NYC Vibes On Halloween Weekend

Ah the throb of life in New York City. The lights, the people, the sidewalk bars brimming with the jolly many, the medley of bizarre costumes. Welcome to a night of gargantuan proportions. On one hand there were these strange airy-fairy creatures roaming around town — my pick of them all was a Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI zombie couple in their coiffed off-white wigs standing at a bistro on the sidewalk. And at the other end of the spectrum were boys and girls in tuxes and ball gowns, straight out of Gossip Girl, climbing up the steps of the New York Public Library with noses in the air, heads held high.

The night was alive and we were heading with the keenness of a precision-guided missile to the ramen-laden embrace of Wagamama in the Flatiron. On our mind were its chilli squids because boy have we missed ’em. In a mall in Milton Keynes, for example, on a superbly grey day in England we ended up going back twice to Wagamama for lunch and dinner — because we were not satisfied with just two servings of chilli squids at one go. We went back for more – for dinner – and the guy who had served us in the afternoon was confounded. ‘You Really like Wagamama, eh?’ he said. No shit, Sherlock.

Wagamama kept us going – because as with London, NYC can work your quads in a way not even a stairmaster can.

We had started the day at the New York Public Library because I had to return my books and renew my membership card. But as it turns out, my name came to my rescue. My usual practice is to come up with a nom de guerre for Starbucks and for those I know would struggle to figure out my name. One of my neighbours, a guy had told me sagely a while ago on an evening of purple hues and barbecue that I should not bother changing it. He had added: ‘Let them try and get it. Don’t change your name to suit anybody.’ Well at a library you cannot deal in any kind of pseudonyms, can you, with the State ID and all that thrown into the mixture? The woman at the check-out desk took a look at my name and said, ‘The same name as the writer! How do you pronounce it?’ She tried it on her tongue a few times till she got it. So yes, Arundhati Roy, the woman with magic in her pen, worked her fame and what happened was that even though the card is allotted for three months to anyone outside the county of NY and has to be renewed regularly, I got it for three years. I wanted to hug her.

With a halo of happiness hanging around me, I headed towards Central Park with Adi. There was such beauty in the air there even though the colours were not pronounced. A guy lay back on the grass and read a book, leaves wafted all around us like we were on the sets of a film, it was poetic, the charm of the evening…a golden retriever was commanded repeatedly by its master to sit and meet a little girl. His name was Jasper, the dog’s that is…Jasper refused to sit down. Yeah Jasper, you are not some performing clown. At the ice rink, Adi spotted a young boy of about 8 or so who skated like a ballet dancer, moving his arms oh so fluidly in tandem with the easy gliding of his feet clad in roller skates…we were transfixed by the prowess within that little body. Then the odd sight of a  bride who was in the midst of a photo shoot with her man in a denim jacket and Stetson hat.

Later we sauntered down Fifth Avenue, wandering in and out of stores. We entered Bergdorf Goodman where women with botox-ed, grim faces piled up boxes of expensive shoes like it was their birthright…Adi was determined to buy me a pair of Manolo Blahniks, so I had to don silk stockings and slip my feet into a pair of lace boots with stiletto heels so high that I thought I would keel over the moment I stood on them. Much to his disappointment, I returned them perfunctorily, sighed over a pair of fuchsia pink booties adorned with zardozi on the cuffs and heels. There is a photo of them below that I caught at the display window. The booties are a result of a collaboration between Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi and Christian Louboutin. Now Sabyasachi makes me proud as my home-town boy from Calcutta because his design sensibility is special. He does not pretend. He uses his roots and folklores and the result are designs that make you swoon. The prices do too. I dropped it all like a hot potato and headed outside, an annoyed Adi at my heels because my beloved wants to pamper me for my upcoming birthday. It made my heart swell with love because the thought is all that counts, is it not? This husband of mine is a gem. Yes, I should spare you the camp notes. But really, I was overwhelmed and I chose to indulge instead in a few stunning winter dresses from Zara with silhouettes and sleeves that made the heart trill.

Then we bought financiers, brownies and bread from this beautiful boulangerie and when we reached Wagamama, the delectable crunch of the squids sprinkled with shichimi, a Japanese chilli pepper mixture, and a huge bowl of ramen hit the right notes. Then home and pastries. Later wine to soak it all up.

And now I shall go pack my stuff for we head out to Worcester in a while. Toodles.

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Published by

Arundhati Basu

The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.

104 thoughts on “NYC Vibes On Halloween Weekend

  1. So many lovely pics of the city! The NYPL building on 5th Avenue never fails to stun. And though our first experience at the Library After Dark event left us feeling like there was room for improvement, there’s no question the space would be perfect for a masquerade ball. Those treats from Maison Kayser look scrumptious 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Lynn. The goodies are buttery, not too sweet and just perfect 🙂 The NYPL building is a beauty. The first time I Iaid my eyes on it, I was thrilled. Are those After Dark events any good?


      1. The boys and girls looked beautiful …there were tuxes and fascinators, big gorgeous hats and plunging necklines. I looked it right up now and it seems like it was like a soiree for the Yale Alumni Association of NY. Explains it all.
        I would love to go to a masquerade ball in an elaborate gown and an exotic mask in hand. Btw I loved your red midi skirt look. xx


      1. Ya I couldn’t do that either! Thankfully I’ll never be tested as I have kid sized feet. My mom says that I must be small so I wouldn’t bankrupt myself on shoes?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You look so pretty by the park!! I can only imagine how things look in NYC through the holidays! So fun! I have to say I giggled about the library card incident. I had one of those names too… never spelled or pronounced correctly. Madness, I tell you! ?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally understand the whole name thing! It’s interesting to hear how others pronounce our names! I always used to get referred to as L’Oreal….as in the cosmetic brand!! Go figure! Love your gorgeous pics of NYC. You took me back Arundhati. I miss it so. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great post. I did drift off during the shoe paragraph, but that’s probably a gender thing. If you’d replaced it with a write up on the Belgian Beer Cafe, I’d have been hooked! The ice rink in Central Park took me back to happy memories of when I was there. I think the ice was of low quality, because I couldn’t stand up on it without clinging to the wall at the side 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah so it brought back memories from your stint at the ice rink. Well I would not be brave enough to take a go at it without knowing how to roller skate.
      Thank you but the Belgian Beer Cafe was on our mind but by the time we left Wagamama, my legs could not be asked to take another 4 steps and I had to deny us the pleasure of trying a few ales there. Next time we shall make it our first stop 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gorgeous photos as always! I’m incredibly jealous that you were able to experience NEW YORK at Halloween! I can just imagine what an absolutely amazing sight that was! Also, how lucky you were able to get a 3 year card! Lady luck was on your side…as was the woman with the magic in her pen 😉 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heh, oh yeah. She helped my cause and if I ever have the opportunity to meet her, I shall let her know about the good deed she did just by dint of her fame. Small victories 😉
      Thank you for the appreciation btw. NYC gives you photos and moments that you do look back at and say, ‘I wish I could go back’. So we keep going back. You will experience it someday, I know it. xx


  6. You see absolutely everything on the streets of New York – great photos! Never tried Wagamama but those squid look mighty fine and I loooove chilli. Have a great Halloween, though not a holiday I’ve ever gotten into celebrating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sheree, thank you 🙂 NYC does give you wonderful photos every few seconds. The squids are exquisite. If you do go to Wagamama, it is a doozy.
      I travelled with Adi to Massachusetts and only if we were in NYC participating in the Halloween parade on Tuesday might I have considered (but then I am awfully lazy). I love my role as a voyeur. xx


    1. Hey Natalie, thanks. If you had seen the men and women – I found out later that it was the Yale Alumni of NY meet – you would have not missed the GG feeling. It helped that they were at their snootiest best 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “The night was alive and we were heading with the keenness of a precision-guided missile to the ramen-laden embrace of Wagamama in the Flatiron”
    My favourite line. Although, that’s probably because Wagamama was one of my favourite places to eat when I lived in London.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you 🙂 That was a line from deep with our stomachs. You are a connoisseur of all things great if you honed in upon Wagamama as your go-to on weekends in London. Also, may I know your name?
      Just curious 🙂 Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting name “Wagamama”. I’ve often been called one by my mom 😉 Lovely post and photos of the current season. Can’t wait to see a post about Christmas in New York (hint?) The store windows are so beautiful – my favorite is the one with pearls falling out of the chairs. The pink shoes are stunning! Hope you have a wonderful Halloween! – Neek

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha. I shall definitely get photos of its Christmas look before we leave for Italy and India in December, Neek. I love the grandness of the pearl display too…it is like a river of pearls! Which woman can avert her eyes? And those shoes 🙂
      Though why does your mum call you Wagamama? 😀
      And you have a fun Halloween too! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for a fab post. (I do miss NY so)
    And you have a NY public library card!? I am so jealous!
    Green with envy. (That building has a special meaning for me)
    I too use an alias here, particularly for restaurant reservations.
    (Bruno Martinez) 🙂 Easier.
    What IS your name? (Did I already ask you that?)
    (Oh, and thanks for the speed, I’d barely posted my last that you rang a “like”. Have a lovely day and week)
    Brian (aka)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha. Bruno Martinez. I love the sound of that. Appropriately hispanic. Mine is Arundhati…Arundhati Roy was your pointer 🙂 I am a speedy Gonzalez on the move. Not always though, sometimes I can be as slow as a slug.
      I am quite kicked about my card 🙂 Do you have memories you can share about the NYPL?
      Also, of course, thank you for the lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 Arundhati is a lovely name. (With a famous namesake whose book I enjoyed tremendously; felt like 100 years of solitude in India). I knew you had to be a “Star”. And about the library. I spent 3 months in NY after Grad school trying to get a job in the middle of a crisis. Every morning I would go to the bank across the street, get a bag of dimes, go to a phone booth in the library (they were still there a few years back) and spend the morning calling for job interviews… Hence the fondness for the library. Booths were rather private, one could sit down. Nice. 🙂
        Be good Arundhatiji.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you Martinezji. I just felt a 100 years old with Arundhatiji but 😀 That sounds like from a different era, your experience of sitting in booths and making calls for a job…it is a dramatic memory because one know nothing beats cracking a job especially in times of recession. A bag of dimes in hand…I could actually picture you.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Martinezji?! That’s funny. Let’s say Brianji. 😉 I had no intention of pushing you ahead 80 years, ma’amji. I just find the diminutive “ji” to be very cute. How do you say father or grandfather in Hindustani?
        (And the bag of dimes… it was fun. Though I didn’t get a job, that’s when I started to love New York).
        Be good Ma’amji 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Papa is the same in French. I thought is was Bapu. Now dada in French is kidword for a horse, so I think I will not go for that. Martinezji may be a tad difficult for the baby to pronounce. Bapuji?
        Then be bad if it is your calling. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Baba does sound nice. I hope you keep in touch with your family as much as you can. 🙂
        Bapu sounds nice. After Gandhiji? Would be an honour… 😉
        Question: is Bengali very different from Hindustani?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh yes. There is no getting away from my baba and ma 😉 They are always there at the back of my mind apart from a phone call away. I visit them soon anyway so looking forward to the fights and good food.
        Bengali and Hindi are both derived from Sanskrit. There are words you find therefore common to both such as a foreign land or in our case more specifically England was referred to as Bilet in Bengali and Vilayat in Hindi. You see how the term Blighty was arrived at. Bengali is more rounded in its cadence and has a soft touch about it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I will have to search a Bengali song to listen to the rhythm. Bilet = vilayat? Weird. I think Wilaya may be an Arabic word. Means district or province in Algeria… When are you going home? End of year? Dreams of mouth-watering food? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well what do you know. They are a derivative of Wilaya. Vilayat is originally an Urdi word. And then Bilet to straight off Blighty because the British would have heard the Bengalis use it time and again. You know, Calcutta as the capital of the British Raj and all that.
        I head home at the end of this year. Food in Calcutta always makes the soul sigh with pleasure.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I am curious about Calcutta. My family stayed at Chandernagor for a good while. An uncle of my grandmother’s ran a steamer on the Hoogli. 🙂
        Delighted that you should go home end of year. I can close my eyes and see the colours and smell the spices… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Aha Chandernagore, now known as Chandannagar, and a former colony of the French where your family fits in I suppose. Lovely town I have heard from a friend who grew up there for a few years. Calcutta is an interesting mix. Can put you off or hold your heart in its Bengali fists. There is no in-between status there.
        Your relative would have had a lot of stories to tell from his days on the Hoogli. Some not too flattering 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      11. My great-great-etc… grandfather arrived at Chandannagar in 1794. In the middle of the French Revolution . He married into an indigo planter family. Why not too flattering? The Hoogli sounds… very mysterious… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I know, when I say my name (like for a coffee) – Theresa – they usually write it “Teresa”. Sometimes they ask! (“Is there an H or no H?”) For a little while I was giving my middle name, mainly to avoid the “h or no h” question, but then I decided, what the heck, just stick with Theresa and let the H go. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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