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Saturday, September 6, 2008

NYC: Day Five!

Rise and shine! It's shopping day! I wake up early - yes 8:30 am on a Saturday is early - and am happy to see that the rain has subsided. Excellent. I eat some yogurt and get ready for the day. I have picked out a very cute summer dress to wear with my flip flops today. No mustard cord skirt for a change.

I step out the door and notice that the day is extra balmy. The street is different, too. It is has been blocked off and is lined with vendors - a farmers/flea market of sorts. Lovely! I peruse their wares and specialties but am really just excited to go to SoHo. So, off I go. I decide to walk because I want to enjoy the weather and scenery.

I know I've arrived in SoHo when I see the cobblestone streets. At last. I'm not sure where to begin but I trust Broadway might hold the answer. Sure enough, I find SoHo's sweet spot. It quickly begings to remind me of Haight Street. While there are more 'high end' type stores here (Ben Sherman, A/X, Prada), there are several boutiques exactly like those in Haight. Let the shopping begin. I go around up and down Broadway and in everywhere in between. I am a thorough shopper. Soon, though, I am hungry. I remember seeing an awesome donut/muffin bakery on the way there and wished that I had purchased something because I can't seem to find a cool place like that around SoHo. I settle for a Dean and Deluca cinnamon sticky bun. It goes down fast because I am hungry and because I don't want to waste precious shopping time. After D&D, I'm off again. This time I am entering different territory.

Chinatown. Crowded, dirty, stinky, hot. There are rows and rows of vendors all selling the same wares. Here is the ethnic breakdown in these parts: asians and hispanics sell the wares from the tiny stores, blacks sell fake Rolexs from the sidewalk, and whites are suckered into purchasing everything. I am constantly asked if I want to see Coach and Gucci purses in 'the back room' I say, 'No thanks.' Don't they see the Juicy I'm carrying already?

Anyways, if you keep walking down Canal Street, you will eventually see Little Italy. Of course, I will pay homage to my personal ethnicity. The streets are lined in garland arches of green, red, and white. Some of the apartments are also decorated in similar color schemes. The main street, Mulberry, is lined with vendors and restaurants. Like Canal Street, people are constantly in your face. Except instead of purses, they are trying to sell you reservations to their restaurant. I would like to eat there, but have to keep moving on. I rest for a bit on the sidewalk next to 2 French girls who are apparently lost. After a while, I get up and decide to head back up through SoHo and into 5th Ave/Madison Ave territory.

It's then when the torrential rain starts. I'm talking windy rain. Makes you wet all over. So much for my flip flops and sun dress. I'm soaked! The rains here (at least in the summer) are like those in Hawaii, very warm. I'm not cold but the wet feeling is uncomfortable. I remember seeing a Pearl River market store and quickly run to it. I know they will have a cheap umbrella. I also need to get a plastic bag to keep my CB2 items dry. Luckily, they have both for under $6. Bargain here, trust me. I head up with my newly acquired items. Ok, not so bad.

Until about 2 minutes later when the rain decides to come at everyone from all directions and winds are whipping umbrellas up faster than you can blink an eye. Ok, where's the closest subway station? I spy an entrance on Prince. I get over as soon as I can.

Obviously, everyone and their mother is down here as well. It's raining. I catch the N/W train to who knows where. All I know is that it's going Uptown which is where I'm headed. Unfortunately, this train goes a funky way and I'm closer now, yes, but not close enough. Sigh. It's okay, as long as I'm not cold, I'll move along. I keep making my way and stopping into shops every now and again to dry and rest. Pretty soon, I reach home. It's been a long day but I get ready to go out for dinner.

Dinner is at Tartine restaurant in the West Village (11th Ave at 4th Ave.) It's a tiny French place on the corner. Food was incredible and I made friends with my table neighbors, Mary and Hunter. The restaurant is small so it was easy to make friends. Plus, I had to endure them talking about how awesome each one was when he/she was young. My beet salad was topped off with a wonderful raspberry tart. Ce magnifique! I ask Hunter for a good local bar - he recommends the White Horse on Hudson. Ok, so I stroll over there only to find that the place is dead. Is it because of the weather?

I continue along Hudson hoping to find something cool. I think, though, that the weather makes everyone stay inside. I head back to Chelsea, back to my gay, gay neighborhood. This time I stop in at the Viceroy. It's a cool San Franciscan looking place. The bartender, gay but super nice, serves me a Greyhound with Ketel One. Delicious. Soon, I'm on another and...

I'm back at the apartment. Again, another bath is drawn. The whirpool jets make it so nice, too. I assess my financial damage for the day and start organizing to pack. Tomorrow is my last day in New York (well, pending my plane can fly during this weather.) I will be sad but want to continue to make the most of my trip. If it's raining tomorrow I will hit up the Whitney Museum. If not, I want to go to Central Park again (they have a zoo!) and then Barney's and Tiffany's. Pretend I'm filthy, stinking rich.

In the meantime, sleep calls. Good night.

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