New York City - Part I

Ever since we moved to New Hampshire, I’ve been searching for fabric sources. We have Jo-Ann’s, one little store that carries an eclectic mix of stuff (most of which I would never use), and three other stores (two of which are an hour away from me…in opposite directions). But none of them compare to the L.A. Fabric District…in selection or price.  (If you happen to live in New England and know of any great fabric stores, could you leave me a comment or email me?  I would be forever grateful.  And not just fashion fabric stores, but decorator fabric stores as well.  Thanks!)

For my birthday two years ago, Technohubby took me in to Boston to explore the Boston Fabric District, which turned out to have shrunk from a bustling area to just one store.

So, this year for my birthday, I asked for a trip to New York City to explore the fabric district there. I was inspired to try when I discovered a blog devoted to the New York fabric districtThe blogger is so thorough, that her site includes: a map, a list of shops, where to go for high-end fashion fabric, where to shop for bargains, where to stay, where to eat, and even which stores have public restrooms (no small detail). We carefully planned out our trip, especially to be on a day with good weather (and since it has hardly snowed all winter, we weren’t too worried). Then the forecast changed suddenly, and when it was too late to change our reservations, and we were expecting 6″ of snow at home, and rain in New York City. Oh dear. Oh well.

So off the two of us went to the Big City! We got lost, in the dark, in the rain, because our GPS refused to recognize a main street in midtown Manhattan. Whatever. We were just happy to finally find it, and get settled in, although the rain and the late hour deterred us from walking a few blocks to Times Square. (Incidently, if you think actually staying in NYC is terribly expensive, I’m here to tell you that you can get a decent hotel, in this case a Comfort Inn, for less than $150/night! No pictures of the outside of the hotel, because it was undergoing some renovation and was encased in scafolding.) However, I did take some interesting photos inside. I took some photos from this trip with my good camera, and some I snapped quickly with my phone, so the picture quality is not always great.

Even though the hotel was a modern chain hotel, the building it was in was old and had some fun features! Can you guess what this is? It was next to the elevator on the fourth floor, where our room was.

It’s a mail chute! You place the mail in this little slot just above the eagle’s head, and it goes shooting down to the lobby. And you can watch it through the long glass windows on the chute!

Down in the lobby, it lands in the U.S. Mail Chute Box built into the lobby wall. Isn’t it just too cool? Now that’s a way to get children to write postcards!

It rained all night long, and we awoke to light showers the next morning. This was the view from our hotel window, where the top of the building near us was shrouded in clouds.

The next morning, we enjoyed the complementary hotel breakfast buffet in the beautiful dining room.

Then we checked out of the hotel and walked to the parking garage. It was a multi-story structure with 100% valet parking. We wanted to store some stuff in our car, so we had to wait for an attendant to walk us up to it. While we were waiting, we saw the most amazing thing! These parking attendants, to avoid having to walk up and down multiple stories all day long, have a personal elevator! It’s basically a series of holes, slightly bigger than a manhole, cut through all the layers of the parking garage. Up and down, through this hole, runs a conveyer belt. And, every so often on the conveyer belt, is placed a block. The parking attendants step onto the block and tuck their arms in, and up (or down) they go! Technohubby’s thoughts, “That’s really dangerous!” Here’s my sketchy picture of it, with the block just a bit too high for anyone to catch a ride this time.

Here were the posted safety rules for the elevator. My favorite, “Don’t daydream.” That, along with a healthy attachment to my limbs, prevents me from ever using such a device.

So we stored some of our overnight belongings in the car, and we set off with two small rolling suitcases (to hold fabric purchases) to find the New York Fabric District!

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