My husband has had a lot of travel recently for his job. Last week he had business in New York. With the kids back in school and Grandma available to stay with them, I decided to tag along this time. It was short- only a couple of days – but a nice getaway after a busy summer.
New York feels familiar. I used to visit my sister there and I made a trip with my husband a couple of years ago. I’ve compiled a list of places for sew-y inspiration in New York, if you’re interested. I hit a few of those old favorites again, but also visited some new places. One of which was The City Quilter which I’ll review in a separate post.
I had one day all by myself, and I made the most of it. (I have no trouble keeping myself entertained.) I hit the Fashion District, briefly, in hopes of stalking Tim Gunn. No luck. It would have been nice to get a good Tim Gunn pep talk and hug. (Speaking of which, with the end of summer and the Olympics, I haven’t had time to start watching this season of Project Runway. Now that things have settled down a little bit, I’m hoping to start catching up.)
One of my favorite areas of New York is Soho. Lots of personality and good shopping like Pearl River Mart and the Jonathan Adler store. One of my favorite spots there is Purl Soho. Such an gorgeous store with lots of inspiration and eye candy. While there I splurged on my first bit of Liberty lawn.
I also visited a new-to-me-quilt-shop on the upper east side, Pins and Needles Fabric Boutique. I’d featured them in a previous post, but had never been to the shop in person. It was great! It’s in a little upstairs space above a cafe, but the space is maximized fabulously. Lots of natural light at both ends and while fabric space is slightly limited, the bolts available are so well chosen. Lots of Liberty, Leciens, Kokka’s (some of which I purchased) and both quilting and garment weight fabrics available. So great to have something like this available in this part of the city.
There was a little girls’ garment sewing class going on while I visited and I was getting the biggest kick out of it: a) because I have girls those ages and I know what it’s like to get them to focus and b) because I remember doing the same thing to my own sewing teacher when I was 12. 🙂
During the time my husband wasn’t working, we visited some sites and areas of the city we’d never been before. The first night after we arrived we visited the relatively recent development called the Highline. (Many thanks to Anne for suggesting in on the Facebook page!) It’s basically a reclaimed elevated train line on the west side of the city that has been transformed into a long, elevated boardwalk/park. It was so awesome! I loved the resourceful repurposing of something that could have been an eyesore and turning it into something attractive and useful. Lots of plants and flowers, as well as cafes, galleries, and gorgeous views of the Hudson. My favorite was the water feature that kids were splashing in (bottom left.) Instead of water spraying upward, it stayed close to the ground, but was enough to cool off with on a hot, humid evening.
Another first: we took the ferry out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, first stop of hundreds of thousands of people emigrating to America.. My husband has Italian great-grandparents who emigrated to America in the early 20th century. We’re not sure which ones came through Ellis Island, but it motivated us to learn more about their stories. We also visited the 9/11 memorial (right) and witnessed the construction of the new World Trade Center development. The memorial was even more moving than I expected it to be. It’s a powerful and appropriate tribute to the many lives that were lost and affected that day.
Speaking of Italians, I spent the last hours before catching our flight exploring Little Italy with my own Italian Stallion and consuming fabulous pizza. We ate at Pomodoro’s on Spring and Mulberry. I think it’s my favorite pizza on the planet. I wish I could find a way to conveniently duplicate it. I have to confess, I think my most favorite part about trips to NYC is the food. Oh the food.
While we’re on the subject of NYC, have you heard about Quilters Take Manhattan? (Not to be confused with The Muppets Take Manhattan – there are no muppet babies or chicken harems involved in this event.)
Quilters Take Manhattan is an event to support The Quilt Alliance, a non profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of American quilts, including documenting quiltmakers and their stories. This event features guests such as Denyse Schmidt, Mark Lipinski and Jennifer Chiaverini. You can find out more about attending and purchasing tickets here. If you’re like me, and you can’t be there in person, there is a “Home Ticket” option where you’ll get access to video footage as well as gifts, samples and other swag from sponsors and eligibility to win door prizes or buy signed copies of Denyse Schmidt’s latest book. Very cool. Check it out.