So, here are a few (rather belated) details from my NYC trip, plus the more important info on what fabric I brought back with me!
I have been longing to go to NYC for so long, I was a bit concerned it might not actually live up to my expectations, but it definitely did! Everything was just how I was hoping it would be, and it also made me laugh how all the clichés about the place are actually reality. I kept a little list of some of the cool little things, these are some of my favourites:
- Welcomed into the country by a immigration officer who looked like a younger Leslie Nielsen (think Forbidden Planet) who asked us "do you like Italian food?" and gave us a recommendation for a restaurant near our hotel that did "amazing meatballs"
- Sat at the counter in a diner to eat brunch and heard someone order "eggs over easy, on rye"
- Gawped at Kathy Lee Gifford outside the NBC studios in the Rockefeller Center
- Rode in a classic NYC taxi, with a taxi driver who had a proper "Noo Yoik" accent, and country blues rock on the radio
- Spotted Gwyneth Paltrow filming for a feature film in Central Park
We stayed on W44th and 5th, which was super great for a first visit when you want to be right in the centre. The first couple of days we spend ticking off the "must-do" sights, and also went to see Follies on Broadway. I'm not really into musicals, but I adore this one - I know it virtually word-for-word from working front of house at the RFH a few years back where it was on all summer. It's a very sad story though, and this production was amazing, and especially tragic it seemed to me.
After booking the holiday, we discovered that we would be there over Columbus Day - and then whilst there we also discovered there was Hispanic Day the day before! My husband had a bout of "manflu" so I watched the Hispanic Day parade mainly by myself, and was befriended by a lovely Colombian lady who'd been in the US for the last 30 years, and was telling me how "Colombians are the happiest people of all!" We were fascinated by the marching bands in the Columbus Day parade, that is something that really doesn't exist in most of the UK. Both of these were also pretty fun as the street where we were staying was one of those where the floats assembled before setting off on parade.
The next couple of evenings we'd booked some cool concerts/gigs to go to: the Mariinsky Orchestra with Valery Gergeiv at the Carnegie Hall, then Winton Marsalis's 50th birthday celebration gig at the Lincoln Center (introduced by Bill Cosby!).
During the days, we went to MoMA, the High Line, and of course the Garment District. Oh yeah. Unfortunately I didn't make enough time to do some other shopping - I had wanted to get some shoes - but next time eh... Plus there was plenty of eating and drinking too!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, enough of that, on to the pretties! I used Lindsey T's wonderful Shop The Garment District site to draw up a plan of attack, and settled on Mood (of course - I'm obsessed with Project Runway, although maybe a bit less given the last couple of series...), Global Leathers, Elliott Berman, and Pacific Trimmings, plus lunch in Stitch.
Mood: L-R Shot gold/black silk twill (fairly beefy but super drapey, going to be a party dress), greenish black chambray (going to be a shirtdress), herringbone wool/fleece mix lightweight coating (marked as Ralph Lauren, going to be a boxy jacket), cotton shirting (going to be a shirt for my husband!)
Elliott Berman: L-R Silk twill (fairly beefy, going to be another party dress), silk sort of heavy matte charmeuse (don't know quite what this type of fabric is called, but it's going to be a blouse)
Global Leathers: L-R Super soft grey nappa (in order to shamelessly rip off be inspired by Fehr Trade's leather skirt), Brown Wyoming cattle hide (this is to make a bag, or rather probably several as the minimum I could buy was half a skin - but I did get a discount as the guy liked my English accent!)
I ended up not actually getting anything from Pacific Trimmings, just wandered round gawping at the huge variety - I was flaking a bit by then, and as I wasn't entirely sure what I needed so didn't want to just buy stuff for the hell of it (unlike, say, fabric...).
One thing I totally loved about fabric shopping in NYC was that many (most?) of the shops are not at street level - there was something very cool taking the lifts in what looked like an office building and emerging on the seventh floor, ringing on a bell and stepping into an enormous space filled floor to ceiling with bolts of delicious fabric. I especially loved the totally old-school lifts to get up to Mood, complete with guys to operate them.
Unfortunately there wasn't a huge amount of me-made action going on, I'd lost confidence in the stuff I'd made a bit, I don't know why. I did wear a couple of things though - my cotton wrap dress (on Hispanic Day when it was about 28˚C!) and my jeans skirt a couple of times (with the Sorbetto top when I went to the Garment District). I did actually take another skirt I'd made with me, but I didn't wear it - it's a new one, so I will show it to you soon.