Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Escape to the Big City: the first 24 hours

Last weekend I busted out of Syracuse to hit the Big Apple. Though I had been planning a mid-Fall jaunt to the city anyway, my best friend Winston
was in his first show - all the more reason to go this past weekend! That fact also compelled two of my other dearest friends, Susannah and Brock, to travel north, and yet another good friend from high school, Anthony, is in law school at Columbia, so the weekend turned into a mini-reunion of sorts.

But that wasn't the only reunion going on - I got to spend a lot of time with two of the best roomies ever, the lovely misses Kara Reinhardt and Kelly Nolan. Kara generously gave me shelter for the weekend, so it was just like old times! Only we never shared a bed in college...

So ANYWAY, I arrived at the Port Authority on Thursday evening, fresh from my first-ever (I think) Greyhound travel experience. I've done my fair share of bus travel (church choir tours, school chorus trips, etc.), so that held few surprises. Kara and Kelly met me at the station, and we schlepped ourselves around the 40s and 50s between restaurants until we settled on VYNL, where Anthony and Kelly's boyfriend Shane joined us for a tasty dinner. After the food, we headed south a few blocks to Mercury Bar to watch the end of the NLCS game 7, where Anthony and I furtively cheered on the Cards among the hometown crowd of rabid Mets fans (So sorry!). When the game ended, we opted for a cab up to Kara's sweet digs on the upper east side.


In the morning, I met Linda at 59th and 5th for a morning of shopping - mostly of the window variety. After a visit to the swankay 24/7 Apple store at the top of 5th Ave., we moseyed down to the Gap, where I promptly dropped $50. So much for window shopping. Anyway, I bought myself a nightgown - yay! - and this shirt from Bono & Co's (PRODUCT) RED line:



We shopped our way down the street until we got to Macy's at Herald Square; even though it was chilly and wet and trying to rain all morning, it was really nice to just WALK. That's something I don't do much in Syracuse, unfortunately...

So, we went to Macy's because I wanted the friendly folks at Clinique to match a foundation to my face and give me a free sample - I'd read about the promotion in the paper - and I was also hoping to find a replacement pair of the Alfani sunglasses that the dude who stole my car stereo back in August nabbed. No sunglasses, but I did score some free foundation that appears to match me pretty well.

As we wandered through the vast makeup section, the Benefit counter called out to us - Free eye makeup sessions! We'll teach you how! Linda and I were enticed by the notion of actually knowing how to apply makeup, so we dropped in. When I sat down, Natalie, my lovely makeup artist, had me fill out a card and took a Polaroid "before" shot, part of some "Now to Wow" promotion that was going on. Sooo, she did the left side of my face, then let me finish off the right side, and snapped the "after" photo once my transformation was complete. It was good enough to sell me on the eye palette they were hawking, so I coughed up $30 and went along my merry way.

Fast-forward to 6 hours or so later, when Kelly and I were leaving the Gap (had to purchase something long-sleeved because it had gotten FRIGID). I got a call on my cell from an unfamiliar Boston number, and when I answered, it was some random British guy. Turns out Random Brit was from the Benefit counter at Macy's, calling to tell me I'd won more than $200 worth of Benefit cosmetics! SCORE! Unbeknownst to me, I had entered myself in a contest when I had my makeup done - the "Now to Wow" contest - and of all the pictures of madeover Macy's patrons, they thought mine were the prettiest! Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. (Plus, I always like to ham it up for the "before" picture when doing makeovers - I do a really good forlorn, unkempt look (I like to call it my "day" look) - so I think that made my transformation seem all the more impressive.)

So that was pretty awesome; I LOVE free stuff. Anyway, that went a bit out of order, so back to midday now...

Winny came up from his SoHo/Tribeca apartment to meet me and Linda in Herald Square, at which point Linda went off in search of some empanadas and Winny and I trekked back south to his neck of the woods and had a delightful lunch at the Cupping Room Cafe (sought out by George "Zagat" Case, visiting the previous weekend). The sun had come out by this point, so after checking out Winny's palatial new digs, we meandered our way up to Union Square, where we hopped on the subway and headed for 42nd street. Before we put in our names for the Avenue Q ticket lottery, we went for a Jamba Juice/Tasti D-Lite snack. There was some sort of photo shoot going on outside involving Times Square, a very skinny, very cold, VERY tall model, taxicabs and a fog machine, so that was pretty entertaining to watch. Before Winny had to go to the theater to get ready for his show, we tried our luck at the lottery, but it was to no avail. Once Winny hopped the subway, I headed for the Gap in search of long sleeves, which pretty much brings us up to speed...

So Kelly met me there, and she scored a great pair of dark-wash trouser jeans for $10, and then Macy's called, so we caught a subway down to Macy's to pick up my winnings. At this point it was dinnertime, so we headed further south toward NYU. We tried to get in at Mario Batali's Otto Enoteca - listed in NY Magazine's 101 best cheap eats - but it was packed and noisy, so we passed on the hour-and-15-minute wait and wandered down Bleecker Street instead. We found a lovely place called Foccaceria, I think, and enjoyed a tasty tasty dinner before meeting up with...

(TO BE CONTINUED)

2 comments:

abby j said...

that's a lot of shopping! mmmfree stuff. mmmmwinston.

Liz Pardue said...

I am so effing jealous. I looooooove benefit cosmetics. Next to MAC, they're the best.