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Downtown Saturday

Back in the days when there were no responsibilities (i.e. a baby to take care of), my husband and I would spend Saturdays walking 100 blocks from uptown Manhattan all the way downtown. We would stop to have brunch along the way, wander through the Farmers Market in Union Square, and eventually make our way down to Soho to visit some stores and our (or should I say, ‘my’) favorite locale, “The Young Designer’s Market.” So, this past weekend on a beautiful Saturday, we decided to re-create our fun-responsibility-free weekends of venturing downtown, but this time, with our little two year old.

First, we went on a bike ride around Central Park where the foliage and colors were out of this world. So bright, crisp, and poignant. (For more on our love of biking, click here [1].)

Central Park Fall Bike ride [2]

First project of the day: Central Park bike ride!

Then, a quick trip to Saks to get a pair of boots (more on those in a future post!).

And finally, our downtown adventure! Cruzzie had been so excited all day about taking the subway (“choo-choo train”) and the train ride was definitely the highlight for him. We were looking forward to checking out the new store “C Wonder” which I had heard a lot about, as well as the Young Designers Market — new name is “Super Market”– to look for jewelry and handmade gifts.

[3]

Out of the subway and on our way to look at new stores and finds!

C Wonder [4] is a new store located on Spring and Crosby, that is set to open a number of locations around the country. It was created by the ex-husband of Tory Burch, and definitely feels like a Tory Burch store. Everything was bright, colorful, and preppy. I was a little confused by the concept of the store — it was like a one stop shop where you can buy anything and everything — clothes, jewelry, housewarming gifts, monogrammed items, bike helmets… you name it.  The clothes were a little too “Tory Burch” and a little too “button up preppy” for me. That said, I liked the housewarming gift selection and if I return, it would be to buy some gifts for friends. Prices were good and colors were happy, but I left the store empty-handed.

Green C Wonder [5]

First stop, C Wonder. I love the green color and the bright energetic feel to the store. Cool looking door!

Bright Green Rocks [6]

Look, Cruzzie's jacket matches the store!

Bracelets [7]

Charm bracelets, enamel jewelry. Reviews all said that the quality of the jewelry was great and the prices were reasonable too.

Monogrammed cups [8]

I actually liked these enormous mugs. They don't look very big in the picture, but they were huge. Perfect for ice cream, cereal, or the usual cup of tea. I also secretly love monogrammed items, as preppy and dorky as it is. Maybe it is because I grew up never using my initials, but now I am obsessed with monograms and want everything monogrammed. Maybe I am secretly from Greenwich?

[9]

Another good house warming present -- cheese plates with a letter. And only $8.

window display [10]

The bright and colorful windows outside the store.

Then, we went to The Young Designers market, which is now called The Super Market.  I must admit that it has been two years since I was last down there, but it was a little disappointing. There were far fewer vendors and the space was virtually empty. Once filled to the rim with home-made jewelry, shirts, belts, you name it, it now seems more kitchy and less cool. Confused, I did some research when I got home, and it appears that the old “Young Designers Market” is now called The Market [11] and has moved to a new location in the Meatpacking district. I will definitely have to make another trip out there.

outdoor booths [12]

En route to the Super Market, lots of outdoor stands with goodies.

Super market [13]

Super Market!

Sure there were some booths with clothes and jewelry and accessories. But nothing was out of this world and I didn’t even ask for prices. Normally, in the past, I went in not wanting to spend money and walked out having spent way too much. This time around, I went in LOOKING to buy gifts, and walked out empty handed.

Shirts for sale [14]

Some of the booths with shirts for sale.

[15]

Hand made jewelry.

[16]

A rack of clothes.

The best part of the afternoon was when we were en route back to the subway to go back uptown, when we decided we were hungry and could use a snack. Luckily, La Esquina [17] was two minutes away, and boy did it HIT THE SPOT. La Esquina has three restaurants in one location — a taqueria, a brasserie, and a cafe. We were in the mood for something quick and tasty, so we hopped into the taqueria and ordered some tacos. Spicy and salty, and awesome. A perfect ending to the day.

La Esquina [18]

Hands down, best part of the afternoon. It reminds me of my west coast roots -- both the Mexican food and the LA feel to the taqueria. OHHHH west coast........

So all in all, despite my lack of success in finding gifts or falling in love with a store, it was a great afternoon exploring and discovering new parts of the city.
Subway home [19]

On way back home on the subway.

Until Wednesday, have a great start to your week!

— AYN, aka Josie Girl