It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been back from NYC and I’m still reveling. In the course of four days, we accomplished quite a bit, but aside from the quality time, sans bébé’s, with the hubs. The highlight for me would have to be the first day in the city.
Friday, the hubs and I took the train up to NYC from Union Station. Not a bad way to go. A few stops along the way, but there was Wi-Fi and in 3 hours, we were in the Big Apple. We hit the streets with hardly a break. After dropping out bags at the hotel, we trotted across the street for breakfast at a corner coffee shop. After carb-loading on eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns as we sat knee to knee and elbow to elbow with other diners, we bellied over to the subway.
Although I grew up in NJ, literally a stone’s throw from NYC, I have visited the latter more often as an adult. My first experience with the NYC subway was back in 1995 when my brother took me and several of my girlfriends into the city for lunch. This was when the subways were disgusting petri dishes full of all kinds of human detritus. Graffiti, panhandlers, everything that made the subway fearsome and unappealing was at it’s peak right then. Add to the fact that in my pea brain, the whole subway system rendered me dyslexic with its barrage of numbers, letters, and primary colored geometric shapes, I was paranoid that I would never make it to where I wanted to go, let alone where I had started from. I couldn’t wrap my head around uptown and downtown and why I needed to catch the 6 on the NW corner instead of the SW corner in order to go where it was I was going.
I’d much rather take a cab. Cabs, however add up. As my visits to NYC increased in my adulthood, I was more comfortable grabbing the subway with someone else, someone who knew EXACTLY where we were going. Fast forward to this last trip with our daily itinerary that had us criss-crossing all over the island of Manhattan. There was no way I could cab it up. Add to the fact that on one of the days, the hubs was going to be out of pocket for work related reasons. I decided to get empowered; I studied the subway system before leaving (yes, I’m a dork) and plotted how to get from A to B to C to A to D. Then I saved it to my phone.
I showed the hubs who just shook his head and showed me the subway app. Talk about a game changer! Plug in starting station and your desired arrival station, it tells you how to get there, the shortest route, and what transfers to make. Cue the Hallelujah chorus!
By the end of the trip, I was riding the subway like I’d been doing it for years. I had my metro card ready to swipe, my ear buds in my ears, and I navigated those tunnels with more confidence than I felt. Overall, my biggest fear had been getting mugged or accosted in some way, in addition to getting lost. Although I was a tourist, I didn’t want to look like an easy mark with a map I couldn’t fold or a look on my face that said, “Yes, I’m from the suburbs!” What I discovered is, even if you don’t know where you’re going, walk with purposeful confidence like you do. Then duck into a Starbucks (because there is one on EVERY.SINGLE.CORNER and pull out our your phone to figure it out.
I ventured down to SoHo and Tribeca on Saturday morning, on my own. . .on the subway! It was exhilarating and empowering. And it freaked my parents out when I told them about it. My dad kept telling me I have to be careful about people pushing people onto the subway tracks. I reminded him that I was hugging the wall like it was a long lost lover. My mom gets a little . . .flatulent, shall we say. . .when she gets nervous, so the duration of the call was peppered with bursts of agitated wind followed with, “Oh!” and “Oh, dear!” and “You’re making your mother upset!” I promised them that after I had finished my trip to Tribeca, I met up with the hubs and we traveled together after that. Poor Mom. She had to hang up because we couldn’t hear Dad over her. . .distress.
We went to check out the Matisse exhibit at the Met, both of which were unbelievable. You would have to visit the museum every day for at least an hour for a year before you could see all it has to offer. We had to cross through several stunning galleries of Greek art and African Art before we found the Matisse exhibit and it was excruciating to have to power through at that fast a clip. Every few few, something else caught my eye (hello, Faberge eggs!) or the hubs would pull up short to take a peek at something else (Egyptian exhibit complete with a walkable replica of a royal tomb).
As for Matisse, I had know idea how prolific an artist he had been. There were at least five large separate rooms in the exhibition hall whose walls were adorned with his works. And I’m not just talking two 11x14s on each wall. There were portraits, sketches, stills of fruits, and of views from seaside hotel rooms. I’m hardly doing it justice; it was just so amazing. I had been familiar with Matisse and some of the other artists of his generation, but yet, there was not one piece that the hubs and I could identify as his signature work. Van Gogh is easily recognized by sunflowers or Starry Night. Klimt has The Kiss. Gauguin has his Tahitian women. Can’t come up with anything from Matisse (me, personally that is), but there are now pieces that I will associate with the artist from here on out.
After the Met, I persuaded the hubs to take a walk with me to Madison Avenue. There was a little shop that I wanted to visit.
|Need I say more?|
If you know me, you know I have been trying to get my feet in a pair of these red bottom shoes for about four years now. It all started on Labor Day week-end about three years ago. The hubs and I went to NYC for a week-end. I had my first photo product photo shoot in Harlem, we caught up with friends, strolled through Central Park and went to Bergdorf’s. I knew exactly the shoe I wanted, but sadly Bergdorf didn’t have it in my size. Why I just didn’t go right to the source to begin with escapes me, but no matter. The clerk at BG directed us up to Madison Avenue. Too bad for me, the shop was closed for the season. It was Labor Day week-end, after all, but c’mon! I had shoes to buy and a hub that was willing to crack open his wallet that very day!
So, I went home empty handed, but with a resolve to get myself a pair of red-soled shoes. And I began to save. For three years, I socked away a piece of whatever funds came my way. Once I’d reached my goal in the spring of 2012, I dialed up my girls to plan a week-end away in NYC where we were all going to buy a pair of shoes. The plan was Columbus Day week-end. The trip was in the works and the shoes were in sight. Sure, I could have gone to Saks or Nordstrom and bought a pair, but I was in it for the experience!
Then, September 7, 2012 happened. You know, the night I jacked-up my leg tripping over a trash bag that had broken glass in it. Just the usual on a Friday at 7:30 in the evening, the night before my birthday and my 5 year old’s birthday party at our house. No biggie.
The last five months have found me getting my Lindsay Wagner on, although I’m not bionic, I am feeling very good about where my mobility is at this point. As soon as I could squish my foot into a regular shoe, my resolve to get those CL’s was stronger than ever. So I decided, I would just go and get them myself. And I told the hubs, “Look. I’ve been saving. I want the shoes and I’m going to NYC for the week-end. I’d love it you would come with me, but if you can’t, I’ll see you when I get back.”
It was that serious.
Fast forward to two weeks ago and me and the hubs being buzzed into the store. It was like being on the inside of a genie bottle. Red plush carpet. Round padded ottoman. Shoes lining the walls, hiding out in recessed nooks, in repose on shelves.
|not my best work, but i was trying not to geek out.|
I couldn’t get my shoes off fast enough. The store isn’t that large, mind you, but there were a crap ton of women in there, all of which had one regular shoe on one foot and on red bottomed shoe on the other foot. We found some free space on a chaise with leopard print pillows and waited for me to flag down a clerk.
I had initially gone in for a pair of Bianca’s in nude, but recently decided black patent leather would be more practical. When I finally got the clerk to help me out, she brought out Bianca, Rolando, Pigalle and the Simple Pump. Decisions, decisions.
|Bianca, Pigalle, Rolando and Simple Pump|
Two women across the way from me were in deep discussion about the relative comfort of the pointy toe box.
Nude Heels: I really like these, but my toes are all bunched up.
Leopard Wedges: Oh, I have those! My toes go numb after about five minutes, but I love them. They’re so cute!
Clerk: Look, these shoes aren’t meant to be comfortable. Women end up getting a larger size thinking that the toe box is going to give them more room, but in fact, it creates more room in the back of the shoe, so that your heel slips and you’ll walk out of the shoe and fall on your face.
Hubs: Seriously? Are you for real with this?
Poor hubs! He was totes out of his element and completely amazed at the number of shoes being tried on, exchanged and purchased. His analytical mind was reeling; he has to admit that CL’s branding and marketing is unparalleled.
By the time I got to the Simple Pump, I was beginning to think that I was going to go home empty handed yet again. The Bianca’s were too pointy. My toes were not having it. The Pigalle was the same thing, and Rolando didn’t come in my size. There was no way that I was going to drop over $800 on shoes that made my eyes water just walking around in a circle. Plus the fact that I was taking these little mincing steps? Yeah, that wasn’t going to work. When I finally put my foot in the Simple Pump, it was like putting on a pair of Isotoner slippers!
Remember when Ariel sings into the shell for Ursula the sea witch? Yeah, it was like that.
And there you have it. Victory is mine!
And yes, I am wearing them while I type this. Only on the carpet, though.
SN: the hubs and I went out for an event yesterday evening. It was raining, and we skittered from the parking garage to the location, he saw that I was wearing a pair of patent leather pumps.
“Are those the shoes?”
“In the rain? You’re kidding right?” and I gave an eye roll so massive, Liz Lemon felt it.