Bowery Mural

New Look Blog

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

You might have noticed things looking a bit different around here. That's because I finally found a new look template that I'm beyond thrilled with.

I've been wanting a change for a while and did find a template last year that I adapted a little bit but it just wasn't clicking for me. Then I found this new one. I really really like the clean modern clutter free space, and also the large pictures. 

What do you think?

Angela X

Nike Air Force 1 X Riccardo Tisci

Saturday, 26 April 2014

I'm a sucker for a limited edition. We all know that. These are the Nike Air Force One X Riccardo Tisci edition. Not my usual trainer style but lovely nonetheless.

Elmo jammie action
Wore them out last weekend for the first time and they are so comfortable.

Dungarees - Topshop; white boys tee - H&M; Nike x Riccardo Tisci trainers

Now hurry up summer. I wanna get these babies on my feet with a little skirt, or something.

Angela x

New York - Monday, checking out Brooklyn

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

As soon as my head hit the pillow on Sunday night I was fast asleep. Monday was my last full day in New York and i intended to pack everything in that I hadn't managed so far. As I looked out of the window I was glad to see some blue sky. Hopefully it wasn't too cold.

After I got ready I packed the rest of my stuff into my suitcase and spare duffel bag I'd brought with me. Feeling a bit peckish I went to the Pret a Manger that was on the corner of 6th and West 38th, 2 doors form the hotel. The tea though. Ergh. I think they gave me some sort of flavoured stuff. I drunk what i could washing down my warm croissant, hogged their wifi then went back into the hotel to check out. Sad face. They were very kind and held onto my bags in a secure room until I would return later on in the day to head to the hotel. Very much appreciated.

With that I headed out into the chilly blue sky day. Heading towards Herald Square to catch the subway downtown I toyed with the idea of heading into Macy's. I'd seen it on Saturday evening but from the outside i didn't think much. Checking the time i decided to head in a for a quick look. There was a flower display on show all over the shop. But other than that it's a department store, just like any other department store. Tick.

I caught the subway downtown and it was pretty quiet. Presumably I missed rush hour but it was still only about 10am. I emerged from City Hall station, crossed the street and was soon sauntering across Brooklyn Bridge with the brightest blue sky you ever did see. As ever I snapped away on my phone and camera and had a few pictures taken by lovely strangers when they saw my try to take awkward selfies! Of course I returned the favour for them. A very nice couple from Norway. Thank you.

All in all it took me just over half an hour to walk across. The views were amazing. I could see the Statue of Liberty in the distance as well as that famous NY skyline. Oh it was so magical all over again.

Once over the bridge I made my way to the Brooklyn Bridge park area. You get great views of Manhattan and some great old wooden posts in the water that once were a pier. I snapped, snapped and snapped some more. I'd seen these very pictures on Instagram many times before and now here i was in the same place!

such a cool structure
It was pretty quiet over this side of the bridge. In fact for a good fifteen minutes it was just me wandering around this area. Soon it was time to go but not before a toilet break in the very clean portakabin toilets at the park.

I walked through the Dumbo area and took more pictures then headed for the subway station. I was a bit confused as there was a sign to say it was closed but a kind gent told me (in his NY twang) that in fact it was open and the sign was for weekends only. The train came quickly enough and I warmed up  nicely during the journey back to Soho.

A quick stop at the Bowery Mural and I went on my way again, back up to Midtown.

bowery mural
Bowery Mural
I rode the subway all the way up to Columbus Circle and decided to go into the Time Warner Centre to get some lunch. Grilled cheese sandwich, a croissant (this seemed to be my chocolate substitute on this trip) and a large tea. I found a seat, ate my lunch and planned the last remaining hours in my head. Central park was just out of the window but I didn't have that long for a wander necessary to take it all in. I would go though. I also wanted a Shake Shack burger and then there was the MoMA. Something would have to give in my time line.

Lunch view from inside Columbus centre
About half an hour later after i was suitably fed, watered and warm, i headed out into the bright sunshine once again. I walked into central park for a bit. It was really bright blue sky, bitterly cold and the trees were all silver barked and bare. Summer, i thought. This will be perfect in the summer. More photos were taken, horse drawn carriages were dodged and i emerged at the Apple Store end around 4pm. Time really wasn't on my side.

I ducked into FAO Schwartz to buy a few toys for the nephews (and to see the Big piano!) and nearly got knocked out by an over enthusiastic assistant flying a mini helicopter!! What a way to go, ha ha.

this couple weren't amused when he tried to get them to go on it
I wandered back down fifth avenue and into the MoMA shop - not time for a museum visit this time unfortunately (SUMMER) but the shop hit the right spot.

Walking down Fifth Avenue towards the hotel was absolutely freezing. Those long wide streets make it perfect for the wind to hit you from the front or behind, either way, in the shadows, you're in it's full blast. Brrrr...

I arrived back at the hotel around 5.30pm and grabbed a seat in the lobby.
Back at the Refinery hotel
Okay so i might've been a bit early for the cab ride back to the airport but i could sit here and relax in the warmth and people watch. With hindsight I should've hit up Parker and Quinn for some food but at the time the seat was all I wanted. My back was well aching. My feet were throbbing. My hands were tingling from the cold. A seat. A seat...

Refinery hotel lobby view
7pm came around quickly and i went to the desk to get my bags from storage. They brought them out and within a few minutes they'd hailed me a yellow cab. With that I said my goodbyes and was heading back to the airport. I was sad but I was happy that I'd taken this trip. It really was amazing, and I know people say this after their holidays but i couldn't wait to come back. I was already planning my next trip in my head as the sun was setting over Manhattan.

view from the back of the yellow cab
Thank you New York, thank you Refinery hotel. I had a blast! See you soon...

Angela x

New York - Sunday, sightseeing part 2

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Where were we?

Oh yes. Wall Street.

After I left the 9/11 memorial I was at a loss as to what to do next. It was gone 5pm and it was cold. Did I mention that? It was almost summer weather on the Saturday too! I had my 'stars' version of the sun and stars ticket to the Top of the Rock to use up. What to do in the mean time, what to do?

I walked for a little while. I visited Wall Street. Well you've just got to. It was quiet and I shared my visit with a busload of Japanese tourists. Photos were snapped and I went on my way.

Wall Street
I made my way to City Hall as I knew the Brooklyn Bridge entrance was close by. Once I got there I decided it was far too cold to cross that bridge today so I found a coffee shop and Facetime'd mum and dad. I was so glad to be sitting down, even just for fifteen minutes. My back was aching. I'd walked a fair bit since I woke this morning. My fingers were numb from taking pictures and from using the maps on my phone. All I wanted to do was lay down on that super comfy bed back the Refinery. But I was downtown, waaay downtown.

City Hall

Welcome to Chinatown
After I'd warmed up enough I set off on my journey back to the hotel. I walked to the subway station but it was out of order today. Damn. I checked my maps again and walked and walked and walked and eventually ended up in Chinatown. On my way there though, I came across a line of trailers parked in a street. It looked like some sort of filming had taken place just an hour or so earlier. They were clearing up now. Anyway, I found an open subway station and hoped on to get back to the hotel. I've never been as glad of a seat and a little bit of warmth as i was then. I got off at Park Avenue and found a pharmacy to buy some plasters (or Band Aids!) for my blistery feet. Luckily, I passed a cupcake shop too and popped in to buy one. I thought I'd eat it later on but turns out I still had it when I came home. Result.

Rockefeller Centre, always look up
Back at the hotel I freshened up and relaxed. Once I was ready I put on my scarf and hat and headed back to the Top of the Rock. There was a long queue outside and I wasn't sure if they were waiting to go up or waiting on a TV show recording. I headed inside and ended up getting straight into the lift to go up. Perfect. I skipped the queue at the fake NYC background again as I was eager to see this view at night time.

windy up top!
Wow. When I emerged front the lift I went around to the good side and yes, it was worth the wait and also worth the sun and stars ticket price! I'd really recommend a night visit. You see all of the lights flashing at you from Times Square. You see the buildings twinkling far off into the distance. I'm sure the golden hour sunset would be magical in the summer time (note to self!)...

Wandering in and out of the cold and windy viewing deck I got my picture taken again by a lovely Kodak lady. "These are really good" she laughed as she snapped away. When I was sure I'd taken in the view from every possible angle I headed inside and back down to the photo collection area. When it was my turn the girl showed me all of the pictures that had been taken on my morning and my evening visits and I chose quite a few. I got one printed and my free digital print, then I bought some more digital prints. They give you a coded receipt and you go to a machine, scan the barcode and enter your email address. A minute later the pictures are in your inbox. Voila! They really are pretty good.

It was still early, well about 9.30pm, and so I decided to have what may be my last walk through Times Square at night. Soaking in everything I made my way back to the hotel. I needed to pack. Tomorrow was my last day. I had to plan it to perfection. And so I did...

Angela x

New York - Sunday, sightseeing part 1

Saturday, 19 April 2014

I was woken on Sunday by someone in the next room's iPhone alarm going off. They must've had it in the charging unit because that plays your music and, as I found out, your wake up alarm too. It was fine though because I was due to get up in half an hour anyway.

I flicked Netflix on the iPad and continued with my current marathon 24 catch up session. Season 2 episode 15 incidentally. After half an hour I got up and had a quick peek outside. The sky was grey but I hoped that it would clear. Or at least that there wasn't low cloud because I had an appointment with the Top of The Rock today!

Yes. Today was Sunday, my sightseeing day. I'd booked a Sun and Stars ticket for the Rockefeller Centre. It meant I could have a day time visit and a night time visit in one day, plus I'd get a free digital print.

After showering and getting dressed I headed out at 9am. I'd find breakfast outside of the hotel for a change then I'd head for the Rockefeller Centre, which as it turns out I knew was only a 15 minute walk away at most. Just around the corner from the hotel was a place called Pax Wholefoods. I grabbed a tea and the best butteriest flakiest croissant I've had (ever) and ate that. Time was getting on so i walked up Fifth Avenue towards The Rock. The streets were quiet. Maybe those New Yorkers have a long lie on a Sunday I thought. With the streets being quiet I was getting full blasts of the wind hitting me up those long straight avenues. Whoosh. Freezing. When I got to the Rockefeller Centre I was a bit early and so I wandered into a few shops, spied a few goodies and kept a mental note for later...

My time-slot approached and I headed into the centre and made my way to the lift. We came out a few levels up for a security check. Once through there we made out way around an area with the history of the building written the walls with accompanying black and white pictures. There was the option to get a picture taken on a fake NY skyline backdrop by a way too jolly photographer. There were loads of people watching so i decided i didn't want that one, thankyouverymuch. How awkward would it have been? Me, sitting there on my own getting a picture taken on a fake background. Nah. I walked passed when the opportunity came and around to the main lifts that take you all the way up to that top! They squeezed about 20 or more of us into the is lift and it set off. On the ceiling was a video about what you'd see, but you could also see the floors whizzing by. In less than a minute we'd arrived.

Central Park view

New York rooftops, and Empire State
Out of the lift into a hallway area we went and through the windows I could see that famous view. Central Park first. Wow. It was looking pretty grey outside but thankfully no rain and you could still see a fair bit in the distance. There's an inside area with benches you can sit on, and more importantly, FREE WIFI! Something i found very hard to come by whilst in New York. Around the corner were more escalators that take you up one more level and outside. I did just that. The wind was blowing but I couldn't take my eyes off the views. On the other side was the better view (IMO). The Empire State and Midtown, then Downtown in all its glory. Granted, in its rather grey glory today. After taking lots of pictures on my camera and phone I went in search of this photographer to get my free pic. When I found him he was lovely and took some good ones. I could see them when I went back downstairs he said. On my ticket the time-slot was 10.15 to 10.30am but i hung around as long as I could stand the cold so that I could soak in this moment. You never know when you might be back! A little while later I decided it was time to go back down. But I'd be back later that evening.

When I went to the photo collection area the girl said I shouldn't pick just now as the night time pictures could be a lot better. Whoop! I took her advice and headed to J Crew to buy that denim jacket I spied earlier on. Bargain.

As it was colder I opted to go back to the hotel to put a jumper on and change my jacket. It was really quite raw cold by now. After heating up back at the hotel I planned my next few hours. I had a reservation at Minetta Tavern in Greenwich Village at 2pm for lunch. I was to be walking down the Highline to get there. Then later was the 9/11 memorial and a walk across Brooklyn Bridge. With maps in my bag and warmer clothes on I set off at a little before 12 noon. Walking down to Herald Square then along to Madison Square Garden towards the start of the Highline. It was further away than I expected but i got there. Strangely, although it was cold the wind had died down as I walked all the way down beside the Hudson River on the Highline. I saw more sights that I'd seen in pictures (and on Google maps, ha). It's quite surreal being in those places, beside those things, walking that Highline. I mused to myself that this would be a lovely walk in the summer and i vowed that I'd go back and do it then...

Is this familiar?


Some graffiti from the Highline

remnants of old train tracks

Fantastic street views from the Highline
Highline art

Standard Hotel
As I neared the end of the Highline I got my phone out to check my bearings to find out directions to Minetta Tavern. Got it, then set off again. Through some quiet pretty tree lined streets, past a little playground on Bleeker Street then around little winding streets to my destination, I arrived. Erm... It wasn't what i expected. Outside looked like a pub from my local town centre. This couldn't be it surely, but it was. Eek.

Tree lined west village streets, bare trees mind you
I stepped inside about ten minutes early. Wow. I thought I'd stepped into another world completely. Through a rich burgundy velvet curtain I entered into a bustling bistro. There was lots of chatter, lots of people engaged in conversations, a gent in a grey suit and white hair (the maitre'd) keeping a beady eye on all that was happening. I was seated at my table, for one. It felt really awkward as I was on a bench seat in between a party of 2 and a table of 6. Luckily my waitress was just lovely and kept me amused, fed and watered during my visit. I placed my order and waited for it to arrive. It was pretty hard not to make eye contact with people you are in such close proximity too. I think this was the only time on my trip that I felt awkward being alone. Thankfully I just used my phone, pretending to text people. Ha, saddo.

It wasn't long until my burger and fries arrived. I declined the onion accompaniment and so my burger was on the bun alone, like me. The lettuce etc were on the side. The fries came in a little bucket and were very thin but pre-salted. I don't mind that. Salt is my thing, and chocolate. The burger was huge and juicy. But the juiciness meant that by the time i was halfway through it, the bottom of the bun was soaked and kinda falling apart. I ate as much as I could and declined the dessert. I'd have to walk for ages to work this burger off never mind dessert! Out of the warmth of this restaurant and into the cold Sunday afternoon I went.

Next stop was the 9/11 memorial. Again I'd booked this beforehand and my time slot was 4pm. I was over an hour off that. Since it was cold and my legs were getting tired, I got the subway to the world trade centre stop.  By this time my feet were starting to throb and I had to do the unthinkable. I had to get my socks off and apply a blister plaster in the street. Sorry passersby. I just had too. It was still grey, a little windy and cold so I wandered into the 9/11 memorial visitors centre. It was so moving in there, in amongst the souvenirs, because as you walk around this small shop there's a video playing on the back wall. There's pictures high up on the wall with a time line of what happened on that day. People were muted, there were sniffs, there were whispers of "I was here doing this when that happened". Everyone must remember where they were that day. I do. I watched the video for a little while. It was a trailer for a DVD (also on sale in the shop). There were survivor stories, a young boy who'd lost his mum, a man who'd lost both his firefighter sons, a lady who was scarred for life. Just really moving stories. It did bring a tear to my eyes. And actually being in close proximity to that very place... It felt strange and poignant.

As it was nearing my 4pm slot I bought a few bits from the shop (magnets and a few NYPD/FDNY t-shirts) and headed around to the memorial entrance. We went through another security check and were directed around a pathway marked by blue screening you find at building sites, because yes, it's still a building site. Once inside the site, Ground Zero, there are notices on the wall with outlines of both the large square North and South tower foundations. It's colour coded with certain areas on each square being marked out as firefighters, people who were in the towers etc. I'm not explaining it right but I think it's so that if you want to find someones name you knew then you know which direction to follow to find their name on the actual memorial. The area was quiet. People were being quite respectful, and rightly so. It's a place for reflection and even on this grey day it looked nice. The trees were bare and silver in colour. There are grassy areas, but not for walking on. Looking up, the landscape is now dominated by the Freedom Tower which has been built.

Freedom Tower, the sun tried to peek through
The two large square waterfall memorials themselves really are something else. The noise of the water is soothing. The names are all clearly carved out. It's thoughtfully done.

Over to one corner of the space is a new museum that is opening in May. You could see through the glass windows and I can't be certain but I'm sure there are still escalators and large marble pillars still there from the original WTC buildings. Remember how there was a shopping centre and subway stations underground? Well I think this is a part that was untouched when the towers collapsed. It was a little eery. I remember seeing these pictures on TV. Wow...
looking through the window...

Angela x

New York - Saturday, shopping day

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A sneaky peak of the Empire State Building walking back to my hotel at night
Saturday had always been marked in my diary as shopping day. I woke early, around 6.30am, still buzzing from the night before. I lay for a little while and watched a bit of 24 on the iPad (free uninterrupted wifi in the Refinery i hasten to add!).  After an hour i decided to get up and have a shower then FaceTime the parents. They didn't answer. I FaceTime'd my sister and the boys and gave them a tour around my hotel room as well as the view. I LOVE TECHNOLOGY for allowing me to do this!

I managed to get through to Mum who had actually learned how to answer Dad's iPod touch. She's a total technophobe. We chatted for a little while and she got the room tour too. Come on, don't say you never do that?!

I went for my shower, washed my hair and got dressed. The shower was great. You could fit 4 people in there. Not that i would but for size comparison all I'm saying is you could. After dressing i headed down to the restaurant that is part of the hotel too, Parker and Quinn. It was quiet, but it was only about 8.30am. I had orange juice, tea and a breakfast sandwich. A short while later it was delivered to my table. YUM. The breakfast sandwich was a brioche bread, scrambled egg, ham and runny melty cheese. With a side serving of fried potatoes. The sandwich was really amazing. Especially as this was my first hot meal since the plane for the previous day. The plane food was really good by the way, did i mention that?

After a leisurely breakfast in lovely surroundings I headed back to my room to get ready for my assault on the shops of NYC. I sorted my money out and checked the various locations and opening times on Google maps on the iPad. I was trying not to use too much data whilst away from the hotel since O2 had sent me a text as soon as I'd landed to say they'd be charging me £40. Was this £40 in total or was this starting at £40?! I didn't know and their website is very unclear. Sort that out O2.

Anyway, I was soon out of the hotel by about 10am and headed around Bryant Park and the New York Public Library and onto Fifth Avenue.

Zara. Should I go onto Zara? I went in. But then I thought what is the point of going all that way to buy something I could buy in town at home. I didn't buy. I wandered further up and came to another Sephora. There were a few things i still wanted to buy but didn't the night before. I bought them here. Another Tarte blush, nail polish and more perfume rollerballs. The Rockefeller Centre came into view and since i was going here on Sunday I took a quick look at the ice rink area and the flags. It was surreal to be standing there after seeing it so many times on TV or in films. J Crew came into view and i headed in. They seemed to have a 25% sale on items but i wasn't sure if it was on everything or certain things. I browsed for a little while and spied something that i was interested in. I took my phone out to use the currency converter to see how much said item would cost me, with and without this discount. Remember to add that tax on though! I decided not to get it just now but it was in the back of my mind, just in case.

A walk further up Fifth Avenue and i came to Tiffany's. My destination. I entered through the revolving door and inside were lots of display cases with everything from sterling silver to million pound diamonds. Okay so i didn't see anything worth that amount but there were things in the tens of thousands. I caught the lift up to the third floor - sterling silver! haha. Again on entering that floor there were cases and cases of different rings, chains, bracelets, pendants, all things silver and a few gold. It took me a good while to look around. It's like some sort of sweetie shop for adults. I settled on a few items and again tried to work out how much this was going to cost. Ach what the heck. Who cares. I'm getting myself two things. It's just gotta be done. I ended up with an Atlas collection ring and matching bracelet. This means that YOU can get me the accompanying necklace for my Christmas *wink*. Presents for my sister and mum were bought too. I can say this here now as they've already got them. The service was great and the woman wrapped each item individually in one of those famous Tiffany blue boxes with an off white ribbon. Then she put everything in a large bag and gave me four little individual bags for giving the presents too. A nice touch. Watching her wrap the boxes in the ribbon I guessed that each assistant must have been put through their paces at a ribbon wrapping class before being let loose on the shop floor.  I left shortly after that.

what about those Elmo comfies!
Heading out I looked at my phone and realised i'd been in there over an hour. Wowsers. I could see the corner of central park from here but decided that it wasn't going to interrupt my serious shopping expedition. Next up was the Apple store, for nothing other than a short charge of my phone and a nose. But if you've seen one Apple store you've seen them all. Same items, same prices except those times have a dollar sign and ours a pound sign. Damn that eh.

After that I wandered along East 58th Street to try to find Bloomingdale's. They also had a denim sale on, I checked before I left my room. I entered into a wonderland of designer handbags. Now, I did say to myself I'd buy a new bag, a Philip Lim Pashli was what I was after. But on seeing the price (although cheaper than if I was buying it in the UK) I just couldn't part with that kind of cash on a bag. I just couldn't. I headed up the escalator to the contemporary fashion level. It was awash with Acne, Alexander Wang, Etro, Christopher Kane and as I was passing the Kenzo section I was complimented on my 'cute shirt'. I was wearing my awesome white Kenzo tiger head sweatshirt. I was tempted to get a couple of items but alas I really wanted jeans. New jeans.

They were up another level. Denim galore. And plenty of people to help you find the right size and fit. I wanted some Paige denims in plain denim with no rips in them as I realised too late that I'd only packed boyfriend jeans with rips in them. Duh. I found a pair i quite liked and tried them on. There were two pairs to choose from but i opted for the Paige Kylie crop jeans which turned out to be a pretty good ankle length on me. Perfect. They're a dark indigo denim so can be dressed up with a cute pair of heels. And lo, there was 15% off 1 item of denim or 25% off 2 items. When you convert it back into pounds i saved a good £50 on these jeans if i were to buy them here in the UK. I love you exchange rate!

After Bloomingdale's I exited into real warm sunshine and had to remove my jacket. I was laden with bags and my back was starting to ache. Ducking into a Bath and Body Works on my way to Grand Central Station, I bought some bits and pieces for presents. This was on my list. During my walk I got a voice mail on my phone from the restaurant where I'd booked lunch for on the Sunday, Minetta Tavern. I called back to confirm and kept walking down Lexington. Almost 20 blocks later (yes I walked 20 blocks) I saw Grand Central Station and headed inside. WOW.

Inside Grand Central Station, obvs. And you should see that ceiling
It really is just like the movies. Sorry I'm saying this all of the time. Actually, I'm not sorry as I was well excited. It stood for a few minutes taking it all in. It was busy but not crazy busy. Cameras were flashing, the voices were echoing and every now and then an announcement came over the tannoy for the latest departures. Wandering around I stopped at the clock in the middle of the vast main concourse and a couple of women asked me to take their picture. It as a tradition for them they said. They were tow of a group of friends from all over America who, whenever they visit New York, go to the clock, have a picture taken and send it to the rest of the group saying 'meet us at 3pm'. I loved that little story and longed for a similar one, except here I was alone. Not with a group of friends, but with only my phone to take pictures and capture memories for me. However, they kindly returned the favour and took a picture of me at the clock and we went our separate ways after the thank you'd. People are just lovely sometimes aren't they.

By now I was getting hungry, but since my plan was to head down to Soho in the evening and maybe try to grab a burger, I decided that I'd quite like a Magnolia cupcake and some tea. It took me a while (several trips outside the building and umpteam stops at the 'you are here' map) to find it. It was on the lower level, almost directly across from Shake Shack. Argh, that was on my 'to do' list too but i couldn't have two burgers in one day. Plus the queue was miles long. I settled for a vanilla cupcake and no tea. They'd run out of black tea, offering me chai or early grey, to which i politely declined. I took my little cupcake in the magnolia box and headed the few blocks back to my sanctuary at the Refinery.

I sat for a little while and watched a few things on TV, then freshened up. My face need a clean. It must be the traffic dust or something but i just needed to wash my face. I ate the delicious cupcake and at around 5pm I headed off out towards herald square and the Flatiron building.

Wow it really was something. Again, just like you see in pictures, but me being a building dork i totally loved it. It was turning out to be a lovely evening walk. But my feet just couldn't take me all the way to Soho so I took my first subway ride! Exciting. I bought a ticket and hopped on after only a few short minutes wait.

Soho subway tiles
Gorgeous golden evening glow
Before I knew it I'd emerged into the golden hour to a new landscape of buzzing narrower streets and lower buildings. I liked this a lot. Admittedly with only a paper map to hand (I was trying to save data on my phone!) it took me a little while to get my bearings but once I had found them I headed straight to the shop on the top only my 'to do' list, Rag and Bone on Mercer street. I was after another pair of jeans. And perhaps one of their amazing fedora hats. The denim display was at the back of the shop so i headed straight there but not without the customary welcome from a sales assistant manning the front door area. Nice.

I found the jean style I was after, The Dre, I could only find the white plan denim or ripped ones. My ripped jeans collection far outdoes any other so i decided what the heck and chose the white. I was led downstairs by another nice assistant to the changing rooms who would be the one helping on my visit, she said. I told her my size and she said no, let's try a 27, I think a 27 will fit you. Wah! I've not had 27 jeans on for ages but i went with it. And sure enough they fitted but the white just wasn't me. I asked if she had them in plain denim and in fact, a new style had just come out in the Dre jean. She took a little while to bring them but when she did I tried them on and they fitted like a glove. Size 27 Dre jeans in the new Bradford wash. Perfect. Whilst in the changing room i was trying to work out how much the jeans and a hat wold cost me in pounds. I decided that I couldn't part with the cash just now so it was jeans only. Now, yes they were expensive but when converted back into pounds, they still cost me less than they do if I were to buy them here. Bargain. I left with a spring in my step and headed for the Adidas Originals shop. I wanted new Superstars.

When I found it (my internal compass was slightly off) it was like a garage. There was loud music. The whole front of the shop was open for you to just wander in. It wasn't big and to be honest the selection wasn't that great but i found a crisp all white pair in the kids section. And they didn't have that pesky tax added. All in all I got them for £30 and so picked up a cool little black Adidas NY t-shirt for Ryan. With that my shopping list was nearly complete. I wandered around Soho for a little while longer. Darkness was setting in and being alone I didn't want to leave it too late to head back to the hotel. I really loved the Soho area though. I'd come back for more exploration.

My second trip on the subway was just as fine as my first and I got off at Times Square and walked the short 10 minutes walk back to my hotel. It was about 8.30pm and I collapsed on the bed. I hadn't had anything substantial to eat since my breakfast at 9am. This could only mean one thing. Room service from Parker and Quinn!

I oohed and ahed over the in room menu and decided on the burger and fries and a cup of tea. Yes I know. But hadn't had tea since 9am too! After washing my face again and sorting through the shopping bags, i found some good things to watch on TV and rested on the amazing bed till the knock on the door came about half an hour later.

Room service
Room service was deliver in a brown paper bag on a tray with napkins, plastic plate and plastic cutlery. My tea came with a little side container of milk, and there was a little serving of tomato sauce in a separate dish too. Inside the bag was two trays. One filled with fries. The other had my burger. I didn't even bother using the plate, I just ate it from the black tray it was delivered in. Now, I'd seen in reviews that some people didn't like this form of delivery on plastic trays and plastic cutlery but it didn't bother me. I've seen the Kardashians eat salad from those on the new series ;) Even though they were plastic the food was hot and honestly the burger had amazing melty cheese on it. I even lost sight of my sense and forgot to take a picture of it! Damn. The chips were so tasty. They were proper potatoes but cut thinly and still had their skins on. And the tray I got was full of them. Once I'd been fed and watered i got changed into my jammies and sorted my itinerary for Sunday. Then I had a nice surprise. My cousins Facetimed me all the way from Australia.

A good end to a tiring but wonderful day shopping in New York. Dreamy.

Angela xx