We hopped into our first New York taxi this morning. Ironically it was a black SUV with not a hint of yellow.
We went straight for the uber glamorous, uber classy, high end, Queen’s Center Mall.
The mall is four stories, sixteen-plus escalators, and has very friendly workers, like the Best Buy guy who’s a fellow Sprint network hater (just kidding) and the lady at Guest Services. All in all, it was pretty similar to a Californian mall, besides the fact that it had the largest size 5 section in Payless I’ve ever seen (almost a whole isle), and the biggest cupcakes EVER.
But if we were going to do shopping – in New York no less – I couldn’t help it, I wanted to do it right. I asked the lady at Guest Services how to get to 5th Avenue.
Her whole era was “why would you want to go there” which made me laugh. She sighed and showed us how to get to the subway and where to get off. She was as unenthusiastic about it as anyone I’ve ever seen, but confirmed that’s where all the movies and things have taken place.
She also added that we should be prepared to get looks from rich folk. She said that’s why she doesn’t go.
I was wearing black sneakers, dark jeans, a white and black musical notes “Pick Jesus” tee, and my favorite, however torn, brown leather jacket. I told myself I looked rural and hip. Or something.
We walked a few blocks to the subway and went down the steps to the underground. I got excited. It was rusty and dirty and littered and old, and I got even more excited. I guess I’m a realist that way. I want the whole picture. If you don’t see dirt, you’re ignoring something.
We fought with the Metro Card machine to the point where a tall black man just came by and tapped the screens for us, telling us which one we needed. Not exactly why we needed it, just that we needed it. Whatever the case, he was right. He told us to swipe the card and walk through, and hand the card to the next person, so the three of us could pass on the same card. He watched to make sure we went through, then asked us which way we were going. He said to go left to Manhattan.
And that was it. He said “you’re welcome” and went on his way. People on the subway have been super helpful like that all day. We never had to ask.
It was my first time on the subway and it was fun. I’m not sure if we’re in “Uptown” Queens or whatever, but Queens isn’t as ghetto as people make it seem. (Or maybe I just live in the ghetto and this place doesn’t phase me, I don’t know.)
The only difference is everyone smokes here. In Manhattan and Queens. They walk and smoke. And talk and smoke. And drag their kids by the hand and smoke.
And teens seem to cuss just a little more here than in Cali.
Anyway, the second we surfaced into a world of honking, and wind rushing, and people in stilettos and dress shoes clomping past, with designer bags, and chatting, and feeling so small between the tall buildings, I really felt like I was in the heart of New York. And it was awesome.
The very first thing we saw upon coming to 5th Avenue was the St Thomas Church. And it is beautiful.
As if the intricate statues of Jesus on the cross and saints and a lion and Mary aren’t enough, the inside is GORGEOUS. Stained glass windows. A massive organ with pipes that shoot to the ceiling. And the detail on the entire church is just breathtaking.
The second picture was taken inside. A close up of the detail on the huge mural taking up the entire wall behind the pulpit.
It was silent and reverent in the chapel. Some people were sitting in pews, staring forward quietly. There was a woman quietly sniffing and dabbing her eyes. When you walk in, you can’t help but have respect and stay silent.
I wish we had chapels like this open 24/7 where I live. A place where anyone can go to pray, whether you’re Catholic or Christian or whatever, to your God and savior.
It definitely wasn’t something I thought I’d find.
What I was looking for, however, was Tiffany’s.
Yes, I am a big Breakfast At Tiffany’s fan, even though, I will admit, that movie is absolutely horrible. It’s a classic, though. And I took way too many pictures today. I was excited. And I’m a tourist.
The Tiffany Diamond, 128,54 carats. . Who would give twenty bucks just to try it on? Show of hands? I would.
Considering that just a scarf/handkerchief there costs about $120 (estimate from the elevator attendant), I’d say they wouldn’t even accept that $20.
Also, Tiffany’s is about four stories, which I didn’t quite realize when I went in the elevator and the gentle-talking elevator attendant asked me if I wanted to go to diamonds or sterling silver. I nodded eagerly and smiled, “that’s good.”
She articulated. “No. Do you want to go to diamonds on the second floor, or sterling silver on the third.”
I didn’t feel like my rural-style clothes really fit in Tiffany’s.
I did ask them if they had a gold oak tree necklace, however. I felt very expensive, as if I’d actually buy it (I wanted a picture). I had recently seen one at a Christian book store in Tulsa, and almost bought it for myself, it was so pretty. To imagine, having a Tiffany’s one?? YEAH.
They said no. But they had some sort of a palm tree one, which wasn’t exactly the same.
You’re never too old to play dress up, like this woman in a black outfit, silver necklace, gloves, and coffee for her breakfast outside of Tiffany’s.
I then dragged my family into Bergorf Goodman, on the referral of a friend. Have you ever been there? That place is INSANE! If you don’t believe me, here’s the picture of the directory.
It has SIX floors of the most high-end whatever you could possibly want.
Oh, ha-ha, and that’s just the women’s store. The men’s store is a building entirely of it’s own, across the street.
Prada. Gucci. Chanel. . . I felt like I couldn’t touch anything. I tried to look uber interested in articles (mostly looking for the price tags. Like the saying goes, “if you have to ask how much it is, you probably can’t afford it.”), but trying to see if any of the shop clerks would pay me any mind.
And I stared at this dress for a very long time.
The lady at the Guest Services was right, though. As we were walking the street, this one girl looked right at me and made it a point to drag her eyes all the way down to my shoes before looking away. I did feel a little out of place after a while and started wishing I had at least worn heels or something.
Then we walked about thirty blocks back to the subway, stood the whole ride, ran to the bus, stood for half that ride, ate at Subway, then walked to the hotel in the rain, and I thought “good thing I wore my sneakers.”
Don’t let people push you around.
Well, we’re seeing my brother tomorrow! He’s finally off, and he has all these sights he wants to take us to. (Which is why we got the girly stuff done today. He’s already been through enough at school, he doesn’t need any more grief.)