Merry Christmas!!! to Scandinavia

We slept in a little longer than planned but made it into the city by 12:30 (just after noon our time).  Wanting to have as much time as possible to roam Purl Soho, I sent the boys to Ferrara‘s for their pastry run.  Brilliant!  I only go about twice a year, sometimes only once.  Everytime I walk in though, there is Jeremy with a huge welcoming smile…and everyone who works there is that way…it is just that Jeremy is my absolute favorite.  And there he was Saturday…it is always such a good feeling.  We said our hellos, I handed off my coat and knitting bag (they stuff it under the counter for me), and off I went back to the fabrics.

The tree at Purl.

Fabrics.  The beautiful kind you could find thirty years ago anywhere.  Fabrics ranging from traditional prints, to polka dots, solids, and little prints from the 50’s.  Prints that make me smile with the remembrance of clothes my mother and grandmother used to make for me; the dress that had in little letters here and there “a little bird told me so…” or the daisy print my grandmother used to make me a robe with velvet ribbon edges.  I found frogs with crowns, every animal species and things that made my heart smile in a deep secret place.  There was thread from France, Sajou scissors and bobbins, rick-rack and ribbon.  Wonderful.

architechtural detail

Then the books.  Purl is now carrying a WIDE selection of the hard-to-find Japanese stitch pattern books and that is where I spent most of my birthday dollars.  They were out of the book that Franklin wrote about recently, the minimochi book with the chicken…but I managed to survive.  The project I purchased this year involved the second of Joelle Hoverson’s books “More Last Minute Knitted Gifts” and a cowl (near the end of the book) knit in Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere (just one skein…so not too obscene).  It is cast on and like a cloud of the ethereal.  I love it.


After I checked out, I sat and cast on while waiting for the boys.  Just try to be inconspicuous when casting on anything to Signature Arts needles.  Slowly, people gathered around.  I kept my head down but could feel the stares, could hear the whispers:  “She’s casting on.  I think she’s going to do magic loop…look at that long cord.” — “Look at those needles, those must be those Signature ones!” — “I wonder what she’s going to make?”  Then these two British ladies came in and were more forward so we visited.  Her friend is always asking her to knit stuff that is out of her skill set.  I told her:  the response is “top of my to do list” — she said it, and it was adorable.  I wanted to collect them both…they were tiny adorable women and obviously the best of friends.  They made me smile.

random store front sign

Then the text came from my son: Mom we are outside.  So I gathered my things…you know…coat, scarf, purse, bags, stuff the knitting away,…it takes time.  Then, because it is so helpful, my husband calls because clearly I don’t know they are waiting.  I don’t even answer.  I did mumble something about:  Marriage…just like drugs…just say NO.  You should have heard the laughter and seen the smiles.  Say Goodnight Gracie!

my favorite window of the Bergdorf Goodman's

The next stop was the Apple store.  I had secret shopping to do for my husband…toughest person on my list now that my Mother is passed.  He is never rude about it, he just does not use anything he doesn’t want.  Brian benefits a lot from this.  But this day I had a plan.  Brian disappeared into the crowd like a flash.  I gave Gary an assignment and that worked like a dream.  Then I got hold of one of the floor helpers and he was awesome.  Talk about secret Santa.  We got Gary’s present tucked in my purse and the bag filled with random crap from my purse in no time, checked out and looking widely innocent in no time at all.  Thing of Freakin’ beauty.  We all reconnected and wandered for awhile.  Once outside, even though it was in the mid-20’s I stripped down to shirt and pants.  I was melted through and through.  Gary’s eyes did get a little wide during this…you could see he was wondering when the clothing removal was going to end; but he has learned to accept menopause for the most part.

I think just one of those flowers would be nice!

Next, Gary wanted to see the Holiday windows.  It was fun for awhile.  People at the windows were laughing…”where would I ever wear that piece of jewelry?” one lady said.  I replied, “I don’t know but give me a chance and I’ll figure something out!”  And on we went.  Then I got to feeling like a salmon swimming upstream.  We looked at the two cathedrals…I asked Gary which was Saint Patricks…we both agreed they all looked the same, shook our heads and walked on.  Stopped in the Lindt candy store…SO MUCH FUN!!!  As we worked our way back to the car we also found the Mackenzie Childs store.  They have the coolest socks and the decor is Mary Engelbreit meets Alice in Wonderland.  Fabulous with a capital F.

Unicorn on Ice

Gary and Brian wanted to go to the Capitol Grill for Dinner.  But it wasn’t their birthday.  I wanted Junior’s…nothing like a great deli with great deli food and the best cheesecake in the whole wide world.  Besides, that meant we were walking distance from the play after dinner and we were going to need that walk for sure.  The place was mobbed.  We did finally get seats at the counter (which is what I really wanted all along…like eating at Newberry’s Soda Fountain with Granny when I was a kid…back then it was french fries and a chocolate shake…not so much anymore.)  Our server was a very tall bald man named “Wig”…he was too big for me to feel brave enough for an explanation but he was sweet and very nice.  We had a lovely meal.  It was perfect.

at the counter at Junior's

The Play.  “The Mountaintop”, starring Angela Bassett and Samuel Jackson.  I went without any idea of what it was going to be about and I am glad.  I thought maybe Ms. Bassett was going to play Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife — I was wrong.  The surprise was a great gift because the BIG MESSAGE reached me to the roots of my soul.  I wept, and laughed, and applauded and bowed my head in the utter humility of the moment.

The Mountaintop...go see it.

The Play takes place in a room of the Lorraine Hotel the night before Dr. King’s assassination.  A maid brings Dr. King some coffee and the action proceeds from there.  Ms. Bassett was Real, Authentic and Hilarious.  She was a poet and turned out to be an Angel sent from God to get Dr. King on the program with the fact that He was going to die the next day.  God gave him the chance to understand that the baton of leadership would need to be passed on.  The Play was so much bigger than those four sentences.  We all have a moral duty each and every day to bring our best and highest into this world.  We are all imperfect and God is okay with that.  Maybe God loves us more for that.  Certainly God loves us for trying.  Reach for the highest.  Fall. Get up and try again.  Can I have an Amen?


After the play, we walked quietly back to the car.  It was a lot to take in.  We were tired.  It had been another truly great family outing.  We did find a Starbucks on the way home…Gary missed the first entrance and almost had to do a “drift” to make it into the second entrance…but we needed some fluid exchange and a chance to stretch.

taxi and holiday lights

I look forward to March, our next trip in to the City.  I love coming home to share it all with you.

May the Lights of the Season Bless your Hearts with the Highest.  loads of love, Mary Ellen