I didn’t buy any shoes today. I just wanted you to know that, and I think you should appreciate it. You may not consider this a tremendous achievement since, after all, you didn’t buy any shoes today either (unless you did, in which case, yay) but I will have you know that I faced severe temptation and resisted. For the most part, anyway.
Today was my day for downtown explorations, through Nolita, Soho, Greenwich and Chelsea. The odd part is, as wide-ranging as this plan sounds, in total area we are probably talking about something half the size of San Mateo, though with a lot more cabs.
The day started with breakfast with Lisa at Cafe Gitane, a charming Nolita-based hub of francophilia, and them to the Belle by Sigerson Morison for my first great temptation (low-heeled patent pumps with the perfectly rounded pointy toe). Then, a couple of stops later, she had to head off to do some work and I fell hard for a pair of earrings (semi-poll question: how much do you want to know about my aquisitions on this trip? Because they’re kind of great but it could get tiresome.)
Post-Nolita I made my way to Soho, which is conveniently located several blocks away (seriously, I walk shorter distances to go to the grocery store than it takes to go between neighborhoods around here.) I made a couple of purchases there, including a birthday present for one reader of this blog, so we won’t go into that. (I also saw enough cool home goods as to make me wish I had a permanent-type residence of my own, but that is a topic for another time.) Then it was off to my previously-estabilshed favorite part of Manhattan, the West Village, which I love not because I’m a gay man (I’m not) but because it’s the part that feels the most like Berkeley to me, with its trees and its small local restaurants and its free-range craziness. Also, the Lulu Guiness store is there, and that’s never a bad thing. (I bought a necklace.) (I might go back and buy another one.)
The Magnolia Bakery is also in the neighborhood, and you can go there and get an overpriced cupcake and a cup of cocoa and eat them in the nearby park, which affords you a great opportunity to watch people, and also pigeons.
All of these things I have mentioned I did two years ago, on my first trip to NYC, and while I was happy to revisit them, this time I was determined to catch the things I had missed before. Which is why, after a late lunch at a corner bistro, I took myself off to a jewelry store in Chelsea that makes frequent appearances in my favorite fashion magazine, for the very very good reason that they have creative and beautiful and ruinously expensive pieces. (We’re talking about the kind of place where you try and open the door, and they look at you on their monitor, and then they decide if they will push the button to let you in.) But I was glad to have gone there, if for no other reason than to say I have been.
Eventually, footsore and satisfied with having spent approximately as much money as I saved by not paying for a hotel room, I made my way back to the apartment, where my kind host was diligently working (for her California-based employer) and proceeded to distract her until it was time for us to go out for an evening of Fabulous Food And Slightly Too Much Drinking. (All I have to say is, that Mario Batali runs a fine pizza joint.) Which is why I am writing this blog host while sobering up and drinking four glasses of water, and also why tomorrow’s adventures may be slightly less adventuresome, at least in the morning.
No promises, anyway.