Kayahgirl lives in Canada and I love reading about her life. Truthfully, I can’t understand what people loveabout Manhattan when they can watch any Law and Order. Yet I would pay any amount of money to see it for the first time.
I read about Kayahgirl’s first trip to Manhattan, and saw it through her eyes She’s exceptionally sweet. It’s fitting that she’s a Perfumista.
Kayahgirl you missed nothing by not seeing the tourist attractions. New York’s about the streets, the people, the mix of cultures.
I don’t know Yiddish and it was my Dad’s first language though he was born in the Lower East Side. Our parents thought that knowing Yiddish would make us less American. Now it’s hip.
Cellphones. Yes. When I came home from California, I realized that we use them on the street much more than people in LA do, but they use them in cars. Cells have been considered a basic life neccessity since that day, though I have had one much longer.
However we are friendly. Most of lost the New-York-superiority-thing. Seinfeld was embarrassing. It made us examine our inner Seinfeld/Larry David/Elaine. When it began I didn’t watch it because I could see myself in everybody.
I then became altruistic. I’m beginning to suspect that Seinfeld, the end of the opulent 80’s, and I loved every second of the 80’s and my Hedonistic lifestyle made me want to do pennance.
I have made peace with my inner Seinfeld/Larry David/Elaine. Though I always say that I’m all of them including Newman, would anybody want to be Newman? Or George? Part of me is Kramer, and proudly so. And see? I took Kayahgirl’s intro and made it all about me.
Sorry Kayahgirl. However, I love having company, and through the miracle of menupages.com have the virtual equivalant of the takeout drawer.
So come anytime. My Manhattan tours require much stamina. I have worn out people who were so sure that we really weren’t going to walk all those miles. How else to see it? And I love seeing Manhattan through the eyes of others.
Regular visitors to Courting Destiny are often treated to the kind of interesting stories about New York city that only a native can tell. Today, you’ll hear a different story about New York, from an Alberta girl who was drawn to NYC by her nose! Pia told you that she had lined up other writers to entertain you while she was on her blogging break. I can’t claim to be a writer, by any stretch, but I don’t mind telling a story if it helps a friend get a break. Unless you’re wild about fragrance, this story will probably be a bit much 🙂
If you don’t know what a perfumista is, I defined the word in a guest post at Doug’s place, Waking Ambrose.
I arrived at the airport on a Thursday evening in April of 2005. I was filled with anticipation of the people I would meet, the things I would see and the beautiful scents I would smell. Up until I planned my trip, I knew little of New York. I had old impressions from years of watching movies and reading stories that were placed in the city all overlaid with new impressions of city torn apart by terrorism and continuing to thrive despite going through hell.. I was a kid who grew up in a small Canadian town, but I had lived in and around a few big cities in the course of my schooling. I had also briefly visited a few big European cities, but nothing held the mystery and allure of New York.
Before coming to NYC, I enjoyed the planning and preparing for the trip. If any of you is ever considering visiting another city, anywhere in the world, I strongly suggest you join up Tripadvisor. The online forums for NYC at Tripadvisor were a godsend. There are helpful people from the city you’re interested in that visit the forums and answer questions and give advice. Through them I found a grocery store to deliver food to our hotel suite the night we were to arrive, got advice on realistic itineraries for sightseeing, found a place for High Tea near the Museum of modern art, and even got advice on the risks of walking around in various parts of Manhattan. There were an amazing varieties of questions being asked by people planning to visit the city and a wealth of info and advice in the replies. My perfumista pal Robin, from Rhode Island, was going to stay with me at the San Carlos Hotel and we planned all kinds of activities in addition to our visits to the perfume stores. (We actually didn’t manage to squeeze much in besides the orgy of sniffing and endless blathering).
I was walking down a long hall in arrivals at La Guardia and noticed a short, chic, flame haired woman lounging against a railing, watching me. She started to walk toward me and broke into a grin. I knew it immediately it was Ilysa, one of my very dear cyber friends I had made through perfume swapping. We shared a hug and immediately started babbling in the way of old friends. Ilysa works in Manhattan. She finished work and took a limousine over to the airport to pick me and give me a friendly escort to my hotel. At the hotel I would be meeting Robin. It would be the first time any of us had seen each other in person, even though we had met online and talked on the phone numerous times. One of the most interesting revelations for me on this weekend would be how accurate my perceptions were of the people that I had only meet in cyberspace.
Robin and I, and another 50 or so perfumistas, were converging on NYC for the spring Sniffapalooza! One of the ladies from the Make up alley fragrance board Karen Dubin, had been quite successful at organizing perfume shopping outings for the ladies of the board and this was the biggest one yet. This one was to start Saturday morning with a private party at Bergdorf Goodman, attended by perfumers and reps from several major houses, followed by shopping there for a couple of hours. They were sending us on our way with elaborate and expensive gift bags, to our next stop, Barneys. Karen had arranged for Susanne Lang, Keiko Mecheri, and other fragrance celebrities to meet at us Barneys. We were to have lunch together, attended by the Castle Forbes company from Scotland who were launching their fragrance line in North America. A visit to to Bendel’s and a long stay at the Takashimaya fragrance floor completed the day. Since that first Sniffa, Karen has become more elaborate in her prepartions and I recently received invitation to workshops hosted by perfumers from Creed and Mandy Aftel. If anyone reading this want to learn more about what Karen does, here is a Wall Street Journal article which featured Karen and the Sniffapalooza. Karen and another Karen from the fragrance board have also started a website where Sniffapalooza related items are posted and discussed.
Our Saturday was fun but its not the most memorable thing from New York. I think the Friday, when Ilysa took the day off to shlep with us around Manhattan was the best. (Ilysa was also determined to add a few good Yiddish words to my vocabulary). Saks, The Village, the Torres chocolate factory, and Aedes de Venusta were memorable. Sak’s Fifth Ave. was just down the road from our hotel and they have a magnificent perfume department. While we were in there on Friday we were also trying to queue up with a couple other ladies we knew coming in from out of town. The funniest thing was when we were in Sak’s a cell phone rang….about 100 people all pulled their phones out at the same time. It was so crowded and loud in there you couldn’t tell who’s phone was ringing. Everyone in NYC walks around with a phone stuck to their face…its quite a sight. After Saks’ we dropped in at Sephora then took a cab down to the Village to meet Ilysa’s son for lunch. During the cab ride we got run into by a bicycle courier and I just about hurled due to my ever present problem with motion sickness! Oh well. We walked around and went to a few famous (to us) perfume boutiques, managed to meet up with Megan, and went out for a great salmon dinner. I didn’t have one meal in NYC that wasn’t delicious.
After the sniffa on Saturday, another friend Margaret stayed in our hotel with us, and a few friends from New Jersey stayed to visit and eat dinner and talk about perfume. (I know, its hard to believe we could even consider talking about perfume!).
Sunday afternoon I was return home to Canada. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t do one thing on my sightseeing list. (God, I hope you weren’t expecting a story on the attractions of NYC!) Well, if was to get weasely I can say we did drive past the base of the Empire state building and I saw Ellis Island from the plane. Robin, Margaret and I went to the Museum of Modern art on Sunday morning but we spent so much time talking while getting ready that we only had time to spend in the gift shop. That was still fun. After two days of watching the natives I figured I was ready to try my hand a hailing a cab. Robin got a picture of me stepping out and snagging us some transportation. We got back to the hotel, picked up our things, and I headed to the airport while Robin and Margaret headed for the train. Strangely enough, I don’t feel like I missed out on seeing the city. In the months before my trip I read some really good books about New York, including history as well as a couple of good ones on the infrastructure of the city. For a geek like me, it was fascinating to learn how the water gets on the island to flush all those toilets!!!
I definitely plan to go back. But, the draw really won’t be the perfume. I know a lot of lovely perfumista pals in the area who I would like to see again and I have met an amazing number of great bloggers too. I think my trip to NYC cemented in my mind how much a person can develop real friendships on line and that its always worth the effort to see those people in real life. So, I’ll be seeing you!