My first delight of the day was again being serenaded on the train, this time by the duet of Charles and John singing rousing gospel numbers. The picture is blurry because they never stopped moving. My toes were tapping and a grin spread across my face.
Amber chose a restaurant in East Village, an area I wasn't all that familiar with which is always fun. I made a good choice and a bad choice in terms of getting there. The good choice was to leave fairly early so I would have time to figure out where I was going.
The bad choice? I totally screwed up my trip planning. Wrong subway, wrong stop, misjudged how far it was on foot from one point to another. Fortunately I love walking new areas and my fold-up subway map includes a more detailed tiny street map. I ended up arriving on time and despite the long walking route, enjoyed exploring what the area offered along the way. I also got in some great exercise.
|Charles & John singing, unique architecture, what look like a metal pig BBQ outside a restaurant that didn't serve BBQ,|
a huge cathedral that magically appeared as I crossed a street, and a Vespa parked on the sidewalk with custom paint job.
Amber and I met at the Copper Still at 151 2nd Ave. We were the first people in the doors at as they opened which meant great service and our food came quickly. They have a lovely and varied weekend brunch menu. Not a morning person, I went with the standard Eggs Anyway with home fries (a favourite of mine), brioche toast and salad. Amber chose the Eggs Norwegian, a combination of poached eggs, salmon & house made hollandaise that was also served with home fries & salad. We started with a mimosa each and ended with several cups of strong coffee.
It was fascinating to hear how her career was progressing and what it was like to work in the garment district. This is one seriously talented lady, but paid jobs were still hard to come by, unpaid internships the norm, rents high, salaries low and you often worked for companies that had very different aesthetics from your own. If you think working in the fashion world is glamorous, just spend some time with a designer just starting out. You really do need passion, drive and focus to carry you.
A highlight of our time together was to get a look at the illustrations in her portfolio - I am a HUGE fan of illustration - and the new collection she is just beginning to move forward on. As was her last, it is unique, outside the box and very conception. I literally drooled over her concepts and cannot wait to see this collection come to life. Hoping I can be front row and centre at it's unveiling.
After we finally ran out of steam, Amber was nice enough to offer to walk me to the closest subway station so I could get on the right train this time. We did a double take and paused on the way when we passed a unique shop called Timbuktu. The window display drew us in. Caftans, handbags, incredible jewellery and more filled this shop. The largest part was Moroccan, but there were other countries represented. I walked out with a caftan because I fell in love with it's construction. Next time I'm in town I'm coming here to snag some jewellery.
The Al Hirschfeld Theatre on West 45th Street off Time Square was literally two blocks from my subway stop. I picked up my ticket at will call and got into the very short line-up. A lovely family helped me out with the daughter snapping my pic with their dad (see top photo), then the doors opened! Inside and to my left was the bar with two smiling handsome bartenders awaiting my order. This is when the fun truly started.