Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Perfect New York City Day: The ArcLight Theatre, Jacques Torres Chocolate and... SantaCon!

Today was a quintessential New York City day. I felt like I still lived in the City, except for when I couldn't find my car keys and really needed my suburban SUV to change the baby and stash my purchases.

The day started with taking Magpie and Kay to a very special birthday party for their beloved friend from the old neighborhood. While they were at the festivities, my husband and I walked around the Upper West Side with Ziggy. Our first stop was Tip Top Shoes (155 W 72nd St), possibly the best shoe store ever. I had planned to get Ziggy his only itty-bitty toddler-sized Uggs so he'd quit tripping around the house in his sisters' oversized ones, but he pitched such a fit when the saleswomen put them on him, I thought to myself: this is not the reaction that should precede buying ninety-six dollar footwear for a sixteen-month-old.  So we tried on a cheaper more basic pair of shoes, and he raced around the store happily. He still didn't seem as enthusiastic about these new shoes as I would have liked, but I guess boys will be boys.

Next stop was Z'Baby (W 72nd and Columbus) which is just about my favorite place to buy both girls and boys clothes, especially when price is no object. I love essentially everything they carry, but I especially love the Z'Baby brand which has lots of fantastic dresses that are both blingy and comfy.  For my son, they had Blume tees with real ties and for the extra-festive, a tie and vest.
After our Ziggy shopping spree, we still had a few minutes left before it was time to pick-up the girls, so I convinced my husband we should be productive and get a few holiday gifts for the assorted teachers, crossing guards, trash removers and home cleaners who make our lives possible and to whom I am truly grateful this holiday season, and every season of the year.

We went to Jacques Torres Chocolates (285 Amsterdam Ave between 74th and 75th St), and got a ton of yummy presents: Chocolate Cherries, Pure Bliss Brownie Mix, and my favorite, big canisters of their Hot Chocolate.

We also got ourselves one of their legendary chocolate chip cookies to eat right that very second on the street, 'cause it's only fair if the kids were having birthday cake at the party... right?

Our last stop before meeting-up with the girls was Sabon (Broadway and 71st St). Sabon is another place where I want one (or two) of just about everything. I especially love their pretty and great smelling soaps, so the wrapped-and-ready to go Soap Stack was perfect for a few more special gifts for special people.

Even though I wanted to get something for myself, I remembered our purpose and just bought for others as 'tis the season.  And speaking of the season, I just realized I've left out the best, most New York-y part of our day: SantaCon!

SantaCon is, according to their site, a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.

To my stroller-pushing, suburban-dwelling, married-Jewish-lady self, it was nothing less then awesome. Santa's everywhere!

I even got a few drunk good-natured santas and elves to take a memorable holiday portrait with Ziggy.

Ziggy at his first (of I'm sure many) SantaCons.

I know it's a holiday memory my son will treasure forever. I know I will.

The last stop of the day was to join the girls at the ArcLight Theatre (152 W 71st St) for the very fun and funny Holiday Pantomime (or Panto), Snow White and the Several Dwarfs (its playing until Dec. 19).

We meet our friends every year to see the annual holiday offering from Pantomonium Productions, and this year's show was as great as ever, made all the more great by knowing than more than 50% of the tickets are donated to underprivileged children and families.

It was a perfect New York City Day.

Update: In response to my mom's email: I was not paid to write about those stores.  I geninuely like those stores as much as I claimed to like them. SantaCon really does exist.

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