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NYC: Day 3

August 8, 2009
If you take your time inside the Chelsea Market, all sorts of stuff appears in the strangest of places.

If you take your time inside the Chelsea Market, all sorts of stuff appears in the strangest of places.

A great thing about my travel partner, Collectible Sue #1 is that she’s on the same sleep schedule that I am. Neither one of us ever made it up in time to enjoy our free breakfast before 10 a.m. (p.s. for the record, I just call her “Sue”. But she knows she’s Collectible Sue #1).

Oh. Our hotel: The Hampton Inn on 39th Ave. Between 8th and 9th Streets. Brand spanking new. We found out it had just opened 3 weeks before we got there. There’s a cluster of 3 new hotels right there. Hampton Inn, Candlewood & Holiday Inn Express. Not a great street for hailing a cab but nice, new rooms.

I liked the location. 3 blocks south of Times Square, it was a less crowded area. Relatively speaking. Interesting walking to Times Square because we had to walk past the Port Authority Bus Depot. Saw some pretty interesting characters there. But never feared because there were alway police present.

After lots of wandering we found the ‘Wichcraft Sandwich stand I wanted to find. Right in Bryant Park. This is the sandwich restaurant that Tom Colicchio, from Top Chef, is part of. By the way? It was just a sandwich.

While wandering we found a street filled with curious trailers. I looked for the telltale bright orange sign, which told us what they were there for.

R@chel Mc@dams stepped out of a trailer, right in front of us, and went into the trailer next to the one she’d just stepped out of.

I'm tempted to call that number and ask if I can speak with Harrison Ford.

I'm tempted to call that number and ask if I can speak with Harrison Ford.

We sat in Bryant Park, ate sandwiches, while Sue used her iPhone to find out about Morning Glory. With H@rrison Ford, Di@ne Ke@ton, R@chel McAd@ms, Jeff Goldblum and more. We wandered back, after our sandwiches, because I’d seen masking tape with names on the trailer doors. They had put the character names on the trailers. We knew who was who. Harrison and Diane weren’t there. But Rachel and Jeff were.

We decided to split up for a bit. Sue wanted to go back to Chinatown and Century 21. I wanted to not go there again. We hopped on a subway and I got off at Union Square. Where I parked myself, made some phone calls, and people-watched.

Business men and bums, sitting side by side. But the bums weren’t your old smelly drunk kind. This kind of hit me hard because they were more like kids my oldest son’s age, who were possibly kicked out of their homes. Dirty and druggy. Very sad.

I went to The Strand Bookstore (thanks, again, Poolie) where Ricky Nugget and I hung out our last time there. Lordy, I love me that bookstore. Bought a couple of books and a Strand book bag.

Wandered through the Union Square Wholesale Foods. Damn. That’s a gold mine.

morning glory Hung out in the park for a little bit more then headed back to Bryant Park. Walking slowly by the trailers to see if Jeff Goldblum might want to come out and say  hello. He did not.

Sat in the park and read one of my new books for a bit then headed into the New York Public Library. So I could smell the books and touch the marble. Not all the marble. There’s alot of marble in that library. Gorgeous!

Walked down the street where all the fabric stores are, walking by Kevin Christianna from Project Runway Season 4. He is compact cute. And he smiled at me. Very sweet.

Grabbed a street Gyro and joined Sue back at the hotel.

Our Pool Bar, Courtesy of Skip

Our Pool Bar, Courtesy of Skip

Took a subway up the Former Blogger Claudia’s house.

This is the best part of our trip. Really. I am forever going to go to Chez Skip & Claudia on every trip I take to NYC. I hope they don’t mind!

Sitting poolside with Claudia & Collectible Sue #1

Sitting poolside with Claudia & Collectible Sue #1

Claudia is awesome. It was like hanging out with an old friend. (Claudia! Blog again!) So layed back. So kind. So warm. So wonderful. And Skip was more of the same.

They have a wading pool in their city back yard. Where Skip set us up with a pool bar by putting a little table in it for our glasses of wine. We cooled off from the city’s heat by soaking our feet. Then Cabana Boy Skip brought us our Thai restaurant menus, he’d printed off for us, and pencils so we could circle our choices.

Not just our Cabana Boy, Skip was our Piano Man

Not just our Cabana Boy, Skip was our Piano Man

After some confusion on the part of the midwesterners who looked like they’d never been out of the middle of the country, Cabana Boy Skip took our orders and got our dinner.

We met one of their sons, a charming and fun young man. And cute! And smart and tolerant enough to put up with odd strangers from the midwest.

Skip & Claudia have raised a couple of smart and talented young men. We need to know how far they go, Claudia. Blog again!

Skip surprised us with Cake Options!

Skip surprised us with Cake Options!

There’s so much more I can say about Claudia & Skip. Our visit with them left such an imprint on me. And I know that when I go back, I’m going to have to get together with them again. There are people who you meet that add more to your life. Rare and wonderful.

They gave us a ride home in their gigantic van. It was cool to experience an insider’s city ride on those crazy streets.

claudiasspaWords are not enough to tell how much our visit meant to me. Claudia, I adore you!

I just realized, though, that I never got a foot massage after my foot soak!

But  hey, maybe next time?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. fran permalink
    August 8, 2009 11:53 am

    OMG, you stayed one block away from where I grew up (as little Fran) That’s 39th St not avenue and 8th and 9th Ave not street. The writer Mary Karr bought my apartment and the one above it in my old building and made a duplex. My parents are spinning in their graves at the prices today…when we left that apartment my folks were paying top dollar for rent…$34 a month. Even stranger yet, tourists are staying in that neighborhood. No one visited that area when we were there. wow!
    I’m so sorry that I couldn’t meet up with “youse” but I’m so glad you came and had lots of fun…maybe next time.

  2. August 9, 2009 8:59 am

    I stayed at that Holiday Inn Express when I was there in April. Got a great deal on the room rental, with it being new. I gushed walking by the infamous FIT on the way there from the subway. nice.

  3. Sue permalink
    August 10, 2009 11:48 pm

    I had no idea I was traveling with a historian! Thank you for remembering so many details of our trip. It’s great to see it all in writing. You have got everything I can remember and more down in writing. I can’t believe we did all that walking. What a BLAST!!!!!

  4. August 11, 2009 12:33 pm

    OMG! Poolside! I love it, next time I feel deprieved not having a cement pond I know just what to do!

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