A couple of Friday’s ago, I took a sneak peek on Twitter when I should have been doing some work and couldn’t believe my eyes when I read a tweet inviting myself and ‘the bambino’, three year old Saria to New York to attend the US launch of the Kinect for Xbox which is released here in the UK tomorrow. For the gaming fans amongst us, the Kinect is a device that works with
the Xbox 360 scanning your body and tracking your movements so that your body becomes the controller instead of having to use actual controllers. Making me feel like I’m in a cross between a Matrix and Minority Report experience, ours arrived yesterday and Saria has already been stroking a cheetah and following him through the jungle in animal game Kinectimals – we’re checking out most of the games (I’ll be doing some fitness stuff), and I’ll be sure to fill you in imminently.
We arrived in New York last Wednesday. Saria was unbelievably excited about flying (she’s flown several times before but when she was much younger) and slept for all of fifteen minutes on the flight, playing with the TV and watching Toy Story 3 which she has now become obsessed with! Thanks Virgin Atlantic! She still refused to sleep when we arrived so I wasted no time going for a quick jaunt around the shops! That evening we went to the launch event in Times Square and watched over 600 crowdsourced dancers pumping out some serious moves while Kinect scenes played in the background. I admit to being a bit confused by Lady Sovereign performing but was rather delighted to watch Ne Yo perform two songs although I felt sorry for the dancers in skimpy gear because it was really cold! There are some serious gamers as there was everyone from teenage boys and girls to mums who had been queuing up for up to two days!
I extended the trip by an extra day which meant we got to shop! Unfortunately I should have checked the weather forecast because it rained and rained and rained and frickin’ rained all day Thursday and New York came to a standstill. I’m used to being there in sunshine sans pushchair and child so it was a total revelation! Still I managed to shop just nowhere near as much as I had intended.
Favourite shop: Crate & Barrel. I’m obsessed with this store that’s dedicated to primarily European homewares at great prices (even without the exchange rate) and stocked up on tea towels, cool Christmas decorations (aren’t the globe and little doll decorations so cool?!) and lots of colourful kitchenware.
We also checked out stores like FAO Schwartz (quite small and too many generic toys but Saria loved the giant piano), Pottery Barn, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Old Navy, Gap, Buy Buy Baby which is like a Mothercare but better and bigger and has about 50 brands of sippy cup alone as well as brands like Dwell Studio, Boon, Skip Hop etc. It made me realise how deprived we are of baby gear over here! I also popped into Century 21 (the rain made it too busy), Forever 21 as well as some smaller independents, although sadly I didn’t get down to Soho, as rain and taxi’s were totally against us and I couldn’t face the subway.
Favourite Places To Eat: Cafeteria in Chelsea. Found this by accident and it’s comfort food (I had meatloaf) in a super stylish environment.
The Tea Spot – I had a meetup with several readers from other blog at this amazing tea room tucked away on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village. Soulful tunes, over 80 teas to choose from, and a really relaxed atmosphere where lots of hip students were working away in this 19th century building, it was also surprisingly child friendly.
We travelled with a Trunki suitcase (Saria loved riding through Heathrow on it), Dante Beatrix Bunny bag (we have the original orange colourway) and we took a copy of cool kids mag Anorak Magazine with us.
I’ll be working in New York in January for about a week and this time I will be weather and shopping prepared! I will be collecting up tips for where to shop and hang out!
Tips – Don’t forget the raincover for the pushchair! Have no idea what happened to mine but I lost most of that morning trying to locate one.
Everyone wears wellies in New York and they look super chic!
When you agree to go and stay with your aunt in Queens, don’t let your three year old drain your battery on your iPhone and iPad because you will get lost in the rain, in the dark…