A short day! Thank Jebus!

Our plan was to hit the last of the must-see NYC department stores (Bloomingdale’s) and then sight-see the neighbourhood. A suffocating 4-train to Union Square, where we reoriented ourselves and calmed our nerves before wandering down Broadway to the shops. My wife acquired a handbag in some neutral colour she assures me will be very versatile and thus enduring, which is good because it cost as much as several thousand sturdy brown paper bags of approximately the same dimensions; of course, brown paper bags aren’t made in Italy, nor would they make the possessor feel quite as smug. Speaking of supermodels, did I mention we ran into Emily Ratajkowski? No? We ran into Emily Ratajkowski, filming a DKNY ad. I may have accidentally taken a photo or two…

After that, in her customary way, my wife swore she didn’t want to set foot into another retail outlet for the remainder of our trip; instead, she pushed me into several of them, trying to balance the her/him spending ledger so that she’d feel less guilty. To help her out, I bought a jacket from a store called Filson (est. 1897) which I’ll wear tomorrow if the weather is shit, and/or any time I find myself flyfishing in the Scottish Highlands. After that, it was time for lunch, and we settled on Lafayette Grand Cafe on… Lafayette Street in NoHo, where she had the ratatouille and I had the lobster fettucini, washed down with a Sancerre. While waiting, I watched a one-legged man in a wheelchair go back and forth begging for change at cars stopping at lights on Great Jones St. I was reminded of Eddie Murphy’s scam at the beginning of the movie Trading Places except that this dude really did only have one leg.

We continued our meander to Astor Place, then onto W8th, and then to the birthplace of 5th Ave. We followed this north, stopping to gawp at the Flatiron Building, sadly backlit and less photogenic than it could have been. What professional tourist-beckoning photos don’t show is that almost every street in New York is under construction, reconstruction, or repair at some pint on its length. So it’s virtually impossible to photograph anything famous without having to include bollards, men in hi-vis vests and hardhats, and the endless spiderweb of scaffolding into every picture. I saw a squirrel with a very sad tail in Madison Square Park, and two tattooed lesbians wrestling.

Switching to Madison Avenue, we followed this home, looking for an art supplier that apparently stocks Pantone products (another of my wife’s obsessions) but instead found a fast-food joint. Obviously less people obsess about quality art supplies than they do about cheap hamburgers; like we needed more proof of that. Anyway, disappointed, we ascended the remaining blocks to our little hotel, glad to get in from the weather, ready to review the handful of photos we took today, and attend to emails, etc. This would be a night to go out to dinner, maybe see a show, but the only theatre I’m interested in would set us back $345 for 90mins of entertainment. I don’t care if Danny DeVito steals the show in Arthur Miller’s ‘The Price’ or not; for that price, I’d want the performance of a lifetime.

So instead I suspect it will be History Channel, a little bit of the complimentary cheese&wine, and off to bed. Can’t say that I’m not happy with that. With a little luck, tomorrow will be absolutely horrible and we’ll be confined to the hotel for the whole day. As it is, my pedometer says we walked 15,441 steps today — our ‘rest’ day! I’m almost beginning to look forward to the flight home — 17 hours immobilised on an aircraft with nothing to do but doze, read, watch, and eat — sounds awful!

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