On Monday morning, fittingly it was Columbus Day, I set out on my own to do some solo exploration. My flight home was an evening flight, so I had plenty of time to wander about.
The mind bending choices of what to do with a free day in New York... and I, of course, chose fabric. One of the quilt shops I was hoping to visit was closed on Mondays, so my course was clear. Two trains later I was navigating my way through Soho to Purl Patchwork.
The two Purl shops (one fabric, one yarn) have been visited by many a blog, so I won't spend too much type retreading on hallowed ground. Lets just say I didn't have any trouble spending money, and I saw things I hadn't seen in person before. Yes, I sprang for a yard of the Heather Ross double gauze cotton that is everywhere in blogland. (I got the yellow frog on a lily pad fabric pattern.) I have no idea what I'll make with it, but it called my name, and I answered.
The yarn half of Purl was participating in a Yarn Crawl, and offered a free tote with any purchase. I found two different non-wool yarns in the sale bins, collected my free tote, entered two contests, and moved on.
I had plans to meet up with Meegs for coffee in between her day of meetings. I puttered my way toward her office, doing some window shopping along the way. I must have moved from one district to another in my meanderings because I started to see duplicate businesses (two Victoria Secrets, two Gaps, etc).
It was an unexpected treat to have an hour with Meegs to myself. We chatted our time away, and then it was time for her to return to meetings, and for me to find some lunch.
I really surprised myself with my ability to navigate New York. At the Met, I'd found a map book that I liked, and with that as my guide (plus some excellent tutoring by Di) I really felt up to some exploration.
As in Paris, my internal Games Workshop store locator worked just fine. Of course the store was closed, but I waved nonetheless.
I successfully found the nearest Pain de Quotidien. (Really, we could use one of these in my neighborhood!) I had a mint lemonade (yum) and a ham tartine, and listened to a really irritating woman harp on about how people were becoming isolated and less engaged with each other. Hmmm... maybe her unrelentingly unpleasant manner had something to do with that... I left my lunch spot with bag of treats for the airplane, and a desire for less empty rhetoric. (I think this was my missed opportunity to get in a fight with a New Yorker. Oh well.. maybe next time.)
With a sense of determination born of a good lunch, I decided to actually enter some clothing stores instead of just window shopping. Ya. That didn't last long. And then, as I turned back toward the subway stop that would lead to Brooklyn, I heard the siren song that is Dean and Deluca. This was my second visit to the gourmet grocer. The first one, I resisted all temptation and left empty handed, with my wallet intact. Not so much this time... ya. Time and money move differently in stores like that. After that encounter, I had to race back to the subway and arrived back at Di's apartment with time only to shove my new purchases into my suitcase and hug my friend goodbye before the car came to take me to the airport.
It was midnight when a different cab dropped me off at the Big Red Barn. The trip home was long, but uneventful. My family survived well without me. There were stories to share about Chestnut Olympics, candy bars, and on-line Fairies.
This trip to New York was a good one. I owe many thanks to Di for housing and guiding me, Meegs for inviting me, Big E for making me do it, and my Mom for watching my monkeys when Big E had to work.