Constant Reader I am returned from the colonies (and Colony Records).
Owen had the same event that made me flee to Barcelona last year so this time we went west! The Algonquin welcomed us back to it's historical portals - it was as good as ever but we had nagging problems with the damn room - dodgy television, recalcitrant heating... just enough to make it annoying. The staff were very helpful however and the relaxed elegance of the place was as seductive as ever... and Matilda the hotel cat appeared just when I needed to stroke her!
We flew British Airways - and all I can say is whoever is doing the catering these days should be shot. It was hidjus. By the way, we had a security check at the gate where our hand luggage was searched and a body search. Coming back? Nope. The inference of that is slightly worrying.
It's been nearly two years since we were in New York so we noticed a few changes - notably the new TKTS booth in Times Square with the florescent red staircase above it which is ideal for that all important scenic shot - also it's great that the Times Square section of Broadway is now pedestrianised. A brave decision as I'm sure it pisses off a lot of drivers but it makes for a more stress-free area.
Of course it ain't all good news - the closure of the massive Virgin Records store was keenly felt - it was the perfect solution for killing time before or after shows as it stayed open til all hours. The service was usually naff but it was my purchase point of choice! For the first time ever I returned without a single cd - and had to fall back on Barnes & Noble and Borders for my dvd shopping - I didn't even make double figures!! "But you went to Colony" I hear you cry... yes I did but I never feel comfortable there as it is almost designed to stop browsing.
My urge to keep America's economy afloat was diverted into clothes buying - unknown for me! I had packed for cool weather - it was bloody ARCTIC! So layers were needed, my packed three t-shirts, three shirts, two cardigans and jumper needed some serious back-up. So thank you Gap, Donna Karen, Timberland and Tommy Bahama for your merch.The Red Flame on 44th again had the honour of feeding my hunger for omelette's and bagels with a smear but we also visited some old favorites - Balthazar, Pigalle, Niko's, Chelsea Grill - with the best of dinner companions.We revisited some old favorites - Battery Park and the Top of The Rock. Not too many galleries visited - the Metropolitan again was just too overwhelming in size - and sadly the Museum of The Native American wasn't with a majestic building with most of the exhibition spaces closed.
I'll blog about other experiences soon... as soon as I can persuade myself that it's over.