NYC: GOING SOLO
Not everyday involved fitting eight times as many things into each minute as normal. I had some freelance to do out there – and so for my very own Carrie Bradshaw moment, gazing out of the window of my West Village apartment, chewing the end of a pen/necklace/hair pondering over life's most puzzling conundrums in an SJP manner…
Our apartment was also pretty heavenly, something I'd rather like to transfer back to London (or permanently move to NYC?) so it wasn't a great hardship lying low for a couple of days. Though I struggled to stay inside for more than a couple of hours without my inner-explorer niggling away at me.
One day of flying solo involved me heading over to the East Village and the Lower East Side, Lonely Planet guidebook in hand for support, but mostly to get lost and explore. I stumbled across masses of awesome shops, each oozing their own distinct character and run by people who were practically life-long friends by the time you left. Highlights included Duo NYC, run by two gorgeous sisters with a seriously good eye for all things fashion and lifestyle; designer vintage shop Cadillac’s Castle, owned by a lovely couple and named after their labrador; and Verameat, an off-beat jewellery brand filled to the brim with one-off, hand-crafted pieces, draped from the walls (ladder, wishbone and robot necklaces, and every animal under the sun). Vermeat pieces are becoming a regular fixture on the cast of Girls (I’ve never seen it but I’m still impressed). I was actually overwhelmed with choice at Verameat and ended up leaving empty-handed, only to find myself in their Brooklyn store less than 24 hours later (with Olly, much to his delight) where I finally settled on two rings and scored myself some temporary tattoos. For those of you who were asking whether I was brave/mad enough to get a tattoo of teeth up my wrist after my Instagram post a few weeks ago, sadly it’s a no.
I was also thrilled to see the East Village animal love – I was greeted by an ageing black lab with a grey beard in one place and a cat curled up on the counter in another, which is enough to get me into any shop. Restaurant-wise, The Fat Radish – right on the edge of the Lower East Side – was recommended to us by a friend in London and didn’t disappoint both on the food and service side (go for the monkfish green curry). I went to pay them a visit while Olly was in the office and hung out with the lovely General Manager. As well as being a definite heartbeat of the Lower East Side by night, it was the kind of place I'd love to set up for the day with my laptop too.
I whiled away another afternoon wandering amongst the hoards of art in the MOMA. Unsurprisingly it’s home to some real rockstars: think Czanne, Magritte, Picasso, Dali, van Gogh, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg (a favourite of mine from A-Level art days) and you’ve barely scratched the surface. Plus it was a treat to see the Matisse cut-outs, as I’d missed their London stop-off.
Writing this has made me New York-sick. It'll only be a matter of time before I'm back there.