New York City Wrap: Vintage, Resort Wear, Sightseeing, Ogling Men and Bond Girls

 

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If I was really talented I would record myself doing a cheesy rap about my “NYC Wrap” and post it on here, but unfortunately I do not possess that level of skill. Therefore, I will be sticking to my usual written blog format for this trip! Very boring I know…

ANYWAY

It all started when a family friend of ours, Amanda, was heading to NYC for work with her line Kirrikin and needed a hand with some media stuff. Her sister, niece and niece’s bestie all joined the ride as well (AKA Kirrikin Entourage! Hahaha…)

Sadly, one of the main events we were due to attend in New York ended up getting cancelled at the last minute (very annoying), but we still managed to make the most of our time there. On the Wednesday we attended the Australian Resort Wear Showroom in SoHo where we viewed some glamorous Aussie designs ranging from clothing to bags and sunglasses. It seems there will be a great opportunity to expand into this arena as it’s a surprisingly un-cluttered market.

Before I go into depth about the whole experience, I would like to give a quick shout-out to the male population of the US. And not because of their looks (not that they aren’t totally cute…). I had forgotten how charming and friendly they generally are compared with Australian men. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a little over the top….like when they follow you down the street in their sports cars and think you’re going to be totally impressed, blatantly ogle you, or run towards you from across the park at Union Square yelling out compliments, or (my personal favourite) they walk right up to your ear in the middle of the street and announce, “I will give you everything you want!” (I tried to hold it in but I had to laugh). It’s just a refreshing change of scenery from the generally too cool for school Australian culture. Needless to say my head was huge (well, huger) and grew to the size of Saturn. Hehe.

So I got a little sidetracked – onto the good stuff! Life’s no fun without play, so we were sure to squish in as many wonderful activities as possible in our limited time-frame. This included all the usual thrills of eating out, sight-seeing, shopping, indulging in “what the locals do” and even (unfortunately) exercising (the downside of going away during basketball season). Speaking of basketball, one of the disappointments for me was missing the New York Liberty versus Seattle Storm WNBA game at Madison Square Garden by just a few hours. And I even had a free ticket from one of the players. Devooo  😦

Phoebe and Hannah (the besties) had their planning down to a fine art. The rest of us were a bit more content with winging our day to day activities, and since I’m no stranger (and neither is Amanda) to the city there wasn’t the same burning desire to go to all the obvious tourist attractions. That’s not to say I didn’t do a little of that, I just had a shorter list. Speaking of “burning” it was seriously HOT in NYC. Coming from an Aussie the former statement is no mean feat. Amanda and Leslie (the sisters) made use of the hop-on-hop-off bus tour until the blistering heat got the better of them and they opted to “jump off” more permanently (hehe).

A couple of must-see spots on my list were the West 4th Street Basketball Courts on 6th Ave; AKA The Cage, and Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and The City apartment in the West Village. Ahhh yes, basketball and SATC – my two great loves 🙂 I managed to meet a really cool journalist from UK Glamour magazine while snapping 1000 pics of Carrie’s doorstep too. She was in town for a couple of days for work and shared the same enthusiasm as I to see the apartment IRL. FACT: The real apartment is worth something like US$9 million and definitely not a quaint little rent-controlled apartment afforded by a freelance journalist like Carrie. Unfortunately I couldn’t peek inside, not that the series ever used the real interior for the show anyway, but just out of sheer curiosity I would’ve liked to see beyond the door. I did google though and it’s sprawling and gorgeous.

My unrelenting SATC obsession naturally meant hitting a few other series hot spots. The episode where Carrie and Big meet for lunch in Central Park at The Loeb Boathouse restaurant and they both ended up falling in the lake needed to be visited also. It did not disappoint. My meal; the lemon chicken, asparagus and potatoes was DELICIOUS and that was before I got to dessert. Hooly Dooly! Salted caramel peanut chocolate tart with caramel popcorn icecream was a major winner. YASSSS!

The Cage was fun and I watched a few scrimmages which to me, someone who comes from very structured indoor basketball and loathes a speck of dust on the court so as to impede my shoe grip (LOL), I find it quite fascinating to watch. Obviously, it’s a huge cultural difference and that’s why when visiting I love to get around to as many street courts as possible. Where we stayed in the East Village was also very close to walking distance to Tompkins Park which had their own pick-up games going regularly. How delightful! Our accommodation in Santa Monica was no different and situated very closely to Venice Beach of White Men Can’t Jump fame.

Monday night we went to ACME for a bit of a dance and a few drinks. I felt ancient after all the walking around so didn’t stay out long, but Phoebe and Hannah took one for the team and stumbled in around 3am. Nicely done ladies!!

Another major feature on my to-do list was visiting the Glossier showroom of Into the Gloss fame. Since Glossier doesn’t deliver to Australia, my only opportunity to finally sample some of the cult-beauty blog’s line was to get there in the flesh. Many of you probably won’t have heard of Into the Gloss as it’s really a beauty junkie/blogger thing. While there were many items I would have loved to take home, I only settled on the Stretch Concealer. I love the natural look of this concealer and how it blends so beautifully into your skin as though you aren’t wearing makeup at all. I use it on the days I don’t want to apply full coverage foundation or powder. A little under the eyes and chin and you’re fresh as a daisy! I wouldn’t use it for heavy coverage, for example if you had a a zit the size of Everest. It’s more for evening out skin tone and mild blemishes.

Thrift stores are high on my agenda, and Williamsburg was my favourite haunt for one of my favourite past-times. Since globalisation has enabled Aussie’s to get their hands on many of the big department store collections in recent years, the need to hit spots like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s was less desperate. Vintage shopping is my thing anywhere in the world and takes up the bulk of my wardrobe, but vintage in NY is theeeee best! So I hop on the L subway bound for Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. I managed a few designer items and some high-waisted denim shorts which I practically lived in for the remainder of the trip. Success!

Most of my generation are huge fans of Gossip Girl and I am of no exception, even if it did take a bit of a nosedive after the first 2 seasons. If there was one thing GG was known for it was yogurt on The Met steps. I don’t think there is a fan alive who doesn’t understand the meaning behind GG and The Met. Needless to say photos on The Met steps were taken. And, anyone who knows me also knows I am a massive history fan; particularly ancient history. The Met has a wonderful ancient Egypt wing where I could’ve spent an entire day beholding in itself. To enter it’s just a donation and it’s situated right next to Central Park, making the perfect post-lunch tour destination.

The last experience I will go into detail over is my workout at Equinox gym in Greenwich Village, which is basically any gym in Australia on steroids. Five levels of awesome, Kiehl’s skincare in the bathrooms, celebrities and everything else you could possibly need rounds up the greatness that is Equinox. I stretched next to Xenia Onatopp aka Famke Janssen (also seen in the X-Men movies) and was dying for a selfie – you know, to prove it happened lolol, but I didn’t want to be annoying during her workout and besides, I’m totally too cool to gush over celebs 😉 ;)…. so back to my workout. My conscious was getting the better of me and thought I should do something to keep myself in some sort of “shape” so I didn’t drop dead in the 1st quarter of my next game. Shoutout to Sabina (my sister-in-law) for granting me a visitor’s pass. Sabina is like super cool and has her very own West Village Equinox membership and was kind enough to set me up.

After my workout I ordered a protein shake from the juice cafe downstairs then browsed the yoga pants and “gym clothes” (how very Gwyneth of me). I type “gym clothes” as several of the “tops” were more akin to lingerie or pool side lounging. Definitely not my style but hey, maybe in another lifetime.

Okay this is getting super long and I could still babble on for a good page or more…so some honourable mention highlights go to:

  • The Chinese medicine shop on E 14th Street and their zero frills massage for fixing my messed up shoulders and neck. The bluntest service you will get but trust me, you walk out feeling fantastic
  • The retail assistant at The NBA store on 5th Ave who upon picking up my socks at the counter asked me if I’d grabbed the right size (of course I had) and when realising they were, in fact, mine (duh) said to me, “damn, you got some big ass feet for a woman!” LOL… okay
  • The Brooklyn Bridge…. seriously cool. Beautiful view and history combined makes for a lovely stroll across this iconic destination
  • Grand Central Station. I loveeeee love this building. You feel like you’ve stepped into a time-warp. Originally built during the heyday of long distance train travel in 1871, Grand Central boasts more platforms than anywhere else in the world, except it does so in stunning style! According to google, it’s architectural style is Beaux-Arts. And don’t even get me started on the ceiling in The Main Concourse with its mesmerising astronomical design which I could have stared at for days and days…. Simply stunning.

So next up I will talk about our stop in Santa Monica, California! I think I’ve written enough drivel for now so after a breather I’ll add another post.

Stay tuuuuuuned!

Mel xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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