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Ode to New York

by - Monday, September 01, 2008

We're back from NYC and it is good to be home. We've been to New York before but this trip was quite the eye-opener. I don't remember the city being so chaotic, noisy, busy, full of life, full of dirt, full of opportunity, full of construction! For those who've never been, its hard to describe it. I guess in previous trips I've only done the 'tourist' thing, but this time, I got to see the real city. We stayed in an apartment in the Carroll Gardens neighbourhood of Brooklyn. Brooklyn must get a bad rap because I never expected it to be so charming and livable. The brownstones are beautiful and the streets felt safe.

We made full use of our days and shopped in SOHO, explored the furniture stores in DUMBO, hit the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, brunched at Balthazar, scoured fabrics in the garment district, checked out MacBook Pros at the Apple cube store, dined in Chinatown, and rested in Central Park. I hit a few of the stores on my "Must Visit" list like West Elm, ABC Carpet & Home, Jamali Garden, and my fave by far Fishs Eddy where I got the cutest little jadeite cake stand. And if that wasn't enough, we braved the crowds and stopped by the Woodbury Common Outlets on the drive home. NYC truly is a shopper's paradise.

Funny but every time I visit a city, I wonder if I could live there. While I appreciate New York's sense of possibility, its unique fashion sense, the cast of characters you encounter just walking down the street... it is a very hard city. There is a feeling of 'struggle' that permeates it... you need to work your way through the crowds, work your way up to the top, work through the subways and towers, work towards your dreams. Its unforgiving. Its relentless. And to make it there, you really do have to pour your heart and soul into the city. As I sat riding the subway one day, I thought about Jennifer Lopez and how she managed to make her way from riding the 6 train from the Bronx, just another Latina with big dreams and talent, to standing out from millions of others to achieve her success. I came to understand why New Yorkers are so proud of their city - and justifiably so. Its a city that kicks you in the butt and tests you at every turn. It gets in your blood, is tender and cruel all at once. As the song goes, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

HandyMan and I agreed that one week was enough time to savor New York. Its not a city I could call home, so I'm amazed at those who can and do. And still, I <3 NY

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  1. Anonymous10:03 PM

    You know West Elm is opening in liberty village in October right? And of course Crate & Barrel at Yorkdale on Sept. 25. And rumour has it that Anthropologie will open in the new Don Mills Centre when it reopens. Yay! Now we just need a J Crew!!

  2. You stayed in a nice area and I'm glad you had a good time here. Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights are very pretty. Some blocks look a lot like London, don't they?

    "NYC... where the weak and killed and eaten." That was the motto on my first personal web site, circa 1994.

    I lived in lower Manhattan from 1969 to 1999. I've been in Brooklyn since then then. Being an Army brat who moved every year or two, NYC was the first place that really felt like "home" to me. I can't imagine living anywhere else, and I've even tried: LA, Boston and Fairfield, CT. I always miss the city and come back home.

  3. Thanks Anon! I had heard about the West Elm and C&B but didn't know about Anthropologie. Great, now I can waste more money on clothes too :o\

  4. Your motto was very appropriate BRH. I can see why you love the city - its like no other place I've been to. I'll have to check out your blog and see what it looks like inside one of those pretty Brooklyn buildings :)


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