Last week when @ShopwithRobin and I visited New York City, I had to defend my decision to fly in at the ungodly hour of 6:30am.
“But why so early?” she asked, politely questioning my sanity.
“I want to walk around New York on a crisp fall morning,” I replied. (I’m so romantic.)
After all, the conference was in the heart of the Fashion District, and I simply couldn’t let the chance to pound the pavement in Manhattan go to waste.
And so we suffered through a 4:30am wake-up call and boarded our flight bound for the Big Apple. Once we arrived, I requested that our cab driver let us off at Fifth Avenue, and after an hour or so of sightseeing, we would walk the rest of the way to the conference. Thank goodness for the impeccable weather; we were given the opportunity to experience the city in comfort.
I had strict instructions for Robin – find out which way the shops were… and we’d walk the other way. Robin and I experienced Fifth Avenue as a native New Yorker would – walking to work; catching the subway, or descending from one of the very trendy (or very decrepit) apartment buildings.
Here are a few of my favourite pictures from the other side of Fifth Avenue. (Captions appear below the photo.)
Staples Who? The iconic W.B. Mason trucks were spotted at almost every block, unloading office supplies and stationary. Love the whimsical look and feel… made me want to order up a printer.
Only on Fifth Avenue can you glance up and realize you’re looking at the iconic Empire State Building. Every time I look at the building I can’t help but think of Evelyn McHale – the most beautiful suicide – and wonder what the last thought was that went through her mind. And then, I’m thankful that my two feet are firmly planted on the sidewalk.
Sex at 9:00am is too early for me. New Yorkers must agree; the Museum of Sex does not open until 10:00am (not that we checked). A quick peek inside should make you blush. And if you don’t; you’ve re-read 50 Shades of Grey too many times, you naughty girl.
The famous Mud Truck! Delivering coffee fixes faster than you can say “Next Please”, you’ll recognize the Mud Truck from its bright orange hue, 60’s music blaring from its speakers, and ridiculously long lineup down the block.
Another example of New York architecture that takes my breath away; the Flatiron Building. Did you know – “In January 2009, an Italian real estate investment firm bought a majority stake in the Flatiron Building, with plans to turn it into a world-class luxury hotel, although the conversion may have to wait ten years until the leases of the current tenants run out.” –Source Sad, sad, sad. If I was a tenant in the Flatiron building, I’d draw out my departure for as long as humanly possible. Imagine turning an architectural icon into a flashy hotel. #fail
Four suits. According to Robin (and she’s usually bang on about these things), the one on the left has all the power. The one beside him is his minion; while the other two have been invited to the meeting but aren’t yet sure how they can contribute. Seeing four suits on the streets of Toronto has never had the same impact for me. Must be something in the Manhattan air. (In case you were wondering, they were so-so cute. No Chuck Bass sightings today.)
Not sure if you’re in the mood for Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts or Baskin Robbins? No problem; you can find all three in a 12 x 12 ft store on the corner of 31st and 5th. Only in New York, where rent is atrocious.
Marble Collegiate Church; Gold Ribbons for the thousands of US service people who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The gates and ribbons circled the block.
I might have a *slight* fascination with nouveau Manhattan architecture. I contemplate the people who work in this building, and picture them staring out the window on a clear fall morning – is he heartbroken? Is she thinking about the pregnancy test in her designer handbag? Are they concerned about what is being said in the boardroom? Is he in love – will he tell her tonight? She is on hold with her child’s school – should she pick him up? Could do this for hours.
One of these things isn’t like the other – can you tell which one it is? Old, old and brand spanking new. Apparently in New York, where real estate is scarce, they’ll find anywhere to erect a high rise condo. This photo does not do justice to just how tight a squeeze it is, so look below.
That’s actually really, really scary. Wonder who’ll get that view?
Finally, no matter where I travel, I always look for a piece of home. Found it in the form of Tim Horton’s 5th Avenue.
Loved touring 5th with you! Thank you.
And may I say the same to you! Loved your photos from BlogHer this year :)
great little tour Lena, I miss NYC, it’s so much fun!
Thanks Jen! It was definitely a different kind of tour, but I have to say, fall in NYC totally rocks :)
I’m so jealous and nostalgic!! Thanks for sharing your pictures — New York is one of my favourite American cities to visit
You’re welcome! I literally couldn’t decide what to take a picture of – but I knew I didn’t want to do the touristy thing. Wish I was returning this week :)
Kyla @ Mommy's Weird
I’ve never been to NYC. You are hurting my jelousy bone!
Oh Kyla, you simply must go. It’s just one of those cities that you’ll never forget.
WOW! Looks like such a blast! I really want to go to New York – I may get my chance, as my husband hopes to get into a phD program at McGill in Montreal next September – we could hit up the east coast so easily! I love the looks of the Flatiron building – how trippy! And Tim Horton’s! I knew they were starting to get them in the states, but I didn’t know NYC had jumped on the bandwagon :)
Ewww, 12 inches between buildings? That would probably be my idea of the worst living situation… I much prefer to have an acre or so to myself :)
That sounds amazing Nicole – and best wishes to your husband on entering the phD program! Yes, NYC would be a hop, skip and a jump away.
I could not believe how close those two buildings were either. Honestly, a person couldn’t fit between them, WTH!!!
New York looks fabulous. I want to go.I hope you’ll fit in time to go shoe shopping.
But of course! The first stop for us was the Designer Shoe Warehouse, and our second stop was Macy’s shoe salon!
Greats pics! Im pretty sure I’ll never visit New York so it was nice to see it through your eyes.
Thanks Lisa! And never say never!
There is something about your blog that makes me actually read through the entire post every time. I don’t know what it is, it’s funny and interesting. I dig it.
Amy! This is likely one of the sweetest comments I’ve ever received – I’m totally bookmarking it! Thank you!
I’d love to visit New York one day! I bet the shopping is amazing :)
The shopping USED to be amazing – before all of the retailers came into Canada. Now, the shopping is still fabulous, but slightly less jaw-dropping due to the fact that the brands are more accessible :) Still, a place you simply MUST visit!
Ahh! I so want to visit NYC one day and your photos just reinforce that desire! Beautiful photos, Lena!
Thank you Soozle! I have so many more shots from the day, but for some reason these off-the-beaten-path photos just spoke to me. You must visit at least once!!
The Flatiron building is amazing! I’ve never been to NYC but my daughter did some modelling there and she loved it!
That sounds divine!!! She must have so many great stories to tell!
Thanks for sharing your awesome experience.
You’re welcome! It was definitely a different way to experience New York :)
OMG love the pics! I want to visit NYC someday! Only thing is I don’t like the hustle and bustle of the city. I grew up in Toronto and live in the burbs now :)
There is definitely a lot of hustle and bustle in NYC – some people thrive on it, I don’t. And, I too live in the burbs for that reason!
“I want to walk around New York on a crisp fall morning,” I replied. Wonderful, thought-provoking, wanting to be there kind of comment! The pictures are amazing.
Thank you Teresa :)
That looks so awesome!
great tour! Loved the picture!~
I will go one day… Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks for sharing. I would love to go to New York one day just to say that I have been there