I’d forgotten how it goes in the US: when you make a purchase at a store, they want all kinds of details about you. As you well know, it irritates the hell out of your dad, Izzy. Phone number? Post code? Address? Imagine your dad’s glee being asked these questions as we wandered around Soho yesterday in glorious weather, and he answered triumphantly: we’re homeless right now! The poor sales assistants all reacted with some discomfort. Well, it might sound strange to most people, but we are kind of ‘homeless’ right this minute. We’ve left Toronto, and Sydney is a twenty two hour flight away tomorrow night. Here we are in our no- man’s land called New York as persona non grata. Well, we DO have our Australian passports………but no phone number, that’s for sure. Funnily enough even with our Time Out magazine well perused, the three of us have not been able to rouse ourselves to do too much. All still tired from the last few weeks of exams ( in your sister’s case) and packing up to move. We did have a wonderful half day in the country today : the North bound Poughkeepsie train which we caught at Grand Central took us to Beacon where we went to explore DIA. The eighty minute route followed the Hudson River, so it was a picturesque journey. Fantastic Donald Judd, Sol Lewitt and Blinky Palermo art in expansive, light filled spaces of an old Nabisco factory. The highlight was meeting up with the G-A family for lunch. Your pals are doing wonderfully, and look forward to catching up when they visit next month.
Grand Central was quieter than usual on an early Sunday morning, but we bought fresh sugar donuts and croissants from a bustling bakery. On our return in the early afternoon, the station had truly come to life, and the markets were brimming with stalls of fresh cheeses and seafood, veggies and flowers. I bought Mexican spices from a young Frenchman there, as I am not entirely sure how easily I will be able to find them in Sydney…..
As we walked up the street to our hotel, we cast around for a cafe we could fall into for a quick cup of tea. It seems New York has restaurants, delis and bistros, diners, pubs and bars and any number of Starbucks at every corner, but hardly any little coffee shop/cafe type places where you can get a pastry and a good coffee or a cup of tea. Izzy, I refused to go into a Starbucks and instead dragged the family into, wait for it, The Russian Tea Room just up from the Parker Meridien Hotel. Oh horror! That was mistake I wish I hadn’t made. I guess it is SUCH a New York institution, and flippantly I said: let’s just see what all the fuss is about. We should have turned on our heel as soon as we walked into an airless, kitschy cavernous space with silent waiters standing around in ill fitting suits. For $10 we could have a cup of tea and tiny plate of even tinier biscuits. High tea had finished at 4.45 pm ( who ever heard of such a thing??) and the only other alternative was a dessert menu of old fashioned, heavy sweets. Blah!
Anyhow, our good humour was nicely restored tonight when we celebrated Father’s Day (sadly without you) at Tamarind in the Flatiron district. It is always such a delight to eat great Indian food. But as your dad and I agreed tonight, Indian restaurants just don’t know how to be hip! They might be elegant, chic or formal. The food might be sublime. But hip is not in the Indian eating vocabulary. We need the LA super team of Sam Nazarian’s SBE to really show the Indian restaurant world how good food can be sexy! Anyway, as our last meal in New York before we fly to you in Sydney, we didn’t do too badly at all: you would have loved their bhel puri, not too soaked in tamarind, but chewy and just right. They had an amazing halibut in a creamy yellow sauce. And for old times sakes, and in memory of you, Little C ordered the standard Chicken Tikka Masala which was excellent. Well, it is late, I must get some sleep. It will be a long day tomorrow, and then a twenty-two hour journey from here to there. Can’t leave without a trip to MOMA of course, and perhaps a quick stop into Sephora before we head to the airport. See you very soon, we are all SO excited! xoxo