Friday, June 13, 2008

Me N The City: Part 8 – Is That All There Is?

As we stood outside – in the sunshine – holding our now useless umbrellas – we realized we had no stinkin idea where E 57th was and whether #1 e 57th was anywhere near Park Ave. Not to worry, I had my Verizon Navigator GPS activated on my phone. I typed in the address and found it was only about a mile away. But in which direction? For some reason the GPS thought I was heading South when in fact we were facing West. I tried walking half a block so it could get oriented based on my forward movement. Wait a minute… it suddenly said “you have arrived at your destination on the right”. Ummm I’m pretty sure I didn’t. After trying for a few minutes to power down and reload the route, attempt to recalculate the route, and to generally get its proverbial head out of its proverbial a--, I slammed the phone closed and threw it in my purse. Of course it wouldn’t work. Why would it work? Karma does NOT want us to get to Louis Vuitton. Is my husband behind this somehow?

Going “old school”, we decide to simply follow street numbers until we reached E 57th and then just start-a-walkin in one direction to see what we found. Within a block we saw the golden L gleaming from the side of a building. It was almost like a mirage. We had found it! Saints be praised! As we approached the imposing glass doors it suddenly struck me that after our day of adventure, we were well past the damp phase and now officially looked like bedraggled street people. I had been so focused on getting to this moment I hadn’t thought about what we would do once we got here considering the shape we were in. I was pretty sure that the doorman wasn’t going to let us in. Even if he did, no one in the store would be likely to so much as glance our way. Luckily, Sarah had been able to maintain some level of polish (mine was toast) so she went in first. I have to say it was beautiful and breathtaking. I touched scarves, mooned over handbags, caressed wallets, made mental wishlists in my head. Sarah looked at few new handbags since she was on the prowl for a new daily companion and luckily the service staff did allow her to peruse the latest and greatest. I just tagged along quietly in awe. All in all we spent maybe 20 minutes there. And Sarah didn’t find what the bag she was looking for after all – they didn’t have it. After everything we had been through we left LV empty handed and Sarah was relegated to finding her Louis love online via eLuxury. It was like the day after Christmas. It was depressing. After all that work all we had to show for it was a 20 minute memory. In my head I kept hearing the chorus to that old song "Is that all there is?"

Standing outside once again on the sidewalk it dawned on me that I had spent 24 hours in NYC at this point and had only baby clothes and an umbrella to show for it. This is clearly unacceptable. I thought about all the lovely shops we had passed either on foot or via cab while on our mission… Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Dior, Chanel, Bergdorf’s, and on and on. But looking at the time it was now 2:00 and we still had to get on the subway to get to Century 21. There would be no alternative… we were NOT missing Century 21 – where we may find something fabulous we could actually afford – just to shop in places where we’d be able to find nothing we could afford (or things that if we did “afford” would put our husbands into orbit). I sadly said adieu to my high brow dreams and focused on getting downtown.

We pulled out the NYC subway map and, too tired to avoid looking like tourists, started trying to figure out how to get where we needed to be – the financial district. At a loss, we (again too tired to care about looking touristy) asked the Burberry doorman. Luckily he knew just where we needed to be – “take the E train all the way to the last stop” - the World Trade Center stop. Century 21 would be right as you come out of the subway. Yay!! We walked the one block over the subway station, bought our 2 way passes and hopped right on the waiting train.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Century 21, I am soooo not talking about yellow jackets and real estate here. Century 21 carries last season or overstock couture at rock bottom prices – of course we’re still talking about couture here so basically instead of a dress being $1200 it might be $300. It is a huge multi-floor department store which has women’s clothing, men’s clothing, children’s clothing, shoes, and more (all of which we intended to hit).

As the subway doors chimed their closing warning and the car lurched forward we found our second (or third, or fourth) wind and chattered with giddy excitement about what we might find at our fashion Mecca.

…to be continued.

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