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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Hot in here/ Let's hear it for New York...

BA flight from Heathrow to JFK; an overzealous steward accosted me, asking whether I wanted a newspaper, a drink ... I quickly expedited him, he was now free to hone in on my unflappable sister: “Would you like a newspaper mam? A drink?”
“No thank you.”
“Excuse but I know you...have we met?”
“No we haven’t” replied my sister as she continued to store away her things.
“But your face says something to me” he insisted.
“Well yours says nothing to me” she replied and he bowed out gracefully.

 Jumeirah Essex House Hotel on Central Park West: Great location but a slight problem with housekeeping and their ever diminishing amount of towels. We started off flush, with towels ranging in all shapes and sizes, enough for two showers a day for both of us. Then housekeeping started to reel them in as though they had made some gross error of judgement .As the days progressed, we seemed to enter a towel downward spiral.... we were left with a scant few, fed up, my sister grabbed the phone :
“I think we seem to be having a problem with towels here......they seem to leave this room never to be replaced...Pretty soon we will have to start sharing them ..... ?“
We got a bag load within 5 mns, took the woman so long to store them, my nails had grown half an inch.

I called up the spa to see whether they had a treatment for legs to help the circulation:
“Oh No! Madam! We don’t do anything like that!”
You'd think that I had just asked her for a forged passport.

On our second morning we were escorted away from the main cheery breakfast area (where everyone was sitting ) into the empty cold restaurant .... I guess they wanted us to get the breakfast party started on that end:
“Are you punishing us?” inquired my sister... 
We were immediately given a table in cheery land.

Abercrombie and Fitch on 5th Ave at 9.50 am: a queue literally around the corner and up the street...crowds patiently waiting to get in. 

Hollister further up 5th Ave at 9.55 am: zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....no one.

Late afternoon outside A and F, people being sucked in and spewed out all looking slightly bedraggled and squinting their way back into the sunlight proudly clutching their A and F bags to their chests like victory medals. The bare chested hunk du jour being photographed with hysterical preteens, looking every bit as smug as he could until.... a man ripped off his polo and sidled up to him while his friend took a picture of them...Kodak moment: Hunkola looked decidedly out of sorts, with a face like a slapped arse...hysterical. He soon resumed his debonair hunkness when the next teen squealed beside him.

At menswear,somewhere between loud and deafening:
"Do you have cargo pants?"
......."Can you repeat the question?"

At the cash register the young cutie said to me: “U ‘ust chec' m'ic hols-ter "...with the deafening  and unrelenting beat, I could hardly hear myself think let alone him telling me... What?....
 “You want me to check your epic holster?! ”

“I said :You must check the EPIC Hollister!...on 5th ave?”
“ Oh!Ok...well I did.... wasn’t that epic dude.”

At the madhouse come labyrinthine Hollister on Broadway:
“Do you have this t shirt in X large?”
“ I’ll go and check” ...she then disappeared before my very eyes ....then again it was so bloody dark in there she could have been standing next to me. By the time she re appeared I felt like I had aged a decade:
“The T shirt? In XL!”
“Oh I won’t know until they bring it to me....”
“So you have one then...”
“I don’t know..... Until they bring it to me.”

We left.

Now for restaurants:

"Lavo" on 39th East 58th Str.: fantastic food, great laid back vibe at lunch time with a gorgeous smiling waitress who kept us topped with hot crusty garlic baguette while we sipped on chilled white wine. She recommended the Chopped Louie salad that is so heavenly we returned 2 days later with friends and jumped back in again. Great food, great service an absolute must.

 "Lupa ", Mario Batali’s restaurant on a quiet leafy street on Thompson: the hostess, not so great with that whole business of: “Is your party all here? I can’t seat you until they are”...crap. We were all there bar my cousin who popped up in no time, until then there was no talking this woman into seating us. The restaurant is quite small, very casual with a large bar and rowdy atmosphere. The food was delicious and soon made up for the inconvenience of standing around when a perfectly empty table for 4 was waiting for us...Wine took the edge off and we soon were tucking into some delightful anti pasti before we dove into our pasta ....it was to cry for...Gorgeous food and top notch service, apart from the hostess...

Cab ride back uptown :
“Essex house ,please.”
Cab pulled up to the Ritz Carlton:
“ Would you like us to change hotels?”

Conversations with "P.Bibi” aka Buff Daddy and dear friend (no malice intended P, just a spot of pun!):

At Saks shoe emporium while I was hovering over the Miu Miu shoes I have been coveting: "Why are you looking at those shoes, Reem...they are for pole dancers in Vegas...”
Walking around with my sister: "I don’t get why some of these unknown Italian designer shoes are so expensive...I mean who has ever heard of Zanotti?”

At "A Voce" in the Time Warner Centre: an upscale paysan restaurant, where one would expect to run into Carmela Soprano and her crew downing bottles of Pinot Grigio... We were ordering small but getting rather large portions as starters, P.Bibi leaned into my sister and said: “You could feed a family of four on that!” We chuckled and tucked in...Next course ,the main course and a hearty amount once again: “Are you enjoying it? You could feed a family of four!”

“P. You've fed them already...they're not hungry anymore!"

Dinner at "Jean Georges" and guests of the delightfully gorgeous Aliki and her debonaire partner Seth: the restaurant had a mixed bag clientele and all pomp and circumstance whenever a dish was dutifully placed infront of us... an announcement was made by the "town crier" followed by the removal of the cloches by the silent waiters....
Aliki was the life and soul of the party with such tales to tell and one liners that had us in hysterics..I hope I do them justice here:
" I went to Banana Republic looking for trousers....All I found was rags!"
" I love Tiger Woods...so he was unfaithful! He married an aupair for goodness sake...what is an aupair? A maid!"
"When I was much younger in Greece..before I became a freak..."
When time for dessert came Aliki ,sharing our love for icecream ,totally disregarded the chi chi dessert menu and asked the bored head waiter: " What kind of ice cream do you have?" He mentioned a few standard ones.
" But those are sorbets...You are not very enthusiastic about ice cream are you ?"

*Outside The New York Palace Hotel...waiting for Chuck Bass...*

We had a wonderful if not extremely hot stay in New York: my feet swelled to twice their size, my calves became cankles...but I let nothing distract me.  
Thanks to Philippe and my dear friend Janet Bibi who joined us on our stay and made it that more entertaining.
To my aunt Sousou and her daughter, our long lost cousin Sam...without whom a trip down memory lane would have been quite useless and a lot less fun and for making us discover restaurants under our very nose...Bodega del Vino!
And to Aliki and Seth who entertained us way beyond our bedtime...
I hope I can still pack a verbal punch at 85.