The City used to be a big part of my life. Going to college in the downtown, than working all over the Big Apple, the subway felt like the second home, and jay walking and running in-between the honking taxi cabs, maneuvering through the crowd was a normal part of my day. The lunch hour was used for relaxing in the park with the food picked up in the nearby deli or a small restaurant, then checking out the shops. The weekend was reserved for more time-consuming activities like visiting the museums, the concerts, etc. I felt the pulse of the City, its energy, its vibe. I’ve always worked with a diverse crowd. Being different was like being like everybody else. Having unique style, speaking with an accent, sharing your traditions and cultural preferences made you accepted. I was looking forward to dressing up for work, checking out new places, talking to my co-workers.
Going to the Billy Joel’s concert in the Garden brought back a lot of memories. The fellow Long Islander told stories about his first gig and how he wrote “Big Man on Mulberry Street”, made fun of his age, and took some major notes that he warned us he most likely would not take. The crowd went wild and refused to leave. So “the piano man” came back and rocked the Garden for another half hour. Nobody sat down for the rest of the show. The whole Garden was dancing and singing, as the maestro was putting the mic for the audience to sing, taking pictures with the fans, and throwing the mic stand into the band, where the other musicians caught it like some circus performers.
The trip also demonstrated the difference between the person used to the City (myself) versus the person who grew up on Long Island (my son). We almost missed the 11:40pm train home, because he was standing in the middle of the thousands-of-people crowd coming out of the concert, rushing to the train, waiting for them to part, so that he would walk to the train freely, while maintaining his personal space. At that time of the day, when the suburbs were long asleep, New York was as busy as the morning rush hour.
Living and working in Long Island for the past decade, I have to have a special occasion to go to the City. Soho is never on the list since the kids are not interested in the shopping and the art galleries; they want entertainment. My husband works in the area and has been bragging about how much the area changed since the last time (years) I’ve been there. So, with my younger son being away in a sleep-away camp, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to go. We took a train to Penn Station, then A train to Canal Street. There we were supposed to meet up with my husband, who was finishing up his client’s meeting.
The first store we entered was quite fruitful. Being slow on making clothing purchasing decisions, I bought a long coral skirt to go with the grey top I bought a few months ago, and white skinny jeans with scarf-type belt. I have no clue when I would wear these jeans. They seem the best fit for an Italy of Greece trip, or some fancy party on the beach or a yacht. Can somebody invite me? I also bought a black dress and a chain with a pink pendant to go with my new coral skirt in Top Shop. My son kept whining (that was not his idea of having fun) until he found a store with skeletons and dried insects. The assortment of scalps could make anyone’s day brighter, isn’t it?
We could not settle on the place for lunch, because based on my son, every restaurant we picked into was either too fancy or too small. I had to put my foot down on the issue. The small Italian place started us with the bread fresh- warm from the oven with the most delicious crust, and slightly salty butter. We swallowed it in no time, washing it off with the mineral water, then asked for more. We were full even before our entrees came out of the kitchen. Not a good idea, but we don’t really have a will-power when it comes to good bread.
The warm summer rain started and stopped while we checked out a couple of art galleries before splitting up. I went shoe shopping, while the men decided to hit Swiss Army and Leica stores. We drove home reminiscing about my first job on Union Square, and the places in the City we wanted to visit next.
The latest “rain” findings from Topshop in Soho.