Thursday, August 14, 2008

It was bound to happen someday. I have been trying to put it off as long as possible. Mark your calendars - this is the day I reveal to all that I am a bumpkin. Not just at heart, but through and through. There have been hints here and there such as my propensity to not wear shoes. Most know that I grew up in a rural setting in a small agricultural town. Still I have no problem negotiating my way around San Diego or Los Angeles. But nothing here on the west coast could have prepared me for NYC.
This is the view of the city skyline from our hotel room in New Jersey. Doesn't seem too overwhelming and just a 20 minute bus ride away.Sure I can ride the bus. I did so every day when I went to Hapgood Elementary school. I even rode the Greyhound bus to Grandma's house on school vacations, making the 90 mile trip all by myself. Never got lost once. This did not prepare me one little bit for what I was about to encounter - buses everywhere, throngs of people rushing here and there, multiple levels in the terminal leading to gates where more buses waited to whisk you somewhere else.
On our first evening, Hubby and I went into the city for some dinner and a 'dry run' for me to make my way, on my own, to City Quilter the next day to meet McIrish Annie.
Thank goodness Hubby is patient and wise. Just as I was about to be completely overwhelmed by the decisions, the crowds and the NOISE, he worked out just exactly what I needed to do. He made sure I had the proper tickets for each of the two bus systems I needed to ride, took me to the exact spot I needed to wait for each bus. Thank goodness I didn't have to negotiate the subway. I think my head might have burst.
Here is Hubby getting his bearings in the middle of Times Square.
He got a big kick out of the recruiting station right in the middle of it all. I can see how some folks might see signing up as their only way out of the hubbub.
The next morning armed with my tickets, bus route numbers and a fully charged cell phone, I made my way into the city. I asked for confirmation that I was doing the right thing from a couple of folks with friendly faces and landed in front of The City Quilter with minutes to spare. What fun to see Ann walking up the street. It was easy to see from her first smile that we were going to have a great day.
With a little time to kill before the quilt shop opened, we went up the street for a nice iced coffee and a little chat before the serious business of quilt store shopping began. In true 'big city' fashion, we had to ring the buzzer for entrance to the store. It was soon clear that it is a VERY popular spot as the buzzer rang at regular, frequent intervals all the time we were there.
Here's a look at my purchases - backing fabric for my Halloween quilt , an copy of Hey Nonny Nonny, autographed and everything, a Big Apple Pincushion kit, and a piece of Project Runway fabric just to have. I'm a little regretful that I didn't pick up the charm pack of Japanese fabrics but there's always online shopping.While having our fabrics cut, there was lots of talk about Project Runway, past and current season's players - the ones you love and the ones you love to hate. Soon talk turned to Mood, the fabric shop featured in most episodes - seems it was just a few short blocks away. No bus ride? I'm game! Mood here we come.
We chatted as we walked and soon we were there, sign in the window - just like on t.v. But wait, it's not on ground level but on the third floor. Inside the building to the elevator with a real, live elevator operator. Are you kidding me? It's just like being in the movies. Then we were deposited into what can only be described as fabric overload. Floor to ceiling racks with fabric rolls jammed into any available space, boxes and boxes of buttons, miles of trims, ribbons, laces, and embellishments. There was cotton, linen, silk, jersey, tulle, rayon, satin . . . just more than I could possibly take in. Upstairs had wool. Oh my, was there wool. We both just about squealed with delight as we tried to make a choice of the perfect piece to take home. I found this great blue that called my name.
Blue is not usually a color I gravitate towards but on this day nothing else would do. I wanted something to forever remind me of my brush with fame. You see when we first walked in the store a couple of giddy shoppers informed us that Suede was in the store.
Ann and I walked the aisles until we spotted that shock of blue hair. There he was perusing the fabrics for a new 'Suede' creation, but not too busy to pose for a few photos and a quick reminder to vote for him as 'fan favorite.'
Purchases in hand, Ann and I went in search of a nice spot for lunch. We chatted like two old friends catching up even though we had only met in person a couple of hours before. All too soon, we had to say goodbye. Ann was headed back to the train for home and I was meeting up with Hubby for an evening on the town. We had such a fun day. I hope Ann comes to California soon. There's lots to see and do and we won't even have to ride the bus.

21 comments:

Stina said...

Oh Libby...that´s exactly how I would feel out there in the big big world...I hate when I don´t know what bus I´m going to take...and from where...I get kind of stressed.. I thought you did good...:o)
And having a wonderful time meeting a another blogger and spend lovely hours with her...fabric, wool and celebrities!! A fantastic daY!!

Beth said...

What a nice picture of you and Suede!

Judy said...

I don't think I'd like it either..
well the noise that is. I got overwhelmed in PetsMart today because the radio was blarring! Background noise freaks me out so I'm sure I'd lose it.

Good to see you with Suede, I haven't watched this season at all so far.

Screen Door said...

No matching tattoos for you and McIrish Annie???? Belly Buttons Pierced? I guess it's always fun to visit.. but there's no place like home.......

The Calico Cat said...

Oh my gosh - it's LIBBY!

Sweet P said...

You are not a bumpkin - NYC does that to everyone! For all the glitter and hype, NYC is a mob scene to me. Not a favorite place to visit on my list.

Great photo of Suede!

Paula said...

What an exciting adventure!!! Imagine, all that fabric! I'm so glad you got to meet a "kindred spirit" and a celebrity!!! Sounds like a wonderful time.

Julie said...

Oh, Libby, what a grand adventure. I, too, am a bumpkin, raised with no sidewalks or streetlamps and proud of it! My bus experience was getting on the wrong Greyhound coming home from camp one summer and ending up in Sanger, Ca. instead of San Jose. My excursions to S.F. are stressful enough. I can't imagine NYC. Glad to have you home safe & sound.

McIrish Annie said...

the mystery lady is revealed!!! that is a good pic of you and Suede!

Stephanie D. said...

Oh, my goodness--Libby and the Hub! Not how I pictured you at all!

If you felt like a country bumpkin, coming from CA, there is no hope for this 'Bama-born-and-bred-and now-alive-and-well-in-the-hills-of-NC gawker.

I wouldn't even have known who Suede was. He'd just have been another blue-haired dude.

But, man, would I love to see that store!

Guðrún said...

I think I would panic if I were in the big apple and had to go somewhere! Thank you so much for sharing your day with Annie with us.

Carole said...

What a lovely trip! I love NYC! Of course, I've never made it a point to visit a quilt shop! lol Nice purchases! Cheers!

dee said...

I'm so sorry you came at a time when "health stuff" kept me from taking the train in to meet you. Glad you had a good time though. Way out here on the Island, I forget how overwhelming the city can be. I've yet to get in to City Quilter or Purl. Maybe in the fall-come on back!

Karen said...

Love how you had to ring the buzzer for entrance to the store!

Sounds like you had fun.

Julia said...

Oh Libby, I am proud of you! That is something that this country bumpkin would NEVER do by herself. Sounds like you had tons of fun though.

sewprimitive karen said...

Absolutely love these posts about NYC.

Marilyn R said...

Thanks for the tour of the Big Apple! I have never been to a store that you had to ring a buzzer to get in, so I guess could be considered a bumpkin too!

Yvonne said...

I think you were very brave. What a wonderful day....thanks for sharing. :)

Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

I'm so jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love project runway! Oh your so lucky. Lol* NYC is about eight hours away from me, so maybe someday I'll get to go visit Mood too. :) I'm such a small town girl, I cannot even tolerate the hustle and bustle of Cleveland for long let alone the big apple. Great pictures, and finally a picture of YOU! :)

Rabbit Stitchings said...

Now see that would by my DH too taking me on a dry run to make sure I got to where I was going and all LOL... These sweet Dh's you just can't beat!!! Even with a dry run I am not sure I would haved braved the bus and going out on my own!!! Good for you!!

Looks like you just had some great fun and made some nice purchases!

Chocolate Cat said...

This all sounds so much fun.....but there really is no place like home!!