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Walking Tour of Broadway

Travel There – Just a Couple of Texas Girls in the Big City

As soon as we got our stuff stowed away we hit the streets of NYC. In just a few steps we figured out the Sheraton New York Times Square is the perfect place to stay. Don’t let them put you in the Four Points by Sheraton Times Square, that’s a whole ‘nother place and I am so glad a fought the battle to get where we wanted to be. We were right in the middle of everything without being in the insanity of Broadway itself.

Broadway, just a few blocks away, was insane and I am glad we had a buffer zone. They smoke pot everywhere in NYC, but on Broadway they smoke it a lot and they want to sell it to you. They also want to sell you fake designer bags. I could have done away with that whole vibe, but you just have to take New York City as it comes at you.

You also get mobs of people all the time. Later in the trip we’d be there on a weekend evening and we would really understand exactly how crazy it could get, but for our first day in the city, it was crazy enough.

We hadn’t scheduled anything specific for our day of arrival, because air travel is so unreliable these days. I didn’t want to have tickets riding on me getting there on time and we’re still stuck in the air somewhere. So the plan was to stroll Broadway and see what we could see…or eat.

Junior’s Cheesecake

Our first stop on our tour of Broadway was one of the best of the trip and we repeated it several times. I had read in my research that THE place to have authentic New York Cheesecake was Junior’s. I cannot speak to the authenticity, but oh my goodness, can I ever speak to how delicious it was. We both love cheesecake, but if possible we love Junior’s Cheesecake more than any other we’ve ever had. Deb liked it best topped with various fruits. I had mine plain, but there was nothing plain about it.

Our Key to the City

Broadway, Junior’s and a MetroCard. We were knocking it out of the park in the first few hours we were there. This was not Deb’s first NYC rodeo, so we decided we’d be brave and use the subway system. She had the app and I had the maps.

On our stroll down Broadway we dipped into the subway and purchased a MetroCard, loading it up with rides for the next week. We weren’t ready to use it, but we’d be getting up early the next morning to head to the Statue of Liberty, so we wanted to be ready!

The Biggest Department Store in the World

Confession, I am not a big fan of Macy’s. Well, to tell the truth, I’m not a big fan of department stores, with perhaps the exception of Neiman’s and Nordstrom’s – but I don’t even shop there. I just eat and browse. I am a bargain hunter, so most of my purchases actually occur at one of the stores at the outlet mall.

However, this is New York, the home of Macy’s, so I wanted to be able to say I shopped there. We’d timed our trip to attend a christening, so I planned on buying my gift at the famous store. It is big, ridiculously big, but just like the closest one at Firewheel Town Center, they are short-handed and you are going to have to help yourself.

We found the baby department and I found a darling pink cotton knit sweater with matching socks in the Ralph Lauren section. They were embroidered with the familiar logo in baby blue. They do not, however, have gift wrapping, so I ended up buying a gift bag and card a few stories up in the stationary department.

Deb and I went all the way to the top and rode all the way down on the escalators. Towards the top, they still had the old original wooden escalators. That was something to write home about.

Back Up Broadway

Our goal was Greeley Square and we made it. We tucked over to the Empire State Building just to say I’d been there. We saw Herald Square, Times Square and Duffy Square. We were ticking off the sites!

The evening had set in, but we were still full of cheesecake and the line at the Stardust Cafe was intimidating. So, we went back to the Sheraton, found the bar and celebrated our first day in New York at Happy Hour.

Here’s a few photos from our day. Come back next week and we’ll visit the Stardust Cafe.

ART, Attractions, DESTINATIONS, DFW Metroplex, Museums, Shopping, TRAVEL

Remembering Dallas Department Stores

TRAVEL HERE: REMEMBERING DALLAS DEPARTMENT STORES

Frequent visitors to my blog know I’m crazy for Neiman Marcus.  It’s a touchstone for my beloved Dallas.  I might be shopping in Atlanta’s NM, but I still feel right at home.  I’m devoted to Neiman’s because it’s the only thing left from my childhood shopping experiences.  Titche-Goettinger, Colbert-Volk and Sanger Harris all bit the dust.

My, How Things Have Changed

The transformation of the crisp turquoise-and-white-striped Titche-Goettinger bag into Dillard’s boring beige plastic thing was a disappointing retail slide for me.  My mom went to work for Titches back in the 60’s.  Along the way they merged with a San Antonio department store called Joske’s.  I didn’t think Joske’s had near the eclat of Titche’s.  For a few years, though they belonged to the same team, they each kept their own identity.  Finally, the Joske’s name won out, but at least it was still a Texas name.

Then along came Dillard’s, an Arkansas company, and bought out Joske’s.  I’d like to be able to say that I haven’t walked into the store since, but my mom retired with a 25% lifetime discount, so I’d be lying.  However, I would be telling the truth if I told you I missed that department store with the turquoise-and-white-striped shopping bags.

For all those decades my mom worked at Titches/Joske’s/Dillard’s her main competition was Sanger-Harris, but it was a friendly competition.  If we could buy it a mom’s store we would, but I had plenty of Sanger’s labels in my closet – especially stuff I’d bought at Red Apple days.  The prices were so low you felt like they were paying you to carry merchandise home.  Joske’s had EOM (end of month) markdowns that were often as drastic, but Red Apple Days just sounded like a lot more fun.

I had a grudging admiration for Sanger-Harris after Titche’s became Joske’s.  I wouldn’t have mentioned it to mother, but I thought they were winning the retail war.  Their stores seemed more upscale and their shopping bags were prettier.  I especially liked the exterior of the stores.  When you went to a mall Sanger’s always stood out, because they had gorgeous mosaic murals on the exterior.  You didn’t have to be able to read to know you’d arrived.

Sadly, Sanger Harris eventually went the same route as Titches.  First, they merged with a Houston retailer named Foley’s and ended up changing their name.  Then Macy’s bought them out, and not too many years ago, at that.  I remember visiting the Macy’s in Temple with my Aunt Edie shortly after the change-over.  We agreed we liked Sanger Harris better.

DMA to Remember, Too

With all these pleasant Sanger-Harris memories it is no wonder that I’m excited about a new exhibit on it’s way to the Dallas Museum of Art.  According to the latest issue of the museum’s member’s magazine, back in the 50’s a young VP of A. Harris & Company (which later merged with Sanger Brothers) commissioned an artist to create a series of paintings of Dallas.  The paintings were exhibited at the DMA a couple of times in the fifties, but they haven’t been in Dallas since.  Now they are coming back and will be presented with photos of my city taken at the time of the paintings.

Art, shopping and Dallas!  That’s like three of my favorite things in the world!  Why do you think I enjoyed the Jean Paul Gautier exhibit so much?  Anyway, mark your calender for May 20th, because George Groz’s Impressions of Dallas is coming to the DMA.  The name of the exhibit is “Flower of the Prairie” and you’ll be able to see it until August 19.  And  Macy’s, since you’ve gone to the trouble to sponsor this exhibition, all is forgiven.  I’ll come spend some money there soon.