Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas in NYC

Flatiron Building
"It will be like this until after New Year's."

The resigned and weary words of my longtime city dwelling friend as we gazed out the window of our restaurant at a stalled 9th Avenue at midnight Saturday.  A constant state of Black Friday frenzy from Thanksgiving until January 2nd.  Times Square, theaters, restaurants, department stores--all literally clogged with people to the point of them oozing out and more dramatically at times being birthed from doorways onto the sidewalks.  Hundreds of people inside squeezing around awkwardly placed Christmas display tables that literally prevent and trap shoppers from actually shopping.  There is a point of saturation not observed during Christmas time when the displays feel more like barricades rather than lovely things to look at.

Sex and the City view

Stylish wreaths becoming a world class city

But for two days we were ready for anything the crowds could dish out because we have been shopping together for nearly 30 years and well, we've got sharp elbows.  Ally and I flew in for a quick weekend to our respective hosts, the uncles for her, the ladies for me.  Such a seamless trip that I worked most of the day Friday and she went to school and yet both of us were dining and in my case wining by 9:30pm in Manhattan.  All thanks to a direct flight from Madison to LaGuardia that is beyond simple in this day of body scanners and yellow alerts.  Must not be a terrorist preferred route.

me and the birthday girl

Coffee together, our collective favorite part of the day together when we can laze over our cups and catch up on our news in our PJ's.  The marathon shopping day began at 10am and ended at 6pm, six miles or 16,000 steps according to the pedometer of the middle aged. Rockefeller Center, Saks, The Strand, Fishs Eddy, ABC, Union Square Christmas Market, Mario Batali's Eataly (too crowded to eat but not to smell, touch and see).  Pooped out finally at a CVS near Union Square.

Rockefeller Center.
The tree's behind us but you'll have to take my word for it.
They have always been my personal shoppers going all the way back to Uptown Square and Filene's Basement--the real one.  And it's only the rarest of friends that can pick a fragrance for you and I would trust any of them to do that.  Whatever makes them able to do that also gives them the ability to combine Lillet and gin in a perfect martini and dates, dolmades and cheese into a delicious appetizer plate.  I need a recipe to work it, but that's just not their style.  They are all artists and my best friends and no wordsmithing can describe my love for them.

My manager, stylist and agent in deep negotiations about
what direction my fragrance needs to move

Blood orange martinis, Sprite and a Bourbon Bloody Mary at the Vynyl Diner
in Hells Kitchen.  Great place for a bite to eat after the theater.  The blood
theme relates to our show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

But so as not to end on a treacly note, I've got to just make a plea to the regular New Yorkers who have felt it necessary to dip their fingers far too deep into the Dippity Doo cosmetic surgery jar.  For Jesus sake, how much collagen can a face take?  The thing of it is there's a growing army of women and men with faces altered into cartoonish and ghoulish scowls as if that's the new normal for people of a little older certain age than me, wearing clothes off the rack and shopping for lettuce.   It is not a look, people!  And I can't help thinking it's just more of the same from a generation and a half that refuses to let go of their youth.   Maybe at your granddaughter's wedding you are the rocking-est granny in the photo but once you go to animate that look of plastic puffiness punctuated by padded cheekbones and misshapen lips it's all a bit grotesque.  When regular folks shopping at Duane Reade resemble Joan Rivers, we've got problems as a society.


  1. A bourbon Bloody Mary, I have never heard of such a thing. I may try one tonight. Looks like you had a good trip.So right about the plastic women.

  2. It was definitely bourbon-y. Not my favorite but my friend enjoyed it.