Jane has New York City in her Bones

12.28.10

We arrived in New York just in time for Snowpocalypse 2010. Mr G and I sort of shrugged and resigned ourself to a difficult existence. I was at the Dumont Plaza for the blizzard in 1996, and every morning we’d rise early, hand the front desk clerk an envelope full of cash and beg to keep our hotel room.

This time was different. We arrrived for the beginning of the storm, so our room was safe, and since it’s a Holiday week, people seem a little less anxious to get to work and whatnot.

Alexander is only nine, and he typicallly needs some time alone each day. I was thrilled, and a little surprised to see him take this all in stride.

Jane is different, and she terrifies me. Jane has a spring in her step that I’ve never seen in Los Angeles. She moves through the crowds like a ballerina. She stands tall, and never stops smiling.

We were on the 6 train today, jammed up against strangers, clinging to bars (though it was not really necessary because there was no where you could fall to), and I asked Jane, “Do you still love New York?”

She grinned ear to ear and said, “more than ever.”

I’m going to lose her to this city. I just know it.

Traveling to NYC for a Blizzard. Again.

12.27.10

We’ve taken a last minute trip to New York City. We arrived here on December 25th, and the blizzard arrived on December 26th.

From a corner balcony at the Roger Smith Hotel I was able to capture the first dusting of snow. The flakes were large and puffy, much like the snowfall that lures me to ski in Colorado. It was almost romantic.

Snow on Lexington Ave

The kids were a little disappointed that we weren’t skiing this year, and they must have asked us a thousand times, “Will there be snow?” “Can we have a snowball fight?”

Mr. G and I explained to them that there might be snow, but it would be gray and dirty, it would be city snow, and it wouldn’t be much like Colorado at all.

Then we went to dinner. Alexander had a great time running up and down Third Avenue.

Alexander on Third Avenue

We had a good meal at Chin Chin (which is way fancier than the Chin Chin in Los Angeles). I did not enjoy the appetizers, we had won tons and dumplings that were heavy and doughy, but the Szechuan Chicken is the best chicken I have ever had in a Chinese restaurant. Ginger lobster was good. I’m picky about lobster because so many restaurants over cook it, but theirs was absolutely delicious with enough sauce left over to mix in with your rice. The service was flawless. I adore good service.

We made it back to the hotel and hunkered down for the night. I might have seen something that made me want to gouge my eyes out (folks please draw the blinds when you’re doing the nasty).

When I made reservations for the Roger Smith I was a little worried about Mr G. I’ve stayed here before, but I was worried that Mr G might not appreciate a boutique hotel. We have a one bedroom suite with a (tiny but important) kitchenette, and one bathroom (for four of us). I happen to love the art on the walls, and the odd reading collections in each guestrooms. The high ceilings make spending time in the room feel better.

However, boutique hotels are not for everyone. There are fifteen floors here, with just a few rooms on each floor. A smaller hotel means a smaller staff, and today there wasn’t a single maid that made it into the hotel in the blizzard.

Our bathroom towels were replaced, but we had to [gasp] make our own beds.

The good news is that unlike a mega-chain hotel, everyone who works here seems to be invested in the experience being a good one. The front desk is clearly overworked, with phones jingling, and guests clamoring for attention, but I’ve never seen them do anything but smile and say, “We’re New Yorkers, we don’t let these things slow us down.”

Yes. This is what I like.

We tromped up Fifth Avenue today and had a light lunch at the cafe in the Men’s Store at Bergdorf Goodman. The cafe is a great little spot that overlooks Central Park. Jane and I had a corn chowder that was delicious, and a burrata salad that was horrible. Mr. G enjoyed his shrimp cocktail, and Alexander loved the turkey sandwich.

Unfortunately we had a hat incident down on the floor. My friend was trying to buy a stunning trapper hat, and a salesman took it out of his hands and gave it to another patron. It was the last hat in his size. If you’re a customer at Bergdorfs do you complain to a manager, or just decide that you don’t want the hat now, that you won’t really ever enjoy it?

After Bergdorf’s Men’s Store, we made our way to The Metropolitan Mueseum of Art, where we ate again. Yes, really. If you go to the cafeteria on the lower level they have a tofu and arugula wrap that is absolutely delicious.

Much of the museum was closed, because their staff couldn’t get to work due to the blizzard. One of my great joys was walking though the photography and etching exhibits with Alexander and watching him enjoy it more than I.

We’re running a million miles an hour here, so I’ll just leave you with this snapshot of the kids on Fifth Avenue.

Fifth Avenue NYC Blizzard 2010