Monday, 22 December 2014

NY Diary Blog: Shopping, Oysters and Massages!


We woke up on Monday morning, so excited to shop!! I’ve said it before, but i’ll say it again; shopping in NY is HEAVEN. The conversion rate of the dollar to the pound means Rose and I get everything we buy practically half price. We each had things we wanted to buy so we were excited to go and get them!

The doorman hailed us a cab and we hopped in, first stop Bloomingdales. We’d been there before on our last trip in August, and we had wandered around for a bit whilst waiting for our dinner reservations at Serendipity. This time around we had plenty of time. 

We jumped out of the cab and had the doormen of Bloomingdales open the doors for us. Perfect.


It was slightly less freezing out today and very bright and sunny. We wandered around the first floor of Bloomingdales, looking for the cafe. We asked a woman at the perfume counter who told us to head straight ahead, turn right and then ‘we’d smell it’ which Rose and I thought was hilarious. Sure enough, following our noses led us straight to Lindsay, who was already perching on a stool, watching passersby with a coffee, a water, and another drink.
We greeted her with hugs and kisses and immediately asked her the plan. Lindsay is SO SO SO good at organising! It was so relaxing the entire trip leaving everything up to her. We were hungry, we hadn’t breakfasted yet. We had made a vow not to eat only room service this time, but to eat out always. She started heading towards the escalators; we were eating in Bloomingdales.

We went up and up and up, pausing occasionally on our way to admire things. We wandered around the bedroom area, looking at bedding and bedroom accessories, saying what we did and didn’t like. Our friendship has got to the stage where we know each other's styles and tastes. Lindsay’s got a bronzey-goldey Moroccan-y laid back kind of vibe going on. I was pointing out candle holders and tins that she would like and she was agreeing that they were cute. We jumped on the final set of escalators and headed up to Forty Carrots.

It took me about a year to get the name of the place and even then, it was because Lindsay explained it to me. “It’s a play on words” she drawls “like forty carat diamond. Loads of the women who shop here are really rich and have nothing to do all day while their husbands work.” “Ohhhhhhhhh.” I replied “I thought that all the dishes had carrot in them or something.” D’oh! Never mind, it was too early to function, and there were more important things on my mind at that moment; choosing what to eat, for example.  

We gazed down at the menu. I was gasping for a cup of tea but I never knew if American restaurants would have soya milk or even English Breakfast Tea.  The waiter was walking past and we grabbed him and asked, and yes, there was soya milk and English tea. Perfect. So I ordered a mimosa as well, for good measure. Lindsay ordered a coffee and something alcoholic and Rose just a freshly squeezed orange juice. 




I cannot for the life of me remember what I ordered but it was something I’d never tried before and I can remember really enjoying it. Rose ordered some kind of a toasted sandwich and I kept stealing her orange juice. My mimosa was delicious! We were chatting away, discussing what we wanted to buy and where we would go to get it. I was looking around Forty Carrots, which now had a seriously long queue of people waiting to get in, and saw this woman tucking into to a MASSIVE bowl of frozen yoghurt. Lindsay was like “Oh yeah, frozen yoghurt, you’ve GOT to try some” so once again, I ignored my lactose intolerance and we ordered one to share. With oreo sprinkles of course. 



We couldn’t finish it, but we did our best, all taking it in turns to dip in our spoons, just like we did in Serendipity. After we were full, we paid the bill and headed back downstairs to check out the Christmas decorations.

We wandered around the Christmas section for so long, wanting to buy the cool New York themed Christmas ornaments like the big apple and yellow cabs. But we couldn’t fit much more into our suitcases and they were so fragile we assumed they would only get broken in transit. After walking around in a Christmas daze, we headed back down the escalators, out the door and straight into Urban Outfitters.

Before heading to NY I had read a review online by another blogger about the polaroid insta mini, a polaroid camera that produced mini photos. I realllllllyyy wanted to buy one and at our meet and greet in Philly, a girl had brought one along! I had asked her where she got it and she had told me Urban Outfitters. Now, I don’t usually shop at Urban and I try and put off all my friends from shopping there too. Apparently, Urban gave a huge amount of money to back an Anti Gay Campaigner during the elections. They’ve also been known to go onto sites like Etsy where talented artists and designers sell their hard work, and steal designs, altering them just slightly so to get out of copyright laws. I’d been going on and on to Lindsay not to shop there and she’s like “I know…. but their stuff is so cute” and Im like “I KNOW” But I just HAD to buy this camera. The stuff I heard about Urban was a long time ago so I’m hoping they’ve stepped into 2014 and decided that being gay is ok. I’ll have to do some research. But this day was the first and last time I’d shopped there in years.

I found my polaroid camera and also some film, which was behind the counter, so I left it there and went to go look around upstairs for a while. I saw a cool wall hanging of New York which I wanted to buy, but once again, no room in the suitcases! I bought a little photo album to put my polaroid photos in and a frame also that was the perfect size for the mini pictures. I stared longingly at this awesome candle but it was crazy expensive for something I was just going to BURN and then I headed downstairs to find Rose, still by the polaroid cameras, still deciding which one she wanted.

In the end, Rose bought a camera that was both digital and polaroid. You could take photos on it, and see them on screen and delete them if you had your eyes closed or something was wrong. Then, you could also print them out instantly if you wanted to, to keep in a frame. Awesome. We would be documenting this trip well.

After Urban, we headed outside into the street and started heading in the direction of the apple store. On the way, we stopped about every couple of minutes to snap cool photos of the street. Everything looked so beautiful in the frosty air with christmas decorations hung. I was so busy snapping pics of gorgeous decorations I didn’t see what was behind them - Tiffany’s! This time around in NY we didn’t feel so lost and I knew exactly where the apple store was - near central park! It felt great walking around knowing my bearings. Lindsay was testing me saying “You know what that building is, do you remember it?’ and I’m replying like “Yes, that’s the Plaza!”

We walked into the apple store and start heading downstairs, it’s really crowded. I was worried I would feel a bit claustraphobic and as we stood downstairs looking around, there were so many people. Luckily for me there were also so many members of staff available. I headed straight over to a nice looking chap and told him exactly what I wanted - a Macbook Air! Just before leaving for NY my laptop was  having serious issues, crashing several times a day every day, constantly losing my work and taking hours to turn back on. To be fair, it’s lasted me all the way through Uni, before that and now years after. It was time to treat myself. And now I’d had a makeover on my blog to make it look more professional, I felt it was only appropriate to have a professional tool to write my blogs with. I’m not a materialistic person, I was totally content with my old Toshiba laptop from early 2000’s until it was broken. But I was getting so excited about this laptop, about how light and small it was, how I could carry it with me everywhere and whip it out whenever I wanted to write down my thoughts and feelings for a diary blog entry. Perfect!

We got the Macbook Air and a slip to keep it in so it didn’t get bashed around and paid the lovely Apple staff as he put it through on his portable computer there and then. I was loving how quick and convenient everything was in NY, everywhere I went I just swiped my card to pay, even taxis. We definitely don’t have that back at home, and I could get so used to not queueing. 

After Urban we walked back up the street, and I pulled my apple bag over my shoulders and wore it like a backpack. Lindsay thought this was HILARIOUS and took photos of me walking, saying “Omg Rosie you look so cool with that backpack on” and I pulled it higher up my back and bounced off in front of them. Then we started popping into jewellery stores. We walked into Henri Bendel and Rose and I saw these gorgeous hair pieces that would be perfect for our wedding, but as we hadn’t decided on our wedding hair yet, we didn’t buy them. Lindsay told us she could always get them and ship them to us if we changed our minds. But they were beautiful and Rose was squeezing my hand as we looked at all the sparkly jewellery. We didn’t know where to go next, after having exhausted our wallets on cameras and laptops. Lindsay took charge and decided to take us on a little sightseeing tour, ending up at this little christmas market.

We walked up to the Rockefeller centre and snapped a load of photos. Then we walked to the Rockefeller Ice Skating Rink. That was really cool for me. I have a thing about ice skating rinks, I don’t know why, I just find them so cool and romantic. I ran over to take tonnes of photos, looking down at the people skating and falling over, and also snapping photos of all the many flags surrounding the rink. I got so absorbed in the moment, running from one side to the other to get photos from different angles that I lost Lindsay and Rose! I sat down on a nearby bench and saw them walking up to me. We had wanted to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree, but the lights hand’t been turned on yet and it was covered in scaffolding. So, we continued on to Bryant Park, where we pulled up some seats and sat down to watch people skating on the ice rink. 













The ice rink was situated in the middle of these pop up Christmas stalls, selling Christmas tree decorations, ornaments, fairy lights and Christmas food and wine. It smelled so good and everyone was laughing, these girls skating really slowly past us and constantly trying to stop from falling over. Rose had got out her new camera and was playing around with it and Lindsay and I were smiling and looking over at this guy who would NOT stop laughing behind us. He was on his own and kept bursting into fits of hysterical laughter, some of which I managed to catch on film! I turned to Lindsay and said; “I want what he’s having!”

We sat there in the park for a bit, chilling out and having a drink of water. Walking up and down NY shops was hard work! Lindsay started planning out what we were going to do next. We decided to drop of our shopping bags at our hotel and then go for massages.

We had originally been planning to stay at The W but plans had changed and we stayed at the Omni. (And it didn’t make a blind bit of difference to Rose and I, we LOVED the Omni!) So I had scouted out The W beforehand and discovered they had a spa, right next door, called Bliss, and I had told Lindsay we had to go. So Lindsay rang up while we were in the park and got us appointments. 

We hailed a cab and went back to the Omni where we popped down all our shopping (but kept hold of our new cameras in our bags to snap photos) and changed our shoes and clothes to look a little more dressed up - after our massages we were doing dinner. As we were chilling out, I took a photo of Rose and Lindsay in our hotel bathroom. My first photo on my new camera in NY! Then, we decided to walk to The W. It wasn’t too far away and we could do a bit of sightseeing. I had felt a bit like because it was so freezing and we had got cabs everywhere we were missing out slightly. So we were excited for a walk.

We headed out into the dark evening, Lindsay leading the way of course. She asked us if we had wanted to see Grand Central Station and we had said yes, obviously! Lindsay and I are big gossip girl fans so we were talking about how the pilot episode all began in grand central. Rose grabs her new camera from her bag and starts snapping away, photos of the station, photos of me and Lindsay, group photos, all for our personal holiday album. 



Lindsay leads us downstairs, showing us more of the station. We walk through this little for shop part which was really posh, with fresh fish, herbs, vegetables and flowers. There was a little bakery too, so cute! I was so impressed that you could hop off the train and just have all this gorgeous food to grab and take home with you! We walked through the shop, out onto the dark, windy street which was bustling and headed up, following closely behind Lindsay. Rose and I started holding hands and smiling at eachother, we loved exploring. I think sometimes, walking down an ordinary street you get more of a vibe for the city than doing all the touristy stuff. Although it was windy, we were bundled up and welcomed the breeze. Loads of shops had put up their Christmas lights and, for the first time this year, I was starting to feel really festive. Soon enough, we cross the road and end up at The W. We are early for our massage appointments so we decided to go have a drink.

The W was dimly lit, with a really sleek, modern, sparkly vibe. Everyone was sat around tables on velour couches, leaning in and speaking in hushed voices intimately to each other. We chose a couch and slid down behind the table and were immediately offered service. Lindsay told the waiter to come back in a second as we pealed off our coats and relaxed back into the sofa. I pick up the menu and study it furiously, always on the look out for a new cocktail. During this trip, it had become rapidly apparent to me that I have extremely expensive taste and I can’t help it. I look for what cocktail I would like the most (the ones with the most of my favourite ingredients in combined) and then after I look at the prices I realise it’s the most expensive one. We order it anyway and the waiter tells me what all the other waiters had told me when I’d ordered drinks in NY, that I had picked the strongest one.

Fast forward five minutes and we are all gossiping furiously with each other, each of us slightly tipsy, me the most. We start getting the munchies and Lindsay checks her watch; we’ve got time. We order some nibbles from the menu, some sautéed chicken for me, cheese and pastries for Lindsay and Rose. We tuck in, the food is delicious. Lindsay us what we think of The W, with delicious food in our mouths and cocktails that burn the back of our throats, we nod that it’s excellent and we love it here. Especially the comfy couch!

Lindsay tells us it’s time to leave for our massages and we leave the leftovers on our plates and gather our things. We head outside then in through another door to Bliss Spa. 

Walking into Bliss was vastly different to The W, all white and airy and open. We were greeted by a friendly receptionist who pointed for us to head on upstairs. We took the elevator and arrived to check in, Lindsay informing Bliss that Rose, Rosie and Lindsay had arrived. 

We went through into the changing rooms and started peeling off our clothes and putting them into lockers, in exchange for the fluffy soft dressing gowns and slippers provided. We went through into the waiting room and sat on a long purple couch, putting our feet up and flicking through magazines until we were called through. Then, one by one, our masseuses came in and led us away to heaven.

And by heaven, I mean heaven on earth. We went for the ‘Rubber Necker’ - a back, neck and chest massage. And holy crap, it felt good. My masseuse painted warm clay on my back and and massaged my neck. Then, she washed down my back with some aromatherapy scented water and proceeded to give me the best damn massage of my entire life. Uhhhhhhhh yeah. Just thinking about it makes me relax.

After our massages we all met up again in the locker room. I stalled putting my clothes back on for ages because I felt so gorgeously relaxed in my gown I didn’t want to have to pull on jeans and button them up after that. Lindsay and I hung out for a while flipping our hair and discussing our massages and Rose finally came to join us - her masseuse had given her an extra massage! She must have loved the British accent that much! I was like “Damn you bitch, why did you get the special treatment?” and we were joking about it for the rest of the night, that the masseuse must have fancied Rose a little bit.

Eventually though we did pull our clothes back on and headed back out into the cold night. Starving and craving another cocktail, we took a cab and headed to our final stop of the night - Flex Mussels. 

Like all American restaurants, the place was so dimly lit I couldn’t tell my cards apart in my purse. A really hot, blonde waitress with vibrant red lipstick sashayed us to our seats and went through all the mussels with us, assuring us she’d tasted them all and could recommend if we needed help. Lindsay straight up ordered for us a plate of oysters and some white wine. I’d never had oysters before and neither had Rose. Lindsay warned us “You’ll either love them or you’ll hate them!” and we shot them back. My first oyster was really huge and I couldn’t get it down my throat, so I hate to kind of chew it and swallow - NOT what you are supposed to do. Lindsay was like “Rosie you look like you hated it!” but I wasn’t prepared to give up yet! I took another, much smaller oyster and added some salt to it, and shot it back. Delicious. Definitely something I could get used to. Rose agreed, we enjoyed them, but they certainly needed a seasoning!

Then we ordered the mussels, our own pot and some dipping bread each. I went for a Thai curry infused batch, something I had smelled strongly as soon as I had walked in and I made the best decision, Lindsay and Rose were so jealous when they tasted mine. But although they were little I couldn’t eat them all, they were so filling!





To round of the night, we ordered a giant plate of donuts to share, each donut a different flavour, and sat there cutting up these donuts into three pieces and picking at them, too full to really eat them but too greedy to put them down.



Finally, stuffed, drunk, massaged and deeply relaxed, we hailed a cab back to the Omni. Another perfect day, another perfect ending. 
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22 comments

  1. I love reading your posts, Rosie!! They're so detailed and it really gives a feel of what it was like! It sounds like you had a great time in NY :)

    Becca | Becca Writes Things

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  2. Another great blog Rosie. NYC is definitely your kind of town. The detail of your time there is "spaughton" (spot on) lol. Can't wait to experience NYC myself.

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  3. Sounds like a busy but awesome day!

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  4. I love your blog...more and more..love you rosie..

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  5. Rosie, I'm not gonna be spamming you with this, I swear. I just want to apologize for my last tweet to you, the one with the goldfish. I'm really immature and I laugh at everything. I was clearly seeing the animal being killed, but my brain ignored the cruel part and focused on the weirdness. That sounded very psychopath, but I swear I'm not. I've never been cruel to animals or people. Once I was home alone and an ally cat came into my backyard and I gave it the meat we had for lunch. He was scared of me, so I threw meat for him until he was comfortable enough to get closer to me. He never ate from my hand, but we were almost there. Some time later I looked through my window and he had a friend with him. I gave them some more meat and went back inside. This other time, a real tear came out of my eye when I saw this same cat on the street beside my house, because he is so thin and I couldn't do much, because I'm an unemployed 16 year old that is controlled by their mother. And my grandma has a cat and I'm pretty much the only one that likes him, I've posted one or two pictures of him on my twitter. The thing is, I deserved to be blocked by you, I know, but I want to make it clear that my heart isn't bad. I love you and Rosie with all my heart and I really appreciate keeping up with your tweets, so I hope you'll unblock me (@rosedicks) and forgive me for being stupid.

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  6. "We haven't breakfasted yet". That one is new. I'll use it in a sentence tomorrow. :-). Awesome blog, always love reading them.

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  7. I worked at Flex Mussels!!! Haha love their doughnuts! I really enjoy reading about your adventures in New York! It reminds me of how amazing the city really is. Keep it up!

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  8. Dang, check out Rose getting special treatment nearly everywhere she goes. 1st that policeman and now this masseuse. Meh, can't blame them. I'd probably give her a free cup of coffee. Sounds like a perfect day, with the food and the shopping, sight seeing and more shopping, then the relaxations and the DONUTS to end it, which look absolutely glorious btw. Good times. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Rosie.ones a again-awesome post
    You are really great writer!
    I enjoyed every second of reading and i felt like was there with you,your descriptions are really good!
    Can not wait to read more :)

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  10. It's really nice you had Lindsay to show you around. Having someone who knows the area can make a trip 10x better. I live fairly close to NYC (well compared to you) and have never been. after seeing your great photos of the food I think I may may have to take a road trip. thanks for sharing your experience :)

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  11. It's so unimaginable for me to travel to America one day ( I live in Hungary) but with your posts and blogs I could totally feel that NY mood! So thank you for all of your work and keep going, you rawr! :*
    Oh and if you ever want to come to Hungary..it would be a pleasure to me if i could be your guide!! :D <3

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  13. Super jealous! Going for a wedding in March, can't wait!!!!

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  17. I love reading your blog rosie it so detailed..while reading your blog it seems that im in NY.

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  20. NY looks just like Hong Kong, busy and crowded, makes me feel small but safe. I always want to go to NY once, thanks for your sharing! :)

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