Yesterday was a wonderful New York day. Free Saturdays will forever be treasured by me, after spending six years at a job where I had to work every single Saturday. Now I work every other Saturday, so the free ones are extra nice. And for some reason a free Saturday is so much more satisfying than a free weekday.
I already wrote about visiting the Studio Museum of Harlem on Saturday morning. It had rained, but was nice and warm, and I was walking around in just a t-shirt and jeans, which was great. I figured it was the perfect day to do some exploring, and headed down to Murray Hill (around 33rd Street on the east side) to a place I'd heard about. Now I don't want you men to roll your eyes when I start talking about girl stuff, so just go ahead and skip to the next paragraph if you want to. I went to place called Thread to have my eyebrows threaded. My Italian heritage has provided me with very thick eyebrows, which I try in vain to tame. Because they have been lately driving me crazy, I decided that they needed some immediate attention, and I'd heard about the threading process, in which the aesthetician goes over the eyebrows very quickly with twisted thread that plucks the maverick eyebrow hairs out very quickly. I was very impressed by the speed and lack of pain and redness. Not to mention that it only cost $8 to have eyebrows that Alisa called revolutionary when she saw them. Needless to say, I'm quite pleased, and have been shamelessly staring at my new eyebrows in subway windows and anywhere else I can find a reflective surface. I should have done a before and after photo--then you would understand!
Emerging from the salon with my gorgeous eyebrows, I headed over to the branch library on 32nd Street and found a couple of books. I'm reading again! And it feels so good. When I left the library with my books in hand, the weather had turned brilliantly sunny but incredibly windy, and little yellow leaves were flying everywhere. Walking to the subway, I noticed a store I'd heard of, but never been to: Cheap Jack's, a vintage clothing "superstore." It was full of amazing items in a very spacious store, so I had fun looking around. But the name was misleading, because I didn't see anything under $25, and most of the stuff was over $75, even though it was stuff you could get in Chapel Hill at Time After Time for $12. And there was a shocking lack of jewelry, though a nice bowtie and belt buckle collection.
Later, I decided that since I had amazing eyebrows already, and plans for a fun dinner with some out of town friends, I would go to Barney's and have a makeover. The first makeup lady to snag me worked for a brand called T. LeClerc, which I had never heard of, but she was incredibly nice, and did a great job giving me ultra-dramatic smoky eyes and glowing porcelain skin. She tricked me into buying a few things, which I probably should not have splurged on... but I will get good use out of them.
Since I still had time to kill before dinner, I went to visit E at her job, and Katie Holmes was there! I did a very good job not staring or stalking, but I did get a good look at Mrs. Cruise. She's gorgeous!! As soon as E saw me, she noticed my eyebrows, and she said they looked fake, but that's just because the makeup lady had darkened them a bit. I told her she should go get her eyebrows threaded at Thread, because it was so amazingly fast, easy, and cheap. Anyway, right before I saw E, Alisa called me with the address for the restaurant in Chelsea where we would meet for dinner, so because I have a horrible memory, I needed to write it down, and I approached the checkout counter at E's store and asked for a scrap piece of paper (it is an art supply store, after all) but one of her boss guys was there and brusquely said, "Absolutely not! We don't want to be any part of anything." I think my jaw dropped, but I quickly realized that he must have thought I was asking for a piece of paper so I could go ask Katie H for her autograph, so I said, "Um, I just need to write down an address--please, can I have a scrap?" He mumbled something and walked away, and E gave me a scrap of paper. It was very awkward, and besides, how did he know I wasn't some richer or more famous celebrity? So I made a point to write down my address and leave the store immediately, without even a backward glance at Katie, who came up to pay for her items at the counter where I had just been standing.
Dinner was delightful. It was great to see Alisa, make new friends (Rebecca and Mark), and reconnect with an old friend (Israel) who has lived in the Bronx since July and this is the first time we've gotten together. We ate at Grand Sichuan, which, according to a passerby, "is always packed." Well I know why, because the food was amazing. We had Rebecca just order us a whole bunch of stuff, and all shared, and talked about everything from Alisa's purchases at Fishs Eddy to Facebook to politics and protests.
It would have been the perfect New York day had I remembered my friend Debbie's birthday shindig down in the Village, which would have just been getting started while I was heading uptown to home. But for some reason (my advancing years) I have been so forgetful lately, and it totally escaped me. (I'm sorry Debbie! Will you ever forgive me? I even made you a birthday present!) What a pity, because my makeup looked so good, and would have been perfect for a night out, even just a quick but glamorous cameo appearance. The uptown trains weren't running because during dinner there had been torrential rain, so that should have been a sign that I was supposed to go downtown. Instead, I walked with Israel and Mark to the 2, walked across 125th Street, got home and changed into my pajamas, checked my email, and suddenly remembered. Ugh! Time to get a day-planner or a Blackberry or something.
P.S. I joined Facebook! I'm probably the last person on the planet to do so, but am loving the part where my friends list grows from 0 to 40 in three days. I probably want to be your friend too, so if you can find me, friend me. And I promise I won't forget your party if you invite me to one ever again.