Thursday was our last full day in New York. Being tired of waiting in lines for things, this was the day we planned to hit some of the little spots we wanted to see. First thing after breakfast, we took the subway to the nearest store of the chain that employs my husband. He wanted to take a look at how it was laid out for comparison’s sake, and he wanted to be able to tell his employees he saw the Big Apple version. Said store happened to be in Harlem.
Said store was really no different than spouse’s store. I bought a little sunhat because we were going to be outdoors most of the day, and the top of my head was already sunburnt and tender from our long walk on Day 1 and the Statue of Liberty tour on Day 2. Note to self: remember to take a hat next time you plan to play tourist outdoors.
We headed back to the Upper West Side next, and found the yarn store. Stop shaking your head. Of course I had to visit a New York yarn store! This was Knitty City on 79th Street, and it was a perfectly lovely shop, with a helpful and friendly staff. The dinosaurs browsed while Kathi and I chatted; I wanted to buy local yarn, and she showed me several options. I walked away with two skeins of hand-dyed Chelsea Sock (Yellow, Chrysanthemum) from the local Nooch Fiber, which is 80% superwash Merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon; and one skein of a MadTosh Merino Light colorway (Urban Flagstone) dyed exclusively for this shop. Also in my cool shopping-cum-project bag was another project bag, and three pattern books (the Interpretations series, Volumes 1-3) from two designers (Joji Locatelli and Veera Välimäki) I’d never heard of but fell madly in love with their work.
These books are chock full of elegant (in all meanings, but especially the scientific sense of “gracefully concise and simple”) designs for cardigans, pullovers, and accessories, with clean lines and uncomplicated silhouettes, with careful attention paid to details like cables or lace or colorwork, and all beautiful and eminently wearable. It looks like this is an annual series, so I’ll be keeping my eye out for Volume IV, which I expect will be released sometime in 2017.
Oh, before I forget, here are the yarn-browsing dinosaurs.
Next on our list was the New York Public Library: specifically the Stephen A. Schwarzman branch. The dinosaurs and I had a hankering to visit the lions, Patience and Fortitude. By this time, spouse and I were getting pretty good at figuring out which trains and subway stops we needed, so we made our way to Bryant Park and had lunch al fresco.
Have I mentioned the weather was absolutely spectacular that entire week? It was no different Thursday. I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the shade, eating a sandwich and fruit from one of the park vendors, watching the passersby, and enjoying the fragrance of the flowers. The park was crowded like everywhere we’d been, but enjoyable nonetheless. Even with the crowds, it was relaxing to sit and commune with a little bit of greenery in the midst of all that concrete and steel.
After we finished our meal, we wandered around the park and eventually made our way to the front of the library. And there they were, the great stone lions. These lions have fascinated me for ages. I once read a fantasy/SF novel — can’t remember the name; in fact, the following tidbit is the only detail I remember of the novel — that took place in a devastated future New York, in which the lions had come to life and prowled the city, doing no harm, of course, but acting as protectors of the downtrodden and weak. So that’s how I think of them, always.
Spouse took my photo with Fortitude, on the north edge of the steps. (Patience lives on the south edge.) The dinos had their photo taken too.
Next stop was Tender Buttons, the button store on the Upper East Side that I told you about in this Work In Progress Wednesday post a couple of weeks ago. Spouse is a tolerant man, but his tolerance extends only so far, and he’d already borne through an extended yarn shop visit this day; thus I didn’t spend nearly as much time in this little shop as I would have done had I been by myself. I saw enough to know I want to go back there every time I need buttons. Sadly, that’s not feasible.
Our last stop of the day (nyuk, nyuk, get it?) was Wall Street. This was especially for spouse. Long ago, in another life, before he took up retail management as a career, he worked for an investment firm where he guided his clients’ purchases of equities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, and so forth. He doesn’t really miss that rat race but he has some fond memories. That being the case, he wanted to make a pilgrimage to the New York Stock Exchange. And here he is, in his Master of the Universe pose.
Isn’t he the cutest? We saw the bull, too, because it would be un-American to go to Wall Street and not pay homage to the bull.
After all these adventures, we were plumb tuckered out and went back to the hotel to crash. Later we realized we hadn’t taken ourselves out to a fancy dinner for our anniversary, so spouse found a little Italian restaurant within easy walking distance of the hotel, and that’s where we went. La Piccola Cucina is tiny, maybe ten tables at most; the atmosphere was calm and soothing with lovely instrumental music playing at a just-right volume over the speakers; our server was attentive but not hovering; and the food was divine.
One more day for this New York adventure. Stay tuned.