Thursday, March 24, 2011

New York By Phone

dear.new.york
Our Spring Break, while it might seem unfair, was entirely engineered to keep Roman at home and not traveling to and fro riding all means of mass transit. Jeff took Nicolas and Joseph to the city one Sunday and spent three days with them, doing slightly more boyish things, hanging with Juliana and he also coded some work meetings in. I stayed at home with the little girls and Roman, then once the big boys returned we headed out leaving Roman to have guy time for the rest of the week. I really, really don't think Roman minded not being forced into one seat or another for a week straight, which is sort of what vacation in a large city becomes for a wittle kid wike him. As we drove into the city on St. Patrick's Day, evening had just begun to fall, the Empire State building was lit with green lights, and Eleni was journaling the beginnings of our trip.
sistahhhs
After about 0.2 seconds of thought, the first night we decided not to fight the pub crowds in search of fish, chips and green beer, but instead we visited our favorite restaurant in Little Italy. Il Pallazzo won our hearts a few years ago, with such amazing food, attentive wait staff, and they also refer to Juliana and I (and I'm certain every other female on the planet) as "bella" whether they're saying you're welcome after you've sung a thank you to them, or asking you to sample the wine while they wait to finish a full pour (try the Acacia Pinot Noir), or saying goodnight. Bella is at the end of every phrase. Its cozy. Call me beauty in any language and I will pay you for food over and over again. So easily won by flattery, its ridiculous. Of course it also helps when every bite of everything on their menu melts in your mouth.
fashion.exhibit
The first full day, I snuck out of bed early to train out to NJ for a meeting while the girls, my mama, and my MIL slumbered in a little longer then had a day with Juliana to see the Pratt campus, have lunch and generally hop about Brooklyn. After meeting up with them at Penn Station we wandered around Chelsea, came upon FIT, and found our way into a free exhibit featuring Japanese fashion, Vivienne Westwood, and the His and Hers show. So, so cool. If you live nearby, you should go by and see it. Its not too big, but so entertaining, quite fascinating. Speaking of fashion, Juliana sported this adorable skirt that she made for one of her classes. She got an A. Good girl.
mmm.french
After a second meeting that I had in Chelsea (I know, I'm a worker bee), and a little trip to Purlsoho, we floated into Balthazar for an early dinner. My favorite French place in Soho. I go every chance I get. I feel like I'm getting boring going to the same places every time, but man, if someone put a poached egg on your salad, sliced crusty bread for you, served it with fresh butter, then gave you french fries that reminded you of your Yiayia's homemade potatoes fried in olive oil...wuhhhll....you'd keep going, right? Oui. Plus it gave Eleni and Isabela yet another chance to color on tables and have cherry Sprites.
subwow
The next day may well be ever referred to as our big day. Big, because we had 6 tickets in my bag for Mary Poppins on Broadway (which I thankfully didn't leave on the floor of a cab or anything stupid like that). And since it was a single route shot from where we were staying in Brooklyn over and up to 42nd St. we thought it might be very big and city like of us if we took the subway. I've only been on the subway a few times, never wanting to miss the views of the city from just riding around in the back of a cab. I've been on the trains tons, for longer stretches out to Long Island to see my brother, George which I also find mysteriously enjoyable as well. The subway is just so...ehmmm... economical and cool. Seen through the eyes of these two little girls who jumped back when the rush came around the corner and giggled as their hair blew about, it also became altogether exhilarating. I know those of you who do this every day are giggling to yourself right now, too.

As girl-in-a-perfect-world-fate would have it, the Hello Kitty store meows directly across the street from the New Amsterdam Theatre, so we had before and after the show fun there (see pink Sanrio shoppers). It was quite chilly and very windy on Saturday so we succumbed to seriously touristy, IheartNYC-hoodie shopping to deal with that. Adoring Eleni being swallowed by hers. The play was so incredibly fun. I think I might have cried with giddy happiness when they sang/danced Step in Time just because live performances of any genre, when they are totally and completely good, are just so moving. It is such pure entertainment that I wonder how I manage to be entertained otherwise. The girls, all of us, really, were just so happy and in love with it, even if money did buy it this time.
apart.together
That was a big day. We finished it off with a lovely meal of fish, rice, vegetables, and all manner of desserts at a Spanish/Italian place, Meson Sevilla, on W. 46th. Despite aching legs, full bellies, and show tunes wearily playing and replaying through our heads, the girls talked me into letting them stay at the hotel pool until it closed at 10pm. I had some embroidery with me and the pool had lounge chairs so that worked. We stayed at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge, which as you might guess is just on the Brooklyn side of the bridge and a comfortable place sort of out of the noisy-ness that I am accustom to in Manhattan. But its really so easy to hop over the bridge and do whatevs. Renting a suite with 2 double beds, a fold out bed and adding a rollaway bed was the best idea I had for this trip. So much better than staying into two rooms at just about the same price. Every last one of us had some handiwork with us, so it was a cozy pleasure to sink into couches and stitch away the end of each day. And while the girls were all excited about having their own beds on opposite sides of the room, this is how I found them the last morning. They are my messy little munchkin pies.
juniors.brooklyn
And the final imprint of our trip was a fabulous midday breakfast at Juniors in Brooklyn on Sunday. They had me at Cheese Blintzes. And coffee, and hot chocolate, and french toast and buttery, salty biscuits. Da best.

And that my friends is what you can do in NYC without a Canon 40D.
Not so bad.
xoxo, AM

47 comments:

  1. Fabuolous post - fabulous family!!!

    I love Juliana's skirt - all that beautiful detail!!

    Hugs, Jane x

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  2. Fabulous! I love your little tour. The photo of the girls in the subway tunnel put tears in my eyes...such sweet sisters.

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  3. Jeanie5:11 PM

    Don't you just love New York ♥

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  4. And why shouldn't she get an A with such a mother? It's great with the black tights and little boots.
    The photo with the two waiting for the train is really, really nice.

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  5. Anonymous5:25 PM

    Yeah, I also thougt it was very nice to hear Bella again when I visited Italy last may. It's indeed kind of cosy.

    Nice daughters!!

    Gerda

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  6. Sounds like soooo much fun! You could do tours for your bloggie friends, yes? Loved the pics too!

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  7. Kathy5:52 PM

    That skirt totally rocks! Please oh please tell us when Juliana is starting a pattern line? :)

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  8. Bookmarking this post... inspired by you, I might give the big city a try sometime, and I want to do it right!

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  9. Great post! So, jealous!!!! Sounds & looks like you all had a blast! Thanks for sharing! xoxo Beth

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  10. So fun!!! I love Juliana's skirt, too! (Any tutorial??) I cracked up about the "bella" comment. I had the same weakness when I lived in Spain and people called me "guapa." It was especially effective when I was nine months pregnant! I would buy almost anything if someone added that lovely little word when addressing me!! :-)

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  11. Oh, look at how your girls doodle on the tablecloth! You can tell they have quilting in the blood. Ok, someday I aspire that my children would doodle in just such an endearing way!

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  12. Kyliesew7:46 PM

    I hang out for your posts... I live in aus and its so wonderful to see New York, hope I get there someday! I think the photos from your phone are great. Theres something about them that I can't quite put my finger on.

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  13. So, you've heard that the best camera is the one you have with you? So true. Wonderful photos! I especially love Isabela's protective big sister arms around Eleni in the subway. So sweet!

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  14. I'm a big fan our your fabrics and have been loving your blog! I love your description of NYC. My hubby and I went there together last summer and there is something so magical about that city. I love your blogs about your daughter and her experiences in the city. The one about when she started college... It had me in tears! You are not only a fabulous designer, but a engaging writer. keep it up!

    -Devin

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  15. ooo-weee! i was exhausted just reading it! but what an awesome and productive vacation. i'm so sorry about your camera :(....but the pics you have are wonderful!

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  16. mary poppins was the best broadway show i've seen in a long time! the girls loved it too. so glad you had a great trip. can we please eat at balthazar when we weekend sew in october? ;)

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  17. YES Erin! At least twice :)
    xoxoAnna

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  18. ahhh yes I love NY! and you visited Pratt my alma mater!

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  19. Perfect! and thank you for the tour / advice RE-New York :)

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  20. Thank you for this Post, I enjoyed it very much!!!

    Greetings from Germany,
    Karin

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  21. Thank you for this post, so useful as we are planning a first trip to New York for my daughters 16th birthday, which happens to fall on New year's eve, has given me a few ideas of things to do, just need to figure out where to stay now x

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  22. WOW....Nice! It's so lovely reading about your family and how cozy, loving & active you all are. Such love. Your girls (and boys) are lucky to have such a wonderful mother! Thank you for sharing about your wonderful NY trip. It looks like it must have been an amazing time.

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  23. WOW....Nice! It's so lovely reading about your family and how cozy, loving & active you all are. Such love. Your girls (and boys) are lucky to have such a wonderful mother! Thank you for sharing about your wonderful NY trip. It looks like it must have been an amazing time.

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  24. Totally dreamy. I felt like I was almost there. My favorite place to visit. Thank you for the escape!. Your girls are precious!

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  25. Never really want to venter into big cities much, but your trip made me wish I had been along too.

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  26. Your trip looks like it was lovely! And you were in my hood. I work right around the corner from Juniors!

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  27. If I didn't want to visit NYC before reading this post (which I did), I certainly do now. Plus I know where to eat.

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  28. Your family is the coolest, most loving family I have ever heard about... and they say love is losing to busy-ness and chaos. Not so in your case. I happily envy your clan and your creative ways!

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  29. Absolutely AWESOME!

    Please do tell!
    How did you get your pictures to layer like that in your post?

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  30. Sounds so much fun! I want to see Mary Poppins too :-)

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  31. This looks and sounds wonderful, all of it. I hope to visit New York again some day. What a city!

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  32. I just love NYC!

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  33. Oh, perfect timing on this post. Hubby and I are taking our oldest to NY in a couple of weeks. Thanks for all of the hints on places to eat and see. I know my girl would love to see FIT. We'll have to talk dad into it. Planning to head to Purl no matter what anyone says. I'm the mama, right?

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  34. Oh, perfect timing on this post. Hubby and I are taking our oldest to NY in a couple of weeks. Thanks for all of the hints on places to eat and see. I know my girl would love to see FIT. We'll have to talk dad into it. Planning to head to Purl no matter what anyone says. I'm the mama, right?

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  35. I too was in NYC that same weekend and visited Purl Soho as well on Friday. I asked for your fabric, but they had none. Would have loved to see some in person. I need to buy some soon, love all the color you use! Stinks you lost your camera :( It was a perfect weekend though, great weather for NY.

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  36. Hmmmm, interesting: there was some of Anna Maria's fabric at Purl last weekend.

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  37. Thanks for the tour! I do LOVE New York. Your pictures and words made me smile today. "I want to go to there"

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  38. Hi Nancy- Oops-sounds like whoever you asked at Purl about my fabric didn't know (which I find surprising), because there were tons of my bolts when we were in there on Friday! sorry! Anna

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  39. sounds like you had a fantabulous time!

    I'm going to write some of these places down for when I'm NY next (I keep nagging my husband to go again....)

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  40. Love the tour! Wish I'd known you when I lived in Nashvegas...would have made things so much more fun. You really inspire me!

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  41. Ok i have to start out by saying that you might very well be the coolest Mama around... you have passed on such fashionable artistic genes on your your big college girl...you have passed on love to your other darlings that (atleast in pics) they share that love with each other...so sorry about your camera... that is a rotten thing! oh and i hoped you loved Mary Poppins... saw it in Chicago and thought it was Wonderful....

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  42. Oh, I love Balthazar too! Only been there twice but long to go again. And understand the quandary about going back to old favorites or trying something new. Trying to decide where we'll go in San Frqncisco when visiting this month. Torn between re-visits to our old favoriates or checking out new places I've read about. It's all fun.

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  43. Camera, Shamera. Who needs one anyway! Thanks for sharing!

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  44. Would have loved to see some in person. I need to buy some soon, love all the color you use! Stinks you lost your camera :( It was a perfect weekend though, great weather for NY. 2945abc45 0401

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  45. I adore NYC, but you have shown me some new ways to love it! Can you tell me how you post pictures casually cascading on the post section of your blog? what is your secret???

    sandy

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