Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Take the highway to the great divide

Ok, I've taken the leap. The first step.

I've been toying with the idea of entering the bloggosphere for some time now, and after a recent trip (and some shameless stalking of other blogs I admire), I've decided to just go for it.

Do I find this highly narcissistic? Yes. And that's okay.

So without much ado, here is my first post.

What prompted me to take the plunge, you might ask? It was my recent trip to New York City actually...

This was purely a shopping venture, as well as an opportunity to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Big Apple. I have to make it into the city at least once whenever I'm visiting family in Connecticut. I took the train in from New Canaan to Grand Central and hopped on the 6 downtown to Calypso Au Marche, the Calypso outlet in SoHo. I always manage to find great deals there. This time I picked up a blush sequined top, a romantic lace cardigan, and a few drapey tanks and tees for Fluidity class (more about Fluidity in posts to come.) Everything was at least half price, with an additional 40% off! If you're ever in NYC, make a point to find this little hole-in-the-wall gem, then follow it up with lunch at Spring Street Natural. I had the Smoked Turkey Breast sandwich with St. Andre cheese, lingonberry preserves and arugula on 7-grain bread, served with Terra vegetable chips and baby greens and an iced herbal tea. The subway runs right underneath the restaurant and I loved feeling it rumble by below every few minutes.

I headed down the block to Madewell where I picked up a few of their classic tees, 2 for $30 (originally $19.50 each). I got this bright green version as well as black, white and navy. These will be great to wear to teach in with some cute pants and a few Stella & Dot  accessories.
Madewell V neck pocket tee

After riding the subway back uptown, I got off at 77th and Lexington and walked a few blocks to the Lilly Pulitzer Madison Avenue store. This is a beautiful shop and always has the best sales. I got a navy polo, a few shift dresses for my nieces (their first Lilly!), and one of the new agendas.
Lilly Pulitzer 2013 Monthly Planner in Azelea Pink May Flowers
After that it was on to one of the main reasons for coming into the city, a trip to the only State-side location of Laduree. Now, I'm not a huge macaron aficionado; in fact, I'd never really had one until this visit (and don't confuse macaroons with macarons; the former is a coconutty, sweet southern confection while the latter is a crisp, chewy cake-like cookie in candy colors.) These lived up to all the hype. They're flown over from Paris daily! There's usually a line, but I lucked out and was waited on within 5 minutes. I splurged and got a box of 15 (to share with my mom and have a few to bring home to Florida). We tried chocolate, pistachio, raspberry, lemon, lemon lime, coffee, rose water, orange blossom, salted caramel and my favorite, blackcurrant and violet. Look at these beauties!

By then I was sweltering (it was in the 90's... in the city!) so I hopped the subway down to 51st Street and walked a few blocks up 5th Avenue to Henri Bendel. They too were having a sale; I picked up a cute wet bikini bag and a jewelry roll in their signature brown and white stripe.
Henri Bendel wet bikini bag
Henri Bendel jewelry roll (similar to mine)

I originally went to try on a pair of Tkees; unfortunately, they didn't fit. The 7 was just too short, and the 8 was too wide across the top. That's okay; it's a great store for wandering. I love the open staircase in the rear that leads up to the perfume area. On the second floor, at the front of the shop are some wonderful etched glass windows that pre-date World War I. It's a very high-class store but isn't stuffy at all, no pushy sales people, very enjoyable. I didn't realize their room sprays were on sale, or I would have picked up a few of those too. I got hooked on Henri Bendel when I burned a Fig candle of theirs years ago; the white pepper is also a favorite.
Henri Bendel room spray on sale for $15!
Henri Bendel candle
Finally I made my way to the Algonquin Hotel for a cocktail in the infamous Lounge. This was the home-base for the Algonquin Round Table, a celebrated group of New York City writers, actors and critics during the 1920's. I'm particularly obsessed with Dorothy Parker and her witty poetry. 
Members of the Algonquin Round Table, or  "The Vicious Circle."
I make it a point to come here every time I'm in the city to sit in one of the overstuffed chairs, people watch, and pretend I'm back in the glamorous 1920's. I had a Grey Goose martini and the Dorothy Parker mini burgers, read a bit of the New York Times, listened in to other people's conversations, and capped off a wonderful day in the city.

Well, that's it. My first post. FUN! I'll try to be more concise as time goes by; I just had a lot to share! Thanks for reading. I'll leave you with this bit of wisdom from the one and only Dorothy Parker:

"I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table;
After four I'm under my host."
- Dorothy Parker, The Collected Dorothy Parker

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