16 August 2011

Quick Trip to the City

Last Wednesday morning at the crack of stupid (i.e., 3 am), I ventured out on a road trip to New Jersey. My friend, Lady T, recently moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE and wanted to take her car. I offered to drive it to the shipping company outside of Newark and, in return, she paid for my flight back home. She booked the flight for the following Saturday, which gave me the chance to spend some time in NYC.

Having made the drive from Detroit to Brooklyn over 20 times, this trip wasn't so bad. From door to door, it took me 10 hours, 15 minutes which included 3 stops and a minor construction delay at the Delaware Water Gap. Big thanks to Ohio for finally stepping into the present day by raising the speed limit on the Turnpike to 70 mph. Big WTFs to Pennsylvania for that throwback to the past by dropping the speed limit to 65mph...or was it always 65 mph? After 20+ times, you'd think I'd remember. I don't. Anyway...

My hotel was in Brooklyn close to Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy, the neighbourhood in which I lived. Though the landscape looks pretty much the same, gentrification in many areas has set in. There were quaint little boutiques and coffee shops sprinkled throughout. Given the astronomical increase in subway/transit fares (a 7-day unlimited Metro Card is $29; it was $17 when I was here last), I didn't even bother to ask about rent. =/

The Atlantic Avenue Transit center in Brooklyn is *finally* finished. Anyone from Brooklyn who frequents or lives in this area knows what I'm talking about. Man, that was one hot mess of dirt, darkness, wires, and construction debris. Now that it's finished, it looks nice - in need of some artwork - but nice nonetheless. There's a multi-level mall with a Target and other shops. Also, a new football stadium for the Jets is being built right across the street. I struck up a conversation with an MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) worker about how he felt about the new development and surrounding area. e said Magic Johnson recently bought a nearby building and that apartments on the ground floor are going for....wait for it... one million dollars. In Brooklyn?! Wow.

I visited the high school where I taught and chatted with former colleagues. It was nice to see them again and meet a couple of current students. I also took a trip to Brooklyn College - the school where I went for more degree work and certification. It felt great to be back on campus; I had forgotten how beautiful it was. Though, I didn't have much time to visit old professors, I did pick up a T-shirt.

As a sewer, a visit to NYC would not be complete without a trip to the garment district. In fact, I think it would criminal not to go there. I was granted the divine opportunity to tour the garment district with Peter from Male Pattern Boldness.

He was gracious to take time out of his day on Thursday to visit with me. We visited the Sporting Life exhibition at the Museum at FIT and next had lunch at a very nice restaurant in Chelsea. Oh, the stores we visited! I begged Peter to take me to his favourite dive Fabric shop - the one that always seems to be going out of business. We went to Chic Fabrics, Steinlauf & Stoller, Spandex House, Pacific Trimmings, C&C, and a few other stores whose names I do not remember. We also stopped by Metro Textiles where I got to meet Kashi and be granted a sewers-rite-of-passage picture with him.

Peter is a great and funny writer. You can read his words on our adventure here.

Now to the good stuff: the NYC haul. I bought seven pieces of fabric - three of which will coordinate with my fall 6PAC and others that will be used for garments next summer. I also bought lots of belt-making accessories, petersham, interfacing, and buttons.

elastic and buckles for 1-, 2-, and 3-inch stretch belts

white carbon tracing paper and 1.5" petersham

buttons & leather trim

weft insertion fusible interfacing in black and white and hymo canvas

black bamboo-cotton lycra

yellow medium-weight wool

top: wool-acrylic-nylon (?) sweater knit, interfacing, stretch cotton sateen
bottom: silk border print, cotton shirting, cotton shirting

In all I had a safe, successful drive in and a good time shopping in the City. I always have fun while I'm there and look forward to visiting again...

On the sewing front, I am almost complete with the polka dot shirt and the BWOF skirt. Once I complete the yellow pintuck blouse, I'm going to officially close out summer and get started on fall. In the meantime, I've created Blogger pages to manage my progress. Although I welcome anyone to read it, the pages exist really for me to keep track of what needs to be done with each garment.

Be well!



  1. I didn't know that you used to live and teach in NY. Sounds like a nice trip back to the old neighborhood, though!

  2. Yeppers! I enjoyed my 9th graders. My colleagues told me that many of them have finished college and are working or in graduate school. It would be really nice to catch up with some of them.

  3. You bought that wonderful gold wool! I spoke to you at Kashi's, never guessing that you had a blog of your own, and were with Peter! (I was all about the wool!)

    I realized what had happened when I saw Peter's post on Friday. On Saturday, I was in NYC with the rest of the gang, re-tracing your steps. It was a great day; we probably owe you "thanks" for leading the way!


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