New York, New York – so good they named it twice, so good I’m thinking about shifting my whole family there even though it would be completely impractical!
I have never stayed in the lower East Side before. I usually stay in the Meat Packing district at the Standard Hotel, but this time my centurion travel agent put my daughter and I into a really cute boutique hotel called The Ludlow. I was struck right away by how moody and “Rockstar” the hotel was. You enter the lobby and it’s all painted black with low ceilings… ooh how I love that! Then past the check-in area there’s a beautiful bar with chesterfield couches and a huge fireplace. That was my spot every evening – sitting there by the fire drinking my G & T. I met so many interesting people sitting there on my own. I met a film director from Amsterdam who was off to have dinner with Guy Ritchie as apparently Guy lives in Amsterdam now, and I bumped into an old friend of mine from Sydney who now has her own PR agency and we had a good old catchup. If you want a really trendy and groovy place to stay in NYC then the Ludlow is it! The rooms however are small – well, average size for NYC, but small for us in Australia. My daughter and I had to treat the room and our luggage like a game and see where we could move furniture and stack the bags to create smooth access to the cupboard and the bathroom. We had lots of fun doing this!
Now the very best part about this hotel is the restaurant “Dirty French”. This is one of the hottest restaurants in NY right now. The ambience is one of a parisienne restaurant from the 1920’s – if I could be transported back in time this is where and when I would go! So I was in heaven. The food was to die for, I had the best ribs I’ve ever had EVER. They were covered in a barbecue sauce that had a whole lot of honey or sugar in it, so they had a very glazed sweet covering. The salads were incredible and the wine was beautiful. My daughter Asha had steak and fries that she loved so much we went back the next night.
The hotel is located just down the road from Krantz’s, the famous pastrami house, which of course we had to go to. I love how old school New York it is, even at 11pm on a Tuesday night it was packed with such a variety of characters. As Asha had joined me on my House Of Tindale trip to shoot our first limited edition collection, I wanted to make sure she also had a good time, so of course we did lots of shopping and tried to see as much street art as possible. I love love love street art and New York had some great offerings.
On the weekend I took Asha to see Aladdin which is a really incredible musical. I loved watching her face light up as she witnessed the best the world has to offer singing and dancing and the costumes blew us both away. Afterwards we couldn’t get a taxi so I wanted to share with her one of my favourite things to do in New York, which is to get one of those taxi bikes that have seats in the back and a guy on the front riding you around on a push bike. He cycled us all the way from Times Square to the Ludlow. They’re usually $20 for 5 minutes but we negotiated $50 for like a 20 minute trip. On the way we passed a clairvoyants shop front. I called out “stop” as I was so excited to find one because the last time I was in New York I had an incredible reading.
We paid the driver and entered a dimly lit room stinking of cigarettes. The room was separated from the room behind by a tatty red curtain, from behind which we could hear a baby crying and the chink of the dishes being done. I think she had her whole extended family living in that one room behind that curtain. Unfortunately, this clairvoyant wasn’t really that good. She told Asha and I pretty much the same thing, she obviously had one routine that she told everybody. Anyway, we had fun, it as a bit of theatre!
Now that I’m back in Sydney I really miss the energy of New York and I miss the people. Sydney feels so sleepy and slow, but you know what? It is also so easy and beautiful.
The grass is always greener no matter what side of the fence one is on x
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