Saturday morning we slept in. Lindsey has this adorable little maltese named Mischief, and when I woke up I saw her sitting there with her arms up on her pen/crib, and I decided to pick her up and take her out to the living room with me. Of course, two seconds later she bolted back into the bedroom, onto the bed and woke up Lindsey. Here is a picture of me and Mischief (although it was taken later in the trip). She is just so cute:
Me and Mischief
So we were up and Lindsey wanted to know what I wanted to do for the day (until our dinner/Broadway show date later that night). I’ve got to admit… as much as I like traveling, I’m not much of a “tourist spot” kind of a girl. Honestly, some of the best times I’ve had while traveling involve just eating, shopping, and just being around the local people and experiencing the city. So while I was in NYC, I wasn’t particularly dying to see the Empire State Building, or even the Statue of Liberty (among many other things people love to see in NYC).
With that in mind, I told Lindsey I’d like to just walk around her area and shop and explore. We had a fantastic morning/afternoon in the village. I learned that “NOHO” and “SOHO” are parts that are north and south of Houston street (pronounced “how-stun”). I think we spent most of the day in Soho. I joked that I wanted a “Prado” purse, so Lindsey took me down to Canal Street which totally reminded me of Queensway in Bayswater (London)! Queensway is a pretty dirty, busy street in Bayswater, and it is lined with these “gift shops” and the people who work in them give off a pretty shady vibe… but you get really good deals on souvenirs! 😉 I was particularly fond of the scarves that only cost 1 pound (close to $2 when we first moved there, down to about $1.50 by the time we left).
The Arch at the end of 5th Ave
My only picture from Canal Street--Me enjoying a Dunkin Donut!
Anyway, back to Canal Street. It’s lined with shops too, except the shops sell knock-off purses and sunglasses and whatnot. The funny thing is that when you go in the shops, you see all these purses that are obviously fakes. None of them actually say “Prada” or even “Prado”… the style just looks a lot like designer purses. But while Lindsey and I were in one of these shops, one of the workers said, “Come look, I have some more purses back here” and she took us through a secret passage way in a wall into a backroom FULL of trademark/copyright/patent infringement! (I haven’t studied intellectual property enough to know which apply… but I know having the exact logos that say “Prada” and “Coach” and “Gucci” is definitely trademark infringement). I’m pretty sure it’s only illegal to sell these products and not illegal to buy them, but I still couldn’t get my mind off of the issue and I made some comment to Lindsey about us being in the “secret trademark infringing room” and the lady overheard us and kicked us out. Haha. So, sadly, no Prada or Prado purses for Michelle.
Before and after Canal street we walked in and out of various shops. The Soho area totally reminded me of a lot of the city areas I’d been to in Europe. Since the New England area was the part of the country that was settled first when people moved here from Europe, I guess that makes sense! The west coast cities (seattle, portland, sacramento, los angeles, san diego) do not remind me of Europe. I can’t place my finger on exactly what it is, but there is a big difference. It was so cold that day, that we had to keep going in and out of shops just to stay warm. It was perfect actually, because we’d stay in a store long enough that we started to roast in our five layers, then we’d go outside and just about the time we’d cool off and start noticing the freezing temperatures again, there’d be another store we wanted to check out.
Me, somewhere in Soho.
There were a lot of street artists out on the street and I was verrrrry tempted to buy this one painting that was $200. It wasn’t a knock-off of this one painting I remembered, but it gave me a similar feeling, and the other painting (which used to hang in a store in Malibu that displayed local artists works for sale) was around $1400. So $200 sounded like a bargain. However, I managed to walk away and “think about it” and ultimately didn’t go back.
Oh, I also introduced Lindsey (who is 5’10”) to this great store Lululemon. They have them all over the country, and it’s kind of a workout/yoga store. However, they carry these incredibly comfy, great fitting work out pants in TALLS and the talls fit me! So as we walked by one in Soho, Lindsey wanted to stop. She tried on a few pairs and ended up buying four pairs! She was so excited to finally have lounge pants that fit her she couldn’t stop thanking me. The downside of these pants is that they are expensive ($98/each). The upside is that as tall girls, it’s nearly impossible to find pants that fit that well. And seriously, if you know me at all you know that I am a bargain shopper, but even I own two pairs of these pants (I bought one in Vegas over the break, and bought another pair in NYC when Lindsey bought four).
After the pants excitement, we decided to grab a little bite to eat and stopped in a cute cafe where we had soup and split a salad. Soup for lunch on a cold day is perfect! When we were done he headed back to her place, and I got to experience my first subway ride! Technically we could have walked all the way back, but there was a subway stop right there and we needed to get back quickly so we could change and head out for dinner. I found the subway to be cleaner than Paris, but dirtier than London. Isn’t it crazy that I can rank the New York subway against other countries? And while I’m on Subways, I’d just like to point out that the one in Barcelona is the cleanest I’ve seen yet. I may have been lucky and just happened to get on a couple of brand new trains, but they were sparkling clean, air conditioned, and had little TVs inside telling you about where you were, etc. However, that was about the only clean thing about Barcelona 😉
After the subway ride, we changed into our dinner/theater attire, freshened up, and headed out to catch a cab. Granted, it was a Saturday night so I’m assuming Saturday nights must be difficult but even Lindsey said that was the longest it ever took her to hail a cab. It was soo cold outside, and took us so long to get one, that I was pretty sure I was going to literally die in a few more minutes, or at least my poor ears were going to fall off from frost bite. (Luckily, after that painful occasion, I got some earmuffs from Lindsey). We finally caught one, and made it to our dinner location, Via Brasil, where we were meeting our friends Abbey and Melanie. The dinner was delicious and fun, and then we walked from there to the theater to see Lion King!
Lion King was really fun! We were up in the balcony, but we were in the middle of a row so that was good, and honestly it was the kind of theater where I doubt there could be a “bad seat.” Apparently, you can go to a place in Time Square on the day you want to see a show and get really good deals on tickets if there are any left, but when someone is coming into town and only has one day they can see a show, that option doesn’t really work. They had that in London too but sadly I never got around to seeing a show in London 😦
(Wow, I’m sorry I keep name dropping Europe in this post. I got my break being back in the U.S. and now I want to go back! Even Krissi, who swore she never wanted to live in London again, especially Bayswater, wants to go back! It grows on you…)
There are several parts in the Lion King that are just so beautifully done (choreography, costumes, and music-wise) that I actually started tearing up. Not because the moment in the play was particularly happy or sad.. just the way it was put together was so beautiful. I’ve had this experience a few times with movies too–I’ll get emotional if the music/colors/settings strike me as particularly beautiful. There were a few parts that I thought were a little cheesy, but then again we were seeing Lion King, which could have been cheesy the whole time. It wasn’t though, it was a very well done show!
A little Times Square
Me in Times Square (notice the earmuffs)
After the show we walked through Times Square and I saw the tiny little ball that everyone makes a big deal about on New Years Eve. It looks really tiny in person. I don’t know how the people on the ground can even tell it’s “dropping” 😉 There were lots of horse drawn carriages and people on bikes waiting to pick up theater-goers, but we ultimately got a cab back to Lindsey’s apartment where we got into our PJs and watched some TV and chatted before ultimately going to bed.
Woo… That’s the end of my Saturday! Sunday to come sometime soon 🙂
(NOTE: I didn’t take as many pictures as I normally do on Friday night and Saturday because it was too cold to think about stopping for photo ops. But I made up for it a little bit on Sunday, which you’ll see later.)