Thursday, December 12, 2013

New York city #3 - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and solo shopping

Intrepid Museum, with the space shuttle Enterprise in the centre

I have decided to divide our four New York city days into four separate posts because, well, the four days were all full. Today covers our third NYC day, which was also our second last day in America. It held exciting plans for both of us!

Complementing our trip to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., we had put the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on our itinerary for New York. Located by and on the Hudson River in the Hell's Kitchen neighbourhood, the museum focuses on history and science relating to (surprise!) sea, air and space craft.

A large component of the museum is housed within the aircraft carrier Intrepid, which fought in WWII, the Cold War and Vietnam. It is now a National Historic Landmark. You can also visit the space shuttle Enterprise, and tour the submarine Growler. 

One of many small planes on display

The museum was one of Mr Bite's choices but I was happy to visit and the displays were well set out, interactive, and comprehensive. The Intrepid, Enterprise and Growler were also quite amazing to see up closer.

Despite a lot of large-scale displays, I liked that incidental details were covered too. Sometimes they can make the difference between standard and excellent museums. A case in point: details of food consumption on board the Intrepid when fully staffed.


Can you imagine peeling 6,000 potatoes in one day?!

We visited the museum in the morning, and our afternoon plans were exciting in an entirely different way. Basically, I abandoned Mr Bite to go shopping. He did have advance warning - I told him I needed one solo half day in New York - but I still felt a twang of guilt when I ushered him into a subway station to head off home ('home') while I shopped.

My interest in shopping has waned considerably over the last decade, but if there is anywhere to renew shopping zest, it is New York city. Plus, I had a mission. I wanted to buy new jeans.

My jeans hopes may make you shake your head in disbelief. You see, 6 years ago, on my first NYC trip, I bought two pairs of jeans. They both continue to serve me well, but signs of wear are starting to appear. One pair was bought in Macy's from the DKNY section, and I thought I would buy another pair on this trip. The jeans in question meet all my requirements: comfortable, suitable for casual wear or being a little dressy, dark enough in colour, and just about long enough in length. Crucially, I also like the way they look. I hate buying jeans in Australia as fulfilling these requirements seems near impossible. Plus, Australian jeans prices are about twice as high as American jeans prices, at least with the current exchange rate.

The jeans I wanted to replace

I figured it would take me 15 minutes to head to the DKNY section of Macy's, find the same make and size as my existing pair, try them on just to check they did fit, and then move on.

It turns out, over a 6-year period, that brands change their jeans styles. I know. I really should have thought of that! I was horrified to discover I had to start from scratch with guessing styles I might like, in a range of brands I'm not very familiar with, in a sizing system I'm not very familiar with.

15 minutes turned into 90 minutes.

The jeans I got instead

I did, to my relief, eventually find two pairs of jeans. I don't like them quite as much as my prior (still existing) DKNY pair, but I do like them more than anything I've seen or tried in Australia, so I'm calling it a win.



The rest of my shopping trip included Union Square, where I visited the large Barnes and Noble book store, Trader Joe's, and Wholefoods. It was the latter two food stores that provided most of the snacks and chocolate I took home. I also purchased (not from food stores!) the two scarves pictured above, because, well, you can never have too many scarves.

77.8% of these came from the Trader Joe's and Wholefoods of NYC's Union Square

I think I got home at 7pm, exhausted but happy.

Are you someone who shops when away? 
Also, are there some magic jeans I may not have tried that you'd like to recommend to me? Long leg length would be a bonus...

16 comments:

  1. I like to shop when away from home but so does E - though sometimes shopping alone is just what I need. Trader Joes and Wholefoods always sounds full of interesting stuff but I know I would have to restrain myself. Funnily enough I vaguely remember going to union square on my second visit to new york but can't remember seeing either of these shops (I think it was about 15 years ago so not sure if they would have been there)

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    1. Mr Bite would come shopping with me, gladly, but I just can't cope with him sitting outside change rooms when my shopping is going to involve clothes! And in supermarkets he does prefer to leave me be - he hasn't got my stamina for browsing every aisle ;)

      I don't think I made it to Union Square on my first NYC visit so I'm not sure how the changes have evolved, but I imagine it's possible they are relatively new additions.

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  2. Okay I lol'd. I saw the list of food for the Enterprise and I thought - how many astronauts can there be on the shuttle and how can they possibly eat 6,000 potatoes a day? AND what would they do with 500 phones? This is for the aircraft carrier, right?

    I would have LOVED this museum!

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    1. Oh gosh, I am laughing too now! Yes, the image was for the Intrepid aircraft carrier and definitely not the Enterprise space shuttle! I have changed the caption...they would have been some seriously greedy ;)

      Thanks for pointing out my error!

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  3. Not enough chocolate. (I'm serious.)

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    1. I know...I thought it was, but then when I got home (too late to rectify the situation!) I realised it wasn't ;(

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  4. I wouldn't want the job of peeling the potatoes - not even for one day. I love your new jeans and yes, when in New York you absolutely must shop xx

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    1. I reckon it would put you off potatoes for life!

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  5. I didn't realize jeans were so expensive in Australia!! I'm glad you found some after all that. And I'm also glad you got to hit up Whole Foods and TJ's! My favorite stores.

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    1. I think it's partially an artefact of our exchange rate being quite good relative to the US dollar...but things are generally more expensive, I think because they have to get shipped here in most cases!

      Whole Foods and TJs are absolutely worthy of beign favourite stores :-)

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  6. I love NYC - sadly not on my travel agenda any time soon though. Ho annoying about the jeans - I hope you like the substitutes just as much.

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  7. Love it! We try to avoid shopping when we go travelling, unless of course it is to a fun market, preferably with food. ;) We try to travel light, so we rarely buy souvenirs for anyone, including ourselves

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    1. My husband would love that approach!

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  8. I love your jeans and scarves. I really do enjoy shopping when I am travelling because everything is so unique! I have picked up the best heels in Singapore and Thailand, and because I am small everything fits... which is a nice change :)

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    1. Ah, super! Maybe I need to go shopping in Scandinavia where everyone is tall ;)

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