Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category
I know Macy’s has great sales, not only because my friends rave about the bargains they find there, but because I used to partake of them over the years. What stopped me was a problem with my Macy’s card. The problem was not my credit, but for some reason I was unable to activate my new card over the phone. That alone tells you how long ago that glitch occurred since if it were today, I’d have activated it online. Eventually they stopped sending me their sale fliers and coupons, and we parted amicably. I never looked back because for some reason I was never crazy about shopping there. Maybe it was the waiting in line at the cash registers scattered around the various departments. Or maybe it was the necessity of having to go to the mall. I am not a fan of malls.
Well I was recently on 34th street passing THE Macy’s yes, the one from the classic movie, Miracle on Main Street; the one that hosts the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, floats, and balloons; the original Macy’s famed for being the largest department store in the world. Needless to say it can not fit in a mall since it takes up an entire square block.
Upon seeing the entrance, I had a flashback that revealed to me the root of my Macy “problem”. This store was the bane of my early childhood existence! Back in the early days when I was still an only child, which meant younger than five, my mother would regularly drag me down to 34th Street to “go shopping.” We’d have to walk nine blocks to the subway, (but that wasn’t the part I hated) then ride 129 blocks underground. That’s eight stops if you’re counting. I wasn’t, but I was asking “Are we almost there yet.” (Nope, that’s not what I hated either.)
Finally we’d emerge into the daylight of Thirty-fourth Street and make our way into the store. It seems like it was always crowded, even though it was usually a weekday morning. (Nope the crowds didn’t bother me either). It was the fashion faux pas, my mother visited on me.
As soon as we emerged from the revolving door, she’d take my coat off, but leave my leggings on. Leggings back then referred to the heavy wool pants that were part and parcel of the matched set that also included a matching hat. That’s what I hated – I wanted to keep my coat on like all the grownups, but there I was walking around with my dress stuffed into a suspendered overall type pants. But my mother had a theory. If I kept the coat on, my body would get used to it and when we went out into the cold once again, I’d feel cold. But I noticed she didn’t mind “getting used” to her coat.
This looks like a Sunday coat, and since stores didn’t open on Sundays back then, it couldn’t have been a shopping coat, and I’m probably younger here than the days I’m talking about – but look at the leggings. Get the picture?
If walking around unfashionably clad was the beginning of my, as she liked to put it, crankiness, (a word often applied to me, especially at nap time and bedtime), it was reinforced by having to wait until she’d bought everything else before going up to the fourth floor or the fifth floor. One held the children’s shoe department and the other, the toy department. I regarded them both as sources of joy, and perhaps enjoyed buying shoes even more than a toy. (Some things never change!)
But n-o-o-o-o. I had to wait until last. Another one of my mother’s theories was I’d be less of a pest if I had to wait. Pest was another word often applied to moi. The reasoning behind this was, once I had what I came for, I’d suggest “Let’s go have lunch”. Well, maybe it was more like whine, so if she saved my shopping until last, she’d be able to shop in peace.
Once her mission was accomplished, we’d either have a hot dog and orangeade at Nedicks, an indoor stool and counter. If I recall, that’s all they sold; at any rate it was a New York icon in the Fifties and Sixties.
No more Nedicks! Today, it’s a
Sometimes we’d go across the street to the 5 & 10, as we called Woolworth’s, where we’d also have a hot dog, but a coke instead of an orange drink.
No more 5 & 10. Today, it’s a
Although lunch was fun, it remains overshadowed by the shopping. But you know how they say misery loves company ? Well, about thirty years later I discovered I was not alone. The man to whom I was once married, upon hearing my tale of woe, assured me that he was there too and he was very surprised I hadn’t seen him.”I was the one tagging after my mother,” he told me crying.” the one crying.”
I wish I’d asked him if he had to take off his coat!
The long Thanksgiving Day weekend offered me two chances to visit my version of the promised land – Manhattan, of course. Is there anyone out there who wants to promise me enough money to afford am apartment there? No? can’t blame me for asking, after all nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Anyway, as usual I had my camera at the ready, and this was good since there was a Thanksgiving cornucopia of signs that made me wonder.
How grateful do you have to be to deserve two ts?
Yep, that’s grattitude for you!
I snapped this one on Thanksgiving afternoon!
H&M. Aren’t you jumping the gun a wee bit?
Wow! 7-11 actually makes coffee every day!
Have no idea what Feed The pig is, but if someone wants to find out, let me know! All I know is I’m already many people’s eccentric relative, Two out of three ain’t bad.
but is I were the rich eccentric relative I could have my own apartment in Manhattan……..with my own terrace………and own river view……..my own doorman………….and………..and………and my own pony
Just kidding about the pony. Marcel, Marceau, & Marble would put their foot down on that one.
If they ever figure out how to untangle their feet!
I was on a mission, an advance party charged with finding a restaurant. I had several criteria. Since we would be attending a 7 PM music event on the West Side of Manhattan immediately afterwards, it had to be in the vicinity of West 72nd Street, and since it was early September, which is technically late summer, we preferred it have outdoor cafe seating.
Normally I’d let my fingers do the walking and make reservations on Open Table, but since my train got in at 4-ish, and we planned to eat at 5:30, which is early by New York standards, I knew I’d have no trouble finding a place. I decided to walk over from Grand Central and take a look in person
Well, it didn’t take long for me to become totally distracted I had progressed but one block when all it took was one well-displayed sign in a store window.
I knew what a variance was, having sought the help of my friendly town building department in pinpointing the location of my septic system years ago. I was told a variance had been issued for it. That was all they know
“what’s that mean?” I asked.
“It’s an exception to the rule.”
Curious to see what was going on after hours, I turned the corner and proceeded to the next sign.
Of course I had to make my way around the entire building
Is the whole thing rat-infested?
I finally tore myself away and proceeded onward when total panic struck. My heart rate actually increased. Had I crossed the border into a parallel world? Into another dimension? I stepped back. Here I was on the corner of 50th Street and Fifth Avenue, but where was St Patrick’s Cathedral? Had aliens absconded with it? I mean where could a cathedral that took up a square block disappear to? I took a few deep breaths to calm myself, and stepped back to logically assess the situation. There had to be a logical explanation. And there it was.
I was on the corner of 50th Street
but not Fifth Avenue
So distracted had I been by the rat poison sign, that in my desire to explore, I’d turned north a block early onto Madison Avenue without even realizing.
But time was a-wasting, and I was on a mission. I gradually wound my way north and west when ……..what was this? It was a typical Halal food cart but I’d never seen so many people lined up at a pushcart.
I decided to research the matter scientifically and do some comparisons.
right next door
across the street
on the next block
Even an ice cream truck just as people were getting out of work on a hot evening proved to be no competition.
But maybe that’s because it wasn’t Mr Softee.
(If you’re not a New Yorker, you don’t know that after years of luring successive generations of children out of their homes for soft serve ice cream cones with its annoying music, Mr Softee raised such ire that a newer prissier New York City issued noise restrictions targeting the trucks during the reign of King Giuliani)
But oh my goodness, time was a-wasting.
Well I managed to find a few restaurants then proceeded on to meet my friends on our agreed-upon corner. They suggested a restaurant they’d passed on the way over from the Museum of Natural History, where they’d spent the afternoon. And what are the odds? Of all the restaurants on the West Side, it was the one at the top of my list!
End of story.
Well, not quite. A few weeks later I found an article about the opening of Urban Space Vanderbilt, a new upscale midtown food court…..
right down the street from the rat building.
I thought I had a problem. I wanted to write a blog post for this week, but I had no ideas. Then, lo and behold one was handed to me on a platter.
I should have known I’d get an idea over the weekend since I’d be going to Manhattan, not once but twice. Saturday, while I had a wonderful day and a delicious vegan lunch with friends, yielded nothing in the way of a light bulb going on over my head. Sunday, however handed me this post, but in a very mystical way, one that reinforces my belief that there are no coincidences.
Summer Sundays begin with coffee on the deck and the New York Times, not necessarily (in fact, not usually), the current day’s paper. Anyone who knows me well knows I am obsessed with reading the whole Sunday edition – all seven sections (Sunday News, Sports Sunday, Sunday Business, Week in Review, Arts & Leisure, Sunday Styles, Real Estate) plus the Magazine and any special sections that may be included. Only when I’ve finished, do I buy another Sunday edition; even if it takes me a month of Sundays. So there I was reading Chronicling Neighborhood “Joints” in May 24’s Metropolitan Section, a feature paying tribute to eateries that have stood the test of time in a city that has a continuous turnover of restaurants.
Kindly note this paragraph. We’ll return to it in a moment.
After arriving at Grand Central Terminal, I set out to meet a friend downtown. About 10 blocks into my walk, I happened to look across the street and noticed this line of parked taxis.
I looked up at the street sign. 28th Street – I was in Murray Hill, also know as Curry Hill. Now go back and read the sentence aboutbiry
- biryani (an Indian rice dish)
- and Murray Hill.
For those not familiar with Manhattan, here are two bits of information.
- A large percentage of NY taxi drivers are Indian,
- and there’s a two block stretch of Lexington Avenue with nothing but Indian Restaurants.
And my own personal favorite:
These only begin to scratch the surface. I’d have been very late to meet my friend if i snapped a photo of all the Indian restaurants. But think about it, of all the old Times I could have been reading, I found one that made mention of cabbies in Murray Hill, and of all the avenues I could have taken through Murray Hill, I happened to take Lexington.
Life, I love ya!
I love the New York Times, too, and since I’d finished the May 24 paper, I stopped to get