Mr. Magpie and I had ourselves a day last week. We hadn’t been out and about in the city in so, so long, and we started our afternoon with tacos and margaritas at Yellow Rose; meandered up through the city on foot with iced coffees from Everyman, taking in Gramercy Park with particular interest and then sitting on a park bench in Madison Square Park; stopped in at Todd Snyder (one of Mr. Magpie’s current favorite menswear shops — we stocked up on some summer finds, including these striped shorts and these linen ones, which serve up major Kevin Costner in the 90s vibes, and were styled so handsomely with a navy cashmere sweater); went up to the top of the Empire State Building (bucket list for me, and blissfully empty thanks to timed tickets); popped down to our favorite aperitivi bar, Pisellino, via the Subway; and then headed back over towards the East side for dinner at Casa Mono, a New York institution. We ended the evening by taking a delicious cab straight up Park before cutting across the 86th Street Transverse to get to our home on the Upper West Side. I detail the route because the ride home was, perhaps strangely, an exclamation point for me at the end of an already delightful day. It’s a peculiar delicacy that I’d nearly forgotten, flying up towards Grand Central when it’s warm out and the air is whipping through the windows. Something about approaching the station, closing in on it, then slowing to round the often strangely untrafficked stretch of Park that curves around it, feels other-worldly to me: I am always electric with self-awareness. This is New York, I think. There’s no place like it.
The day was indulgent on many counts, but we especially savored the feeling of having nowhere we needed to be. I mean — we actually sat on a park bench in intermittent conversation for thirty or forty minutes. No books, no phones, no agenda, no “I need to use the toilet” or “I’m hungry” from small children to impel an early departure. I can’t remember the last time I succumbed to such pleasant, unharried idleness. When we arrived at Bar Pisellino, there was a thirty minute wait, which would, under most circumstances, leave me heaving a sigh and rolling my eyes as I’d fluster through a Plan B or C or D. Instead: “No problem,” we said, and we stood under the shade of a tree and watched the singularly beautiful people of Greenwich Village stroll by wearing designer handbags and cuts of selvedge denim I do not understand.
The day was a celebration. A celebration of a return to some measure of normalcy after fifteen months of pandemic living, of being fully vaccinated, of warm weather, of our favorite food, of this vibrant and nowhere-quite-like-it city we will soon be leaving. We were flooded with alternating waves of nostalgia, excitement, and contentment. I was also reminded of what a joy it is to date my husband, who made me laugh so hard I nearly spit out a mouthful of wine at the dinner table, who is always down to try the strangest thing on the menu, who looks good and knows it (!), and who has this fetching way of letting conversations ebb and flow with graceful accommodation. I would imagine easy conversation a treasure many couples married over a decade enjoy, but he has always been this way: gracious with his attention, with his pauses, with the way his eyes crinkle around the edges in generous anticipation of a punch line. He is the person you want sitting next to you at a dinner party. Lucky me.
The afternoon out also made me excited to trot out all kinds of festive dresses to celebrate — well, everything. The end of our time in New York, the beginning of summer, my imminent 37th birthday, the abatement of this virus. Cheers, cheers, and cheers all the way around. I wore this dress with my Pam Munson tote, an embroidered cardigan (as it was cool in the shade), Hermes Oran sandals, and a pair of Nicola Bathie earrings similar to these, and it was great day-to-night vibe, but the evening left me hungry for even punchier fashion moments in the weekends future, and we have been busy making plans for them. Accordingly, some FUN pieces if you are in a similar state of jubilation:
P.S. A lot of the scores in this roundup of festive red finds would also be great picks!
P.P.S. I really have not stopped thinking about this book since I read it. Just exquisite.