Story Time: A Baby New Yorker’s First Weekend Off in the Big City

by Bailey Powell

As soon as I arrived in New York I dove right in to five consecutive days at Oscar de la Renta followed immediately by eight at Donna Karan. In the evenings my remaining energy was spent scouring PadMapper for fitting accommodation and, if I was feeling especially wild, catching an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race with the friends I was staying with. Although those first two weeks were professionally significant to an incredible degree for me, a proper weekend was simply not a part of the gig.

gorgeous view from the new Oscar de la Renta showroom


beautiful day in the Donna Karan showroom

After market week at Donna Karan wrapped late Wednesday evening I interviewed at a fashion-specific temp agency on Thursday and locked up another temp position for Monday morning (blessed). It was then a bizarre realization came over me: the weekend was completely at my disposal.

Friday brought a steady downpour, tempestuous winds, and a general desire to stay indoors… for most. The overexcitement of my empty agenda won over and off I went on a very important errand: to fetch my father a sweet from Dylan’s Candy Bar.

the stairs at Dylan's

I walked several blocks to the subway where I mistakenly boarded an express train opposed to a local one, leaving me with several more blocks to slosh through before arriving at my destination. Too stubborn to simply hail cabs due to a personal financial review that took place earlier in the day, I got back home two hours later smelling not unlike a big bag of mildew.

Meanwhile, my seasoned New Yorker (AKA dry) roommate was putting his culinary skills to use, whipping up a delicious batch of mushroom lasagna and a blueberry pie for dinner.

dinner time

After the table was set and I noticed an extra place setting, I found out we would be having a guest. A bespectacled man arrived with a dog and bottle of wine and, after inquiring about and listening to my unoriginal career plan, revealed to me that he was a producer of small time movies such as The Ides of March and then offhandedly mentioned he was nominated for an Oscar. (Although that nomination unfortunately did not turn into a win, it’s not every day you nonchalantly dine with an Oscar nominee.) After the dessert plates were cleared things dispersed fairly quickly in the name of Friday night plans. Due to the previous obligations of the others I soon found myself alone in the apartment with a glass of wine to keep me company. The rain kept on, and the rest of the evening was quiet.

Saturday brought my very first NYC brunch, which seems to be the life blood of this city. I met my new friend Sarah in SoHo and chatted over a meat-free eggs benedict, life-changing truffle fries, and mimosas. I now understand the fuss about brunch. My bank account is not so understanding. After she and I parted ways I made my way to Betsey Johnson, where I basked in the hyper-femininity and indulged a bit in the fabulous sale happening.

The remainder of Saturday was spent planning out the limited amount of time my mother and I would have together today. On Sarah’s recommendation I snapped up two tickets for Love, Loss, and What I Wore, an intimate off-broadway production that is much like a chick flick in theater form. My enthralling evening was capped off with a nerdy yet oh-so-delightful viewing of PBS’ New York: A Documentary Film. What can I say? That’s a good time for me, folks.

Early this afternoon my mother arrived in Manhattan bearing a big smile and a bag filled with my stationary, mail, left-behind shoes, magazines, thoughtful Texas treats, and things of the like. After stuff was dropped off and mother viewed my apartment our day began, filled with ultra girly destinations such as BG Restaurant, Bendel’s, Magnolia Bakery, and Martine’s at Bloomingdales.


caught in deep menu concentration

Seated with a view of Central Park, we satiated ourselves with a late lunch composed of unreasonable things such as mini baguettes, lobster mac n’ cheese, mango covered lemon pancakes, a bloody mary, and tiny butter cookies. We were just as interested in the divine fare as we were in the Harry Winston rock sitting to my right and the Chanel coat to my mother’s.

beautiful (s)mother at BG


view from our table

After oohing and ahhing at the world-famous Bergdorf shoe salon we made our way to Bendel’s to take a gander and hopefully pick out a birthday gift or two for friends and family, and birthday gifts did we find! A conveniently-timed sale was underway and lovely things of the unnecessary persuasion were tucked away in brown tissue and striped bags for celebrations to come.

Our last stop before the show was Bloomingdale’s, where we satisfied our sweet tooth by way of dainty caramel-filled chocolate pianos from Martine’s and a red velvet cupcake from Magnolia Bakery. A bit under-slept and department store’d out we hopped in a cab and made our merry way to Westside Theater for the show that I had unintentionally bought front row seats for. Five beautiful women varying in age came onstage donning black clothes, shimmering shoes, sparkling jewelry, and impeccably applied lipstick. (Bonus: One of them was the actress who plays Dorota on Gossip Girl!)  They took turns telling stories about, well, love, loss, and what they wore. As Sarah said, it was the perfect show for mothers, daughters, sisters, girlfriends, etc. The conclusion of the play marked the end of our short day and I accompanied mother to her train at Penn Station, gave her a big hug, and made my way back uptown.

I must say it was a lovely, lucky first true New York City weekend. Although I’m looking forward to many more like it I am refreshed and ready to get back to real (working) life in the morning. Until next time, shows, brunches, and designer shoe gazing!



More “Story Time” posts:

An Intern’s Afternoon Being ‘Somebody’ at an Elie Tahari Event

‘Poor Me’ and Other Selfish Stupidity

A Broke Girl’s Rendition of Fashion’s Night Out