Spa Day in New York

Yesterday, Dan, Luke, and I took the train to NY to meet Dan's family to celebrate his mom's 75th birthday. I always forget that you can be in New York in a heartbeat by jumping on a train--we hardly ever go. You have to buy tokens to park in certain sections at Princeton Junction, and for some reason, you must purchase these with cash, and they don't give change. I didn't read the instructions properly, put in a twenty dollar bill, and got back four tokens when, of course, I only needed one. Total scam--I'm sure that happens to people all the time and then you seldom end up using the extra tokens. Luckily, a lady came by and bought two of mine. We were fortunate also to get the top row of the train, which Luke was gunning for.

We got into Penn Station with no problems and headed to Bryant Park to meet everyone. It was a quick walk and the day was so warm and beautiful that I thought about leaving my winter coat hanging on a tree for someone else to find. Seemed like everyone in the park was also visiting from worlds away.

Not a great photo above--I was trying to capture this woman's cute red shoes, which had a heel. I would never choose to wear them to walk around the city, but I saw lots of women in similar styles, so maybe they're more comfortable than they look.

I took this photo because of the woman sitting on a chair to the right--an older lady with a suitcase, hat and coat. She was clearly waiting for someone and she looked like she had just stepped out of an Edith Wharton novel.

This couple was in front of me and it took me a while to figure out that they were mentally challenged. And in love. The guy talked a lot in this loud voice about nothing interesting, and then I wondered about the woman--like, would you get to a point where you were like, Okay, I know I'm supposed to date someone who has a similar mental capacity, but this guy is a blowhard.

We met up with Jodi, et al at Chipotle and then split up, as Jodi, Lillian and I headed for the Red Door Spa on 5th Avenue. Short walk, and we were there, in the lap of luxury. First, they take you back to this room where you remove your clothes and put on a plush robe and slippers (or you can leave on your pantyhose and shoes, as Lillian did. It's optional). Then, they lead you to the relaxation room where you can lay on these soft chairs and read trashy magazines and sip lemon water through a straw. Jodi curled up on a long window seat and fell asleep for 45 minutes, because her appointment was later. When she woke up, she said that really all she needed from her spa day was that nap.

I signed up for an eyebrow waxing and a 25 minute facial. I've never had a facial before, and was a little worried that the woman would spend most of the time popping blackheads. She did not. She told me that I have lovely skin, a little dry in places, and then she put hot wax on my eyelids and ripped it off. Here is me before the procedure. I never noticed before that I seem to be missing most of one eyebrow. I didn't opt for the eyebrow weaving procedure though, so she had to work around it.

And here are two versions of the finished product. I took the first photo and Jodi took the second.

Part of the time I was lying there on the warmed seat (which is like a dentist's chair only comfortable) and the woman was massaging my face and a machine was wafting hot air into my pores, I was split between feeling guilty that I was forcing this woman to pay such close and attention to my face, and thinking about how easy it would be for her to slit my throat. You feel vulnerable just prone there with you arms held down by heavy blankets. I promise that I did enjoy it, but from my usual split consciousness.

After the treatment, the Elizabeth Arden people do an optional make up refresh and Lana, the girl who did mine, had a cute pixie cut and liquid eyeliner. I asked her to make my eyes look just like hers. I tipped her four dollars.

Lillian had a full body wrap and something done to her hair that took two hours. She turned out beautiful.

And here we are in the cab on the way to Scarpetta in the meat packing district.

We all reconnected at the restaurant and everyone was on their best behavior, including Juliette and Emelia--we played tic tac toe and drew pictures and Emelia bested me in hangman several times. The food was incredible, especially the warm bread they brought that had pieces of cheese and pepperoni folded into it. We had something like five waiters taking care of us.

Afterwards, Dan, Luke and I hopped into a cab to head back to Penn Station, and I was reminded of my first time in a cab in Chicago, how precarious it seems, and how I just had to keep thinking, well, if we crash and die, I probably won't feel anything. You just have to go with the flow, man.

We caught the 8:03 train, which was crowded, but a nice man moved so that Dan and Luke could sit together. This is him. The woman sitting next to him later asked if she could borrow his laptop to look up something, and he very politely said no, he didn't have much of a charge left and needed to finish something before he arrived at home. It occurred to me that if he hadn't been so nice to us, I might have made the assumption that he was a jerk. The moral of this story is that saying no doesn't make you a jerk, it just means you know your limits.

Here's Luke and Dan on the ride home. A good time was had by all and now I want to go back next weekend and the next and the next.