Saturday, December 20, 2014

Welcome to New York, Darling Daughter.

With big eyes and a death grip on my arm, Thing 1 was uncharacteristically quiet. After all, we were in her first New York taxi, in rush hour traffic no less, en route from the airport into the city. Why it is called rush hour will continue to remain a mystery since there is a lot less movement in bumper-to-bumper traffic occasionally punctuated by an expletive and accompanied by a slamming on of the brakes.

Welcome to New York City, my darling daughter.

Ninety minutes later we were deposited at The Plaza hotel on Central Park South. It was lovely, just lovely. Old world elegance at its best. The bellman took our bags and we located our antique-filled room with its own balcony and lounge chairs. Mosaic tiles in shades of gold and white greeted us in the bathroom, which had a separate shower (with gold rainfall fixture plus a handheld) and deep tub. The toiletries were Caudalie, which David Lebovitz just blogged about, and the vanity was solid white marble.

The bathroom reminded me of the Fairy Tale Suite at the Disneyland Hotel. All it was missing was the  cloyingly sweet voice coming out of the mirror-disguised entertainment system.

Given the choice, my child would have elected to hole up in our room all weekend, it was that beautiful. However, we were in New York, not Bakersfield, and so we freshened up and walked out through the revolving door in the hotel lobby, the lobby with no less than four mile-high Christmas trees sparking enough to give Tiffany, just down the street, some serious competition.

How did Thing 1 and I end up at The Plaza a few weeks before Christmas? Here's the truth: there is nothing like having two people you are close to newly diagnosed with cancer to prompt you to go big at the Cancer Support Community annual gala. And so Thing 1 and I did a long weekend in the city of all cities during the Christmas season, her choice and a very good one.

The first thing you see when exiting The Plaza is the Apple Computer logo. It is seemingly suspended in the air in a 32 foot tall glass cube. The store proper is subterranean. It's also open 7x24 in case you're having a technology crisis. The individual iPads that operate the temperature and lights in the hotel's guest rooms are fairly finicky so maybe the store's location is strategic?

Just to the right of that was our first stop: FAO Schwartz. It's organized like a high-end department store, by brand or category: The Jungle, Life Sized Stuffed Animals, Natural History, FAO Schweetz, Muppets. Knowing it was barely a block from our new home, we only spent an hour there and I promised we'd come back. We spent the rest of the evening window shopping and returned to the hotel in time to have a late dinner in the Todd English food hall. 

Assisted by the night-time cold medicine she needed as she was fighting a miserable head cold, Thing 1 fell into a deep sleep in the fluffy white bed.

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