My missing girlfriend eventually turned up, empty handed as it turned out. My opinion was sought in respect of a couple of garments, and apparently a “idunno” accompanied with a shrug of the shoulders is not an acceptable answer. So while Macy’s didn’t benefit from the Tidey dollar, a return visit to JCPenny resulted in a couple of tops being destined for a trans-Atlantic journey.
By the time we exited JCP, back onto Ave of the Americas, the weather had completely changed. The rain had stopped and the sun was struggling out but the scaffolding fronting many buildings in New York continued to provide their own showers for unwary pedestrians. As Chappers has kindly commented, the only issue with the weather was our ill-preparedness for it (though, To Be Fair) I’m not sure a brace of umbrellas and polar gear are quite what you’d expect to pack for a holiday?
Our next designation was the Fashion Institute of Technology on Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, a few blocks’ walk to the south. Here the is a museum which has been high on Miss T’s wish list of destinations. Frankly, we were both a little disappointed. The museum is free, which is a bonus, and consists of three separate exhibitions; ‘textiles and technology’, ‘obsession with shoes’ and one which was supposed to be a showcase for the graduating class of FIT – except that it wasn’t. What was there was interesting – at least for Kay and wasn’t terrible for me – but there wasn’t much of it. There wasn’t even a gift shop to exit through, to paraphrase Banksy.
The upshot of this was that it left us with quite a bit more of the afternoon at our disposal than we were budgeting for. The impromptu plan, therefore was to jump on the nearby 1 train and head further south to Houston Street (pronounced by the MTA announcers as though there’s an E in the name – “House ton”). Ascending to street level I feared the worst as looking in all four directions there wasn’t a lot which looked appealing. Almost at random we headed toward the big buildings in the distance, and it turned out we were heading south along Varick Street. Beyond Canal Street we were in Tribeca (TRIangle BElow CAnal Street) and the outlook improved.
We visited the Magazine Bazaar, mainly for their restroom and a cold drink before continuing past the Ghostbusters firehouse (without realising what it was until later!) and into a coffee shop called Pican. This provided a welcome sit down and the opportunity to observe the local wildlife at arm’s length for a while.
Onwards, we completed out own little Triangle Below Canal Street, by heading over to Broadway and retracing our steps (in reverse) from the last visit. This part of Broadway has quite a few interesting nicknack shops, aimed at tourists, but not nearly as tacky as those around Times Square. There also seems to be an inordinate amount of shoe shops there for some reason. On reaching Canal Street we descended into the subway once more and returned north on the R train, deliberately overshooting our “regular” station as far as 57th Street, for the sake of walking back on ‘new’ ground. By late afternoon, by stark contrast with this morning, it was a beautiful sunny day.
Although our mega-breakfast had avoided the need for lunch, a sugar fix was now called for and we gave our patronage to Europa Cafe for a slice of strawberry cake (Kay) and an orange cranberry muffin for me. From there, almost back at the hotel, we split up briefly. While Kay went nicknack shopping (if you pardon the expression) I went to recce the Hertz car park for tomorrow morning. It is certainly convenient for the hotel, but the route out of there is going to be an interesting drive; left onto Seventh Ave, through Times Square, to 34th Street, left at Madison Square Garden, past Macy’s and across to the Midtown Tunnel. Kindly warn the pedestrians of New York that, like Moses, I expect parting of the waves!