Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Burn, baby, burn - NYC Day 5

Don't get scared. I did not hurt anybody, but I did today what I guess everybody is doing, who is coming here: I set my precious golden (sounds impressive but is only a regular card including some extra services like travel health insurance) credit card ON FIRE

You remember all the smart and thoughtful talk about art and stuff the last couple of days? Well - (only for today of course) screw it! The only arts I was enjoying today were the art of shopping and - in the evening - fine dining.

New York really wants me to be sad to leave, it seems. Today was just awesome from the beginning to the end. And although I do not want to talk like the anchor woman of the Weather Channel I need to add my daily report: It was very cold and I am sure you guessed that already, but the sun was shining from a cloudless sky. We had a beautiful day and as long as you could walk in the sunshine it wasn't even that cold (but mind the shadow, which is not exactly easy in Manhattan).

I started as usual at my Jewish deli "Milk 'n' Honey" with toasted onion cream cheese bagel (and a lactase pill) and a fruit salad. Then I went off to Union Square.

I was on a mission: Find a cool carnival costume for my 1.5 years old niece. My sister found cute stuff in the internet, but she would have need to order all of it from the US and since I am here anyway .... 
The problem is, that nobody here is aware of carnival. I was at Toys R Us and they would have costumes but only as seasonal article at Halloween. The nice staff there recommended me a place near Union Square called "PartyCity", where you could get everything for your party.  Cool place - same problem: Sorry, it is not Halloween. BUT the friendly gothic guy (pale, make up, long hair, gothic tattoos), who was working there, told me about a shop near by where I should find what I was looking for. The very cool shop (more in the picture section) is directly next to Grace Church, which was not even on my sightseeing plan but turned out to be a beautiful gothic (revival) building and definitely worth to visit.

After fulfilling my mission I throw myself into my personal (very enjoyable) disaster: The big BABY GAP department at the GAP near Union Square. You know, I LOVE shopping for my niece and it's so hard not to carry arms full of stuff out of the place. I must have looked really silly because I packed and unpacked my shopping basket approximately three times because I could not decide what to go for. In the end the "Buy 2 items and get the 3rd for free" sale helped a lot to keep things financially under control ;)

Up from there I took the train back to Midtown, where I stumbled into the HBO Fan Shop after being effectively glamoured by an "I LOVE SOOKIE" T-Shirt, which was advertising new arrivals in the "True Blood" departement. Burn, baby, burn.

I did a baggage drop off at my hotel and went on 6th Avenue. Already a little exhausted I had a small bowl of soup at Pret A Manger and spotted the official NHL shop just accross the street and went over because I could think of nothing better to get in the mood for the game tomorrow. Okay - way too much Islanders stuff but hey ... we are in New York. Two guys working there caught me when I looked teary eyed at the signed Winter Classics Sidney Crosby jersey they have there (behind glas to look at and not to purchase) and we had a nice little hockey chat.

Next stop: Magnolia Bakery (for those who do not know - this place is famous due to "Sex & The City"). I know ... it is overpriced, you can get better cupcakes somewhere else, it is just hype and all this, but damn - that place is SO PRETTY, it smells wonderful, the staff is very nice and I have to say that my vanilla chocolate butter cream cupcake was yummy.

The rest is not so exciting. I picked up the stuff at the MOMA shop I left there on Saturday, because I did not want to wait forever at the cash desk, and then changed from 6th to 5th Avenue, but I did not buy anything there.
But what I did was waiting in the queue for getting into the Hollister Shop. I had seen people waiting in front of this place all week and I had read about it in "The Believer" and did want to see it with my own eyes.

You want my impression? It is pointless and boring. I mean, the shop design is special - a mix between a beach bar at a fake beach (you hear the noise and there are huge screens displaying waves hitting a beach), a living room kind of place with sofas and books shelfs packed with clothes. It is just - weird. And even more weird are the 3/4 naked people (bikini, shorts) standing around randomly for what - decoration? The men looked like Barbie's Ken and that is not a compliment. In addition to that the shop was PACKED (the queue makes sense - more people and you would not be able to move in there anymore), but the clothes were nothing special, very colorful but neither cool nor nice. Been there, done that - over.

Back to the hotel, another baggage drop off and then off again to the final destination for today:

Harold Dieterle's (winner of the first season of the US TV show "Top Chef") new restaurant "Kin Shop" (modern Thai kitchen). My friend, who knows the restaurant scene in New York very well and is the perfect person to decide where to go to, had chosen the place and it was really, really good! It has a cozy and relaxed atmosphere, the music is good (and not too loud), the staff is very friendly and competent and - most importantly - the food was just awesome. It was all super delicious but my favorite was definitely the lamb curry with noodles (between soup and curry from the consistency). All this rounded up with a great bottle of Gewürztraminer from Elsass and a great talk with my friend was such a joy and made it a perfect last night *SNIFF*.

Bad news of the day: My camera is dying. The display gets worse every day and when I switch it on it vibrates (?). Sometimes that stops and I can take a pictures, sometimes it doesn't and I have to switch it off. I guess the thingy, that is supposed to balance my shaky hands out, is broken. I do not know. I just hope it keeps working for four more days. If not ... I will use my cellphone cam, which does decent pics but is of course less convenient.

Dear friends, tomorrow there will be most likely no blog post (maybe when I have a sudden case of insomnia, but I do not think so), because

1) It's a travel day.
2) It's a HOCKEEEEY NIGHT in Pittsburgh (traditional first sentence of the game live broadcast) and I did not yet gave up the hope, that I see the Pens win (LET'S GO PENS LET'S GO!)
3) I might have a couple of drinks after the game to either celebrate the win or make forget my depression about seeing the Pens losing without Crosby and Malkin.

So no worries, when you do not hear from me tomorrow: "NO NEWS ARE GOOD NEWS"

PS: Elmo was having a hot dog at the same corner this night again, but I did not take another picture. Enough stalking for now :)

The three pictures of the day:

Bryant Park (42nd street / 6th Avenue) - my subway station. I really like that place.

What can you do, when you need to find a baby costume and everybody keeps telling you "Sorry - only at Halloween"?
I will tell you: You go and find Halloween!
PS: I got myself some really nice fangs there, because, you know ... pale is the new tan *grin*

The famous New York fireladders at a random apartment house near 14th Street / 6th Avenue. I really like the whole area (Grace Church, Union Square, Greenwich Village) a lot.

And additionally:
When I came back from London and posted my pictures my sister asked me "Where is the picture of the BABY GAP?"  Here it is :)


  1. Menno, ich hätt ja Elmo gerne am Hot Dog-Stand gesehen!

    Du hättest den Typen fragen sollen, ob er jeden Tag in dem Kostüm rumrennt!

  2. Elmo am Hot Dog Stand gestern sah genauso aus wie Elmo am Hot Dog Stand vorgestern. Also nicht so spannend :)