Sunday, September 30, 2012

Window Shopping on Pandosy

I was walking from Mosaic Books on Bernard back to my car this morning when I glanced in the window and noticed a cookbook written by my high school friend Donna Marie Pye.  I snapped a quick iPhoto to share with her, and decided to capture a few more shots while I window shopped my way back to the car.

Frock is a great little consignment store.  They're very supportive of local artistans, particulary of the female persuasion, and displayed some of my daughters work for a while last spring.  I believe the owner is very creative and re-purposes some  of the clothing she takes in, designing some sought after one of a kind fashions.

I haven't made it into this new coffee house yet.  My googling tells me they serve up quite a variety of coffees and teas, and have a great collection of rare pulp fiction novels.  Stay tuned from some interior shots next week.

Looking at these luscious baskets that hang up and down the streets in downtown Kelowna you'd never know that tomorrow is the first day of October.

Love these gorgeous gowns found at L'Amore Bridal and Formal Wear.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Black and White New York

What's up with you?

Yesterday I was searching my blog to see if I've ever done a "How to can tomatoes" post when I stumbled upon an old post with a fun little exercise called "Taking Stock".  My immediate thought was that it would be fun to take stock again one year later and it was too bad we'd already passed the date.   It seems my brain had already jumped into October for some reason.  Even when I double checked the date (Yesterday was September 25 and the post was September 26), it still took a few minutes for my mind to settle into the realization that serendipity had intervened once more.  

I'm posting this more as an opportunity for you to do the same thing, rather than thinking anyone but my family would care about my results... in fact I'm sure some of my family members wouldn't care either.  It's been interesting to see how some things have changed a lot but others remain the same. If you decide to do one for yourself, try not to over think and fill in the first thing that comes to mind.

Taking Stock

Making: time for things that are a priority.
Cooking: Caldo Verde and other savoury soups  to comfort us in the cold weather.

Drinking: Tea.  Bengal Spice seems appropriate while I'm working on a memoir set in India.
Reading: Esi Edugyan's first book "The Second Life of Samuel Tyne". The writing is exquisite and inspiring! 
Wanting: to find a good editor.
Looking: is the name of a TV show I binge watched On Demand last Saturday.  Enjoyed the characters and the story line but I'm not a fan of any explicit stuff no matter who it is, so had to be quick on the fast forward.
Playing: 1950's housewife with some millennial sensibilities
Wasting: Time.  Same as always.
Sewing: Lent my sewing machine to my daughter yesterday so buttons will be the only thing I'm sewing for a bit. 

Wishing: I could give up coffee.
Enjoying: hands that don't feel swollen and achey.  Could it be a result of the Coenzyme Q10 that I'm taking?

Waiting: for next week when I'll find time to capture this golden Autumn.
Liking: that I may come in well under the wire on my self imposed deadline.
Wondering: when my foot will be better so I can go hiking.
Loving: my family.
Hoping: that the dishwasher will be installed this weekend.
Marvelling: at how many dishes two people can use in a day.
Needing: boots that will fit my orthotics
Smelling: Italian Wedding Soup
Wearing: Jeans and a cotton shirt... brb I need to find a sweater.
Following: nobody on Twitter.  Deleted my account last month without ever tweeting.
Noticing: that I didn't miss Facebook and it didn't miss me.
Knowing: "that your door is always open and your path is free to walk" (Glen Campbell - Gentle on my Mind)

Thinking: too much.
Bookmarking :  sites re: our winter vacation.
Opening: my big mouth a little less.
Giggling: at The People's couch.  My guilty pleasure.
Feeling: surprisingly calm when all things are considered.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

From Bleecker to Bemelmans

Friday morning on our last day in New York I was determined to get the most out of it.  I rose early and headed down to Greenwich Village on the subway. We'd been going non-stop for the past five days and Christina knew that as soon as she stepped off the plane the next day her four kids would be lovingly thrust into her arms by her harried hubby.  She opted to sleep in.

Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village

A gated street known as The Mews is just south of the park.  Years ago  it was a row of stables that 
serviced houses in the area, but was turned into housing and offices for New York University.  The gate was open so I walked in as though I belonged.  Construction was going on at one end of the road, but nobody stopped me so I took photos while I had the opportunity.

I strolled down famed Bleeker Street snapping photos as I went.

This popular store was having a 90% off sale.  I snapped a photo despite the fact that 
farther down the line I heard a lanky blonde girl asked "Can I take a picture for Instagram?" 
and the response was a curt "NO."

Christina and I reconnected at our hotel and walked to the nearby Museum of Modern Art.

Alighiero Boetti's "Tutto"  (Embroidery on canvas)

I don't think she's part of the exhibit, but she certainly matches well!

When we'd had our fill of MOMA, we strolled back up Fifth Avenue to FAO Schwartz where Christina bought gifts for her kids and I bought my big kids some Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate frogs with their collectible wizard cards.  Even in their 20's my kids are still big Harry Potter fans.  

The Louis Vuitton window was surrounded by people intrigued by their latest display.  
I'm pretty sure she wasn't real, but an amazingly life-like wax figure.

I had hoped to see a bit of The Metropolitan Museum of Art but being on the go so much was really catching up with me.  Christina and I stopped for a lunch at a pub not far from our hotel and then headed back to our room.  I had a quick shower and put my feet up for a few minutes.  Below is the view from our hotel room at the Hilton on Avenue of the Americas.

I hoped to have a special meal while visiting the Big Apple.  Encouraged by our concierge and the location, all six of us had dinner at "The View".  It's a revolving restaurant above Times Square and was part of New York Summer Restaurant Week.  With a Prix Fixe menu of $35.00 per person we still ended up paying more than $60 each for an average dinner with one glass of wine.  I was not impressed, but the company made up for it. 

  Leanne, Allison, Lara, Tracy and Christina

After dinner the Kelowna girls joined the Vancouver girls who had pre-booked a time to watch the sun set from the observation deck above Rockefeller Centre. Thanks to a very friendly doorman who welcomed us with "Where have you ladies been?  We've been waiting for you!" and the City Pass which enabled us to skip part of the lineup, we were allowed to join our friends for the sunset on Top of The Rock.

On the way up we were encouraged to re-create the well known photograph Lunch Atop a Skyscraper taken in 1932 during the building of Rockerfeller's 70 storey building.

Back downstairs we managed to sneak into the NBC store just before it closed where we purchased a few souvenirs from our favourite TV shows.  Christina bought her husband a gavel from Law and Order that made that iconic noise when you banged it on a desk, Lara bought a couple of things including a Central Perk coffee cup, I bought a key chain from Vandelay Industries and darned if I can remember what Tracy bought.

Afterwards Christina, Lara, Tracy and I took a cab to the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper Eastside.  I'd read and heard about Bemelmens Bar, named for Ludwig Bemelmans, illustrator of the Madeline children's books and I was keen to hear some Jazz while I was in New York.  

We were mislead by the concierge who told us the cover was $25 per table.  It ended up being $30 per person and cocktails were $22 each. Looking from the outside you might think it was an overpriced experience, but to me it was worth every penny.  We sat on leather banquettes below a 24 carat gold leaf ceiling, surrounded by the murals of Ludwig Bemelmans.  We were served by attentive waiters in elegant white jackets, we sat near the grand piano and listened to the velvet voiced Chris Gillespe and his talented bassist and saxophonist.

The band played several of our requests and really made it a special evening for me.  I chatted with Chris Gillespe between sets and he complemented my song choices.  When I told him I was a singer he told me he'd suspected as much.  

We were drawn into conversation by the couples sitting next to us.  New Yorkers are so friendly!

Below, our new friend Mike goes for a photo bomb when I was
actually trying to sneakily capture he and his girlfriend.

The waiter gets in on the photo bombing with a karate chop to the eye!

Against our better judgement we stayed into the third set despite the fact three of us had to get up at five to catch the airport shuttle. It was a quintessential elegant old world New York experience and for me, the perfect ending to a lovely trip.