So I noted the obsession with cleanliness that seems to exist here in NYC. It has just gone one step further. Presenting wipes for your supermarket trolley (that would be ‘cart’ in the US). The photo below was taken in Target, a massive retailer of food, clothing and home stuff across the US. In one section you pull out your wipe, use on your trolley and then bin it in the hole next to it. What a brilliant idea. No more wet trollies to plonk your toddler into; no more disgusting gloop on the handlebars for your oral 15 month old to gnaw and slobber over. Sainsbury’s take note.
In search of the perfect Christmas tree in New York City. Having dismissed the Rockefeller Tree as a bit too big, we search for the slightly smaller one for our apartment. Down the avenues of New York are the tree sellers, lines of trees all standing slightly at an angle against wooden teepee style structures, snuggled up together, waiting to be claimed. Two days before Christmas and there are plenty to still to be had. We enquire about what time one of the bigger sellers shuts. We are stunned by his reply. “We don’t”. In the 24 hour city of New York you can even buy a Christmas tree at 4am.
So I go into a well known toy shop and, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people and the pinkness of it all, I ask the sales assistant where can I find the dogs? She looks at me and says, ‘dogs? We don’t sell no dogs’. I counter this by saying, ‘yes, yes you do, dogs for the dolls, where are they?’ Looking at me like I’m being a bit irritating, she responds, ‘Ma’am, we do not sell dogs’. Exasperated at this point I resort to saying ‘dogs, things that go woof’. Success. ‘ah, over there. I thought you said ducks.’
Now, like most women, I am conscious of my weight and as per my previous post am figuring out how to remain well and truly in my jeans whilst in New York. Puzzling over which cake to buy for J’s birthday we met a self confessed ‘former fat person’. I have never heard this phrase before. How is it possible to work behind the bakery counter and not eat the cake? She showed me how large her bakery clothes were and how she never wants to be that large ever again. We bought the smallest chocolate cake, munched on oatmeal cookie samples and I pondered on this vignette of New York life. The battle with food is a constant here.
I am amazed at the number of nail bars in our neighbourhood. I think there is one on every street. Why is this? I love a pedicure, even in Winter and am eying up the nail spa near our building but how do they keep going all year round? Same goes for eating places. I think there must be dozens of cuisines within a street or two. I see now why the realtor who showed us the flats (apartments now) said that New Yorkers don’t cook. I am more worried about putting on masses of weight due to the portion size. R was delighted to learn yesterday that you can get a half sandwich – which to any non American means a normal sized sandwich. We went to 40 Carrots in Bloomingdales at the weekend – chosen purely because of the name – and discovered frozen yoghurt ( check pronunciation before ordering to save blank looks). Horrible. Why would you do that to perfectly fine yoghurt? Our waitress, with her fabulous retro 50’s hair and carefully drawn on eyebrows, was called Betty. Perfect. And of course, my favourite food place so far has to be ‘you don’t know nothing’ food and produce. Fabulous. Joey from Friends would be proud although probably hanging out in the ubiquitous Starbucks and not Central Perk which would have gone bust by now or taken over by the green mermaid.