Last month (I know, I know…) I flew up to NYC to meet my good friend Sam for a weekend filled with fabric shopping, awesome food, long conversations and interesting experiences in subway stations. My suitcase was filled with comfy sneakers, a lightweight travel knitting project and an interesting book (‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert but it deserves a separate post).
Sam got a good deal for us in a hotel room right in the Financial District in walking distance to Ground Zero, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Trump building (unintentional! But let’s not get political otherwise this will be a long and vicious post). Our hotel was awesome and had a good breakfast (very important! And no bed bugs!). The only downside was that our room was on the 29th floor. I took the stairs once. Despite my reservation towards elevators I have to admit I was thankful they existed.
On Saturday morning we walked to Ground Zero. On our way there we explored a very cute church that had a pretty awesome door handle. I think I need a beard-grabber like this for my apartment door, hehe.
The church step had a very majestical aura. I stood on the same spot where Queen Elizabeth II stood almost 40 years ago. And let’s not downplay that Prince Philip stood nearby!
Ground Zero was exactly as expected: impressive, peaceful and painful. This was also the only time during the entire trip where I wished I had taken my DSLR. A cell phone camera simply cannot do it justice.
After an interesting (yet slightly disturbing) experience at a metro station we walked from the Times Square to the Garment District. We also explored Grand Central Terminal. The building was gorgeous, the architecture impressive but the restrooms were a little disappointing 😉
On to the Garment District. So where do I start? We probably visited around 30 fabric stores that day. Everything from neat, well-organized shops over spandex world to the most chaotic basement stores you can imagine.
Needless to say, we loved every single one! Spandex world broadened my horizon a lot – who would have thought that there are spandex fabrics with fried eggs, hotdogs, and kittens in bathing suits motives? I’m pretty sure this is where Stephen West buys fabrics for his outfits 😉
Next stop was Mood. Mood is probably the biggest fabric store I have ever seen. It is h-u-g-e. Overwhelming! I could’ve spent days in this store. The picture above shows a part of the leather section. I think that gives you an idea how big the entire store is, considering most fabric shops only have a small bin filled with leather.
After we were done exploring the Garment District we visited the iconic Purl Soho shop. More fabrics! And many beautiful yarns, looms, spindles, embroidery projects… sigh. Inspiration everywhere!
I visited the store when it still was in its old (and much smaller) location in 2009. The ‘new’ store is much bigger, nicer and has a more ‘home-y’ feel than the old store. Seeing nicely decorated yarn stores always makes me homesick. Bizarre, but after half a year of living in a bedroom with a terrible wall color, stained carpets and without a quilt + cat I’m anxious to come home.
It was World Wide Knit In Public Day so we joined other knitters outside the store. Turns out knitting in public in New York City invites strangers to stop and talk to you, showing genuine interest. Not the usual ‘OMG what a freak’ look I usually get in South Carolina.
We had dinner in Little Italy – we shared a pretty delicious pizza.
We wandered the streets of Little Italy and Chinatown on our way back to our hotel. We walked a lot that day. Like 10 miles #happyFitbit.
Are you curious about our second day in New York, New York?