New York with a Pao

April 2012

Heathrow, headed for the Bag Drop. Simple task, so I thought, armed with check-in luggage of an old LLBean bag, I put it on the scale. Weighed in at 8.6Kg. To my surprise, Red Riding (without) Hood asked me to weigh my hand luggage. 8.9Kg. OK, more than the checked in bag but the silly thing is that I only had my 11inch MacAir, makeup, chargers for computer, iPhone and camera, and 3 magazines in the rather empty roller. Maybe they should have weighed me as well!

That’s it, the faithful cabin roller is going into retirement. I must remember to pick up a Bric, the lightest cabin bag on the market weighing in at an amazing 2.5kg or the new Tumi.

Virgin is really no longer the airline it used to be. I guess being up for sale does not help it’s credibility. With a zillion air miles I still cannot trade them for Upper Class flights as there are so few on offer these days. Upgrades are also limited, sadly.

Arrived in NYC early but baggage took forever. Taxi queue was horrendous with at least 200 people in line. $45 flat rate (plus tolls) into Manhattan, may be too good a deal!! “On the Avenue” won the toss. I love this inconspicuous boutique hotel on 77th and Broadway in Upper West Side by my favourite Zabars and Fairways. Room was comfy with a big King bed. Wolfgang Puck coffee machine and flat screen TV. Upgrade was offered, bigger room but only Queen bed. We kept the original having requested a room with good WIFI reception. Hotel is totally NON smoking. There are no more bed bugs (trip advisor 2010). They upscaled and it’s a clean no nonsense hotel with a great view of the City from the 16th floor balcony where you can bring a picnic to enjoy.

Dinner at Citrus on 75th and Columbus. Tasty tortilla chips with pico de gallo sauce, rare tuna with green basmati and citrus sauce. Washed down with hibiscus iced tea. Bed at 9pm. Early breakfast at Zabar’s cafe. Nova (lox) and cream cheese in a freshly baked bagel and big cup of Zabar’s blend. Heaven. The NG had a cheese blintz with apple sauce.

Lunch was at David Burke’s Kitchen down in Soho with another of my great girlie friends, Patti Pao, the NewYorker with (amazing) attitude, a girl genius. Berkley undergrad, HBS shortly after and a walking encyclopaedia on luxury goods, cosmetics and life in NYC. After an exchange of offerings, Chinese style, lunch commenced. I gave her a jar of Fortnums’ Diamond Jubilee marmalade with diamond cut rind and gold flecks and, she gave me a sample of her elixir for youth, a face cream she is about to launch at Bergdorf Goodman. She has had bankers salivating over her [wonder CREAM]. Patti cunningly gave samples to their wives, girlfriends etc and she raised all the money she needed to get the project off the ground within a month of her business plan hitting their desks. Don’t mess with women. The wives and girlfriends did the persuading as they cannot get enough of this amazing wonder. Made from an enzyme that ‘eats dead cells’ and itself, this self exfoliating biological wonder is the new rejuvenating entity that all women will queue for.

The signature Pretzel crab cake, baby tacos with tuna tartare, avocado and caviar. David Burke Burger with jalapeño chips and your own squeeze ketchup bottle and 10 layer red velvet cheesecake.















































Spotted Elliot Spritzer the self disgraced ex governor of NewYork and now turned chat show host.

Next morning saw my final fix of lox on health bread (seven seeded rye) at Zabars. Bought a mega delicious blueberry muffin for the road. This trip sadly was not long enough and I missed our usual Rosa Mexicana and La Caridad 78 (Comida Cina Y Criolla), Cuban Chinese on Upper Westside.

Hertz waiting for us. They couldn’t decide which car to give us. The Platinum card always works. NO waiting, best car in the lot, we both get to drive with no extra charges, etc etc. (Thank you to Robin who gave me the card 20 years ago!!) Maps all waiting for us together with Hertz’s never lost GPS system, we headed out onto the Highway I-95. 45 minutes later we were in Greenwich Connecticut. Lunch at the lovely DeLaMar Spa hotel by the water. L’escale’s  local bay oysters serves with tobasco and shallot vinaigrette was to die for.



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