I know I'm supposed to think New York City is amazing. I mean, I suppose it is. So much going on and all the different neighborhoods. It is a wondrous place. I, personally, find it a little overwhelming. Maybe if I knew it better. Maybe if I drove around in it like I have in Philly, it wouldn't be so overwhelming. But the truth is, I haven't figured out Philly and how everything connects. I still at times get overwhelmed in Philly and Philly is a different animal completely from New York City.
Yesterday a small herd of us, my knitting friends and I, went to NYC to do a yarn crawl. My friends at work found that hysterical on a number of levels. 1. Who crawls from yarn shop to yarn shop - with little to no alcohol involved. 2. We didn't walk from shop to shop, but taxied it up. (And Uber, which I was just introduced to.)
We got on a train (late) in Hamilton, N.J. and arrived at NY Penn Station (not to be confused with Newark, NJ's Penn Station). We exited Madison Square Garden (which is also Penn Station, just like in Boston, North Station is also where the Celtics and the Bruins play - it used to be the Boston Garden, but that was a long time ago, before corporations started naming venues after themselves). Right there outside the Garden was a percussion band playing. It was about an hour and a half to game time and about every other person was wearing a Ranger's Jersey.
Just past the percussion band and the taxi line, this guy was making his presence known, like he was looking out for justice, freedom and safety:
We taxied our way to the first yarn shop The Yarn Company. I am using their specially dyed Madeline Tosh to make a sweater that friends call me crazy for making. I'm using The Yarn Company's Midnight in Manhattan to make this sweater. It's done in really thin yarn on really thin needles and is taking FOREVER. I got the yarn last year on the yarn crawl which we were on about this time of year. I started the sweater a couple of month ago. See how long it takes to actually start something new? I fell in love with a Verdant Gryffin yarn, but didn't pick it up.
Instead, I bought nothing and headed to another yarn shop called String. It was lovely. Had lots of nice fiber and the things one can make with fiber on the walls. They had an Artyarn collage of yarn to make this amazing scarf, but it was way-way out of my budget. I walked out of String without purchasing anything, but I did take a photo of this lovely chair. They had two and I just adored them:
We then made our way to a yarn shop we went to last year. I just adore this place. It has some, "Wow! Look at that yarn!" It doesn't have tons of that. It has a lot of staples - good, high quality fiber that won't pill. It has lots of yarn ideas. It also has a ridiculous number of hidden knitted creatures about. It also had enough to tempt me and my wallet. 😊 This yarn shop is Downtown Yarns at 45 Avenue A. There I got:
The top pink yarn is for a pair of fingerless gloves and the pattern is a store pattern. I loved the yarn and the pattern. Then the yarn directly above? That's purple velvet. I'm so going to knit that into a beret. If you're really curious, it's the Touch Me Slouch Beret on Ravelry. In fact, this yarn's label does say, "Touch Me," so Alice in Wonderland of it. Once you start touching it, you can't stop.
Next was The Smith for lunch, where I drank this quickly on an empty stomach and got inebriated:
I also ordered a breakfast pot pie which came out with three eggs over easy. They were supposed to be sunny side up, but sunny side up eggs freak me out a little. I like a light flip, enough to cook the whites completely, but leaves the yolk brilliant yellow and gooey. So good.
I had a moment with the bathroom here that made me think of Goddard. The bathroom was unisex, which I didn't realize at first. I walked into the open air doorway and turned to the stalls, which had sinks across from the floor to ceiling stall doors. The sinks were like old fashioned kitchen sinks, wide and white with old fashioned hardware. Standing at every one of the sinks, there were four or five, was a man. There was also a man at the doorway, standing there looking. Men everywhere. Not a single woman and I thought, "Holy shit! I just walked into the men's room!" I squeaked, spun around and started to haul tail out the archway I had walked I under when the guy who was standing. In the doorway and a couple of men at the sinks said, "No! No! You're right. This is the bathroom." I immediately thought, "Yeah, right buddy. You would love to see me in the men's room wouldn't you?" But then I realized I was in a unisex bathroom that just happened to be full of only men when I walked in. Before we left the restaurant I went to the bathroom again and inside were only women. As I was washing my hands, a man was having a hard time getting out of his stall. I told him to pull toward him and a couple of seconds later he was freed. "This bathroom is so weird," he said. He started to explain getting stuck. I grabbed some papertowels to dry my hands and as I was throwing them away, I said, "I struggled to get out too." He laughed and I walked out.
Here is a picture of my breakfast pot pie, but all you can really see if it is the over easy eggs. You can see the cheddar biscuit under the eggs; it's the brownish substance heading up toward the handle of the dish:
The last yarn shop was Purl Soho. That store does me in every time. At dinner the night before we went out to NYC, I was looking at shawls we might want to make. (With what time, I ask you.) I found one called Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl. It calls for sport weight yarn. Of course Purl Soho had something absolutely amazing:
Throughout the day, there were a couple of sites of note:
Pardon me while I just moor my boat up here. Think anyone will mind?
Two other things to talk about and then I'll wrap this up and head to bed. This event was hosted by ChEckiTDance. It was a fund raiser for one of my knitting friend's daughter's dance company. So the daughter brought cookies and water to The Yarn Company and we finished them in String. They were small bite sized cookies, and they were wonderful. I kept eating the mocha cream ones. I couldn't stop. Good thing they were only about the size of a quarter and there were only a couple of them!
And my last thoughts are highly personal and a bit private, but this is my life and it's not always so perfect. I came off one of my anti-anxiety medications last week. ...or was it the week before? One of my colleagues was picking on me because I was suffering from anxiety so badly at the beginning. My counselor and I were talking about how coming off an anti-anxiety can cause anxiety as your body adjusts. She said that the anxiety caused by coming off the drug makes people think they still need it and so they stay on it. I powered through the rough moments last week. But New York yesterday might have been more than I could handle. Commuter rails, the tiled walls in The Smith restaurant that bounced noise everywhere, and the hubbub of the day. I was happily looking at yarn in Purl Soho when I realized I was not doing well. I asked for assistance and was given a bathroom. There, my normal reactions to anxiety ensued. By the time I was pulled together enough to leave the loo, I was shaken - not just stirred. I purchased the blue yarn I showed above and we all left the store. (I made a big scene of losing a giant bag of yarn, but I had it all along and was told I was mean to do it. Once out of the store, I apologized, but was told that wasn't necessary either.) Once in the Uber ride to Penn Station, I took a breakthrough anxiety medication. Mom was all concerned and asked if I was okay. "No, no I'm not." It wasn't until much later that it kicked in and I was able to relax on the train ride back to our car.
I don't regret coming off the anti-anxiety medication. I know I might need more of the temporary anti-anxiety medication than I did when I was on the daily medication, and that's okay. I'm muddling through, just like we all are. I haven't gotten it all figured out and I might need to go back on the daily medication in the future when my life turns more chaotic or crisis filled. But for now, I'm off it. I do find I'm grumpier. I have a shorter fuse, but I haven't discovered if that's my body working through the chemicals, like when I take Zyrtec - I'm just so bitchy. Again, if the bitchy continues, perhaps it is anxiety related and I will have to go back to the daily med.
I wanted to try life without it and see how it goes. If it doesn't, that's fine. Just further proof I'm an imperfect human who is in need of a little empathy, compassion, peace and grace.