Day two was Marianna's birthday and we went out SHOPPING!
Happy 30th Birthday Marianna!!!
First stop for shopping was the Brooklyn Flea Market. Luckily we got there early, because before too long it got bloody hot! We wandered the stalls that sold all kinds of things - jewellery, clothing, buttons, fake bakelite (that was sold as real - not happy!), shoes, handbags, etc. Even big stuff like homewares and furniture! We wandered around and found some great bargains, and kicked off the shopping part of our tour with a bang.
Super sad face that I couldn't take these signs home...
I found the cutest french bulldog that smiled on command! So I had to take a selfie with him!!
He has his own Instagram page - @oatmealthepup
Next we visited some stores - flying visits though, I think the most time we spent in any one place was 20 minutes. I visited Dusty Buttons for the last time *sob*
Here is the adorable Hannah - love her!
And we got back to the hotel with enough time to head out for Marianna's birthday dinner at 21 Club - which was fabulous, but nowhere near as fabulous as the group of us that went to The Plaza for cocktails afterwards!!!
We were the loud, raucous Aussies in the corner - drinking and laughing and having a fabulous time until 'the ugly lights' came on. Then we attempted to leave, but kept getting waylaid by things to have photos taken with... like (another) vintage telephone!
The funny thing about this telephone is that you could hold it up for about 30 seconds without dialing anything, then someone would pick up and ask if they could help... at which point we would giggle and hang up. All of us had a go at this, and I was convinced that when the security guards were approaching us, they were coming to kick us out... No! They were coming to have their photo taken with us!!
Once we managed to get out the door, we wandered back to our hotel to go to bed - ready for the next day's adventures!
Day Three of the shopping tour was technically a free day, but most people had signed up for the behind the scenes tour of the Radio City Music Hall.
It is an amazing building! And so beautiful!! Unfortunately they were filming The X Factor there at the time and because of that we weren't able to see the whole building, and weren't able to take photos in a lot of places (like the auditorium!), but what we did see was gorgeous.
*cough* wasn't supposed to take this one *cough*
This was in the ladies bathroom!
After the tour ended, I hightailed it to the Museum of Modern Art where I was meeting my cousin for lunch and a wander around the gallery.
That's Mandy and I in front of some 'art'. And yes I am putting that in inverted commas deliberately. I just don't see how three white canvases with black borders is art. I also don't see how any of the following is art.
A shovel hanging from the ceiling...
A rubber mat...
A stack of bricks...
And my personal favourite
Some wrinkly green canvas pinned to the wall.
Who are they trying to kid here????? However, I did see the following, which made it worthwhile.
Mandy and I had a really good time - we laughed and laughed and laughed. I'm sure a lot of the stuff that we were laughing at wasn't supposed to be funny... but we found it amusing!!!
After my visit with Mandy I had just enough time to get ready to go out for the Birth of the Cocktail tour!!! I was really looking forward to this night, and let me tell you it was action packed and didn't disappoint!
Our guide was taking is to some of the historically important cocktail bars in the city, and giving us some history about cocktails. She also asked us if we wanted to have a drink on each stop. We said yes. Then she said that we would have to drink them fast. We pointed out that we were Australian, and that should tell her that there would be no problem with the speed of our drinking.
We started off at the Algonquin Hotel where famous literary types formed a club called the Round Table. We ordered our cocktails and sat down for a history on the location.
Just after we arrived I received a flash flood warning on my phone, and when we'd finished our drinks and tried to leave, it was teeming with rain! Really really heavy rain! Joy went to get us 45 Minute Umbrellas (so called because thats how long they last for) and some of the ladies decided to go back to the hotel. I took my shoes off (they were satin) and decided to forge on. Not long after we got out the door the rain stopped - but there were so many puddles!!!
No, I'm not levitating - I'M JUMPING IN PUDDLES!!!
But I didn't really think that through, because then I realised I would have to walk all the way to the next stop in bare feet... in New York. Next stop was The King Cole Bar.
Where we all scoffed another cocktail. I also borrowed someone's hand sanitiser and sanitised my feet before putting my shoes on. Because of the rain delay we had to cancel going to a couple of our stops, but we were having a marvelous time! Next one required a ride on the subway!
My first ride on a New York subway! And something was obviously hilarious... but I can't remember what.... (no surprises there!)
Our final stop was a coffee shop...
Hang on - there was A SECRET DOOR!
Before I knew it we were ushered through a secret door into a fully themed prohibition era bar called Bathtub Gin that was so dark I couldn't get a good photo of the interior! But it was incredible. They had reserved us the best seats in the house too... right in front of a massive copper bathtub.
This required very little coaxing. What can I say, I was having a great time!!!
But the bathtub wasn't for patrons. No, it was for an incredible burlesque show that we had front row seats for! This bar seriously had everything - entertainment, great food, great drinks, amazing surroundings, attractive waitstaff... It had it all. I would go back there in a heartbeat!!!
Before we knew it it was time to head off back to the hotel. Someone, who shall remain nameless (*cough* Kimberley! *cough*) INSISTED that we have another drink in the bar, so not needing an awful lot of arm twisting, a small group of us did. And thats where I will leave this story for now.
So, have you ever been in a giant copper bathtub in a swanky bar? Ever wondered at what the hell constitutes art these days? Ever jumped in puddles as an adult? Ever taken a selfie with a dog - and a random dog at that?