Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue

Today we went on a mecca of another type- the uptown NY shopping hub of Park Ave and 5th Ave.
Taine and I had a sleep in while Geoff went for a run in Central Park this morning so we were late starting our day. Old hands at the subway now, we caught a train to 59th St and started our window shopping at Bloomingdales. We had a brief look at some ridiculously over priced stuff (the scarf in the pic below was $250!) and stood on the sidewalk in a brief snow flurry. Hardly the stuff Christmas cards are made of but we can definitely say it snowed while we were here.

Next stop was the Yankee's supporter's shop and then into the queue to get into FAO Schwartz, largest toyshop in the world (apparently) and home to the giant floor piano. Yes, I did say queue, our first ever experience of lining up to get into a shop. I'm glad we don't have a toddler with us because the stuffed toys in FAO are just amazing. We followed the line of people through the store, briefly stopping to grab something for Taine's little Christmas stocking and then lined up to get OUT of the store as well.

We bypassed the Apple store ( who also had a queue), figuring we are already maxed out on iProducts. Following the trail of the fur coats, we popped in to Tiffany's, only to discover we didn't really like the look of their jewelry so we left without making a purchase ;-) Then it was on to the Trump Tower for a meeting with Don. He was a no show so we stopped for a Starbuck's and an ogle at the golden furnishings of the foyer.

On the way to the Rockefeller Centre we popped into Swatch (another present for Taine) and Lindt (presents for me). When we got to Rockefeller the queues reached a whole new dimension. The line for the Lego store went all the way round the block and when we eventually got in and out of the shop we found ourselves in a crush of human beings coming from four different directions. I reckon the entire population of Mortlake would have been swamped by this mass of people on just one city intersection. Luckily, festive spirit is alive and well in NY, even in the crowds and queues and there was very little pushing or shoving. Everyone just shuffles along trying to keep hold of their own group until , just like car traffic jams, the side walk magically opens up and you can move forward.

After another journey on the subway and a brief respite back at the Dumont, we went next door for Chinese food. The food was ok but the restaurant was SO hot. This is something we've found really odd in the North. You have to be very rugged up to be outside but the insides of shops and restaurants are ridiculously warm. I find myself de robing at the entrance of every building and carting my gloves, beanie and coat around over my arm till it's time to leave.

To walk off dinner we went down 5th Ave to Macys who are open continuously for 48 hrs before Christmas. There were thousands of people in the store, many of them carrying dozens of red bags. It's commercialism gone crazy. Despite traipsing up and down all 8 floors we found nothing we wanted to buy. I think we are shopped out!

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