My fifth trip to NYC brought with it many lessons, particularly as I was not alone this time and acted the part of tour guide (albeit rather poorly). Also, the trip started with a full day of travel to Montreal, four days in Montreal, and a full day of travel between Montreal and Manhattan. Meaning, I was away from my bed (and thus a good night's sleep) for far too long, and someone else had to witness the incoherence/temporary psychosis New York can induce in even the most well-intentioned Canadian. Not to mention that the trip ended during a heat wave that nearly caused me and my man to live the rest of our days in the well air-conditioned Uniqlo on 34th Street (in reality, we should've at least stayed for tea). At any rate, here are 5 of the more important lessons I learned:
1) If your destination is hot and humid, pack only light, breathable, and moisture-wicking clothing. Then, remove and leave half of what you packed and bring travel-sized laundry detergent/Febreeze instead. Also, don't travel to somewhere that's hot and humid in the summer when you live in an Arctic tundra. If you do so, chances are you'll have to immediately leave that art show gig you were looking forward to going to but couldn't physically stay at on account of needing to breathe and staying conscious. It's no wonder Amanda Palmer frequently takes her clothes off if roughly 45 degree Celsius venues like the Momenta Gallery in Bushwick is the sort of place she can be found in. What doesn't make sense is how Neil Gaiman manages to still look so cool (literally and figuratively) in such a place (picture unavailable due to inability to work a camera and/or brain under such conditions). Sigh.
2) If you pack light summer dresses that you know you'll be comfortable in because they're loose and flowy, do not wear those dresses on the days that photos will be taken. The comfort was but momentary, and those photos where I look 15 pounds heavier than I actually am last forever. Ironically, I lost at least 5 pounds/2 inches after sleeping a night in my own bed, so if I wore any of those dresses today and took photos, it would look like some sort of before/after ad.
3) Always opt for the oddest sounding drink, especially when you know it's not available at home. A table in Old Montreal loaded with assorted maple paraphernalia including maple lemonade resulted in a very refreshing rest before entering the hottest circus tent ever. The best beer I've now ever had is Dieu du Ciel's 'Pouliche', described as a half sour noir aged beer. Sounds gross, but I was hoping the sour would result in a sour cherry flavour. Turns out, it tasted like Coke mixed with a borderline stout. Fantastique! Lastly, I finally got a hold of a Dogfish Head Midas Touch, after finding it on a menu here at home and then being told it was no longer available in the country. Made from ingredients found in 2700-year old drinking vessels in a tomb (...of King Midas), it was well worth the wait.
4) I definitely do not like clowns.
5) I should always spend all my money in Montreal before going to New York. I had nearly forgotten that I wanted to visit one of Marie Saint Pierre's boutiques in Montreal until we were looking up addresses for a shopping/brew pub trip into the city. As the Quartier du Musée location was right by a metro station along our predetermined route, I didn't feel too guilty dragging my man and the in-laws to what would likely be another too-cool-for-us shop (i.e. I don't think any of us felt that we fit the bill for Reborn's expected clientele). As it happens, when we got to the door of the boutique, I needed to be buzzed in, so the family hightailed it down la rue and left me to deal with the scornful glares that tend to accompany such retail establishments. And yet, once I was buzzed in and had shyly walked up the steps in front of the till, the next half hour or so was nothing short of a lovely experience. The sole consultant working was so helpful, told me all about the collection and the current sale (great timing!), was interested in knowing how I came to know about the label, and suggested pieces for me to try on within my budget. She even disagreed with me (politely, of course) when I said I was probably a size large. The result was that I happily walked out with a medium (size '2') piece that was the staple I had been missing from my wardrobe (a simple long black skirt), at 50% of its retail price. The space itself was also rather lovely, reminding me of a minimalist cross between the Alexander McQueen boutique in Manhattan and an upscale wedding dress boutique (in fact, the basement is a wedding dress boutique, but I didn't have a reason to take a peek). I could've spent much more time and money there (particularly as I found out afterwards that the leather rope detailing was faux leather), but now I have a new shopping destination and have rediscovered my new favorite label. As such, the photos above are of the upcoming F/W 12 collection, and the photos below are of the current (and on sale) S/S 12 collection which I had somehow failed to post before, and of which my skirt is a part.