I thought I looked pretty darn spiffy when I left for New York City last week. I paired my LLBean blue tunic top with matching leggings, slipped on black Merrells, zipped up my black puffy coat and said, “Bye bye, Maine” as I walked out the door for a few days of GrandBoy time in Gotham.
And actually, I was perfectly attired for sitting in the gym at PS 186 to cheer Miles and Henry in their Saturday morning basketball game. And truthfully, I looked like an Upper East Sider when we stopped at Tal Bagels afterwards. The sartorial challenge was my lunch date on Monday with a cherished college friend who lives in the city.
Ellen suggested we go to “BG.” As in … Bergdorf Goodman. Which is on Fifth Avenue. Facing Central Park. Opposite Trump Tower. A long way from Kennebunk Beach. OY!
That morning, I ditched my LLBean duds for an outfit I KNEW would take me to the seventh floor cafe in style. Black slacks, black sweater, black Merrells, black puffy coat, black purse. Eat your heart out, Yoko Ono.
I quickly noticed, however, while walking down Park, that I was the only one wearing Merrells. Every other woman strutting the Avenue wore blue or black Allbird sneakers with the distinctive white sole. Plus, my black puffy coat looked like a relic from the second Bush administration. Almost everyone I passed sported the dark green Orolay jacket, AKA “the Amazon coat!” that swept over Manhattan this winter. I’d even read about it in New York Magazine back in Maine.
Zipping up the escalators at Bergdorf, past the Shoe Salon where striped espadrilles sell for $599, the Maine Mall seemed farther away than Tierra del Fuego. Leggy, wasp-waisted salesgirls flicking back their long highlighted blonde hair smiled politely when I said “Just browsing” as I took a quick pass through Marc Jacobs and Chanel. Some items didn’t even have price tags but I knew they weren’t free.
“Welcome to BG,” the hostess said when I walked into the top floor restaurant and QUICKLY jettisoned the puffy coat to an attendant. “We have a lovely table for you today,” she said, ushering me past the inviting “whisper chairs” that sit near the front bar to a window table where Ellen waited.
I noted the fabulous view of Central Park, the pale green chinoiserie wallpaper, the large urns overflowing with forsythia (it was still early March) and all the ladies at lunch who were entirely in black. (Everyone except Ellen who lives in New York and was clad head-to-toe in pale blue.)
Instead of the “seasonally inspired soup,” Ellen and I opted to share a Mediterranean platter of hummus, tzatziki, whipped feta and red pepper dip, followed by the Gotham Salad which arrived on Lilien porcelain made in Austria. Our Murano water glasses were constantly refilled by smiling waiters wearing white jackets, black ties and black slacks. Unlike much of waitstaff in New York, the BG guys were consummately cordial.
I’m back in Maine now, still savoring the memory of a delightful visit with my son and his family. Oh, and I just checked UPS tracking for my new Allbird sneakers and Orolay jacket. Due later today!