My quick trip to New York last weekend was full of the kind of New York moments I haven’t really had in the other times I’ve been back since I moved to the DC region, and they made me miss the city for the first time.
The first moment was when my friend Kim and I found ourselves madly clothes shopping for an event that night. We had known we were going to the Ukrainian fashion event at the National Arts Club that night, but hadn’t realized there would be a dress code! After looking it up to make sure, we ran through several stores, including two different H&Ms, then changed in a Starbucks bathroom. A total New York moment – it’s not the first time I’ve done that!
Watching the fashion shows from the front was a treat for both of us, having dressed models during countless Fashion Weeks. Admiring the designs as they came down the runway was just as much fun as observing the audience. The first collection was by Ukrainian Oksana Karavanska, considered the “go to designer,” according to the program. Every look had a nod or two of native Ukrainian design, but all in quite modern ways. I was too enchanted to take better photos.
Another New York moment was the kind you see on TV shows – I had lunch with some friends, one of whom brought her baby. So there we were, martini glasses in front of us, when the baby woke up and needed to be played with. I promise, we did not let the baby get near our martinis!
Naturally I ran to B&J Fabrics, where I buy the reflective fabric. They didn’t have much left, just a Peep-yellow and an orange that is somewhat of a Creamsicle orange. I bought a yard of that, although I have no idea what I’ll do with it. Probably bias tape, to put in some future project, since I can’t see me wearing something made out of orange. I did find out that a lovely blue reflective material exists but is not in the shop, so I need to find out if they would be willing and able to order a bolt. Since I can only afford to buy two yards max, I’m not sure it would be worth it to B&J to do so. But I’ll find out! I also bought some trim from a few trim shops, for the wedding. That’s such a New York thing, digging through fabric stores.
I ran up one side of Fifth Avenue and then down the other, stopping in Joe Fresh, shopping in Uniqlo, treating Kim and The Mechanic and I to Teuscher Chocolates champagne truffles, and buying custom print American Girl Doll t-shirts for my niece-to-be. Even though I suppose I am now a tourist, I felt like a native, scorning the tourists who patiently waited for the crosswalk signs to change. New York moment – crossing on a red light in front of a cab. “I’m walkin’ here!”
I was surprised to notice that although Citibike is a new thing for NYC, it felt so much like a part of the landscape that I hardly blinked whenever I ran across a station. Maybe because I’m so used to seeing the red bikes everywhere around here? Their stations are much larger than ours, and of course the blue bikes blend into the scenery a bit more, but they didn’t seem odd or unusual. Although I didn’t get to ride one, many people were, and I hope that they soon become New York moments for everyone else.
When I lived in New York, the New York moments were too many, too close together, and I couldn’t wait to get away and find some peace and quiet. I love my tree-lined street and my two-story garden style apartment, and being able to bike through Arlington with relatively few obstacles. So now that I’m settled, I’m ready to return for more New York moments – I think I need more of that grittiness than I realized.