Readers not familiar with Flat Sally will have to refer to yesterday's entry to bring themselves up to speed. Those more au courant with Sally and Gabrielle will be pleased to know that, bundled up tightly on a distinctly wintry night, we meandered up 6th Avenue from 14th Street to 50th and 5th, where Gabrielle and Sally paused briefly to show the Saks mannequins how it's done.
We also stopped to admire the Christmas tree and ice rink at the heart of Rockefeller Center, where Flat Sally had the many tourists gaping and smiling, though one nearsighted mother exclaimed to her son, "Oh, look, it's Flat Stanley!" I had to patiently explain that Stanley is Sally's older brother, and that Sally doesn't look anything like him. Apparently this traveling paper doll thing has really caught on among the elementary school set in recent years.
Hanging out in front of Saks caused me to wonder what sort of gown Gabrielle was planning on wearing on the red carpet at Cannes next year, at which she made a sour face and declared, "I'll wear blue jeans."
Oh no, you won't, I said in horror, and vowed to turn her over to the Chelsea queens for a serious schooling in frockery and frippery if need be. "And I suppose you're going to show up for your Academy Award in jogging shorts," I said rather flippantly before realizing that Academy Awards were not completely in the realm of fantasy; her collaborator already has an Oscar sitting on the mantelpiece for a previous screenplay. I voted for something in violet or lavender for Cannes; we'll worry about the Academy Awards when the date draws nearer.
Despite all the time I've spent in New York over the past 40-some years, I've never really been here in December (apart from a two-day misadventure on the Lower East Side in 1967), so while I've always heard that the run-up to Christmas is one of the best times of the year to be here (it always looks that way in the movies, too, doesn't it?), it wasn't until tonight that I really experienced the full effect for myself.
And yes, it is quite lovely. I found myself not minding the cold at all, thanks in large part to my new (fake) fur hat. After we'd shown Sally the sights we strolled back down 5th Avenue and stopped at the Starbucks on the ground floor of the Empire State Building for a winter warmer.
Now I've never been much of a Starbucks partisan; in fact I've always regarded it as a lowest common denominator, last resort sort of place, the McDonald's of cafes, if you will. But last week I discovered - and this is a completely unsolicited plug - a Starbucks drink that is one of the best things ever on a cold winter night (or morning), better than hot chocolate, even.
It's a white chocolate mocha (I always get mine with decaf, which means I can even have it right before bedtime), and while I normally hate people who wax rhapsodic over food or drink items, this is just so good I can't shut up about it. Gabrielle had the decaf peppermint white mocha, which sounded a little dicey (or candy cane-ish) to me, but turned out to be nearly as excellent.
Then we continued down 5th Avenue for a couple blocks before deciding to walk over to Park Avenue and get the subway. Gabrielle called her boyfriend to tell him that she was coming over. He asked where she was coming from, and when she told him, he said stay right where you are. Seconds later his cab (okay, the cab he was riding in, not his cab) glided to a stop alongside us, swept her up, and disappeared into the night. It seemed like one of those perfect New York moments, though perhaps I watch too many movies and/or too much Sex In The City.
I made it back to Brooklyn via the slightly less glamorous L train, where I've got to start packing . Flat Sally and I are headed off to London Sunday night.