The Frick, 24th Letter, and Bergdorfs
Today was luxury day. I slept late, until almost 10am, and slowly showered and got dressed. Since most of my mornings are about efficiency and a race to see how quickly I can blow my hair out, brighten my undereyes and brush on mascara having a morning without a time limit is a real treat.
I left the hotel and headed downtown to lunch with Emily. Naturally I walked up to 5th Avenue and got sidetracked with a visit to Saks. I entered on 51st street and left on 5th Avenue where I proceeded to walk uptown. After a few blocks I realized that I was headed the wrong way, so I turned around to go downtown. I needed to be on the Westside and walked two more blocks to the Eastside. After twirling myself around a few more times I decided to flag a cab and got yelled at by the taxi driver who said that I made him pull over in the bus zone and he was going to get a ticket. I’m a Mom and that doesn’t quite work with me. I gave him a little talk about free will and the fact that he decided to pull over where it was illegal. We agreed to disagree, and I gave him a 25% tip when he got me safely to lunch with Emily.
Lunch was grand. The food was good (after a false start with an undercooked meatball) and the company was amazing. Girlfriends are key and spending an hour with a smart lady who is chasing her dreams is a treat that I hope everyone can have.
When we finished our meal Emily and I headed outside and it was pouring. I was pleased with myself for having packed both an umbrella and a nylon shoulder bag. Sadly when I stepped outside I had absolutely no idea how to open said umbrella. I need to never leave Los Angeles.
Next I went to pop in on a friend at her office. I thought I was stopping by for a hug, and then ended up in a conference room with the President talking about international clubs, watches, shoes and luxury travel. Watch for the 24th Letter. I can’t really give y’all much more than that but if you have impeccable taste and think smart is sexy you’ll want to watch this one.
My next stop was the Frick. The Frick is a fabulous art collection. They don’t call themselves a museum and I’m not certain why. The collection is housed in a beautiful mansion on 70th and Central Park. When you walk in they have signs explaining that they allow you very close to the artwork and for that reason there are no children under 10 allowed and all umbrellas must be checked in. I was starting to miss my kids so I was happy to not be surrounded by someone else’s children.
I paid my $18 and started a slow tour of the Frick. I found myself as interested in the architecture of the building as I was with the history of the paintings done by Renoir’s students. I spun myself around the room comparing the brushstrokes of the master and his students. I marveled at Frick’s purchases and how they showed no affinity to subjects, but rather a broad based love of the arts.
Renoir’s self portrait is the most majestic work of art I’ve ever laid eyes on. It made me want to sit and stare at him, it made me want to study his other works and it curiously involved me in his student’s work all at once. I wondered about his bankruptcy and questioned if he had finished other paintings or was just out of time.
After a few hours I was ready to head back to the hotel so I wandered through a familiar part of Madison Avenue, then Central Park and finally onto Fifth Avenue. Bergdorf’s was calling my name and I ducked in to pick up an eye brightener. I’m not certain that I made a good purchase as their beauty floor is in the basement. Tomorrow’s application in natural light will be the true test. I also picked up a Rebecca Taylor sweater than I neither need nor love. The geniuses at Rebecca Taylor have lovingly vanity sized their tops so that women like me who are a little zaftig on top can still buy a size small. It might not sound like a good reason to buy a sweater, but when you’re not a petite woman it is. Trust me.
I tried to find a pair of shoes but I sort of struck out. I don’t think I was much in the mood. I’m totally over Tory Burch and having T’s all over my feet, I don’t like Manolo’s they just don’t fit my feet well, Jimmy Choo is so pointy in the toe that they feel angry to me, like they’re mean to be weapons and I can’t possibly buy myself a third pair of Louboutin D’orsay’s. I’ve convinced myself that they’re a beautiful classic, but I’ve got them, and I don’t need (or want) more.
I headed back to the hotel stopping only to pick up some dark chocolate butter concoction, dropped my haul off and headed down to the National for a glass of Rioja and a plate of meats including duck confit, chopped liver, pancetta and salami. It was divine and I’d recommend it wholeheartedly but I’d ask them to skip the decorative salt, it’s just too much. I sat and read an exquisitely painful book while I nibbled on rich tastes and washed it down with a smooth red that hadn’t a hint of tannin.
I headed up to the room to do a little work, which turned into a little nap while Mr G did a little work instead.
We headed out for dinner at Chin Chin on 49th between 2nd and 3rd which should not be confused with the Chin Chin of Los Angeles. This Chin Chin is a hearty New York Chinese food with doughy dumplings and divinely spicy eggplant. There’s a charge if you want brown rice, and they seem to just know that you’re an Angelino if you’re ordering this way.
Dinner was fabulous (as usual) and the owner’s daughter is currently studying at UCLA, which made me miss my favorite ethnic restaurant in LA, Anajak Thai, where the owner’s daughter is currently enrolled at NYU.
I love family owned restaurants because in addition to sharing delicious food with me, kind owners will also share the milestones of their lives and I’ll get to feel like I’m celebrating everyone’s joys.
Mr G and I walked around the city picking up some fresh fruit for the morning, and ice cream for the evening. We talked about the draft and looked forward to getting back to the room so that we could watch young men’s lives change.
It’s all left me grinning.