Niagara Falls & Montreal
This afternoon, as I was writing in my journal on the beach near the ideal town of Chester, CT, I was a bit taken aback by the places I have been in just the past week. No wonder I haven't had a moment to research anything of interest to write about this week, so I just hope you enjoy reading about my travels.
To start, this past Thursday, my roommate and I made a quick road trip to Montreal for a bit of culture in the old part of town. The difference from Newcomb, NY, is mind-blowing, even though it was just a 3 hours drive. Not that Newcomb doesn't have culture, its just a culture uniquely its own. Imagine a place where you can mail a letter by simply writing, "John Smith, Local" and you'd have Newcomb. As you can imagine, designer heels and faux hawks were a sight for sore eyes. To quell our grumbling stomachs, we found a nice cafe and ate spring salads en plein air while being serenaded by a talented street performer. If we're counting back 8 days, I was at Niagara Falls, since I felt it was one of those natural wonders/obnoxious tourist attractions I couldn't leave America without seeing first. If you haven't been, go just to bobble back and forth on the Maid of the Mist with 100 other tourists in those dorky blue ponchos. It's a gas.
I was back in the Adirondacks this past weekend for the final push to complete our summer restoration projects. After our going away party and plenty of hugs, my coworker and great friend, Angela, and I were off to Manhattan Sunday morning. Midway there, we pulled over at a rest stop to book our hotel and luckily found one right in Chelsea. While in Manhattan, we did what any young woman in Manhattan would do, shop. Having spent the whole summer in painting clothes or athletic shorts, it was heaven to wear a skirt and perfume. I wore my blue felt silvercocoon earrings designed by Tia Salmela Keobounpheng and I was complimented many times by trendy men and women alike. After visiting the high-end shops and boutiques, we headed to Chinatown for lunch and a quest for fake designer purses. We actually weren't very serious about buying the purses, but were there more for the experience, which was everything I had hoped. First, someone will stand uncomfortably close to ask if you want Gucci, Coach, Louis Vuitton. Then they use their Nextel walkie-talkie cell phones to alert the next in line. They walk you to the corner, direct us to the next contact by their physical description, and quickly walk away. The next contact makes eye contact with you, nods, then turns and walks quickly up the block. They point out one of the many tourist shops and leave us to walk there on our own while they radio the employee there. In one, the woman had us walk around a row of suitcases, presumably to signal someone else, after which she moved some sweatshirts and brought us downstairs. The whole experience was quite exciting and hilarious, and though I'm not sure the repercussions of actually buying a knock-off purse, it was for me, a highlight of this most recent trip to NYC.
Aside from our silly rendezvous with illegal activities, I had a few other things on my to-do list for the city, such as see someone famous, jog in the city, have drinks at a rooftop bar, and visit the Met, all of which we accomplished. The Met was fantastic and they had a beautiful bentwood chaise by Aalto that I hadn't yet seen. On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped at 30 Rockefeller in search of a Ben & Jerry's and just happened to stumble upon an outdoor taping of Tina Fey and Jena Malone for 30 Rock. My only regret is that I didn't play Bill Cunningham and take some photos of the fashion the men and women were working in Manhattan. I'll be off for my studies in Edinburgh next week, so I'll make a point of documenting the fashions there.
Wish me luck.
Caroline Engel for Danish Teak Classics