"New York, New York - Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today. I want to be a part of it - New York, New York."
So go the famous song lyrics by the late great Frank Sinatra.
There really is something about waking up in a city that never sleeps. Every few months I like to trade in the view from my bedroom window of rolling fields and mountain tops for a peek at skyscrapers and trees that are growing on rooftops instead of on the ground where they belong. (But only for a week or so! ) For me, a trip to New York City is always an adventure, with new sights to see and the comfort of a Starbucks on every corner!
Sometimes even getting to the "City" is an adventure in itself. Most recently my sister invited me to be her guest for a business related trip. Since we had both made this trip by car, bus and train she thought it might be fun to fly. Having flown in many directions - east, west, north and south - we figured the short "one hour in the air" jaunt would be a snap! All we could think about was the arrival time, 10:30 a.m., and how much shopping we could cram in before dinner. A plan made in heaven, or so we thought.
Promptly at 7 a.m. we checked into the State College airport. Baggage check went beautifully, dispelling my constant fear of having an overweight bag. (And how many shoes can you cram into one bag, and still have room for the pairs you have yet to buy?) I could already taste my dark cherry mocha latte! Just as we were ready to board an announcement came over the loudspeaker (just the first of many that day.) "Ground fog in Philadelphia," all flights would be delayed! Our connecting flight to Newark was at 9:20, only 50 minutes after we were due to land in Philadelphia. Logic would have it that all flights would be delayed and we would still make the half hour flight to Newark.
Did I say "logic?"
As we finally arrived in the City of Brotherly Love, it became apparent that this love did not reach out to my sister and me. At 10:15, after running to the departure gate, we were informed that the flight to Newark had departed on time. How could that be? Was it only foggy for incoming flights?
At 1:30 p.m., we were ready to hit the air again. If we check in by three, a little shopping would still be doable. Deja vu. It was like the movie "Groundhog Day," when Bill Murray kept living the same day over and over. Another two hour delay.
Finally, nine hours later, our plane set down in New Jersey. Why is it the airlines never offer a complimentary anything for the inconvenience caused to the consumer? A package of peanuts would have been nice!
Our carriage would be waiting to transport us to the magical kingdom of the Waldorf Astoria. Alas, more disappointment - There was no driver in a red shirt holding a sign with our name. A few phone calls and an hour later we were in the throes of rush hour traffic. There were as many people going into the city for the evening as there were going out. As the Lincoln Tunnel came into view I knew we had finally arrived!
What better week for a wannabe fashionista to visit the city than the official "Sex in the City" week? Everywhere you looked the spirit of the new movie was reflected. Cosmopolitan specials were advertised outside of restaurants and even Magnolia Bakery featured the "Sex in the City" cupcake, complete with creamy pink frosting. It's no secret to my family and friends that I have been having a love affair with Magnolia cupcakes for many years. The swirls of rich butter cream frosting had me at hello!
No trip to the city is complete without a cab ride to Broadway and Canal, my favorite corner in Chinatown. From here, a walk down three or four blocks saturates the senses. The whispers of "Wanna buy a purse?", the smell of lo mien and a kaleidoscope of color lure you into a world that is surreal. Armed with our stack of one dollar bills, my sister and I bartered our way to new purses, scarves and sunglasses. As we traveled back "uptown" in the back seat of a yellow cab, we marveled at all of our wonderful loot.
Another New York City must is a walk past Rockefeller Center early in the morning to see what's happening on "The Today Show." I've done the sign holding thing and talked to Ann Curry, but I had never gotten inside, up close and personal. I was on the verge of a new adventure, the opportunity to be on the "Today" show with Kathie Lee Gifford. All I had to do was report to the MSNBC.com digital cafe located across the street from the "Today" show. Yes, I could do that! My sister and I were part of a five minute segment featuring trivia questions asked by Kathie Lee. Even though we did not get an opportunity to answer a question we were front row and center. Another fleeting moment on the small screen!
In keeping true to my fashion spirit, we visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to view the "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity" exhibition. It was an awesome display of women's fashion dating between the 1890s to the 1940s. The American woman of yesteryears