A weekend ago we set off for the Hell’s Kitchen Flea (flea market) which is known to be a top attraction for bargain and antique shoppers. Hell’s Kitchen is located on the far west side of the island, so this was new territory for us. This area used to be very rough but has become gentrified recently, as is happening in much of the city. It seemed to be charming in some areas with cafe and restaurant prices equal to the usual (lunch for abut $25), but other areas were still a bit gritty. The flea market itself was like a large garage sale with a huge variety from license plates and tools to furs and estate jewelry.
We walked east into the garment district and were amazed by the shops along these side streets. The fabric stores were crammed with bolts and bolts of glitzy fabrics for Broadway shows and costumes to designer fabrics for home use. One store sold only zippers, another only ribbon, and another only trims.
We found Mood, the fabric store popularized by Project Runway. It is on the third floor of an office buildiing with little signage, so one would have to be searching for it to find it. It had an old-fashioned elevator with the metal folding mesh door and an operator who took us to the third floor. The store was packed with customers and with fabrics. We saw Swatch, the famous dog mascot, who had the run of the shop. We did not see Heidi Klum or Tim Gunn, unfortunately!
From this area near Macy’s it is a short walk to the New York Public Library and Bryant Park.
On this lovely fall day we sat outside at a table in the park and enjoyed a cold drink while watching men playing chess, kids running on the lawn, men playing bocce, and couples chatting and reading books at the outdoor lending library.
We went inside the library for a quick tour and a visit to the current children’s exhibit which is fabulous. We also saw the new AIDS historical activism visit which was sobering.