August 24, 2010

empire state of mind :: pt deux

Well folks, finally went through the rest of my New York images.. I can't believe we were just there only last week. Although my body is in Montreal, my head is still partly at the beach and partly in the Big Apple. Keeping it short this time.. the photos tell the tale. Can I tell you a secret? One of the biggest reasons why I love coming back to New York time and time again is because it was my first & last mother/daughter trip. My mother knew I was miserable and missed my cousin so much that during spring break when I was 15, surprised me with an airfare to NYC. I cherish that trip and remember every single sensation I had way back when. I watched Pretty in Pink somewhere in New Jersey, late at night with my cousin where the entire audience spoke back to the film and threw popcorn at Steff (my Spader!), and then watched A Room with a View in Central Park. Argued with a very imposing server at a deli counter that my bagel was not a bagel (I told him it was a bun with a hole in it!), listened to Bananarama, the Cure and Echo & the Bunnymen in my cousin's then basement apartment in Queens and lost myself to the sights and sounds of the city. I hope one day to make a similar trip with my little girl.. and imprint a similar yet different memory for her.

So this time around, we visited.. The Central Park Zoo (I loved it! but where were the animals? Déjà-vu of San Diego zoo) and shopped at J.Crew & Anthropologie where I browsed to my heart's content (and also scored some great items on sale). The merchandising is in-cred-ible. We also brought Keira to FAO Schwartz because.. we love living dangerously! We did bring her to the giant keyboard (à la Big) however, the 'big' boys scared her off. So no photo.

This leg of the trip, we were true tourists spending time on 5th Avenue and Rockefeller Plaza & Center. I have never, in over 4 visits, missed a stop to my favourite department store: Henri Bendel. It is unique, it is gorgeous, it is divine. The last time we were here, we enjoyed the Columbus Day Parade (which celebrates the Italian/American heritage and occurs every October).

So my friends, can I get you something to drink? Tea, coffee.. a mocha latte? Sit down and savour the photos.. I am so very happy to be able to share our trip & memories with you all!

Central Park Zoo

What a view! Skyscrapers and lush greenery, so beautiful.
So.. where's Marty, Alex, Gloria & Melman? This was heard over and over and over again..
Seriously folks, where are all the animals?? Hiding from the heat & humidity that's where!

What a rush to see this snow leopard up close (and safely behind glass)!
Here poly poly polar bear!
I spy with my little eye.. something big, white and lethargic.
Me thinks it was too hot for Mr White
The Delacorte musical clock. A gift from publisher and philanthropist George T. Delacorte (who also donated the Alice in Wonderland sculpture). Here are some of the musical chimes we heard while we were there..
The entrance to the Children's Zoo. Worth a visit for smaller kids.. Keira skipped & hopped through this park (right beside the Central Park Zoo) and announced that the goats 'tickled my hand!' while she fed them.
Inside the Children's Zoo
Skip & hop!
The giant spider web! Right beside the farm animals where you can feed them (for 50 cents per feed which goes to the animal/nature fund/preservation or something like that)
Keira Rabbit
The Plaza Hotel. I have always wanted to be Eloise and live it up in here! I could also settle for a week's stay too.
Toys abound here at FAO Schwartz! Enter with kids if you dare.. We did and lived to tell the tale!
"ooh mommy, dis is a girl M&M and she got a fan!" She also surprised us by wanting only either a doll or toutou but stood awed in the Barbie section (She also chose a princess dress which you might see in a future post!)
Always incredible windows at Bergdorfs. Look at those illustrations! Now wouldn't that be my dream job?
Henri Bendel! No detail is overlooked here.. Inside displays and interior is sumptuous & divine.
Kind of tacky I know! I first visited Trump Tower in the 80's and noted how everything from the type face to the gold facade seemed so in your face. I do like the waterfall wall inside though..
St Patrick's Cathedral.. It's dwarfed by surrounding buildings but stands out on its own just the same. I can not begin to tell you how many times my devout Catholic mother tried to get me to go to mass here on our first visit. 
Ah.. lunch at the Rock Center Cafe! Mr C had the tempura club sandwich (yummy with a spicy chipotle mayonnaise) and Keira and I shared a tomato with fresh mozarella pasta dish. We were surrounded by tourists & executives. Very fun people watching here with a great view of the fountain & the most famous & photographed golden statue Prometheus.
In the Rock Center Cafe with her new Barbie..
Shopping is fun when there are rows and rows of sale racks! I wanted everything.
I could enter Anthropologie and never come out again..
Window dressing were still in Summer mode but glimpses of Fall shined through..
Eep! Is that the Keikster on Anthropologie furniture? My little pumpkin was getting tired.. but what a trooper patiently waiting for me to finish..
All Hail Queen NeferKiki! I want this chair. Badly.
The gorgeous Maiden & Youth sculpture at Rockefeller Plaza.
So, where do we go now??
Cooling her hands in the fountain.. then drying her hands on Papa. Haha! Classic Kiki.
My sweetheart, my star!
Trying on her new slippers.. She really does have the most skinniest and dainty feet I've ever seen!
My wonderful and fabulous cousin and his wife! His sister was away on business and we missed her.
Three cousins! These ladies cracked us up all evening.. 
Hehehe! Please don't ask why Keira is in her bathing suit.. 
Two Cinderellas and a Pink Fairy.. aren't they gorgeous?
Last breakfast meant humungous chocolate chip muffin... at least the milk was wholesome!

Wondering what in heck is down there..
One last look around and shopping...
Lil' Miss Shopper. Getting ready to fill up the car and drive away..
Madison Square Garden..
Despite our wonky beginnings on our way into the city, going out was smooth sailing (with the help of my cousin and his directions to bypass traffic and road construction. Thanks cos!) through the Lincoln Tunnel.
On the road again.. 


Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

Those gorgeous pics will only be surpassed by the memories - sounds wonderful :)

sherimiya said...

I always wondered what was down there too! You go Neferkiki! Really, really missing NY with your pictures. Central Park... sigh.
Snow Leopard was my fave animal in the 5th grade, don't ask me why I remember that!
Loved traveling along with you... thanks for the armchair journey... :D

Susan Yuen said...

Oh my gosh you are such a girl of the 80's (just like me, heehee)!!! Fantastic pictures, girl you are soooo talented!

Will @ Bright.Bazaar said...

I couldn't think of a better way to start my day than with a tour through NYC from your camera lens. What a blast you guys had!

P.S. Keira's new Barbie looks like it has some kinda chic Paul Smith blouse on...awesome!

P.P.S. Your shot of The Plaza? Prettttttty darn good.

Eleanor Hoh said...

Wow, nice shots of your NYC trip. You did a LOT, little one was exhausted. Love the kids' dressup, I used to do that w/my friends.

Chantale said...

Anne-Marie: I stayed up sooo late reliving our trip thru these pics. The Mister and the kiddo are such great travel buddies.. The feeling of intense contentment just being with them was wonderful.. Wanted to just stay home with my kid today!
Sheri: Haha! The animals were all hiding that day at the park zoo. But when the leopard came out, whoa. So cool.. Yes, Neferkiki made me laugh alot this trip!
Susan: I am a super girl of the 80's! Thankfully I no longer dress in neon with the jellies. ;p
Will: Keira also got the Ken doll! haha. Pretty soon it'll be your turn for fantastic pics!

Chantale said...

Thx so much Eleanor.. Little Miss was actually a lil trooper even being a bit sick.

Nani said...

wow love the pictures! It looks like you had such a wonderful time. I am taking like mental notes for my own NY trip this winter and you gave me ideas on where to go!

Chantale said...

Hey Nani, I'm so glad! When are you going this winter?

Leah said...

I love the pics from the zoo! It looks amazing!


Leah said...

I added you to my blogroll sweetie!


Bron @ Baby Space said...

What a cool trip - looks like you all had a great time - and the zoo pics are so fun. Especially love the snap of Keira taking a rest on the Anthopologie couch - classic!

Chantale said...

Thanks so much Leah and Bron! Bron, classic yikes, right? lol.

KLT said...

Oh, I love everything about this post! Your memories of your trip as a teenager were priceless. You captured everything just perfectly. You can really tell how much you love being with your family. Such beautiful pictures and memories. When my mom first visited me in NYC, she took me to FAO (I was 23). She bought me a Kermit puppet because I didn't really know too many people yet and she didn't want me to be lonely. She said she just felt better leaving me with a friend. Funny, but Kermit has seen me through thick and thin ... FAO hold a fond place in my heart- so does Kermit. :) Glad you had such a nice trip!

Evelyn said...

What an amazing vaca recap! Keiks is seriously too cute for words. The shot with her ipod, cross-legged in a car seat cracked me up :) I adore that flowered dress!

So glad you guys had such a lovely time. Can't believe summer's nearly over. It flew, didn't it?

joyce said...

Amazing pictures Chantal. I think your 80's trip to NYC sounded perfect...straight out of a John Hughes film!

Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas said...

Great pics!!

I've only been to NYC once, but the place really captured me - especially Central Park and the abundance of wonderful and resonably priced food. It's cool that you have so many fun past memories and that you and your family keep creating new ones!