Tuesday, May 15, 2012


One night, when walking home, we passed by this beautiful building. It was the NY Public Library, the place I sought refuge on my first trip to NYC.

The first time I went to NYC, I was 19 and didn't have money to go home during the summer break  in Canada where I was studying. I went to Knoxville Tennessee with CY, my room mate, got caught working at the U Of Tennessee cafeteria (serving on the hot line, enchiladas was the item of the day. Will always remember that.) and had to run before I got reported.  I took a Greyhound bus to NYC, a city I'd always wanted to visit. Story short, I woke up to find my wallet gone, handbag which I used as a pillow still under my head. The Port Authority Bus Terminal then was awful, filled with bag people dragging their smelly bags around asking for money. I got a map, ended up at 42nd St which was then a very eye-opening street with  strange-looking gadgets. A black guy followed me and blasted music at my ears and then ran off. I was so terrified, I spent the rest of the day at the NY Public Library, sleeping. Just before nightfall, I walked back to the bus terminal and either got a ticket or already had a ticket to Montreal, Canada which was my planned next destination. All I ate that day  was a piece of cake, with money I begged for. Kidding. I found a enough small change in my hangbag for a piece of cake. Never got the I (heart) NY shirt that I'd always wanted.

The second time I went to NY, it was on my belated honeymoon. Our daughter was 2 and we left her with my MIL and took a 2 months (yes, 2 months) holiday that took us from California to Vancouver, Canada to Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto and then Boston, DC and New York. We did all the touristy stuff such as the United Nations, Twin Towers, Trump Towers and so on. I remember feeling very poor and that NYC is only fun if you are rich. Back then, 24 years ago, there were projects (low cost housing) where blacks hung out and you wouldn't want to walk there at night. We drove from Canada into New York, and I was the navigator. There are many points you can enter the city through, and I thought Queens sounded classy so we entered through Queens. It was like a war zone. Phones ripped off the walls, graffiti everywhere, big black guys walked with their chests puffed and arms marching, and they thumped their fists on our car at the lights even though we had stopped (Hubs said it was our Canadian car plate). We were absolutely terrified.

I was kind of hesistant about going to NYC this time. I didn't even buy the air ticket until 6 days before I flew from San Francisco. Hub, who had gone back home, tried to talk me out of going there. But you know what? We are so brain-washed by the local media about drive-by shootings, gangs, racial fights. NYC now is so different, so safe, that I'd walk there at night anytime than KL or even KK.

Anyway, Anthropologie. I didn't like the clothes in their San Francisco store on Market St. Too Bohemian for me. But one day, someone told us about Chelsea Market and it was right behind our street! When we got there, we couldn't believe how we had gone 5 days in NYC and not know of such a place just 10 minutes walk from our apartment!










I bought a couple of boxes and love them because of the style, color and the fact that they are sharper than any steak knives I have.

Oh gosh, I just saw the ceramic egg tray in the photo! When I took this photo, I didn't notice the egg tray...and now I wish I bought one, for putting chilled eggs out to come to room temperature. Aiya.

All the photos taken in Anthropologie, Chelsea Market. No one stopped me. In fact, every place I went and took photos, nobody stopped me. In a fine foods supermarket one day, I tried to sneakily take photos of the beautiful cakes and sandwiches. The chef saw me and waved at me to take photos. That's another awesome thing about the US. In China, a shop assistant ran out to tell me off when I took a photo of their window display from the street. From the street! In Singapore, Hub was told off loudly when he took photos of a bread shop in a mall, from the public area. Generally, Asian stores are nervous about people copying their ideas probably because they copied other people's ideas in the first place.

We spent 1 1/2 hours in Anthropologie In Chelsea Market. It's a lifestyle store and between trying clothes, you can pick up plates, cookbooks, door knobs and many pretty knick knacks. The clothes were beautiful, more expensive than say, Ann Taylor, but cheap by Asian standards for imported clothes.

And then we went into the market. That'll be the story for the next post. Anthropologie is available online, btw.


Kelly said...

NYC used to be really dangerous when I was growing up. I used to be so scared to go anywhere and would always be paranoid. Even to this day I hate taking the NYC subway outside of rush hours because there was always some crazy to pick on me because I am only 5 feet tall.

rogermht said...

NYC is a very interesting place. I still have so much fond memory of visiting the place with my parents.

Jenbolaya said...

I'm so glad you had a great experience in NYC this time. The city has changed so much since the 90s. I get shooed when I try to take pictures of store displays tho... maybe they think I look threatening! :(

Chocolate, Cookies & Candies said...

Over here, I have been shouted at numerous times for taking photos. That includes the time when I took a photo of Longchamp window display while carrying their bag too!

There's a huge Anthropologie store with an adjacent shoe store attached at Chelsea Kensington (yup, they sure like their Chelseas).

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

kelly:yes nyc has changed so much. a lot of ppl here are frozen in their perception of the city, as i was too before i went. kudos to michael bloomberg n the ppl of ny!
rogermt:time to go again!
jen:for me it was since the 80s so you can imagine what a pleasant surprise the city is. really, you get shooed? how come?!
ccc: how come tt happened in london?! whadde!

Anonymous said...


I'm amazed about this getting shooed from taking photos infront of departmental stores / window displays.

I got shooed when I snapped a picture inside of Barnes and Nobles bookstore in the Grove, LA.

Weird. I'm only a harmless, camera touting tourist from KK :)


gerrie said...

Oh dear, the photos are not loading for some reason.

Blur Ting said...

I love the creative ways they display their wares. Oh that pair of shoes is just divine!

I always worry when I take photos. Once in Taiwan, I was shooting this apartment block and the security guard literally chased me down the street. Terrifying.

mvmaithai said...

Times have changed. The last real estate boom has turned bad neighborhoods around in many major cities.
I was in Paris recently. They, especially the specialty pastry shops, too don't like you to take pictures.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

mv: yes:) many of my friends who havent been to NYC don't believe me when i tell them tt Ny is not the horror city of 20 years ago. my friend who flies there frequently knows what i'm talking about so my advice is : don't judge a city if you haven't been there!

oh the americans can't care less if you stick a camera into their pies or cakes:) love them.

the lunch guy said...

i wish i had know yo were going to NYC, i could have given you a great list of these kinds of things to do.

in regard to: "Generally, Asian stores are nervous about people copying their ideas probably because they copied other people's ideas in the first place."

egg-zachly, people will only accuse or think someone capable of that which they are themselves.

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