New York State of Mind

Well you didn’t think I could leave it there did you?

It turns out that blogging is quite addictive, and I’ve been feeling rather lost without it.  Of course, there’s not been that much to blog about since I’ve been home. Unless you care to hear about my household austerity measures, such as our week-long TV ban, and the resumption of our alcohol free weeknight policy?  I must say, I didn’t quite think through the combined effect of these two measures on my delicate, post holiday psyche.

toothless grinEverything went swimmingly on the home front while we were away wining, dining, shopping and exploring, which is testament to our fabulous parents.  The only obvious difference on our return was a much tidier, more orderly house than I have ever kept, and a few extra gaps in India’s mouth. Too easy.  When can we do it again?!

Yup, the magic of New York is fast disappearing in the rear vision mirror, and comedown was pretty rough at the one week mark. Long lunches and shopping in the West Village were but a fond memory, as I donned my apron for canteen duty at 9am Friday morning.

I’m serious –  I really am now a fully-fledged tuck-shop lady!  And when you add to the equation a long weekend spent looking after a very unwell and clingy little man, it’s been harsh on my buzz, to say the least.

crazy glasses

On the upside, of course, catching up on all the squeezes and snuggles was delightful.  Also, having several new wardrobe additions, including a lovely winter coat and new bag, are a great way to help buffer the reentry into a bleak Melbourne winter.  And when people ask me where they are from, I get to say ‘oh, um, I got this in New York last week’.  That’s pretty cool too.

So now, in a desperate bid to relive those magic few weeks, I thought I’d catalogue some of my packing hints, shopping highlights and favourite ‘investments’.  Humour me here, please – it’s my form of therapy.


Shoes just about deserve an entry of their own (and did require an additional suitcase of their own, for the trip home).

Firstly, at least one pair of supportive, comfy, pre-broken-in shoes are essential.  My tan coloured Kumfs (don’t laugh!) lived up to their name as we walked our way from one side of Manhattan to another.

A few great purchases from Macy’s (above) were these Ecco gladiator style sandles, and a pair of platform wedged black sandles in a generic Macy’s brand.  Quality, comfortable and infinitely more affordable than in Australia.

Camper storeAgain on the quality front, one day we happened upon the Camper store (you can almost see the twinkle in Cam’s eyes here).  Just one example of our opportunistic shopping technique:

Me:  Oh, I don’t need any more shoes, but I did want to just check out the price of Campers over here {gravitates sheepishly toward door}

Cam:  I love this shop.  I’m getting at least two pairs.  I actually could do with three.  When was the last time I bought shoes at home?

Me:  Okay then we’re allowed two each.

Awesome.  I love it when Cam embraces his inner shopper!!

Hunter Original red pairSpring turned out to be rather psychotic on the weather front, meaning some very cold, wet days.  And as soon as the heavens opened, women all over town appeared wearing dressy gumboots – I was so tempted to join the locals and invest in a pair!  They looked super cute, parked outside their apartment doors.

In the end I think it was lucky I didn’t have the luggage space, as now that I’m back in Glen Iris, I just don’t think I could pull off wearing $100+ gumboots to school pickup.  Except maybe these red ones though…  Are they hot or not?


Now I would love to report that I cruised 5th Ave and bought a pair of Jimmy Choos, or at least peered into the Prada windows.  But alas!  It just wasn’t within my budget or time constraints in the end.  My last few purchases included these fantastic, slightly granny-esque heels, and some cute platform sandles.  Pity I’ll have to wait out winter before I can actually wear all my new sandles.


Cam's new hat!How fetching is Cam in this flat cap from somewhere in Soho?  A great holiday hat!  And we have discussed the idea that he needs to slowly incorporate it into his Melbourne life, so as to not appear too ‘I’ve been to New York and now I wear this hat everywhere’.

My little crochet’d beret came in handy on bad hair days – an excellent way to hide the fuzz factor in the drizzly, humid weather.  Another fave is this great – I think 1920’s-style – sunhat.  I was compelled to purchase it when Cam was selecting his, as I just couldn’t hang out in a hat-shop for that long and not buy something (you can also spy here the mustard-yellow Campers that have become a wardrobe staple back home).

hat on the highline


Dresses made up the majority of my half-full suitcase on the way over.  I needed to look the part whilst exploring – I needed to integrate!  There was no room for Lululemon trackie dacks and flurescent trainers in my suitcase. Truth be told, I even purchased a few of these in the months leading up to our trip, for the reason that they would be perfect for New York. Dedicated, hey?

CosmopolitanI have Modcloth to thank for these two lovely frocks:  I don’t have a full shot of the green peacock number above, but it was a great suitcase dress, needing no ironing, being soft and fully lined.  It went very well with my cosmopolitan, as you can see.

The blue check and chambray number below saw me walk the Brooklyn Bridge in style (except when I had to stop twice, to re-band-aid my poor feet).

Modcloth frock #2

My cheap, comfy, age-old LBD got quite a few work-outs.  Worn here with tied checked shirt in a faint nod to rockabilly (minus the fabulous, coiffed hair – who has time for that?).Union Square

And last but not least, my lovely green dress by Trashy Diva.  I shan’t bang on about it any further, except to say I was pretty happy to have an occasion to bust it out last weekend.

Green Dress

The bag and coat

I took two light jackets with me and had a good winter coat on my shopping list.

6CIt was a few days into the trip when we stumbled upon Century 21 in downtown Manhattan: A kind of cut-price department store / jumble sale with labels as far as the eye can see.   In the matter of thirty minutes, I snapped up my red riding hood coat (DKNY) and coordinating Cole Haan handbag.  My tip – go early, get in and get out!

Here I am pretending to open the door and be the owner of apartment 6C, in my jacket. Aren’t I lucky that I have a husband who likes to play along and be the paparazzi?The bag

Above is my new bag – actually an early birthday present from my lovely brother and partner.  An envelope of dead presidents with a ‘here – choose yourself something nice for your birthday in NYC’ note.  Love your work boys!

So there you have it, I think that’s just about a wrap.  

The final thought I’ll leave you with is the indulgent joy of picking up your freshly laundered clothes – all securely shrink-wrapped into a dense little bundle, when you’ve been out all day exploring.  I miss that, as I sit on my couch and stare at the heavily laden clothes horse in front of the heater…

So Long New York City

Soho streetsWhat a magic last day.  Thank you New York for turning on blue skies and warm breezes, as we hoofed it around the streets for one last tour.  Over to Union Square, down to Soho, across to East Village and back (and that was just the morning).

I have never walked as much in my life as I have in the last two weeks.  And l think it befitting that I have never bought as many pairs of shoes in the space of two weeks.  We are now just hoping that the suspiciously cheap  extra suitcase we have acquired will survive the trip home with our precious cargo.

Something you should know about New York City, is that there is a serious shortage of public toilets.  In our situation, this results in a self-perpetuating problem: need toilet so head for nearest bar -> purchase beverage to allow use of toilet facilities -> need toilet again an hour later -> head to nearest bar -> purchase beverage…  You see the problem here?  This is Cam, ruminating over the issue at one of our many pitstops yesterday.pitstop

Los AmericanosWe took the opportunity to revisit one of our favourite establishments on our last day.  Los Americanos in Tribeca – seriously the most amazing vibe, incredible Mexican food, and as cheap as chips.  It inspired a conversation we had, about exploring great gluten friendly cuisines of the world.  The idea is that Cam cooks, and I blog about it – genius!

On the shopping front, I had to stop in at Sephora, on an important errand for a friend back home.  A world of cosmetics!  However, Cam was getting antsy, so it was probably for the best when I handed my list to the nearest salesperson.  She spirited me around the store popping things into my handbasket a mile a minute, and we were out of there in a jiffy.  Miss Marty – the jobs done.

High LineI also had to revisit Enz’s one last time.  I had an inkling there would be good-bye present waiting for me, and I was on the money.  Enter The Jeans.  Forties style, high waisted, rolled up blue denim loveliness.  I have been looking for a pair of these suckers forever.

And when I say high waisted, I mean it.  Cam initially balked at their, um, highness, but was won over by Mariann (owner and designer), who quickly set him straight.  You can see me here, posing on the High Line, after a quick stop home for a costume change.  Just go ahead and call me Harry High Pants – I know that’s what you’re thinking.

And now I find myself awake at 6am, eating a (seriously good) cookie and contemplating the epic task of packing.  We fly out tonight, homeward bound to see our two beautiful little mites.  Man, I’ve missed them.  They have apparently behaved like angels for their grandparents (although we have the feeling that they will instantly morph into Satan’s spawn the moment the grandies are out the door).  Oh well, it’s a fair cop I suppose, after our two weeks in this wonderland of eating, drinking, shopping and sleeping.

And for those of you who have already visited this amazing city, you can imagine how we feel about saying good-bye: a little bit heartbroken.

So long New York City.  You’re the shiznit.

They misspelt it!