Monday, August 07, 2006

Lunch [not Breakfast] at Tiffany’s!

Yesterday we got brave enough to drive into NYC. Or should I say Rick felt brave enough. I just sat there. Well, not quite just sat there, as you know me, can’t keep my mouth shut. But I only protested at near misses on a few pedestrians and when taxis cut us off. All in all, it went easier than driving into Denver! I know you will find that hard to believe, but it’s actually true. And it only took us about an hour both ways to get right into midtown Manhattan!

We took the George Washington bridge over and even though Rick wanted on the top level of the bridge, we ended up on the bottom level so we didn’t have the view. We crossed the northern tip and came down the east side of Manhattan to 63rd Street. We stayed on 63rd and it took us all the way to 5th Avenue. We were there before we knew it, and there was Central Park right in front of us. We started down 5th not really sure where we were going to park, but Rick had the Apple store in mind. We had only gone a couple of blocks when I spotted a parking garage off to the left. We pulled in. Despite the high cost ($17.00 per hour for the first couple of hours), we decided it was well worth the price. Plus, it was valet parking! [Under the CBS Building.] And, the Apple store was right on the corner. It was our first stop.

All that is visible from the ground of the Apple store is a 32-foot tall glass cube with a big Apple etched in the middle. From here you either take the staircase or elevator down below ground level. It’s not overly large, but brightly lit and inviting. The store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Amazing. It was packed full of people buying ipods, using the internet access, and buying computers.It’s only been open since May of this year. One can only imagine what that kind of location costs!

We went across the street to Central Park and managed to avoid taking a horse-drawn cart ride, and walked for a while instead. We didn’t see much of Central Park [it’s HUGE] but what we did see was very impressive. Beautiful big old shade trees combined with huge boulders and rocks, lots of grass and walking paths. We entertained ourselves watching the horse-drawn carts go by. Some drivers could have cared less and were reading the newspaper as their horse plodded along without guidance. Some were dressed in shorts and t-shirts while others were as smartly turned out as their horses with plumes on the horses’ heads and top hats on the drivers. When I do take a ride around Central Park I will be very choosy about which cart and driver I pick. Definately not the guy reading the paper, nor the ones dressed in shorts. I think it’s something to do with my Mom next time she comes down.

We were pretty hungry, so we headed back to find a place to eat. Mind you, here we are in the “high rent” district. We walked down Madison Avenue, Park Avenue. We passed several little bistro-like places but they looked a bit off-putting to me. One didn’t even have a name listed anywhere to be seen and about seven tiny tables inside set with pristine white cloths. No menus were posted. Another little place just had an apple symbol on a tile next to the door. Only one couple sat inside sipping wine. I told Rick they just looked too pricey. You know if you have to ask you can’t afford it! So, we trudged on. We had noticed a little restaurant across the street from our parking garage, so we headed back there. Unlike the other empty eateries we had just seen, this one was full of people. It was Italian, Bottega del Vino. We asked to look at the menu and it all looked good. We both had sandwiches, toasted on tasty bread. The service was excellent and even though we were tempted to have a glass of wine we didn’t, and shared a bottle of Pellegrino instead.

After lunch we headed back to the Apple store so Rick could purchase his new laptop. While they were configuring his new computer to his specifications we had the time to walk down 5th Avenue. Directly behind the Apple store is F.A.O. Schwarz. Of course we went in! What a store and lots going on! We were entertained by two dancers, a girl and a guy, dancing and tapping their way through Chopsticks and Heart and Soul on the larger than life-sized keyboard.

Our stroll down 5th Avenue reads like a list of Who’s Who. Next to F.A.O. Schwarz is Bergdorf Goodman’s, then you pass such designer stores as Louis Vitton, Prada, Tiffany’s (of course!] just to name a few. Before you know it we’re in front of Trump Tower. Have to visit here! Gleaming rose colored granite and mirrors cover every surface! A large photo of Donald and his lovely wife smile down at you. Tacky? Hmm..maybe just a touch. We indulge in ice cream [gelato actually] that is wonderful. There is also a restaurant in here, and maybe next time we’ll try it out. Alas, The Donald does not make an appearance for us.

Back outside again and I just can’t NOT go into Tiffany’s to browse. We weren’t the only ones just looking. Tiffany’s lighting is all about showing off the jewels. They sparkle and gleam in their cases as if to say “BUY ME.” I tried on a beautiful ruby and diamond band [I’ve had a thing for rubies for some time now, and our 25th Anniversary is coming up after all!] set in gold and platinum. Timeless. Understated and classic. Gorgeous. Expensive? Yes, but not terribly so considering the source. We only browsed the bottom level although there are several more floors of decadence to be explored in the future.

Back in our car, [our parking tab was $41.00] we headed home a different way. This time we drove past Rockefeller Center and through the Lincoln Tunnel. Again, only about an hour’s drive from the parking garage to our driveway. Very surreal to think we just did all that within an hour of our home! On a Sunday, that is. Now during the week it’s a whole ‘nother story! I can’t wait to go again!


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