Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Chelsea Morning and a Squirrel Afternoon


It has been a cool, foggy, rain filled week here in New York City, definitely more like April weather than May. I had a routine doctor visit this week and went over to his new office in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, on 7th Avenue.  7th Avenue is also known as "Fashion Avenue" due to its role as a center of the garment and fashion industry and the famed fashion designers who established New York as a world fashion capital.   I passed the Fashion Institute of Technology, at 7th Avenue and 27th Street, which is part of the State University of New York.  It is New York City’s internationally recognized college for design, fashion, art, communications, and business. The Museum at FIT is open to the public and is one of a select group of specialized fashion museums in the world.


Next, I passed the Chelsea Television Studios at 221 West 26th Street (between Seventh and Eighth  Avenues) where the Martha Stewart show is taped.  It can be hard to get tickets to see her show because of the large demand, but I was fortunate to be able to attend a taping a few years ago with a couple of friends. We were there for the segment on Lady M Cake Boutique which featured the Mille Crepes as their signature cake.  It is made of no less than twenty paper-thin handmade crepes layered with ethereal light pastry cream, and then the top is caramelized.  Each audience member was served a slice, and I remember it just melted in my mouth with goodness!  Martha was very nice and stayed after taping to answer audience questions.


I then passed The City Quilter shop at 133 West 25th Street.  This fun shop has over 4,000 patterns of fabri,c but it specializes in New York City prints!  My daughter and her fiance are wearing reversible aprons that a friend made as part of a bridal shower gift from fabric she bought at The City Quilter. Don't they look cute? 

You can read a nice review in the New York Times about The City Quilter at this link.



After my doctor visit I walked east towards the Gramercy/Flatiron neighborhood and Madison Square Park.  I've shown this beautiful little park on my blog many times before, and I never tire of visiting it. One side has a wonderful view of the iconic Flatiron building, and the other side shows the Empire State building in the distance.


All the rain we've been having has made the park grass very thick and green, and some of the park's peripheral border hydrangea bushes were in bloom, along with giant allium plants.


Two years ago I took these photos of the pink hydrangeas that dominate the park, which you can read more about in this post. They have not yet bloomed at this time.


On this park visit I headed over to the famous Shake Shack.  I had not eaten this morning, because I had a blood test at the doctor, and by 11:30 AM I was famished. Luckily, I arrived before the large mid day lunch crowd had formed a long line.


The Shake Shack opened its doors in 2004, and quickly became a neighborhood favorite for locals and tourists alike. Their Shake burger, hot dog and frozen custard have been voted among the best in the city. They are open daily from 11AM till 11PM.  Click on the web cam on their web site to see the current activity around their location.



I had the yummy single Shack Burger and French Fries along with a bottle of water. Everything was so good!  I know I'll never be a skinny fashion model on Fashion Avenue, so I didn't worry about this indulgent brunch.



As I ate a little bird sat across from me, as if to keep me company.


Then this furry fellow came down from the tree, right behind the bird, and stared right at me. Obviously, the smell of food was alerting all the park's wildlife that lunch was being served!



Soon birds and squirrels began arriving in droves, looking for dropped or discarded crumbs under the tables.



This squirrel found a piece of French fry and sat at the table next to me to eat it.


He liked his lunch as much as I did!

 (One caveat: I would never advocate throwing human food to wild animals, as I know it isn't good for them and can harm them.  Plus, it can also make them quite aggressive and lose their fear of humans which is not a good thing.)


As I left the park I saw another squirrel sitting on the back of a park bench. He was covered with bits of paper, as he obviously had just emerged from a trash can.



In his hands was a nice cheesy hamburger wrapper which he was thoroughly enjoying! 

 I think if I had to be a squirrel in New York City, I'd like to have my home in a tree in Madison Square Park next to the Shake Shack -- wouldn't you?



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48 comments:

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

The park is beautiful, even in the gray weather we've been having. That does look like a great lunch Pat! I don't know when I had a burger last... Gonna fix that soon:@)

podso said...

Love going along on these days in the city with you. Your pictures capture the weather and the sense of it all! Always enjoy seeing the park.

Sarah said...

Pat, thanks for taking me along today. I love this area of NY! So happy to know about City Quilters. I'll be adding it to my list. ;-)
Happy Mother's Day. I know this one will be bittersweet for you. Thinking of you!

Ola said...

what a nice walk!
I can see that many little animals take adventage of the good food they serve there:)


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LDH said...

Such a joy visiting while sitting at my computer! Many sites we enjoyed back in December but many more I'd like to visit in the future. Really nice post, Pat!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Nice post, I really enjoyed joining you with your jaunt through town.

Old Kitty said...

Oh Pat!! I was taken by the fashion and the quilt and the reversible aprons and the gorgeous flowers and Martha Steward UNTIL!!!

... the birds and the squirrels made an entrance!! Oh how could anyone not be entranced by such fun creatures! City birds and squirrels are just amazing - so brazen and such survivors!! Yay!!

Hope all is well with your healthwise btw!

Your daughter and future son in law are adorable!! Take care
x

Proud Italian Cook said...

I feel like I just took a walk with you Pat and of course we stopped for that burger! Your daughter will be a beautiful bride, I bet you're getting so excited for the wedding!
xox

From the Kitchen said...

I enjoyed my little trek with you this morning. I'd love one of those delicious looking hamburgers. We could have shared the fries?? Beautiful photos.

Best,
Bonnie

Vee said...

Always great pictures and I have enjoyed seeing the occupiers of this park. ☺

That fabric shop...oh my. I'd love visiting that place. I do think the future bride and groom look very sweet in their aprons. Does he really cook? If so, way, way cool!

ellen b. said...

I love your adventures around town. My mouth is watering looking at that great looking brunch!! I'm resigned to the fact that I'm not nor will I be a fashion model. :0)

Lynn said...

Another fine visit to one of my top 5 favorite cities!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Your post left me smiling ear to ear Pat! I hope all went well with the doctors visit. It has been a very long time since I have been in that part of the city. I took tailoring and draping lessons at FIT about....34 years ago. Wow, it was almost painful to say that...but it seems like yesterday!
♥, Susan

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

That little guy enjoying the hamburger wrapper is just too cute! LOL! Your daughter and future SIL are very cute in their reversible aprons, too!! blessings ~ Tanna

Jenny said...

Oh wow. I loved everything about this walk, especially the hydrangeas and the lunching squirrels.

You are just so good at being our eyes and ears in a city that is so far away.

Your daughter looks so happy!

Pamela Gordon said...

I really enjoyed this visit to the pretty park and the Shake Shack. It looks wonderful! Great photos of it all. Have a lovely weekend.

Pamela

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Oh, yum! And now I am hungry in the middle of the morning. Have you heard of the new 'Japadog' location in New York? They are huge in Vancouver, and I heard they opened a location in New York this year.

Thanks for taking us along your your city stroll once again. I love my little visits to NYC...via your blog. The park is beautiful!

Barbara F. said...

Pat, bless you, you bring the absolute best of our city to light in your blog. Me, I haven't been in about three years, at least, but I so enjoy my walking tours with you. I might make an effort one day just to eat at this place!! The birds and squirrels are hysterical, really,they know where the good food is. xo

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - You manage to turn even a doctor's visit a fun event. I love the squirrel shots - they are great! Shake Shack - oh yes, great burgers, but I wish the buns weren't so squishy. Can't wait to see the photos from the daughter's wedding day.

Linda said...

You can turn a visit to the doctor to a great adventure where you live...wonderful post!! Those squirrels were really enjoying there lunch too! How many more days til the wedding...soon!! Can't wait to see the pictures!!

Jacqueline said...

How fun to have been able to see Martha taped a few years ago. The hydrangeas are fabulous. The Shake Shack has me drooling. Maybe I will have to go and get a burger and fries tonight. Can't beat a great burger.

Susie said...

Pat, I loved going to the park with you. It's so calming to visit along in photos of places with flowers , birds, and people. Smiles, Susie

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Vee--yes, my future son-in-law is a fabulous cook! He will probably do most of the cooking in the marriage while my daughter will do the shopping and baking. Whatever works for them is fine with me! ;)

Judy--I never heard of Jappadogs but if I go to the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan I'll try one!

Linda--I know what you mean about Shake Shack's buns being soft...but in a way that was nostolgic for me as my Mother always bought Wonder Bread type hot dog and burger buns when we were growing up.

Yes, we are all very excited about the upcoming wedding! I am hoping for better weather than we've been having lately.

Linda said...

What a lovely stroll thru the city. The cheeseburgers look so yummy and that little squirrel is loving the bits. Happy Mother's day.

The Gathering Place said...

NYC is such a beautiful and interesting place. Your burger and fry looked delicious (I just got home from work and haven' t eaten yet!). I love that you can walk to so many pretty places.

Michelle said...

That squirrel knows where to get a good snack!

Tracy said...

Oh, what a great day in NYC! I would love to go to FIT...and so sweet those aprons! Those squirrel images are so sweet. :o) Wishing you a wonderful Mother's Day weekend ((HUGS))

Kris said...

I love, love, love your posts. It takes me back to that electrifying city I so loved visiting!!! I am sure hoping to go back!! My next door neighbors are there now for their daughter's graduation from NYU on Sunday. She called last night, and said it was muggy!!!
Love the looks of your lunch!! Yum!!!

Claudia said...

I went to the Shake Shack on a blustery, misty day and enjoyed every second of it. Lucky squirrels - they're not dunces. Love the aprons! Such a fascinating neighborhood.

Cucina49 said...

I have been hearing about the Shake Shack for years (my BIL lives in Brooklyn), but have never been there. Those fries look awesome, and the rest of the photos are so evocative.

annie said...

Yes, I would like to live next door to it!
Happy Mother's Day !

~Shabby~Prim~Delights~ said...

I have never been to America and I have never seen a squirrel. Thankyou for sharing the views on your trip...I totally loved it....I felt like I was on a tour. Your squirrels are so cute too.
HPS
Michelle

Pat's Pink Apron said...

Love to see a squirrel eating. So cute. Those fries look amazing.

LV said...

Thank you for this marvelous tour of New York.I would never find my way around there. I would probably get lost right off.

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Pat, it is so nice to see the park and the Shake Shack. As always, I love your photos and they always bring back such wonderful memories.
I hope you have a lovely weekend and a very Happy Mother's Day!

Pondside said...

Another wonderful look at your beautiful city!
You are getting close to the big day - are you all ready? I can't wait to see the photos!

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, dear Pat. Thank you for sharing your day. I hope you get all good news from your doctor visit.

I really enjoyed the part visit, and I laughed aloud at the squirrels. I definitely wouldn't want to be a squirrel, but my father used to say he wouldn't mind coming back as a tiny toy white poodle. ;-)

chubskulit said...

Everything is beautiful but I love the action shots of the squirrel.

My PINK, enjoy your weekend!

La Petite Gallery said...

OH! That hamburger looks soooo good. Happy Mothers Day to you Dear Pat.

yvonne

Tami Kenner said...

I so enjoyed the stroll through the city with you today Pat!
I love it there.
Those little squirrels know where to hang out don't they.
Happy Pink Saturday and Happy Mother's Day..xo Tami

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Love the aprons and the squirrel!

GailO said...

As usual your post is full of just the kind of information I would want to know before I visited NYC...have you thought of writing a book? Next time I visit NYC with my husband I am going to check your blog for fun things I want to do:)
Thanks Pat:) and have a Happy Mother's Day!

Carletta said...

Thanks for a lovely tour!
The hydrangas are gorgeous, the hamburger and fries have my mouth watering and I love the last shot of the squirrel!

bohemiannie! art said...

Very interesting post! I enjoyed your narrative along with the beautiful pictures! Makes me want to visit NYC.

wifetoalineman02 said...

awww! the squirrel is soooooooooooooooooooooo stinking cute, beautiful pictures too :-) Dropping by from Camera Critters

http://www.kidsnpet.com/2012/05/barney-our-black-cat/

Beth said...

Pat, What memories this post brought back to me. Last summer I was in NYC for a week that was very full of wonderful events and seeing the sights and living in an apartment (like a real New Yorker), and we went to the Shake Shack. I knew it was tasty, I knew it was busy, what I did not know was that it was iconic. Pat, you have made me homesick for a place I never have lived...I LOVE NEW YORK! My eyes are misty...oh, how I miss NY and how I treasure the memories!
Loved seeing the squirrels too.
Hugs, Beth

merrilymarylee said...

There is no way you're going to endear those annoying critters to me, even with cute photos. I looked out yesterday and saw EIGHT under my bird feeder. I wonder if I can arrange transportation to the Shake Shack tree for all of them.

Annesphamily said...

Lovely post! The food-YUMMY! Those squirrels cracking me up! Ha Ha! That little bird was being a good friend watching you! So sweet! You took an excellent of the bird too! Have a great week Pat!