Yet another famous New York event started yesterday and wanting to check all things as DONE on my NY "been there, done that" list, I dressed fashionably, trained into the city to meet my equally fashionably dressed friend Angie and we started out on the first day of Fashion Week.
We met up in one of my favorite areas in the city-- the Meatpacking District. I have blogged about this area before and for those of you who live in Seattle, think of Belltown meets Capital Hill--but even cooler. The heavy cobblestone streets curve and cut into one another and the buildings are all a bit shorter and a bit more warehouse like than the towering Empire State Building and the like that you see in the distance. The sky was super blue--no clouds--it was a gorgeous day. We were bundled a bit since the streets of Manhattan become honest to God wind tunnels when the city gets any sort of wind storms (we have had a bunch lately here) but it wasn't too frigid with the sun up. Spice Market on 13th and 9th was where we chose to dine. Its almost cin the mod Chelsea area. Its an Asian restaurant if you had to label it, but the New York Times describes it much better as:
inspired a passion for Asian street-vendor food, and conceived in collaboration with formerly hibernating chef Gray Kunz, has been vibrating with diners, drinkers, fans, celebrities, and the dressed-to-kill from the moment it opened.
I got there a smidge early and decided to wait at the bar for Ang. I had the delightful experience of meeting and visiting with Hayden (the bartender, but so much more) while I waited. He is originally from Georgia, but moved to NY on his own around the same time Tom and I moved so he could work on his writing. How AWESOME is that? What courage and drive--just talking to him inspired me even more to make it in this world as a writer. We talked for a good 30 min while Angie met and made friends with some folks at a nearby place where she stopped on the way (another story) and I truly enjoyed it. We had instant camaraderie from being new to NY and both being writers and journal-ers. I must get Hayden to meet Cora, my other writer friend so we 3 can inspire each other! I am sure I'll see Hayden again prior to him becoming a famous author--I plan to take Tom to Spice Market next time we are in the city. The food is excellent. Restaurant week has been extended here in the city (economy driven?) but Ang and I actually found delicious affordable option off the regular menu. I had the Chicken Pad Thai and the butternut squash soup while Ang had the Vietnamese Sandwich. Have each when you visit there...
After Spice Market we began our route to our final destination at Bryant Park, but of course we didn't go straight there--we had to make some stops. Angie really wanted to take me by 202 to see the place and meet her new friend Carlos. 202 is AWESOME. Only in NY can a place like this exist--well, I can visualize similar places in San Francisco, but on the East Coast, only in NY. To describe it best imagine that the line between food and fashion is blurred. 202 is a restaurant but sort of "placed" in the middle of swanky store for vintage clothes, household items and antique furniture. They offer brunch, lunch and dinner and one of the friendliest waiters ever--Carlos. Calling him a waiter though is beneath him--he was very warm with his greeting and made sure that Ang and I had some drinks on the house while we discussed fashion week, our life plans and our next stop: The Tibet House. By the way, 202 is another place that I have on my "Take Tom to" list.
We wandered a few blocks over to The Tibet House which hosts many events that pay tribute, benefit and educate people on Tibet, their history, the people, art, etc. They are hosts to the Dalai Lama's visit in May, huge event for any city (that we are attending by the way! Yay!). We only stayed briefly but I know I will be back to browse around there more.
We hopped the train after that and headed to Bryant Park. The park in the Winter has the ice skating rink I love and in the summer, well kept grass that is covered with sun bathers and picnic'ers. For this in between time each year the park is covered with large white tents and house the runways, fashion models and designers displaying the newest styles. We didn't have tickets to the shows going on, but we loitered outside to see who's who in the fashion world. Honestly--we only saw a few people we recognized and as one NYPD cop said to me whille we were leering and spying at the people exiting the tent "only the D-list stars come out the front door". Makes a lot of sense. Next time we'll camp out by the dumpsters in back. We had a great time though and laughed at many of the so called "styles" we saw.
It was a great day and here are a few pics.
Today Tom and I are enjoying Valentines Day by just hanging out and I think we'll do sushi for dinner. We are busy planning for our Curacao trip too... only about a month away!
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY everyone! Talk to you soon!!
pics: Spice Market and the area; Hayden and Diana; Chelsea Market sign on the walk to 202 and Angie just hanging out at some clothes racks before we sat down; the city around Bryant Park "Fashion Central"; the tent and above the tent; cool Gargoyles