Sunday, June 19, 2011
Sophia goes to New York City
This week a few colleagues and I traveled to New York City for several days. First, let me say that it is a really long car drive. Bring snacks. But second, there is a spectacular diner on exit 10 called the Blue Colony Diner. They make really, really good chicken soup and potato pancakes. Seriously.
But, back to the trip... We stayed in a tiny hotel with a fancy-schmancy vibe:
My room was so tiny! But it had a huge bed, a comfy lounge chair perfect for knitting, and a pretty water view out of the picture window:
My Yarnphone Ap was taunting me mightily because there are so, so many wonderful yarn stores in NYC and there were no breaks built into our days. I wanted so badly to visit or at least see both Habu Textiles and PurlSoho but it was not to be. I kept looking for breaks in the program that would let me slip away - at least to the two yarn stores within walking distance of my hotel...
Our work involved, in part, visiting NYC schools. New York is unique in that the schools, particularly the high schools, are sometimes in buildings that also house other schools and businesses. I saw one building that housed 5 different and distinct schools and one that was in a big building that also housed 2 businesses not connected tot he school, a caterer and a florist.
One of the schools was in what appeared to be an old vocational school with fabulous hand-painted murals from the WPA era:
but also seemed in parts to have been a religious building because of the beautiful stained glass:
During the lunch break we got a bit of a walk around the neighbourhood and had lunch at such a cute French restaurant that also had original artwork on the walls:
I had crepes with goat cheese, of course, and everyone else had quiche. When I cut into my buttery crepe, I discovered that there was a soft fried egg and potatoes inside! It was lovely, like a Top Chef quick-fire.
As we walked back to our meeting, we passed this lovely bakery, The Three Tarts, and I was enchanted! I had to pick up a little something for my Camp Loopy swap partner - I had to! How could I resist?
Then I jumped into a taxi and headed out to Brooklyn for an afternoon of work. I have to say that when I got back to the hotel in the afternoon, in 92 degree F weather, I was exhausted and had a stiff neck and a headache. But with just two hours before the start of the evening meeting, this was my only opportunity to find those two yarn stores that the Yarnphone Ap told me were nearby. I changed my shoes and started walking.
I'm so glad I did this, because New York is amazing!
This is the city Monorail, wafting high over the ground with its little red cars...
The first yarn store I encountered was closed - out of business, definitely, since I could see through the windows that the electrics were coming out of the walls. It's a hard time, economically, for businesses considered a luxury item... or is it? The next store I found seemed to belie this, because String Yarns on 65th was pure luxury!
The shop, two airy rooms on the second story of a narrow townhouse apartment building, was flanked on one end by a picture window that overlooked a wide, shady, pleasant neighbourhood near 5th Avenue.
There was a woman knitting at the table in the back, and a woman looking though patterns and chatting with the owners at the table by the window. They were all very friendly and casual and I felt completely at ease. As usual, I started at one end and walked around clockwise, and looked at every single item (this is why my bf doesn't shop with me). String has it's own colour lines - familiar yarn companies that dye exclusive colours just for String - and I was looking for these, and for knitting accessories that would not be found elsewhere. Every skein in String is either Cashmere or Silk or some other luxury combination. Very Posh.
Maybe for this reason, nothing was priced - you had to ask the price for everything you looked at, which required a lot of personal attention. Luckily with a place this small, attention was no problem and the women were extremely nice - the perfect combination of attentive and leaving you alone to browse. And they had buttons! really, really cute and really, really beautiful buttons. It was so lovely. Resistance was futile:
Two silk and one cashmere:
The rest of the trip was totally work oriented, so it was very satisfying to have had this small opportunity to slip away for two precious hours to explore. And the walk was therapeutic and made me wish for a pretty little New York apartment: