This was an out of the ordinary Market trip for me. Long time readers of the blog know that, with the exception of my first couple of market trips to Atlanta, I have always made the trip to NY in a single day. While I was always pleased with my efficiency, those trips make for a very long day and did not leave me time to really explore lines outside the ones that I already carry at Zoe.
Now that Zoe is in such good hands when I'm not there, I found myself able to make a multi-day trip for Coterie (the name of the large NYC markets for Spring or Fall). The first thing on my list - where would I stay? As I was looking at hotels, I first started with the Marriott website since I have a long standing membership in their loyalty program. Imagine my surprise and delight when I realized that the Algonquin Hotel was part of their Autograph Collection in New York! I held my breath as I looked at the rates and realized that it was affordable enough for my two night stay!
As a lover of literature and the written word, the opportunity to stay in the Algonquin made me giddy. Read up on some of the interesting facts about this historic hotel here. Oh, and My Fair Lady is one of my favorite musicals!
Then it was time to plan my train trip. No leaving at 5:30 in the morning for me! I booked a 1:05 pm train leaving on Saturday afternoon!
Union Station is a very different place on a Saturday afternoon than an early Monday morning! Although the train was crowded, I settled into the Cafe car and started catching up on emails and reading. Not long after the train started moving, a group of young men carrying instruments entered the car, looking for places to put their instruments and to sit. While eavesdropping, I figured out they were a band! After we departed Baltimore, they started harmonizing! Free entertainment!
My major plan for Saturday evening (after checking into the hotel) was to visit with one of Zoe's favorite designers, Kathlin Argiro, in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. Kathlin had told me that I could either take a car service or take the subway to her home. I have always taken the subway with people who know their way around NY (I've just followed directions) but decided it was time to break out on my own! I spent part of the trip studying the subway maps and confirming my trip/route.
When I arrived at Penn Station in NY, it was raining. And if you think taxi shift change is bad, you should try getting a cab in NY in the rain. One look at the taxi line after emerging from the station told me I'd be better off walking. So off I went.
My route took me up 7th Avenue. Once you get to Times Square, it is just a sea of people. I found myself thinking "What is going on with all these clueless tourists??" If it hadn't been raining, what a fascinating study in people it would have been! I was soon to the Algonquin and was greeted warmly by the front desk clerk. There is nothing nicer than being at the end of a long journey and finding a friendly face. After settling in my room, I freshened up my bedraggled appearance and set off for the Subway Station.
As I descended into the station alone, I couldn't help but think of all those Law & Order episodes I had seen and hoping I wouldn't end up in a "ripped from the headlines" episode! Fortunately, the subway ride went smoothly and I arrived at my stop in Brooklyn in 20 minutes.
There are reasons why so many New Yorkers are not overweight. There is a lot of walking and stair climbing to be done in the City! I walked from the Subway Station to Kathlin's loft, which is on the 5th floor of a walk-up! This being an old warehouse (originally), the stairs were very steep. I did not need to do any additional exercise that day!
Kathlin's loft studio/apartment was beautiful. I am ashamed to say that I did not take any pictures of the incredible view of Manhattan from her space. I fear I would never get anything done if I lived/worked there. I would stare out the window ALL the time.
Kathlin had been working on a couture gown which she shared with me. Those of you who know me well know I am completely enamored with beautiful things. Too pricey for me or Zoe's customers but I could well appreciate the beauty and handiwork.
Kathlin and I do so much of our work together via email so she shared the actual fabric samples of the wrap dresses that will be arriving later this month!
She is such a great judge of prints and I know that whatever she selects will be gorgeous.
After a glass of wine and visiting with Kathlin and her husband, we headed out to dinner. Kathlin took me on a walking tour of their neighborhood, explaining the significance of the buildings, who lived where (I saw the very upscale building where Jay-Z and Beyonce live as well as Anne Hathaway), and the history of the area. We also took time to stop into two local boutiques - one named Zoe Boutique (which has other locations in the Northeast...and has on a couple of occasions actually received shipments intended for me!) and another named Bluberi. Boutiques there stay open until 8 pm even though the streets were fairly deserted of shoppers on that rainy night. It is always so much fun to see what other people do and I learn from every store I visit.
I couldn't help picking up this pretty pair of earrings at Bluberi. I've been wearing them a lot lately!
Their neighborhood DUMBO (and the nearby neighborhood of Vinegar Hill) were so charming. We made our way to Hillside, a small wine bar in Vinegar Hill. Kathlin's husband joined us soon after our arrival and we had an enjoyable and delicious meal in this cozy space. From there, a quick trip to the bar that Kathlin's husband co-owns (68 Jay Street Bar) was in order!
Because it was getting late and I needed to be 100% for Zoe the next day at Market, Kathlin got me a car service back to Manhattan. What a wonderful, very New York evening!
Next up: Fall Market - Part 2