I Love New York

Running a little late getting a blog post up this weekend.  I was having too much fun traveling last weekend and have spent the time since my return playing catch-up for work. So this post will be a bit longer than usual.

I took a flight into Newark airport Friday April 4th.  For whatever mysterious reason, the flight was 2 hours late leaving Denver. Fortunately I was prepared and had plenty of yarn projects along to crochet on, as well as books to read. Including a hat I was working on for my husband.

I was heading out to visit my dear friend Jan, who lives in New Jersey. As part of our weekend we had planned a Sunday trip into NYC to visit the Lion Brand Yarn Studio and the Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya (home of the awesome sauce Japanese Stitch Dictionaries).

Jan had it all figured out for us. We would park her car at the train station near her house and take the NJ Transit to Penn Station, walk to Kinokuniya and meet Mary Beth Temple and my friend Maven there, then have a picnic lunch in the park across the street. Afterward Maven was going to introduce us to the adventure of taking the subway to travel to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, where lots of my NY area friends would be meeting us for some fun time yarn shopping and visiting.

While I was having a delayed flight Jan hurt her foot very badly. Wasn’t broken but it was very swollen and painful to walk on. She managed to pick me up at the airport, but was having real doubts about the advisability of her going into NYC on Sunday.  She suggested that I go to NYC without her, but I didn’t want to do that. Afterall, I came out to NJ especially to spend time with her.

Jan and I have a joke from all our adventures together. We hit a snag in something, or I hit a snag in one of my genius ideas, and I say “I have a plan!” or as is sometimes needed it is, “Okay, Plan B (or C, etc…).” So I looked at Jan Friday evening once we were back at her house. “Plan B time”.

First of all we needed to help Jan’s foot. Fortunately I never travel without my Arnica Gel and my homeopathic Arnica tablets. Referencing the first aid formula for injury, R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), I had Jan sit down and elevate her foot while I treated the bruised area with arnica gel then iced and bandaged the foot. We spent the rest of the evening visiting and crocheting, then got Jan tucked up with her foot elevated and newly iced.

By morning her foot was feeling a bit better but it was clear that she shouldn’t be tromping all over NYC on it. So it was time to investigate another way of doing things. I knew that Mary Beth was planning on driving into the city for Sunday, so I sent off a text message to let her know what was happening.

Mary Beth. being the awesome friend she is, said that she would be happy to come get us Sunday and drive us into the city. Of course Jan felt bad because she lives further south than Mary Beth, so it would be a lot of back tracking to come get us and return us home.

Time for a Plan D at this point.

“Mary Beth what is your address?” I put it into my handy-dandy GPS program on my phone (have I mentioned how much I love my phone?). Jan and I look at it and realize it is actually an easy drive for us to go to Mary Beth’s house. “Okay, how about we drive to you and park there? Then you can drive us into the city?”

The activities for Saturday were a trip to see our friend Pam who lives only 20 some minutes away from Jan. First we made a stop at a local Target store though. I needed supplies for a compression bandage for Jan that would fit inside her shoe.

Ghiradelli Chocolate

And we needed Chocolate. Ghiradelli’s new Intense Dark line is lovely, especially the Cabernet Matinee squares.  I discovered these on our family trip for Spring Break and they are my new favorite chocolate that is easily available commercially.

We had a great time at Pam’s house. Took about 35 minutes to get there because it was a beautiful out and everyone that had a car in New Jersey was on the roadways (okay, probably an exaggeration, but that is what it seemed like). Pam fed us a wonderful lunch then showed us some of the beautiful stuff she has been crocheting lately. She also showed us her gorgeous collection of crochet hooks. The antique steel hooks and their ingenious little cases and such were really amazing. I was having so much fun I didn’t take a single photo. After crocheting together for a while and visiting we headed back to Jan’s house. Fortunately the traffic had improved.

That evening Jan and I spent looking at her hook collection and listening to music while we crocheted and visited. Her foot was feeling better and looking much improved. We were very glad that we weren’t going to be walking all over NYC though, and confirmed with Mary Beth what time we would be arriving at her house the next morning.

The next morning we packed up a lunch and what we would need for the day, then got in the car and drove to Mary Beth’s house. My GPS on my phone was working great and we were on track, though we kept seeing signs saying we were headed for the George Washington Bridge. Jan was getting a bit worried because she knew we didn’t want to cross the bridge. Fortunately all worked out, turned out Mary Beth would be taking the George Washington Bridge into NYC when she drove us in.

MBT Driver Extraordinaire
Mary Beth Temple: NYC Driver Extraordinaire

At Mary Beth’s house we met Cinnamon, the attack angora rabbit. She was very cute, but wasn’t going to let us pet her. We also got to say hello to Mary Beth’s daughter and see her prom dress, then into the car and on our way to NYC.

We drove around in NYC for a bit and Mary Beth pointed out some of the sights to us. I tried to get a picture of the Empire State Building, but wasn’t quick enough. Soon we were at the Kinokuniya bookstore. Mary Beth dropped us off in front of the store and went to find parking for the car. We actually were there a bit before the store opened at 11 a.m. Just across the street was Bryant Park where we were planning to picnic later.

Once we were in the store we headed straight to the section with all the Crochet and Knit books.  The next 45 minutes sped by as Jan and I explore the books and tried to narrow our choices down. I was amazed at my self-control.

My new books

I ended up choosing only 3 books to purchase, I already have a pretty wonderful assortment of Japanese Stitch dictionaries at home, so that helped me to limit myself. Jan had quite a few that she wanted to get, and since her birthday is next month, I picked one of them to purchase for her as an early birthday gift.

Mary Beth visits the store regularly so she was set for books, but needed to find some stickers for her daughter, she kept wandering back to check on us. Then Maven joined us, she was exercising self-control and wasn’t looking at the books on this visit. Mary Beth showed us the Moleskine graph paper books she had found. She likes to use them for planning designs and likes them in a variety of colors.

3 Moleskin Sketch books

So I had to go investigate the options available. They even had the blank page ones I love, and in every size you could ask for. I chose a set of 3 19x25cm books with gray covers. I like to draw on the outside of them. They are the perfect size for when I travel, large enough to sketch in and slim enough to not add a ton of weight or bulk to my luggage.

Irrestible Earbudsclose up of Owls

I had my choices lined up and Jan had hers, it was time to head up to the cashiers to make our purchases. But then I saw these awesome ear buds. I have been needing to replace my old ear buds for my MP3 player, and who could resist these adorable hot pink little owl ear buds. I was going to, but Jan always helps me indulge. And they are so cool when I’m using them, sort of like jewelry.

Our picnic in Bryant Park

Next on our agenda was some food. We knew we were going to be tight on time during this visit, so we brought our lunches and planned to have a picnic at Bryant Park. We so lucked out because the weather was amazing. It was warm but not too hot and there was music happening at the park, though we had to chuckle at Mary Beth because some of the music was a bagpipe band (her daughter is a champion Irish Step Dancer).

The other Kelpie

One of the really neat things at the park was a display of the maquettes from a project in Scotland called “The Kelpies”. They were so graceful and wonderful to see and are only going to be exhibited at the park until April 22, 2014.  You can see more about the large installation in Falkirk Scotland and some photos of them in Bryant park at this website.

M J and I at Kelpie sculpture

Maven took a photo of Jan, Mary Beth and I in front of one of the Kelpies. Then it is time to head off to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. I had been wanting to visit this store since it opened. Lion Brand is a sponsor at many of the CGOA events I attend and have been telling us about the shop since it opened.


Finally, we were there! And the display in the front window was the yarn Taj Mahal. We all took some photos of it then headed inside to explore the shop.

Jessie and me

I had been telling my friends in the NYC area that I would be at the shop 1p – 3p.  We got to the shop about 12:45p and one of the first people we see is my dear CGOA mentee, Jessie Rayot.

Me and my friends at LBYS

Then other friends kept showing up. In the end there were 9 of us. We all had a great time shopping for yarn and goodies at the shop, as well as meeting other yarn enthusiasts. We even saw Lily Chin who was teaching classes upstairs in the classroom that day. She was surprised at seeing all of us as well.

MBT and the Lovely Sarah

It was really wonderful to see my dear friend Sarah, who moved from Vancouver, WA to Brooklyn, NY last summer. She came to the shop with her daughter and almost 2 year old granddaughter.

Loot from LionBrand Shop

Jan and I were having a great time checking out all the yarn and other yarn implements. I managed to find a number of goodies that needed to be adopted. I purchased 3 different color balls of the Martha Stewart glitter ribbon yarn (sparkly) , 2 colors of the Wool Stainless Steel thread cones (more sparkly), and 2 hanks of the amazing bulky wool. I also got some nifty bamboo stitch pins (Jessie thought they would make good shawl pins and I was thinking they look like miniature knitting needles), a set of Hiya Hiya crochet hooks, and a cool South Hampton foldable tote.

Hiya Case Open

I’m very excited about my new set of Hiya Hiya hooks.  This set was amazingly affordable for as many hooks as it contains, as well as the beautiful case. The case even has room for tape measure, scissors and needles.

Tote Bag Open

And this really neat tote bag, it folds up such a handy size to travel with. But opens out into a very generous size. It will definitely be joining me on my trips this spring and summer.

As 3pm drew closer everyone prepared to say good-bye. We loaded up in Mary Beth’s car and settled down for the return trip to her house, then Jan and I hit the road for the return drive to her house. I got to drive for most of it as I am trying to get used to driving her car. This July I will be flying out to Newark again and we will be driving up to New Hampshire for the Knit and Crochet Show.

Monday was my last full day visiting Jan. We had an All-day Jammie day, playing with hooks, yarn and our new Japanese books.  I also got online and registered for the July Knit and Crochet Show. It’s always more fun picking out classes when Jan and I are plotting together.

Tuesday was a rainy drive to the airport. Fortunately I managed to get thru Newark airport security without too many delays or adventures. I had gotten to the airport with time to spare and was glad for it. While waiting for my flight to board there were 2 other crocheters at the gate, so we had fun talking about yarn and different crochet projects. Once the flight boarded I continued working on the hat for my husband and read my book.

After, what felt like a very long travel day I was back home and ready to crawl into my bed and sleep for about 10 hours. That was about 7 p.m. Colorado time, though my day had begun at 7 a.m. East Coast time (5 a.m. Colorado) so it was understandable that I needed some sleep.

As always it was a wonderful time visiting with Jan and seeing the rest of my yarnie friends. I’ve definitely decided I really enjoyed my NYC adventure and I need to go there again in the not too distant future. It certainly is a city with a lot to offer, though I was continually amazed at how many people there were out and about. And that was on a Sunday, which is basically NYC Lite.

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