|Image by Randi Winter|
Why is it I can hear that music from the Wizard of Oz
running through my head when I look at this pic?
dum dum dum dum dum dum..................
There would be no slow start to this holiday. Despite being tired and a little under the weather, I needed to get up and out the door fairly early this morning. I was a bit late.
|Subway pas machines and some of the great tile artwork you'll see in the subway.|
|Kate, Randi & I in front of F.I.T, Kat and I on the street,|
Randi & Kate waiting for me at B&H, me posing with one of the fab F.I.T. guards
The Museum at F.I.T. was our second stop. There we found two fashion exhibits awaiting. In the Fashion & Textile History Gallery on the main floor was a show called Black Fashion Designers, which explored the experiences of several generations of fashion designers of African descent from the 1950s to the present.
Downstairs in the Special Exhibitions Gallery was another called Paris Revisited 1957-1968, highlighting one of the most groundbreaking time periods in fashion history.
After walking through both galleries, we decided to head over to B&H Photography. I stumbled across this amazing, huge, internationally known store on my last visit. Randi knew about it as well, but Kate had never been there. It was fun to introduce her to this unique experience. The store covers a whole block and has two full floors. It is truly a photographer's mecca.
To get a memory card, you have go to the counter on the second floor and order it. The order is then placed in a bag on a conveyor belt which goes around the top floor and then downstairs. You take your receipt to the cashier to pay, then behind the cashier is the pick up area where it is already bagged and hanging on a hook. All this for one little memory card. Too funny.
LUNCH TIME! There were so many choices, but the three of us choose the easy option. Across the street from B&H is a tiny Kosher deli with a few seats called Pitopia. It's top offering in my opinion is their Falafel. It's the best I've ever had. When I tried Falafel in the past I always found it dry. Here it is cooked fresh to order - crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Delicious!
First you pick the type of pita (or the no pita option in a bowl) and then you choose up to five additions from a long list of possibilities including - Israeli Salad, Pickles, Lettuce, Sauteed Onions, Tomatoes, Sauerkraut, Carrots, Cucumbers, Raw Onions, Charif , Chili Aioli, Garlic, Mayo, Tahini, Ultimate Buffalo, Honey BBQ, Honey Mustard. Sweet Teriyaki. Hummus, A few Fries or Scoop of Mac. Turns out it's traditional to have a few fries tucked in, so I chose that as one of my five additions.
Hunger sated, we headed off. Our next destination was one that drew women in droves - the shoe floor at Macy's. We decided, though, to make one stop along the way. Mood Fabrics has become famous through being featured on Project Runway. Honestly, as a lifelong sewer, most fabric stores are pretty much the same. I did see some wonderful buttons made in Italy, but my favourite moment was snapping a photo with Randi under the Moods sign.
We arrived at Macy's and headed up to the second floor to look at shoes. The store's shoe floor is the largest in the world, with more than 250,000 pair of women’s shoes showcased in a posh 63,000 square-foot space. There was a shoe sale going on which was exciting. But even better, Randi knew the side rooms where all the seriously discounted shoes were. I picked up a pair of rhinestone encrusted black sandals for under $30 and a pair of metallic animal print Michael Kors heels for under $70. Fist pumping ensued.
Shoes purchased, flowers enjoyed - it was time to explore the garment district where Kate was interning. We first jumped on the subway where I took a picture at the tile sign for Houston - pronounced HOW-stun - and just one part of the acronym SOHO (South of Houston Street). Our end goal was a street that had two of Kate's favourite shops on it.
|Left - Love this building. Kate calls it the Jenga building. Centre - posing in front of the Houston St. Subway Sign|
Right - The older buildings have their fire escapes down the front, unlike where I live.
Linda Pagan's The Hat Shop - This store has been a part of the NYC scene for 20 years. The owner used to work on Wall Street but walked away to pursue her passion. I was excited from the minute I looked at the window display. As it was Easter this weekend, the focus of many hats followed this theme. We were fortunate that Linda was in the store and had a little time to chat with us, sharing a bit of her history and about all the hats displayed. Turns out there were several designers represented, each with their own unique aesthetic.
Linda shared a book with us that she has a featured chapter in - An Englishman in New York by Jason Bell (Photographer) & Zoe Heller (Introduction). I definitely need to order a copy. Want to know more? Check out this great YouTube video.
We were fortunate that Jillian was in the store that day as well, so we had a chance to talk with her about fashion, her collections (I really loved the purple dress with unique neckline) and feminism. Yup feminism. In fact I bought a small book in her shop called We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I thought I took images here, but in my excitement obviously forgot. SO, I snagged some S/S 17 images from her website. Best of all - she decided to be the model for this season's collection. LOVE IT!
After being inspired by both of these incredibly talented and unique artists, it was getting time to start thinking about supper. The three of us picked up Kate's mum at a Greek coffee shop where she was waiting and headed over to PARM. I enjoy watching a show called Unique Eats. Parm had been featured on one of their episodes. I was intrigued and fortunately everyone else was game. It's a small casual Italian restaurant and sandwich shop with several locations. We headed off to the one in Little Italy on Mulberry Street.
The store was having a special event evening. There were tacos from Ola Viva Bar, beer from Old Blue Last and artist Rob Anderson was up front offering free customization with any purchase. He had a permanent marker and was creating unique lined shapes as he talked, working until every last inch of the shoe was covered. WOW! If we didn't have a destination in mind, we would have hung out here for a few hours.
A few short blocks later we found PARM. We were just ahead of the crowd, so had no trouble snagging a table. 40 minutes later the place was crowded. Unique Eats featured the eatery's classic parm sandwich so I definitely had to try that. There were several options to choose from. I decided on the chicken parm. Even though I chose the smaller roll version, it was still incredibly filling with two big pieces of chicken tucked in. Kate and her mother shared a platter of some kind. Randi had the Eggplant Parm (not a sandwich). We all shared the spicy Buffalo Cucumber starter. You can check out the menu for this location HERE.
Everything was fabulous and conversation over great food the perfect note to end my first day exploring NYC. What will tomorrow hold? Who knows!