Super Bowl madness took over the New York City last weekend, with hundreds of thousands of visitors in town for the game. We needed plans that didn’t involve football. Figuring that people weren’t likely to be furniture shopping on Sunday, Lauren and I headed down to CB2. While I returned some pillows, Lauren surveyed they company’s use of armchair fabric.
Joyous about my discovery that I’m raising a like-minded home décor junkie, I left CB2 with a bounce in my step and suggested that we take the scenic route home.
Lauren and I haven’t walked around Soho together, and I was eager to show her all of the interesting architecture and cobblestone streets. As usual, her eagle eye beat me to the punch. “Mom, shoes” she said as she pointed skywards. Even more bizarre is the fact that I’ve seen two other traffic lights wearing similar outfits this month; can someone please enlighten me? An art installation? Frat hazing? A protest against uncomfortable footwear?
We walked around some more, checking out Soho’s vibrant colors and signature fire escapes.
At last, we crossed Houston and wandered into the heart of the Village. Walking down Bleecker Street, I pointed to a spot above the Village Tannery. “Let’s count up, 1, 2, 3 – see that third floor? That’s my old apartment – my first apartment with your Dad.”
15 years ago I lived in that apartment with my future husband, some roaches and a family of mice. I once walked 3 miles with a roach in my shoe, ignorant until it escaped. It was the kind of space would shock a non-New Yorker – cramped with rusty bathroom fixtures and barely any sunlight.
But I’m certain that you’re supposed to live those days, the days of youth and struggle. Crippled with immaturity but alive with freedom. We had good times there, great times…the beers that we drank on the fire escape, the sushi dinners in the Japanese garden across the street, and our most recounted memories of all – impromptu nights at The Comedy Cellar where guys like Dave Chapelle and Artie Lange would come to hone their craft.
Given that we were in the old neighborhood, I decided to take her to my onetime favorite bakery, Once Upon A Tart. The weather was nice enough to sit outside and people watch, which to me, is a faintly creepy concept. But given that it’s an acceptable social practice, I’ll admit that I sat there and spied while Lauren inspected her cookie for nuts.
Heading north again, we passed through Washington Square Park, still wet from the latest snowstorm.
Since we’d spent a lot of time on foot, I promised Lauren a stop at the kids’ bookstore. If you’re ever in New York with kids, Books of Wonder on 18th Street is worth a visit. It’s the Taj Mahal of kids’ books, a virtual fantasyland. They have every title you could imagine. Except, of course, the one that Lauren wanted.
“Do you guys have any books about the movie Frozen?”
“We don’t do Disney merchandise.”
I made it up to Lauren with more food. After all, February is Hot Chocolate month at the City Bakery, which happens to be right across the street from Books of Wonder. Was the bookstore ploy part of a greater hot chocolate mission? I’ll never tell, but if you’ve been reading this blog, I’m sure you already know the answer.
To celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, the hot chocolate flavor of the day was Beer. And so, with a Stout-flavored hot chocolate for me, and standard milk chocolate for her, we found a bench, parked ourselves, and enjoyed our first sips.
Until this happened.
What are you going to do. It was a near-perfect day, and despite the wailing about itchy hot chocolate pants, I’m pretty sure that my little marching partner would agree.
What a fun day. Love the shoes!
It was fun, the shoes are so bizarre, I keep seeing them, I need to google it…
Awe, I love this. Especially your description of your first apartment, so perfect!
Thanks so much Tammi, it was a fun post to write, hope you’re well!
I loved this post Jessica – am a HUGE fan of architecture, symmetry and structure and absolutely agree that we have to have those memories of ‘living rough’!! Have a great week. YAM xx
Thanks so much Yamini 🙂 Glad you liked it, I can’t get enough of the architecture in this city as well, surrounded, so lucky! Have a great week…
Brilliant idea to shop on Super Bowl Sunday. I am not even sure it was aired here in New Zealand. We tend to shop on the holidays with everyone else, as that is the best sales.
Oh my! I wonder how long it took before you two got home and she could escape those pants like the cockroach your shoe. The bookstore sounds divine. What do the have against Disney?
Disney is so commercial and it’s a little indie-focused bookstore, so I guess they have certain rules against those kinds of titles. We ordered a Frozen book on Amazon, so all is good 🙂
That sounds like a great fun day! I would love to take my kids to that bookstore. It looks so fun.
What an amazing day of adventure…even with the spill 🙂
How hard must it have been to get all those sneakers up there?? How strange.
WOW! NY! I am a small town girl, with dreams of seeing NY! 🙂
Hope you get to see it soon!
Those sneakers are quite an interesting sight!
I don’t understand why people throw shoes up in the air and get them stuck like that. You can see hanging shoes all over in big cities. I don’t get the point.
It looks like you had a very interesting day! Too bad she got hot chocolate spilled on her pants. Ouch!
Have a terrific Wednesday.
I didn’t know that other cities had this shoe thing too – thought it was an NYC thing. Have a great week…
It’s fun to go back and look knowing that you’ve also moved on.
Oh, absolutely….I’m so thankful that I’m in my 30s and it’s not such a struggle anymore. Except now I’m perpetually tired with 3 young kids. I supposed it’ll be tough for a few more years…
Like you, I’m wondering why the shoes are there! Happy WW 🙂
Wow! We were neighbors 15 years ago. I lived with my (now) husband in a 4th floor walk-up on Washington Street. I love the West Village. *sigh* And the shoes used to mean it was where you could get drugs. My mother-in-law from Erie, PA told me that. I know, right? I just googled it and she’s half right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe_tossing
How funny, did you guys ever check out The Comedy Cellar? We were always there, such a great spot…And that’s crazy about the shoe flinging- I’m so glad that you have an explanation, I never even thought to google it. I’ve seen shoes in trees too–now I’ll know there’s a crack house nearby, always handy to have that kind of information 😉
I remember that appt! Amazing how time flies. And yes, usually shoes on a wire indicate drug territory. Kinda weird – like Hello cops, over here!
I’ll always remember your reaction when you saw it. Speechless. How funny about the drugs, never knew that!
Hi! I love the photo of the shoes. Whereabouts in soho is it? I’d love to check it out!