Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New York City #1

A week ago I found myself (by myself!) on an airplane bound for New York City to visit an old friend. I am one of those people who suffer from "far-sickness" -- an ache for distance. I've always loved travel since I was a young child and it was certainly a very great gift that I could get away for these days to invest some travel time into my life.

It's been three years since my last visit to NYC and the minute I entered the subway system I recognized its smell -- funny how smells are so much more connected to life and memory than we realize.

By mid-afternoon I was in Washington Heights (upper Manhattan) sitting snugly on the couch in Christy's apartment, settling in for the next five nights.

The weather was very winter-like: cold and gray.

We spent the afternoon catching up. Christy pulled out her yarn stash at one point and we started looking through this odd bundle which turned out to be some prize-winning spinning that her aunt had made several years ago! Not only that, look where her aunt had won these prizes: at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh! Imagine that! An American winning multiple prizes for shetland wool in a Scottish competition! There was even the prize money check! very impressive! Can you see the tiny gauge of that wool?!

One of the most fun things about New York is eating out! Such a treat! Wednesday night we headed around the corner to a tapas restaurant -- I do believe this was my very first tapas experience! The mushrooms with bacon was my favorite

One of the best things about my time away was the unscheduled time -- time to not be rushed, not to be stressed, time to read, to write, to cook, to sip tea, to talk uninterrupted by younger people. Getting away from my normal, very busy environment was very helpful.

Christy loves coffee and I love tea but we both appreciate and enjoy the other as well.

Thursday morning we headed to the Museum of Biblical Art to see an exhibit from Florence, Italy on early Renaissance sculpture.

My favorite was this sculpture of the Apostle John:

Outside we happened to read this plaque about a business man (Jeremiah Lanphier) who started prayer meetings in the city 150 years ago.

Beside the plaque was this nice bench with a statue of Jeremiah Lanphier.

The view from the museum:

Next we headed to a place I'd read about long ago: Tea & Sympathy.

Tea & Sympathy is a tea shop owned and operated by real British. :) That means you are getting the real deal!

I figured some of you would like to look at their authentic menu:

Everything sounded so good and it was easy to pretend that we'd flown from Florence to London for lunch.

And the main courses:

I ordered decaf Typhoo and Christy had Ceylon, I believe:

Then came our food: Coronation chicken salad sandwich and Bangers & Mash. Yum!!!

You can see it was just the sort of place I love!

Here we are at our tiny table!

The restaurant only holds 23 people!

 But, next door there is a store where they sell china and all things British!

We spent a good bit admiring the china:

Here is the book that I checked out from my library years ago and first read about the shop. But, the library doesn't seem to have the book anymore.....oh well. Amazon has it! :)

Look at those yummy British treats!

Very tempting! Good thing I knew I didn't have any luggage room.

We moved on from Tea & Sympathy, enjoying the scenery of the streets we walked on.

And we happened by a florist, which is what my mom is interested in:

I couldn't believe the size of the roses they had:

It was fun to peek inside and see what they were working on:

Look at this gorgeous arrangement! It was headed to a store -- can you believe its size!?

Jo Malone was in the neighborhood -- we couldn't resist. Jo Malone is our very favorite perfume store because of the natural scents they use.

We couldn't help sniffing and discussing each scent all over again. Nectarine Blossom & Honey is our all-time favorite. But it really made our day to be given two sample vials -- I chose Earl Grey & Cucumber and Peony Blush.

Then we headed for McNulty's -- a tea shop I had read about.

Definitely hit gold!

Look at this place!

I love the yellow teapots!

Tea is weighed out in quarter pounds on the scale.

Look at the choices!!!! And they do mail order!!! If you need some good tea at reasonable prices, you need to check them out!

 We passed lots of beautiful flowers as we walked:

And we stopped in this beautiful church for a few minutes to rest our feet:

 Another beautiful entrance:

I had to laugh at this magnolia bloom! With temperatures near freezing this tree managed to get close enough to the portable boiler lines and find enough heat to bloom!

Our next stop was the Strand Bookstore -- 18 miles of books. Thanks to Elizabeth for recommending this stop!

First we had to peruse all the bargain books outside:

Then we went inside! Lots of things that could be purchased but I came away with only one purchase: Barbara Pym's A Glass of Blessings. Can't wait to read it!
We ended this amazing day out with dinner at a gluten free restaurant -- Friedman's. We started with grilled asparagus and creamy cauliflower soup.

Then we had one of the best burgers ever -- on a gluten free bun with sautéed mushrooms and herb fries.

 We made it home quite late but there was still time to enjoy some of my new tea and a few gluten free cookies.

And that was the beginning of our adventures. More to come!

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elizabeth said...

oh I just love seeing this! You had such a nice time!! The T & S restaurant is one I blogged about seeing about a month ago; it's quite close to my Mr. Husband's work. The Strand is fun! I will be awaiting the next installments for ideas for when my DV Mom and Dad (And later I hope cousin and her son) come to town! :)

Reneelynn said...

Sounds like a wonderful time!

willow said...

I love posts like this, seeing the little details of places that I am unlikely to see for myself. How wonderful to get away by yourself

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I am not a good traveler but this post makes me want to go immediately!

Lilly's Mom said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time! I loved seeing all your photos and that tea shop is to die for!! What fun you had.

Pom Pom said...

How fun! I bet you are fun to travel with! You like all the things I like! Thank you for sharing!