I wrote a long blog this morning and left it to the to add photos in another format and when I returned it was gone !!!! Grrr.
So here I go again.
People have mixed feelings about New York. Some of my friends on FB have stated their dislike, but I adore it. I love the hectic pace, I love the mix of people, the smells of food cooking on the street, the yellow taxis, the markets and shopping and the parks in summer.
I remember the first time I came here, it was over 15 years ago. My Travel Agent booked me a room that was off 5th Avenue and about the size of a cubby house. I would get to the front door and take a leap onto the bed it was so small. I laughed every time I did it. At that time I had a heel spur and I was in so much pain, but I refused to give in to it and walked and walked and I really needed to fall on the bed.
I think I've been back about 10 times and each time I discover some new adventure and delight. For instance, today I walked down to Bryant Park.
It was warm and sunny, I remember thinking this sounds like home with this bird song. It felt a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the city.
I sat in a small open air restaurant with a ceiling of tree foliage and just took it all in.
My hotel is situated in Times Square, which in turn is in the Fabric/Garment District.
As you walk down the street you come across store after store with fabric for sale. Silks, cottons, heavily bejeweled fabric and 1000s of others. This is the place to buy it. Forget about our quilting cotton and put on your creative glasses.
So I decided to visit one such store. It was like Aladdin's cave, with rows and rows of fabric, the fabric sample ends formed a colorful palette like a paint dripping to the ground.
I did come across some Michael Miller cottons, but I was looking for silks, small shading prints and a thicker canvas type fabric.
I have 3 new techniques I want to try. This is the place to locate the fabric.
Paula Nadelstern a friend and quilter who lives here in NY has written a wonderful guide for visiting the area.
The history of the Garment district is fascinating.
New York first assumed its role as the center of the nation's garment industry by producing clothes for slaves working on Southern plantations. It was more efficient for their masters to buy clothes from producers in New York than to have the slaves spend time and labor making the clothing themselves. In addition to supplying clothing for slaves, tailors produced other ready-made garments for sailors and western prospectors during slack periods in their regular business. The production of ready-made clothing, which continued to grow, completed its transformation to an "industrialized" profession with the invention of the sewing machine in the 1850s.The Industry has undergone huge change. Its to be expected as our life style changes.
Charles Bagli of The New York Times wrote "Some city officials and industry leaders worry that if manufacturing is wiped out, many of the designers who bring so much luster to New York will leave, along with the city’s claim to be a fashion capital rivaling Paris and Milan. The damage would be undeniable, given that the industry’s two big annual events—Fashion Week in September and February—attract enormous numbers of visitors and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity."Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, the majority of Americans either made their own clothing, or if they were wealthy, purchased "tailor-made" customized clothing. By the 1820s, however, an increasing number of ready-made garments of a higher quality were being produced for a broader market.
I found a vintage market covering several blocks where I was able to buy some leather offcuts to attempt to make some brooches similar to the ones I purchased in Dublin.
I walked on to Central station and I found the quilt show I was looking for!!! Yes, a quilt show in a railway station. That has to wait till tomorrow.