New York, revisited

Sorry that it’s been so, so long since you’ve heard from me. (Special thanks to Tim, who did such a fantastic job of reviewing Bettie Serveert last week, thereby letting me not feel guilty for my lack of updating-ness.)

Truly, I was just hoping to start an Internet rumor that I had gone to China with Mimi Smartypants.

I guess I’ve just been putting off the inevitable rehash of my trip to New York. It was fun, don’t get me wrong. I haven’t been that fabulously hedonistic in many years. But the reality was that I was pretty much ready to go home by Saturday evening. I missed my son. I missed my husband. I couldn’t sleep.

After my swimming-headed post on Friday morning, Jennie and I headed out to explore her neighborhood in Brooklyn. It’s called Park Slope, and every brownstone looked just like the ones on the Cosby Show. It was amazing. I keep telling everyone that “if I could live in a house like Jennie’s, even I would live in Brooklyn.” As if that’s saying anything. Everyone knows that I would move to New York in a flash if only my sainted mother wouldn’t be brokenhearted.

Anyway, back to wandering. We had bagels and coffee (or was it water?). We browsed in a couple of shops, I think. I definitely remember that we bought flowers and Jennie bought some groceries.

We headed into lower Manhattan, stopping at Katz’s Deli for lunch. And it was transcendent pastrami, indeed, Tim. The potato pancakes were pretty OK. It wasn’t like Jennie and I were fighting over the last one, at any rate. (The true measure of any potato pancake)

We visited Other Music, where I picked up the new Death Cab for Cutie record. It is excellent, if virtually unlistenable, as I become a suicidal teenager sobbing over lost loves with every song.

We wandered around SoHo, popping into neat little shops with overpriced designer clothes in European sizes and cool tchotkies that I would never have a place for. We ended up at this great store called Kate’s Paperie, I think. Jennie tried to talk me into buying the cutest wiener dog Christmas cards, but I just couldn’t justify the $18 for 8 cards pricetag. I’m such a stick in the mud.

We eventually made our way to my desired destination, a trendy yarn store called Purl. It ended up being really, really tiny, but the vibe was very different from any yarn store I’ve been in here in STL. For one, everyone was under the age of 35 (diametrically opposed to here). And there were no prices on any of the skeins, which I took as a bad sign for my pocketbook. One of those, “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” kind of things. But there was a young woman there seaming a really cool sweater (God knows how much the yarn cost to knit it), and the window displays were worth seeing. Long story short, I didn’t buy a damn thing. Especially not the $150 knitting needle pouch.

Jennie and I were trading yawns at this point, so we headed back to the subway to Brooklyn. I had just enough time to freshen up, change clothes and get back on the Subway for Union Square to meet Roberta. I left Jennie asleep on the couch. It feels good to have tuckered out a full-time New Yorker!

Roberta and I walked up to a trendy new barbecue restaurant called Blue Smoke, to meet our other friends. The bar was pretty nice — I enjoyed my Brooklyn Brown Ale, to be sure. We stayed for about an hour, until deciding to head for my friends’ favorite sushi restaurant, Yama. Since there was a long wait for a table, we put our names in and wound our way down to a bar by Irving Plaza called Revival. They had the Cubs game on, so the time went by quickly as the beers and conversation flowed easily.

Once we were finally, finally seated at Yama, the restaurant proved totally worth the wait. The sushi was amazing — perfect cuts of fish that were just huge. And the sake bombers weren’t bad, either. God help me.

After dinner, we headed back to the previous bar to watch the end of the game. At one point, Roberta and I went out to the patio area to get away from the din and have a chat. A few minutes later, three young men sat down on the benches across from us and started chatting. Turns out that they are film students at NYU, one from London, one from South Africa and one from LA. Cool. We finish our drinks and go back inside.

We walk up to the bar and Roberta tells our friends, “Beth and I just got hit on outside by these three cute college guys.” And I’m like, “Really? Those guys were hitting on us?! Let’s go back out there!” We have a good laugh over that one, and I realize just how domesticated I am. Time for another round!

The game eventually ends. I talk my friend Mike into one more drink at a bar by his house in Brooklyn. I have no idea what time I made it back to Jennie’s house, what time I went to bed. All I know is that I was up again by 5, revisiting my sushi in one of Jennie’s many bathrooms. No fun.

Woo hoo, New York!

I’m going to bed now. You’ll just have to wait to hear about Saturday…