09 September 2012

228. NYC in August, Drama with a Capital "D", and Two New Dresses

I was lucky to take a quick trip to NYC with Kyle last month!  Wore a new dress I haven't shared with you, and picked up some fabric from Mood and made a new maxi dress after I got home.  More on that later.  This post will be photo heavy, word light, after the jump:

I was supposed to fly to Newark on Friday (Aug 10), but after I'd made it to Baltimore, the second leg of my trip was cancelled.  I am always impressed by service dogs, but particularly when they help navigate airports.  And how this one waited patiently as new plans were made, over hours of delay.  Service dogs are so smart and so well-behaved:

The earliest flight Southwest could offer me was on SUNDAY, which means I'd have missed the whole NYC weekend.  So I accepted a voucher and booked a train to Princeton instead:

Loved Amtrak -- remarkably on time, comfortable, free wi-fi!  All good.  Also, the train is apparently a place where people are comfortable being very casual, standing on the seats to access their bags, with their rear ends up for public scrutiny:

"Sir, your jeans are too baggy in the seat!"

When I got to Princeton, Kyle picked me up from the train station.  We grabbed a Princeton shirt for my husband, picked up a pizza for dinner, and then Kyle totally surprised me with an early birthday cake:

So sweet!  And some really sweet gifts, including a box of Cynthia Rowley Band-Aids!

The next day, Saturday, was Male Pattern Boldness (MPB) Day in NYC, so Kyle and I hustled into the city to participate!  I've read Peter's blog before and found his writing style charming, and I was looking forward to meeting him and other sewing folks.  We met up first at the FIT Museum, and as there was no photography allowed in the main exhibit, I've got nothing for you there.  There were some beautiful garments, and interesting omissions.  Across the street was the Barbie Pink student exhibit, where we saw some cool, compelling interpretations of Barbie and her impact on pop culture.  This was one of my faves, a small diorama of Barbie being made up by an Army of mini-Barbies:

This was a life-size Barbie vanity:

And then we had lunch at Brown Cup, which had a wonderful selection of food, snacks, and tasty beverages.  Here are Kyle and Claudine:

And Nicole and Mike:

Nicole doesn't blog, but we had a nice time chatting about her exotic lifestyle with the foreign service.  Mike was on North American holiday from Australia, and is just lovely to chat with.  He has been working on a blazer that has turned out beautifully!

After lunch, Kyle and I broke away from the group because we'd put together a very short and deliberate list of fabric places we wanted to go.  We had to knock this out!  After, we'd meet up with the group after shopping time was over.  We went to Pacific Trim, where I bought a $7 zipper (do you remember that line in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta says, "I gotta know what a $5 shake tastes like!"?  Well, I had to know what a $7 zipper felt like, and it feels HEAVENLY!!!!!), and SIL Thread, where I bought Clover hat making templates I've known about for years but never seen in real life.  Among other things, of course.  I picked up a few standard black invisible zips and things like that.  But the $7 zipper and hat template were the stars of that show:

At Mood, Kyle was running out of steam, so I felt for a moment like a Project Runway contestant, getting very clear about my purchasing priorities and fighting for space at the cutting table!  LOL  I ended up with luscious printed rayon knit, an exquisite men's shirting with woven windowpanes, and a lush, polka dotted cotton sateen:

Kyle suggested we get a drink and rest for a bit.  It was on our way out of Mood that things got funky.  I could tell something was up because the "flow" of the street had come to a stop.  As we approached 7th Avenue, I could see lots of police cars and police officers.  I took this photo without really knowing what I was photographing.  I thought I'd add it to my "crazy things that happen when I visit NYC" catalog.

If you want to click through to the original photo, hosted on Flickr, you'll see that there are a bunch of officers aiming guns.  I originally thought they had stopped the little blue car.  Turns out they were trying to stop the man behind the car.  When I realized this, I noticed the man had something in his hand, and told Kyle I thought he had a gun.  She suggested we walk west on 38th again to get some distance.  We saw the whole procession of officers and suspect move just past us down 7th Ave.  Kyle pulled out her map to see if we could get around this craziness to grab a cold beverage, and BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG.  Kyle grabbed my arm, and we ran into Pacific Trim, and I sobbed for a few minutes, quite sure at least one person had just died half a block away from us, and Kyle very kindly comforted me.

Later I found out much more about what happened.  If you Google "Darrius Kennedy" you can find out more, but unfortunately it seems most public discourse around this ended a few days after the incident.  ANYWAY, to say the least, this was a difficult experience for me to shake off.

We made it back to Kinokuniya to meet the MPB group, share purchases, and say goodbye.  Thank goodness they were all safe.  I don't think I took another photo that afternoon.  Peter's MPB Day wrap-up is here.

After rest and relaxation, on Sunday, Kyle and I had a whirlwind day taking a wonderful food tour in Greenwich Village, and then shopping at every NYC spot we'd ever wanted to shop.

Can I tell you first about the food tour?  Sometime in February or March, I think, I got an email from a gal who'd seen the Norma Envelope Clutch on Pinterest.  She emailed me to ask if I had any for sale, as she never intended to sew but would gladly purchase one.  I don't do production sewing on any scale (boredom supreme!), and have no idea how I'd price something like this, so I offered to send it to her and chalk it up to karma.  She told me that she worked for a food tour company in NYC, and if I were ever there, to contact her so she could hook me up with tickets.  So I did, and she did!

Here's Amy from Foods of New York Tours, and me, before the tour began:

Photo credit: Kyle!  Thank you!
I never would have chosen a food tour without this opportunity.  I'm so glad we did this, and I will probably take more food tours in the future!  BTW that dress is a modified View B tunic from Butterick 5644.  It's made with quilting cotton, and though I hated the stiffness at first, it has softened a lot and is a favored summer dress for me at the moment!

About the food tour -- they were accommodating about our vegetarian preferences, all the food they served was delicious, and they stuffed us full!  No joke.  We learned so much about food, labelling laws, history, and architecture.  We met interesting people, some from near and some from far away (Australia!).  I'm a food tour convert.

This is one of my favorite photos from the trip, of Kyle and me outside Milk & Cookies Bakery on the food tour:

That's the main image I'm trying to cement in my brain around this trip.  :)  Because if it weren't for one tragic incident, it would have been, overall, just a super-duper weekend.  And mostly, it was.

After the food tour, I recommitted personal funds to improving the economy by running around to Purl Soho, Warby Parker, No. 6 Store, Uniqlo, and Christian Siriano's new store.  And at the end of the day, Kyle headed back home and I headed to NJ for work.  One last image from the trip -- we saw Edward Scissorhands on the subway!

Kyle's post about our NYC weekend is here, and she's got lots more cool pics.  Thanks for everything, Kyle!  You are a wonderful friend and I'm glad I got to hang out with you at least once this year!

Upon my return home, I made that rayon lycra knit into a birthday dress for my actual birthday, and I'm glad I did, because my husband put together a "surprise open house" and I got to see a bunch more friends help me celebrate aging.  Haha!  The dress is from McCall 6069, which I made pretty much according to instructions two years ago.  This time, I took that square-neck piece, rounded the neckline, and used it for both the front and back bodice.  I just used long rectangles of the knit for the skirt.  I wish I'd done more with the proportion of black versus the print -- something about this isn't quite right -- but I'm again surprised at how much I like wearing this dress anyway:


  1. happy birthday!sounds like quite an eventful weekend.

  2. Hey, I live in Princeton! Amtrak is my favorite way to travel, but I'm sorry you had to use it. Yikes, your NYC incident sounded awful, but I'm glad you also got to enjoy all the wonderful shopping that is there.

    1. Oh, I didn't know! I was right in your neck of the woods. It is super-pretty there, but the mosquitoes seemed quite large and persistent. :)

  3. Sounds like you had a great time... minus the gunfire, of course! I'm leading a garment district tour in the near future, and researching the experiences of those who have been on recent ones, to see what they loved about their trips, so I know what is most appealing to the non-NYC'er. This was helpful! I'll be sure to read about Kyle's experience, too!

    1. Hi Mimi, Kyle and I went to the Garment District last summer and used your Shop the Garment District site to help us get around. This summer we were not only more familiar with the area, but had very specific things we were looking for, so it narrowed the scope of our trip measurably. Quick note -- we loved Kashi and his shop, but he's closed weekends! Would have loved to stop by to see him and shop his wares. He is a character!

  4. And I was lucky that you visited! Miss you!!

  5. Love your rayon knit dress! Sounds like a (mostly) great trip. I'm just as jealous of Kinokuniya as I am Mood. Happy birthday. :-)

    1. Thanks, Susan. I like the Kinokuniya in Seattle better, in selection, layout, and service... but I was glad to visit the one in NY anyhow. And that didn't keep me from buying two Mrs. Stylebooks there, too. LOL

    2. I've been to them both as well and I agree the Seattle one is better. But the NYC one is cool too -- I never have trouble finding lots to love about any Kinokuniya! I'd love to see those books!

  6. This post was definitely photo heavy but that's okay! I enjoyed reading about your charades in the big city! I'm planning to go next month and your post is getting me super excited. I'm especially jealous about your trip to Mood!

  7. wow, that IS an adventure, and may I say what a stylish traveler you are! happy birthday!

  8. The dresses are beautiful! It sounds like a great trip despite the tragic incident. I would love to get back to NY one day.

  9. Wow, fabulous maxi dress! I really love the prints-luscious indeed :) and I think the black-prints proportion is just nice. It looks great on you.


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