Friday, August 31

Socks and the city

I'm sure I'm not the first one to use that line, but I just couldn't help myself. The city in question is New York, I'm just back from a business trip there; a full-on trip including four hours' work on Sunday, 8am till 8pm Mon, 8am till 11pm Tues, 9am till 10pm on Wed and a full day's return travel Thursday. But don't worry, I found a few hours on Sunday afternoon to relax and pop into Purl Soho!

I was most surprised to discover that the aforementioned LYS was nothing more than a pocket-handkerchief-sized boutique that could handle no more than about five customers at one time. The selection of yarns was awesome, but they were all packed into unlabelled shelves; in order to find out make, material and price one had to extract each skein separately - quite a tall order considering how tightly and neatly they were stacked.

Despite the beauty and range of the yarns, I can't say I found it a relaxing retail experience. It is probably more of a place to go when you know what you want, rather than to browse. When I got there the place was packed (ie about five customers and a couple of sales staff). After a few people left it became easier to move around, but I didn't really feel like lingering. I hasten to add that there was no pressure or hostility from the sales staff, they couldn't have been nicer. It was just too small for a lass like me.

All the same, I managed to score a few skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas alpaca/silk mix in two divine colourways - a rich claret and a deep, dark mossy green. Also bought a great little book 'When bad things happen to good knitters' which I believe is written by one of the store owners. (Sorry, don't have it to hand - will post when I get the details).

The trip enabled me to finish the lacey socks and give them a peek out of the hotel window, down onto Broadway.

Which brings me to my love of New York.

Have you ever met someone to whom you are mysteriously attracted, but can't work out why? Perhaps they are twenty years older/younger than you, or they have a crumpled, lived-in face, they are not conventionally good-looking. But you suddenly find yourself very attracted to this person and just can't pin down the reason. You know that if one of your friends asked you to describe your latest infatuation, you wouldn't be able to make them understand why you liked this person. You just do. And you don't just like them, you fantasise about them and have naughty dreams about them and then wake up feeling a bit embarrassed.

That's how it is with New York for me. It's noisy and busy, it smells, people are rude, it's dirty, nothing works properly, etc etc. And yet every time I go there, I feel a real buzz that I can't describe. This time I decided to try and take lots of pictures to convey to friends who haven't been there the things that make it special for me. I realised there was no point. It's impossible because what makes it special for me can't be described in words or pictures. It just is.


soapturtle said...

I haven't been yet, but I keep telling shmoo we should go since we are so close. There's even a shuttle that leaves early in the morning and comes back late evening you can take if you just want to spend the day.

And I know what you mean about someone/place who just has "it" for you. I define "it" as the something that makes you say "rawr!"

Nicola said...

It's a good line even if it's not that original! Love the socks :) I'd love to to to New York one day I feel sure my feelings about the place would be similar to yours - since I moved away from London (which was a while ago) I seem to feel the same way about our fair capital too sometimes.
As an aside, pop over to my blog - I awarded you a little bloggy prize for being such a cool commenter :) - very much appreciated!

Rowan said...

I've only been once (for my 30th birthday), when I stayed with a friend in Brooklyn. Her boyfriend drove us everywhere, including places well off the tourist track (Harlem, the Bronx, Queens), we got invited into a wedding in Long Island so I could take photos of Manhattan, a little girl in a park told me I sounded like Scary Spice, and we had a blast in Coney Island and Little Odessa. All that and the usual tourist stuff as well. Loved it, loved it.

anna said...

i feel the exact same way about the southern united states. i'm kinda surprised but then again not surprised about the tiny yarn shop. i know the rent must be ridiculous even for that little spot.

either way, i'm glad you enjoyed your trip to new york city! :-D

Susie Hewer said...

Oooh, I'm with you on that - I love New York too. I first went thinking that I would hate it as I'm a bit of a country girl but I enjoyed every minute. I particularly love Downtown/SoHo/Tribeca as the atmosphere is fantastic. Haven't been since 2002 but would love to go back and do the marathon one day.

rahime said...

Ooh am I sorry I didn't read this sooner! Glad you had a good time. If you haven't been there before, I recommend Seaport Yarn - it's kind of like what a yarn store in Harry Potter would be like, just without magic. A maze of rooms with yarn haphazardly stacked to the ceiling - not efficient or logical, but fun to make your way through if you have time.