It's hard for me to believe my last post was August 5th and today is September 5th and we're celebratingLabor Day. The last few weeks have flown by with a very busy schedule! Starting off with a trip to New York, attending the New York Now Trade Show, lots of shopping and meeting new people with whom memories were made. The highlight of my trips to New York are always about the great people who usually are chance meetings and then a conversation turns into an exchange of emails or phone numbers and then a chance to continue as a new friendship.
The trade show was exceptional this year with approximately 2800 vendors that had everything from Home Decor to Clothing, Childrens Wear, Toys, Books, Furniture, Rugs, Kitchen items, Greeting Cards etc......everything is represented from all parts of the World.
There is a Handmade section and then the gifts and import side. The picture above is Me with my Daughter Stephanie and two of the employees of the NY Now Team! Below are some shots taken as I walked around the show.
I especially enjoy the Handmade side, as the exceptional talent of so many people are displayed. It was nice to catch up with a few people I met last year and see their new line. One such vendor is Jennifer Collier from England and her handmade Paper items. Another great Lady I met this year with a unique whimsical collection was Elaine of At-Choo. Below is Jennifers booth and a fun picture taken with Elaine.
, The last day of the show I purchased some items from a few vendors. One nice man actually gave me a rolling cart to make it easier for traveling when I left the show. It was late in the day so I accepted graciously and set out to meet my Daughter after work. Off I went on the M20 Bus headed downtown. As I got on the bus another nice gentleman jumped up to give me a seat. I accepted with a few words of Thanks and then sat down to relax. I looked over and saw a women and her Son and another two children behind them I could tell they were traveling together and once again struck up a conversation. They were a lovely family from Ireland, now living in England. As usual when I get to talking I forget everything else and sure enough my rolling cart took off when the bus came to an abrupt stop . The lovely man who I now knew was Ray jumped up and got it as it rolled down then aisle. I was laughing so hard with Fiona his wife and truly enjoying this chance meeting. It turned out we were traveling to the same stop and we all got off together, with Ray helping once agin with the cart. By this time I had been introduced to their lovely children Hannah, Erin and Sam. We walked together to the 911 Memorial and I was able to take pictures of them together as a family and even one with me. My Daughter Stephanie met me there and also was able to meet this lovely family. We exchanged emails and I promised to send them some pictures. They were continuing their Holiday in Washington DC before returning to England. We took a goup picture by the Survivor tree with a Police officer who had put his hat on my head for fun. We left after hugging Good-bye and once again a heartfelt memory was made.
This trip truly provided the opportunity for me to add to my best collection.........new Friends!!!
Above is the Lighthouse at Montauk Point on Long Island. I remember many happy visits to Montauk as well as the Hamptons, Greenport, Port Jefferson and so many other Long Island towns. They are all so pretty with quaint shops, restaurants and beautiful shore lines. The Harbors are like so many pictures you see with docked boats, some with colorful sails and yes those beautiful Sunsets on the glistening water. I have been fortunate to live in both the Northeast on LongIsland and now in Southeast Florida. The main difference is we only have two seasons in Florida Hot and Hotter!!! Ok I'm not always complaining but I do miss the change of Seasons most of all. My Daughter Stephanie lives in New York City and we visit often.... so we are fortunate to enjoy a taste of all the seasons. I have shared with you many New York Winter and Fall memories and now comes the lazy, day memories of the Long Island Summers where I grew up.
Although Summer officially begins on June 21, for Long Islanders it always started with the Memorial Day Parades. I grew up in East Williston where my Dad was a volunteer Fireman. Every year he would march in the Parade. I always remember watching and waving as he passed by in his dress uniform with all the other Volunteers. I was so proud! After the Parade we would go to the Village Green for a Ceremony to thank the Veterans and then off we went to our backyard barbeques. It just seems so special up North as the summer is but a few short weeks. It was also when all your white clothes were in full fashion as the protocol was white was in from Memorial Day to Labor Day and then back in the closet till the next year. These little rituals, as well as getting out the redwood picnic tables and big chaise Lounges on wheels with comfy cushions were true summer traditions!
Many weekends we would head out to Jones Beach for the day. Sometimes we packed a picnic and swam in the beach and other times we went swimming in the two big pools that were there. We loved walking along the boardwalk stopping to taste some of the tasty foods the vendors had piled high. From hot dogs and hambugers, fries, corn, clams on the half shell etc to ice cream and cotton candy. Everything tasted better at the beach as you felt the breeze of the water as you walked along the boardwalk. They also had archery, roller skating and an amphitheater that had great shows. A really great place and one that held many happy childhood memories for me. Here are some pictures I was able to find on line.
Yes. yes so many nice memories but what would a post to Britalia Way be without mentioning food! Long Island summers brought some of the best tomatoes and vegetables I ever tasted. The tomatoes grew in rich soil inlike Florida sandy soil that yes does affect the flavor. They were the deepest red and so juicy with a deliciou balance of both a sweet and tart flavor....absolutely the best. Long island corn, string beans,peppers were also fabulous. With all the farms, the vegetables stayed on the plants till ripe which is the key to flavor. Each night we would have sliced tomatoes with a little salt and just enjoy them plain to really savor the taste. There was no talk of organic then just incredibly good flavor! The only comparrison maybe was New Jersey who thought they had the best tomatoes but oh well we know the truth! ;) The one thing I did enjoy when traveling thru New Jersey and stopping at a farm stand was the white Gentlemens corn. It was always said the white corn was fed to the animals, but I actually thought it was better than yellow. The kernels were smaller and much sweeter. Of course now people like a mix of yellow and white as well.
Another Long Island treat for me was on trips out East we would stop and get Sorrell. A green not as common today but back then a part of spring and summer harvest. It is common in France and Europe as well as California. It is a hearty plant that can survive the odds ...perhaps I should try and grow it! Bright long firm green leaves, this herb had a bite which I might compare to arugula that is a staple in my salads each day. Sorrel is tasty in salads, soups, steamed or sauted. It will turn olive green when heated without changing the taste but if bright green is your color palette of choice use in salads or as a drink perhaps in green smoothies the rage of today. I will have to figure out perhaps wrapping my olives in sorrel for a twist for a dirty martini!!! I will be visiting Long Island in two weeks and you can be sure I will be tasting and cooking with the great produce they have to offer. Can you imagine the best tomato on the best lightly toasted bagel with a sorrel leaf and perhaps a schmear of scallion cream cheese..............a meal like no other......I can hardly wait!!! ;)
Although I love Florida it's hard to beat the Fall and the Festivities of Halloween in New York City! These people (my kind) get really excited and it shows, in all of the decorations all over the City. I actually flew back to Florida on Halloween and was excited to see some New York ladies on the plane with hats and costume shirts! I was headed home to celebrate my son Stephen's birthday on Halloween and my husband Rocco's birthday the next day on Nov1 st.
Every year the street where my daughter lives has a big celebration. They close the street, remove all the cars and thousands of kids from all over the City come to Trick or Treat! It is a truly a spectacular event. I usually spend Halloween in Florida with Stephen for his birthday, but I actually got a little taste of the festivities two years ago when Hurricane Sandy hit. I was scheduled to fly home as usual but because of the storm I could not get out. The event had been canceled but the street was still decked out with decorations and about 2,000 kids and families showed up anyway. I was amazed and could only imagine what it is like with double that amount of people!!!
Over the years this event has brought some celebrities and Stephanie (my Daughter) has seen Jennifer Garner and her daughter and Conon O'Brien with his daughter! Such a fun time for parents as well as the kids! This year my daughter and her neighbors set up a dance club outside of their building. Dressed as ghosts, werewolves and witches as the DJ played music everyone danced.
Each October I look forward to the third Saturday of the month for Carol 's annual Halloween gathering. Carol and I were neighbors in Commack before I moved to Florida. Our friendship is one that is very special to me and one that has grown closer over the years. Even living so far apart, we always plan visits around my trips to the City and she comes to Florida every few years.
Her Halloween get together began seven years ago with a theme to decorate a mask and wear it to the party. Since then we have done bags, shoes, hats, brooms,gloves and this year the theme was beads,baubles and bling.
From Cocktails and Appetizers to a delicious Buffet we all enjoy mingling and catching up with each other.The group of ladies has grown each year which only adds more laughs and fun to a great night. The evening is never complete without a game of Charades and this year was no exception. The ideas were clever and had everyone joining in. We truly looked like a festive bunch and quite animated with all of our beads, and baubles!
The next order of the evening... we move to the Dining room, for coffee, cordials and desserts. This year the table was absolutely beautiful and with all of us wearing our bling there was hardly a need for lights!!!
As I sat watching everyone, I thought about how special this night is.
Thanks Carol for carrying on this fun tradition that I look forward to being a part of again next year!
P.S. A funny memory I forgot to share was several years ago Carol had the table set with fall leaves intertwined through beautiful flowers and tea light candles. It was absolutely beautiful until....Yes you guessed it, as we sat down someone knocked over a tea light and all of a sudden the leaves caught on fire. The fire followed the design from one side of the table to the other. It was really scary at first, but then we all were laughing so hard! As we sit down to the elaborate table each year we always remind Carol, even her disasters have style!
One of my favorite things about visiting New York is the opportunity to walk and take in the scenery around you. At home in Florida I walk each morning at 6:15 for an hour. As I walk out my door I see the night sky with the stars and hear the sounds of the owls and crickets. Within a few minutes as dawn is approaching the sounds change to birds chirping and the beautiful sun rises. It is truly a beautiful way to start each day.
My daughter Stephanie's apartment is close to Central Park and each morning after she leaves for work I head over to the park for my walk. It is usually after 8:00 so the sun is up, but the sounds are so different. As I step out her door you hear the sounds of traffic and the sights of the cars, taxi's and trucks creeping along Columbus Avenue. One block away is the Park and as you walk in immediately you'll notice how quiet it is. Despite the city sounds you hear the birds and depending on the time of day you'll hear music from the street players. I love the saxophone players as well as those with violins, cello's and one time a Harpist was there.
Over by the Boathouse cafe usually stands a man playing a harmonica . I sit there with a cup of soup and enjoy his performance of french inspired songs. It is fun watching all the people happily taking in the moment. On one of my first visits to the park last week I met a Bride and her new Husband taking pictures. I stopped to congratulate them and ended up taking a picture with her as well. She was a beautiful Bride and so happy that I asked to take a photo with her.
I continued along and stopped to take a picture of a man feeding the pigeons. It was so sweet to see them sitting on the back of a bench patiently waiting their turn for the bread he was offering them. I then watched the people in the row boats and of course the children around the water playing with remote controlled boats.
I spotted a little girl pushing her baby carriage while her Dad pushed her empty stroller along side of her. They looked absolutely adorable together and I asked if I could take a picture. I introduced myself and learned the little girls name was Lea. I took the picture and then asked if she would like to see it. She really made me laugh as I showed her the phone she started scrolling looking at other pictures I had taken. Here she was only two and handled an iPhone better than I do.
I next walked by the Carousel and listened to the music while the children happily waved to their families. I was just about to head back to the apartment when I noticed that an artist I had met over the summer was set up on Sheep's Meadow. I walked over to see her progress on the picture she was doing of the skyline. She has huge rolls of paper that she rolls out to 12 ft long . It is so cool to watch her as she uses paint brushes that have handles 3 feet long so she can stand and paint. I enjoyed talking with her for a few minutes and then headed home.
Later that night as I talked with Stephanie I explained my feelings of gratitude for that day. Sometimes the best New York City moments occur off theater stages. A stroll in the park can make ordinary moments have depth without expectations and become a thoughtful memory.
After enjoying the lazy days of summer and many projects around my home, it's time to get back to sharing my stories and memorable moments and ideas to the changing design of Britalia Way.
What better way to get started with a trip to New York for a taste of Fall! I arrived last Wednesday evening and have been on the go since the plane touched down. Even arriving at 11:30 in the evening brought new meaning to the City that never sleeps as I had to wait 35 minutes for a cab at JFK airport. Not complaining as I had time to think of all the great adventures I would take on over the next two weeks! There was a chill in the air that was so refreshing after leaving Florida that had been 91 degrees!
I actually love arriving at night from looking down from the air and seeing the lights of the Bridges and then the taxi ride to my Daughters apartment seeing the New York skyline and the Buildings all lit up.
Getting back to the title of the post........Thursday evening we went to see Back to the Future at Radio City Music Hall in Concert. It was truly a one of a kind evening watching the movie on the big screen and listening to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra performing the score live on stage. It was really great seeing a young Michael J Fox and even better seeing in person Christopher Lloyd. A great evening and the funniest part was the reaction of the audience cheering and clapping throughout the movie! Enthusiasm and excitement was shared by all during this memorable performance! A special thank you to Laurie for giving us the tickets!
Last Weekend while I was in New York I said to my Daughter Stephanie, Let's hit the West Village and then Chelsea Market and gradually make our way back to the Upper West Side. It was very cold with fine snow falling as we left the apartment headed for the Subway. I would be leaving on Wednesday so I wanted to enjoy the weekend out and about. Of course there would be many pictures of City Dogs and their great coats and boots, as well as interesting places I would take pictures of to share on the Blog.
We had plans to visit Brooklyn the next day(Sunday) and see all the Antique places, so Saturday we would stop at Murray's Cheese Shop, an Italian store, stop for a nice lunch, and just enjoy the West Village and its charm. I had just heard that the Vintage Cookbook Store Bonnie Slotnicks had closed and relocated to the East Village. I had been visiting with her in October when she told me of her Landlords decision not to renew her lease. She had been hopeful that he would extend it, but unfortunately she had to close on Jan 27 and was now in the process of making the move. On my next trip up I will visit the new shop and post pictures!
As planned we hit the Cheese Shop, Italian store and perused the many shops along West 10th. We stopped for lunch at a small Taco restaurant and really enjoyed the food and ambiance of its small size but authentic feel. With the rents in New York being so high I am amazed at what they can fit in the tiniest spots and how cozy and brimming they feel. We started with Guacamole and chips and then ordered ordered Tacos with Chicken, a Spicy Cucumber Salad and Mexican Corn on the Cob with mayo and Cheese. Everything was very fresh and very tasty.
Below is a picture Of Laura Lobdell's store on West 10th Street. She is an Artist and Jewelry Designer. It is the tiniest of stores, but inside side you are treated to a stylish display of her creative line. Her sweet little Dog Xiao a Japanese Chin greets you as you arrive. As you approach the entrance you are treated to a playful outdoor display of Flower Pots brimming with oyster shells and a cute sign that says "When it Rains Pour Champagne" I thought the cutest part of the outside was above the door where she has the address listed at 183 1/8 W10th.
After enjoying the stores in the West Village we walked to Chelsea Market. Saturdays are busy there, but it seems to add to the New York experience. We browsed Anthropologie and tried all the hand creme samples and then moved on to Chelsea Market Baskets. This store has such neat items and unusual gift ideas. We were ready to head home but decided to make one last stop at the section Artists and Fleas! This area houses all the Artisans and their handmade creations. As we walked the area I spotted a booth that had headbands, crowns and fascinators. It was there I met Wendy who helped me try on all sorts of items and give me ideas how to work the headbands to hold your hair in an upsweep style. She explaioned her friend is the designer and she helps on the weekends. All the items are hand made and so attractive. I actually passed on the black crown instead purchasing a beaded headband that has smokey gray crystals and shines beautifully. Below is a picture of Wendy. I absolutely love the fascinator.
It was a fun day and I will leave you with a few pictures of City Dogs!
New York Now...What a Great Trade Show.
This was my first time attending a show of this caliber. There were 2800 vendors that had just about everything you can imagine from Home Goods to Gifts and then some. I thought the Artisan side was fantastic, and got to talk with several vendors from England. One in particular had the neatest objects made from paper products that were carefully stitched together. She had Tea Cups made of old Post Cards and Ladies Shoes that were so attractive. She used old Vogue patterns and even made a Sewing Machine. Her name is Jennifer Collier and here are some pictures of her work and some others taken through out the Show.
A few days ago I left sunny Florida headed to New York for a visit with my Daughter Stephanie. I was looking forward to seeing the snow that had fallen and experience Winter in the City. Upon landing I glanced out the window and could see the white blanket of snow that covered the ground. I was immediately energized and began planning a walk through Central Park to take some beautiful pictures of this white delight. I know it may sound strange to some, but I miss the winters of New York. The cold crisp air, the smell of chestnuts from the vendors and seeing the ice skaters and the horse drawn carriages all add to the excitement of this great City!
I planned this trip around the Trade show New York Now that I will be attending . It is being held at the Javits Center for five days and Stephanie will join me for Saturday and Sunday. Imagine 2800 vendors from all over the Globe converging together to bring every gift imaginable for the home. My job is to show up early and try and see it all. Specifically Shop till I drop!!! LOL!
Stay tuned for Updates!
After leaving the Parade I decided to check out the display of China and Linens at Bergdorf Goodman’s! It is always so special to walk the Home Furnishings Floor and just look at all the eye candy! They are truly magnificent and give me ideas as to what I can look for in TJ Max or Century 21 that look similar! I actually got caught up in the moment and was looking at some beautiful china by Ann Weatherly and decided to inquire about a place setting for four. It reminded me of China my Aunt and Uncle had years back, Flora Danica and I thought of starting with a place setting for four and I could always add, right? I would save it for tea parties and special occasions. When the saleswoman approached me she first looked at my head and I then realized I still had my Garland from the parade on my head. I started to laugh as although it wasn’t a look of horror on her face, I could read her thoughts of ” Oh my she really is in over her head! It really was so amusing and another New York moment I wish I had a picture of! Here is a picture of the China set up just like I would LOL despite my green garland or maybe then I would set this place setting each St Patty’s Day as a reminder of my shopping spree at Bergdorf’s! By the way I decided to pass on the china which runs around $2000.00 per place setting. I thought to myself with that $8000.00 I could take a trip to Europe and have many more memories with which to write about! Yes indeed another day spent in the Big Apple!
March would not be complete without observing St. Patrick’s Day and this year as many before I enjoyed taking in the parade on 5th Avenue. All the hustle, bustle and Bagpipes are so exciting and even though I was freezing , I did enjoy all the glory and spirit the Irish offer us on their Special Day! I met two great ladies a Mother and Daughter team from California that were visiting and staying at the Plaza and I had to take a picture to share their enthusiasm with you!
I couldn’t end this post without sharing yet another St Patty’s Day garland story. Stephanie and I had gone to the parade two or three years ago and I had the same garland (we bought a huge roll, that will last for years!)on my head and after the parade we went to Macys. We were happily shopping on the shoe floor where there was a lot of commotion going on, and I didn’t realize that there was a fashion show in progress. I was admiring a shoe on a mannequin and touched it slightly and all of a sudden the foot moved. I was shocked and looked up and realized it was a model not a mannequin. I had been just looking at eye level and she was standing on a table just like a mannequin! I found it hilarious that I touched her foot, and was thinking Thank God I didn’t do what I always do and try and pick it up LOL! Well anyway here’s the really fun part of this story. I was walking a little further down and you have to realize there are probably two hundred people walking around when out of know where two hands are holding me back. I looked up and saw this man saying you cant go any further and looked at me like I was trying to crash through a line. Needless to say I was startled and with my NY attitude I said “What are you Doing?” to the man “take your hands off me before I call Security” Then he said I am security. I asked him to explain his actions and he immediately apologized and explained that Ivanka Trump was coming down the aisle and they were setting her place up! I said Well that’s nice I was just trying to shop and was really quite annoyed at his manhandling of me. He realized he was a little over zealous as well and said please excuse my behavior and escorted me over to meet Ivanka Trump and take a picture with her. He really felt bad and I realized he just panicked at that moment as they were filming her coming in, so we went over and I was introduced to Ivanka. She is really so beautiful and so cordial and enjoyed taking a picture with me. We talked about her new shoe line and as I was leaving she said I really like your festive hair headband for St Patty’s Day. I remember laughing as here she was so elegant and I’m in a Jean jacket and garland having been at the parade, and now I have a beautiful picture of shall I say elegance meets train wreck………… so so funny………memories…..memories……..memories!
Welcome to Britalia Way! Thanks for stopping by. Please join me as I share with you a series about food, people and experiences that are special to me. English and Italian traditions are so enticing and were the inspiration for creating Britalia Way!
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