ‘wear sunscreen’. Particularly when he says ‘Ladies and gentlemen’.

Most people are polite.

Traffic is tooty.

People jay walk without looking. I stand out because I don’t jay walk.

The discount shopping is amazing.

There are a lot of smokers here.

It’s a dirty city. By that I mean, there’s a lot of graffitied trucks driving around, graffitied buildings (not public buildings, they’re all shiny). Some Most of the roads need major repair or resurfacing.

Service is normally great, because of the tipping system.

Like Melbourne, people wear a lot of black here. I bought and wore a coral pink jacket and all of a sudden I stood out.

That’s about all I have.

The Lakehouse

I’m in New York!

I’ve spent the last 20 plus hours travelling to get here, and somehow strangely it’s still the same day! The parallel existence of time when planning to meet Damian in New York and the different time zones, led me to think of my favourite movie ‘The Lakehouse’. Or it could just be the jet-lag.

I also thought of the film when Purl gave me one last snuggle as I set to leave at 4am on Sunday. I tried to explain to her that I was coming back (despite the suitcases) and that she was in good hands and that it was only 2 weeks. Well, 2 weeks in cat years is like 21 weeks and I felt crushed by the guilt and all the last smooches she gave me. Cats are not dumb. Why can’t she always be that affectionate?

Tomorrow begins my 5 days of personal touring of the city. Show me your yarn stores!