Yesterday, Elsa chauffeured John beyond the fringes of what is called the Main Line. Today, they came home after church, then were off to Manhattan, to a big art event that several gallery owners thought John should attend.
In their absence, I thought about where they would be this afternoon. It is an area that I know or knew pretty well, thanks to Gay Pitcairn Pendleton. Gay, a dear friend since we were youngsters, occasionally asked me to join her on fabric-hunting trips to NYC.
I remember our first trip. We went by train, then took a taxi to what I guess would be called the Fabric District. It stopped outside this ratty looking place, a real dive, as they say.
Gay got out and I followed, putting my complete trust in her but not really believing we could be in the right place. We went into this shop that looked like a hole in the wall. A old man with a foreign accent came from around the counter to greet Gay. He clearly knew her and knew her well.
The fabrics Gay had requested were all ready for her inspection. And he brought out the most exquisite fabrics I had ever seen - brocades, silks and woolens that looked and felt like nothing I knew existed. The heavy weight of the one brocade, the slight whisp of another; the soft warmth of the woolen; the sheer richness of the silks.
Gay asked my opinion about this one and that one ~ would this look good in a suit, how about that for the Charter Day Dance?
After making her final decision and purchases, it was time to relax with lunch at Patricia Murphy's. Back then, Patricia Murphy's was one of THE places the "ladies who lunch" gathered. The food delicious and the setting (and clientele) were elegant.
Once in a while, we went up to Manhattan to look for ready-made outfits. I cannot remember which chic shop we were in, but this one time Gay was looking for a suit. The one she finally chose was beautiful, a gray color suit with rose-colored gloves and a rose-colored hat.
As I gathered myself up to leave, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "Now we're going to pick one out for you." I was flabbergasted and protested that they much too expensive. She said, "No they're not," in that light but determined tone.
We picked out a cream-colored suit and a Borsalino hat to match. Back then, if you had a Borsalino hat, you really had something!
It has been over five years since I last saw Manhattan, but between
jaunts with Gay, Pete, Mim and Elsa, I have such a stockpile of NYC memories that all I have to do is shut my eyes and I am on my way down memory lane.
And now to bed! Love and hugs – Kay