Holy Crap! You guys! Today, I enter my last year as a 20-something. I didn't think it was that big of a deal until I started mulling it over. Then, I got sad. I really love(d) my twenties. I don't want them to be over. *TEAR* I'm totally getting ahead of myself, because I have a whole year left to live-up Twenty-Nine. And, if the last week is any indication of the year ahead, it's g boing to be pretty outstanding.
Mike made a preemptive birthday strike this year. He caught me completely by surprise during dinner one evening when, in the middle of his exhilarating recap of computer generated test values and efficiency reports, he dropped a map on the table in front of me. It took my eyes a few minutes to clear the glaze of excitement from his workday run-down before I realized what I was looking at. It was New York. Like, the heart of Times Square, New York. The next sheet he showed me had confirmation of airline reservations. After a few minutes of confusion on my part, he explained that he thought I might want to go fabric shopping in the garment district, and he was taking me as my birthday present! The man is AMAZING!!!
So, Friday, we made our way to NYC. As soon as we unloaded our luggage, we headed straight for Mood where we were greeted by SWATCH! Mood is everything I dreamed it would be and then some. The staff were incredible to work with, and they were genuinely interested in helping us around the store. Everyone we encountered was really personable, especially Bob and Noel who remembered details of our conversations from earlier in the day when we made a second trip to the store later that evening. Don't judge.
In between fabric shops, we stopped for a sandwich at Cafe Kabila. It's just around the corner from Mood, and our food was FANTASTIC. Good, good stuff.
Once we refueled, we spent the remainder of the afternoon wandering in and out of shops. I didn't have a particular plan or shops I wanted to visit mapped out, but I didn't need to. The streets are quite literally lined with fabric stores.
We weaved in and out, dodging showers from dripping window air conditioning units as we went door-to-door weighing down our shopping bags with pieces of fabric.
The poor kid who helped cut trim for me at Daytona Trimming got his share of "CRAZY" for the afternoon. I can't explain to you how excited I was to have so many options in stretch and fold-over elastic! There's a whole wall to choose from! And, it ranges from $0.99-$1.50 a yard. I came home with close to forty yards. No joke.
The resounding theme of the day was, "silk". I couldn't get enough. Mike managed to squeeze in a couple cuts of some amazing wool knits, which he hopes will turn into some swanky lounge pants in the near future, a lightweight chambray he thinks would be great as shorts, and a plaid shirting that, "has all his colors", in it. In addition to the stores above, we visited the (in)famous Spandex House, but I was a little intimidated by the volume of stretchy sequined and lamé fabrics, and we didn't dig very deep.
We worked up an appetite while we were out. Who knew fabric shopping could be such an aerobic activity?! For dinner, we got gussied-up and had a meal on the Upper East Side at Candle 79. The food was exceptional. Though, I must admit, our appetizer and main course were overshadowed by the watermelon salad in balsamic reduction with pickled onions (not on the menu) that the chef sent out as a teaser. I had a hard time getting it out of my mind.
We started Saturday with a run in Central Park. Chicago has some great parks, and our lake front is atmospheric (arguably the best view of a city skyline, anywhere)and accommodating to runners and cyclists, but Central Park raises the bar. It's truly an oasis in the middle of the city.
We rewarded ourselves, repeatedly, for working out, starting with gelato from Grom, where Mike managed to consume an impressive four scoops.
After we washed the sweat off, we headed West and walked the length of the Highline.
We spent the remainder of day exploring Soho and walking around the NYU campus area.
We made a pit-stop into Purl Soho. Because, no trip is successful without a visit to a yarn store. I bought some lovely skeins of Andula Milky Way. This yarn is composed of 80% milk protein and 20% superwash wool. Neither the girl in the shop nor I knew what exactly "milk protein" means, but the sample was really gorgeous, and it shines like silk. I've looked it up and there is some explanation of the fiber structure: here. Sadly, this was my only yarn stop during the weekend. Poor planning prevented me from being able to go to the Lion Brand Studio; they're not open on Saturdays-??? What's up with that???
The rest of our trip was a demonstration in gluttony. First we picked up a variety of cheeses. crackers and olives at Dean & Deluca and some beverages from Think Coffee to snack on before dinner at Sacred Chow.
The food at Sacred Chow was really excellent. The portions were (too) LARGE. I couldn't finish my meal, though I wanted to. Our only...concern... if you can even call it that was the operational organization. Mike got a meal other than what he ordered. And, the staff was having a really hard time keeping track of who got what, where. But, really yummy food, and we'd eat there again.
Once we were finished with dinner, we trekked to Dylan's Candy Bar to pick-up some dessert. I was like a kid in... well, it goes without saying. CANDY. EVERYWHERE. NOM.NOM.NOM.
Sunday, I woke-up with one thing on my mind. Bagels. We couldn't resist stashing a baker's dozen of these in our carry-on luggage. They're in the freezer now; I'm rationing them until I know I'll be able to get more.
We should have been as smart with the macarons. They lasted all of two days.
It was so hard to snap back to reality when my alarm clock sounded Monday morning. I'm already trying to figure out when I can get back. Maybe I can twist Meg's arm and get here to coordinate a blogger meet-up in the fall (nudge, nudge)...not that one really needs an excuse. This birthday is going to be pretty hard to beat. Well played, my love. Well played.