Okay, I may have been crazy to venture down to SoHo on a Saturday afternoon, but the weather was a bit warmer and I thought Petey would enjoy a nice long walk, so off we went.
The bodega on the corner has peonies (3 for $10 - ouch!) and lilacs ($19.99 for a bunch) available for a very short time. They are two of my favorite flowers and I can never resist getting a bunch or two while they're in season.
The James Perse store had done quite a bit to raise funds and awareness of beagles being used in labs. With our deep affection for the Dughallmoor beagles, this is a cause near and dear to us.
Hey, what are all those people doing, lined up around the corner? It's Magnolia Bakery, made famous by a 5-second appearance in one episode of Sex & The City (and briefly featured in the Saturday Night Live video "Lazy Sunday") and the self-proclaimed instigator of the world-wide cupcake craze. As any local West Villager will tell you - they're not that good! (Although I'll begrudgingly admit that their banana pudding is pretty darn tasty). Go to Billy's Bakery on 9th Ave instead or Sweet Revenge for cupcakes with wine or beer pairings. (yes!)
Time out for a water break (and a tug inside the door for a dog cookie - one of Petey's regular stops on Bleecker Street.)
Ooh! Some fabulous necklaces at Alexis Bittar...
I loved this hand-painted mural on Bleecker Street (even after I discovered it's advertisement for Coach!)
Who doesn't like a bold hatmaker? Are there any other kind???
After crossing 7th Avenue, Bleecker Street becomes less about the boutiques and more about the great food shops and little restaurants that have been there for decades. I love Murray's Cheese, especially their window in the sidewalk that gives you a peek into their cheese cave. (I wonder if it's possible to have a wine & cheese cellar?)
And what's next door to Murray's Cheese? Amy's Bread! What a great couple!
The weekend brings out the street vendors. While many won't allow photos, I loved the variety of bright colors and styles of these Ray Ban wannabes. And at $9 a pop, you can buy a pair to match every outfit.
We've finally made it down to SoHo. I vastly prefer the quieter side streets where you'll find small Mom & Pop shops and tiny boutiques to the big brands on Broadway and West Broadway. On the corner of Thompson street is this little bodega that has been featured in countless movies and television shows. Like Place de Furstenberg in St. Germain, this corner has become the iconic New York street scene.
Dashed into Space NK to get away from the texting hordes on the sidewalk, especially after Petey nearly got stepped on several times. Get me outta here!
Another iconic SoHo building - generally seen as the home of some young bohemian just arrived in New York, when in actuality, the lofts in this building sell for millions and millions of dollars.
We finally made it to one of our actual, planned destination - Purl Soho, an amazing knitting and sewing store that began as a tiny storefront on Sullivan Street and has now grown into an enormous store (and several marvelous books!)
It's like a candy store with an entire wall of the most delicious colors and textures of yarn - this is just a tiny sampling.
Back on the street - had to pose with the elephant, even if he's not of our political leaning...
Had to convince Petey that there were better ways to spend his $10.
Mad crowds on Broadway - had to take a break out of the way.
One of our other official stops was at the Converse store to get a new pair of black Chuck Taylors. Thought I'd captured a shot of their enormous American flag just inside the entrance, it's made entirely out of pairs of Converse sneakers. Here's the one I stole from their website. I bought my last pair of All-Stars in Paris (!) when my feet were so worn out I couldn't walk another step. I took them with me to Europe on my trip last autumn but they felt uncomfortably small, so I left them in my hotel room in England - hope they fit one of the maids!
The store was crazy busy, mostly with European tourists stocking up. The variety of shoes is overwhelming - I just found a sales assistant and told him basic black low-tops, size 7 and got outta there!
I also love a labyrinth, such a great metaphor for life! Sometimes we walk alone, sometimes someone shares our path for awhile then moves away. We think we're backtracking, not moving forward and yet we always are progressing.
The labyrinth is between two gardens - the park I just showed you and a more traditional garden on the NYU campus. Sadly, it looks like their days may be numbered as the university is trying to develop the property. On the one hand, I can understand the incredible value of this prime piece of New York real estate, but I feel even more strongly that we really need as many green and peaceful places in the city as possible!
Petey has probably been to Washington Square Park a dozen or more times in his 9 years, however he has an uncanny way finding his way from blocks away to the park. They have a small dog and a larger dog run there, but we seldom go because I find the parks to be either dusty or muddy, depending on the weather and the dog owners aren't too attentive about cleaning up after their dogs or breaking up fights. All Petey cares about is finding a tennis ball. If he can't find one, he doesn't understand why we're there and gives me a "I don't make you go shopping without a wallet, why did you bring me here without a ball?" look.
Check out this poor Frenchie in his jeans and tee shirt!
The famous arch and some hip-hop acrobatic dancers taking advantage of the empty fountain to create an arena for their performance.
While waiting for the show to begin...
...we met these two Cairn terriers, on their way back from the groomer! They were very cute and friendly - a Cairn party! - and while they were smaller than Petey, they weighed more than he did. Petey has a nice trim waist from his runs on the beach. (Wish I could claim the same!)
Another "hidden old New York" scene - the marvelous Washington mews, now offices and housing for NYU faculty.
Naturally, Petey skipped the bestsellers and local biographies and beelined for the dog cookies behind the counter!
We were almost home, walking past Morandi, a very chic/rustic Italian restaurant with tables filled with beautiful people drinking chilled white wine, spilling out onto the sidewalk, when Petey decided he didn't want to go any further. (I think he wanted to investigate under the tables to see if there was any dropped focaccio to gobble up!) I gave him a bit of a tug and he lay down smack in the middle of the sidewalk, in front of the entrance. "C'mon, Petey, let's go" I pleaded. And with that he rolled over on his side to take a little nap. The waiters and busboys were laughing as they walked around him, while he completely ignored them - and me, as I tried to get him up and walking. The more I tried, the more he resisted. Ah, terrier tenacity...
All in all, a splendid afternoon. And like the gratitude expressed by the little bit of Petey's wagging tail in the bottom of this photo, Thanks NYC!