As you all know from my last post, Empire State of Mind was my chosen theme song for the trip, and I was lucky enough to have an experience in New York that was truly what “dreams are made of”.
I’ve been a fan Samantha Wills jewelry for quite a few years now, and even more of a fan of the woman behind the designs. An Aussie girl hailing from Port Macquarie, Samantha is one of my idols, a talented, hardworking entrepreneurial business woman whose jewelry-making has grown from a hobby that started on her coffee table, to a world renowned brand with a bohemian luxe feel. Her designs were even featured on the Sex and the City movie, which well and truly put her on the map!
Samantha is now based in New York, and through a serendipitous turn of events I was given the opportunity to meet up with, and interview her, for the website I write for.
We met at a little place in the West Village called Café Cluny, apparently a regular hangout for celebs. I was so nervous and excited to meet her, and when she breezed through the doors, tall, tanned and stylishly dressed in all white, I was immediately star struck by her. She still had that Aussie beach babe vibe, and was so down to earth and genuinely interested in finding out about me. We started the interview and I awkwardly tried to sip on the coffee I’d ordered without pulling too many faces. I hate coffee but had been too nervous to think of anything else to order after they told me they didn’t do Chai.
After the interview, Samantha handed me one of her signature carved wooden jewelry boxes, and inside was an ornate gold and turquoise bangle (Samantha Wills of course) with the words “Adventure into the wanderlust” inscribed inside. I left the interview on an absolute high, with the experience giving me a glimpse of the ‘magic’ of New York City, and I then understood why they say it’s a place “where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do”. Thanks again, Alicia Keys.
After meeting Samantha, I met up with my cousin Simone, who I was travelling with and we visited Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment. Nestled in between other apartments on the picturesque, tree lined Perry St, the Italian style brownstone would definitely be my ideal New York City living arrangement. Numerous photos later, after posing at the bottom of the stoop, we headed uptown to check out some shopping. Lets just say, I’ll never be able to shop in Australia again. NYC definitely lives up to its reputation as the fashion capital. Yes, there are beautiful designer stores on every corner of 5th Avenue, and yes I still can’t afford to shop in them, but even the more ‘high street’ stores were filled with endless amounts of things that I wanted to buy (and that I COULD actually afford!!)
Every time we went shopping it was guaranteed that we would come home with bags. Apologies in advance for the following commentary on my love affair with NYC shops, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet….
My favourite places to shop were Urban Outfitters – my housemate (who had also travelled during the holidays) and I agreed that it’s basically General Pants on steroids but so much better, and more bohemian than hipster, which I love. I’m so over hipster fashion, no offence to any hipsters reading this through their black framed glasses, currently spitting out their organic soy chai latte minus the soy and with almond milk, because they are so offended right now. But yeah, Urban Outfitters, I’m in love. I’m even more in love with another branch of the Urban Outfitters family, Free People, which is slightly more expensive but everything is beautiful and if I could fill my wardrobe with Free People I would one happy gal. Bloomingdales (America’s version of David Jones/Myer) is also filled with a variety of high-end and more affordable brands, and was where I discovered my new favourite pair of J Brand Luxe Sateen black jeans. Ok, getting too technical, I’ll stop now… that wasn’t so bad was it?
We finished off a perfect day with dinner at a beautiful little Italian restaurant along the Bowery on the Lower East Side. It was there that I tried my first NYC pizza, and it certainly lived up to the hype.
Stay tuned for more of my New York adventure – I promise I will try to keep the shopping commentary to a minimum!