Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekend Wander: Miracle on Fifth Avenue

One of my best friends from college and I have a tradition where every year we take in the Christmas joy on Fifth Avenue, red Starbucks cups in hand, starting at the Rockefeller Center tree and winding up through the holiday windows until we reach Bergdorf Goodman on 58th & 5th. Bergdorf's is renowned for their high end holiday windows, and their 7th floor boasts an over the top holiday room where my friend and I select one ornament per year that we gift to one another to have matching on our trees. This year, we decided to bring Holly along for the fun.

I will admit, neither myself, my friend, or Holly is really a big fan of the ridiculous crowds of tourists that gather on Fifth during the holidays, and somehow either from the magic of New York at the holidays or from blocking the bad memories from our brains, we seem to forget every year just how horrible it is. My friend and I met in front of the tree, me with a shivering Holly in my arms, and immediately agreed to get out of dodge, crossing to the slightly less congested side of the street to our next stop, Trump Tower.

There is a Starbucks on the second floor of Trump Tower where we usually get our holiday drinks. The plan was for my friend to go get them and for Holly & I to wait a distance away, since she is usually not allowed in places where food is served. However, we found ourselves passing several employees (both Trump and Starbucks), pup in tow, and not being turned away! It was truly a Christmas miracle--we finally found a Starbucks where Holly can come along!

Energized by our pup-friendly discovery and Carmel Brulee Lattes, we next popped into Henri Bendel to check out the holiday gift display recently set up on the third floor. I was shocked how much space is up there (in the past only a small landing has been open to act as a last minute gifting and wrapping center), and my friend was shocked by how much extra time we needed to move through the crowds when people were stopping to comment on Holly's sweater :) . I always love how friendly the people at Bendel's are to her, especially in the Heritage Room where the puppy gifts are located!

Next up was our final and most important destination, Bergdorf's. We jumped on to the elevator and arrived on the 7th floor, where on the way to the Christmas decorations we were distracted by a collection of jewelry by Monica Rich Kosann. I was immediately drawn to the "Forever Loyal" charm in sterling silver, which features a paw print with white sapphires and a plain back that can be engraved with your puppy's name.
The charm also comes in yellow gold with diamond accents.
While we were ogling the pretty jewelry, Holly took it upon herself to make a new friend. There was a distinguished older man sitting at a table in the middle of the room who we couldn't help but notice when we had come in. He was signing large coffee table books and had two assistants directing the gathered crowd, who were excitedly posing for pictures with him and gushing over his presence. He and Holly noticed each other and he called her over, and after a nervous morning my little pup ran right over, tail wagging, and started licking him excitedly on the hand!

It turns out this man was famed photographer Ormond Gigli, and he was signing a coffee table book ("Girls In The Windows: And Other Stories") that explores the incredible backstory of his most famous photograph, Girls in the Windows, which was snapped from a fire escape in 1960 one day before the brownstones featured were demolished, and featured 47 models, friends, and wives of employees all dressed in their own wardrobes. 

Ormond Gigli's "Girls In The Windows."
Mr. Gigli was very sweet to Holly, and when I remarked on how comfortable she seemed around him, he said he feels like dogs recognize people who know and love dogs, which I absolutely agree with!

After this wonderful and surprising bit of New York magic, we whisked Holly to the holiday room, where she helped in selecting this year's holiday ornament (mostly by licking glitter off the ground and nearly knocking over several $500 nutcrackers on display). We settled on a jolly snowman that has a similar motif to the sweater Holly wore to meet Santa last week. 
Our friendly snowman--I named mine "Rolph." 
Bergdorf's also has a pup-friendly Santa who visits the seventh floor on Sundays from 12-6 and can be visited by appointment only, so Holly and I are planning on making a special trip back next week! Perhaps this time she won't growl at the poor man!
Holly growled at the Santa at Bloomingdale's, so we hope Bergdorf's will  put her back on the "nice" list!
Until Next Time, Darlings!

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