Sid: Thanks for writing in, Matthew… congrats on the anniversary and another trip around the sun. You’re going to NYC at a perfect time of year.
Ann: In New York you can do anything... but if you're asking us, we pack really great walking shoes, because we're going to be on the street... a lot. In my opinion, you can't really get an idea of New York unless you walk.
Sid: Well, ALL my shoes are walking shoes actually. They're walking, they're running, they're sleeping... we make the most of the day and walk a ton, so we like to get there and unpack our suitcase and hit the streets.
JB: Matthew wants to know (and so do I…) what’s in the suitcase?
Sid: I'm starting from the bottom. I'm taking a pair of 5-Pockets - could be jeans, could be cords, but something comfortable. And then I’m taking a pair of grey dress trousers: the high twist. If this is an anniversary trip, we're looking for an occasion to get dressed up for dinner. So I’m taking a nice blazer, and a tie to go with those trousers. Sometimes it's good to take a navy suit where you can use the jacket as a blazer, but that’s just me. But if this is vacation, I’m probably wearing my jacket on the plane, and it’s gotta be one that will go with a pair of jeans or dialed up for dinner.
JB: Navy blazer or something seasonal?
Sid: Navy blazer is the no-brainer… but I might take something that feels a bit more fall. Tweed or tweedish… hey, I might take both! And for a shirt I’d go with a quiet dress shirt because I can get a second wear out of it the next day with jeans.
JB: Will you wear a blazer the whole time?
Sid: Probably so.
Ann: You've always worn a jacket, almost always.
Sid: Because if the weather is not too cold, that's my piece of outerwear. And you can always layer underneath… the other thing I pack for almost every trip, no matter the season, is a fine-gauge cashmere sweater. Oh, and our cashpad jacket is a fantastic layering piece.
Planning for the weather is important (since we already said we walk a lot…), so layering is key. Avoiding the precipitation is almost impossible — if it's raining and I'm going to be out and around, I'm taking a Traveler’s Trench and my Blundstone boots.
JB: Ann, what says you?
Ann: Same. Outerwear and shoes are the most important things for me. I will take a light sporty jacket. If it's October it’s probably not going to be freezing so to Sid's point you can always layer. We have a great M65 jacket in several different fabrics and colors, and that's a great coat because it’s like a cross between a military and a motorcycle jacket. It's got pockets… essential. And it's super international looking. So, that makes you feel sophisticated, too. I like that.
JB: What about shoes?
And back to rain... for shoes, I like suede, because suede is friendly with rain — you can brush it out after. I am taking either my suede short cowboy boot (my uniform of sorts… I’ve been wearing this style boot for 10 years), or a new suede Chelsea boot that is on the line this year with a rubber lug sole. I guess it is an alternative to what Sid is talking about, a Blundstone, which I also love... but it is very, very mountainy. For a girl - a Blundstone boot is awesome, but the cleaner lines of this Chelsea boot are more feminine and sophisticated. This would be perfect… I don’t look like I am hiking (even though I AM hiking) in the city.
JB: And if there’s no rain in the forecast?
Sid: I'm wearing Chelseas with the dainite sole.
Ann: Great. I said I was bringing Chelsea boots. Twins. (not really… ) That brings up a great point. I usually always ask Sid what he is bringing. I want to know what he's taking and plan around that because I like to look different, but I want to dress in equal elevation as him. And in New York, you can wear anything. You might be eating at a really nice restaurant and there could be someone there with no tie, no jacket. You could also go to a diner and be wearing a ballgown and be fine. New York is everything for everybody so dress however you want. I just love that. So many stories going on... I mean if Sid is wearing a coat and tie, I am not bringing just denim... I need to step it up to look like we are going to the same place intentionally and like he just didn’t pick me up on the way. But I guess I will dress somewhat similarly – 5-pocket jeans, cashmere sweaters. I will bring a cape as well because it is great on the plane as a travel blanket. I have taken this cape with me all over the world.
JB: You mention stepping it up to match Sid’s jacket and tie… for the anniversary dinner, what are you packing?
Ann: If I took a black Faye pant then I could wear that for the day if on one of the days I didn't want to wear denim. But I can make it super chic and sexy for evening with a v-neck cardigan and sparkly earrings. We could splurge on a cab if I wanted to wear some strappy heels (it is your anniversary… ) Knits are easy to pack.
JB: So the other part of Matthew’s question was where to go, and where to eat?
Ann: The greatest thing about New York is that it is for everybody... And no matter where you are staying, there will be great restaurants.
Sid: Exactly – and every 5 minutes there is some new spot to try. But hey, if you are asking us, we can tell you what we would do. But you are planning the trip for your wife for her birthday, right? What does she want to do? Because Ann does not want to go shopping in mens’ clothing stores all day, she’d like to go to museums. It’s taken me… 30 some years to figure that out, but at least now I kinda know. Don’t do what you want to do, do what she wants to do… or do things that y’all like to do together.
JB: Okay, speaking of together … not to put you on the spot – but what’s your ideal day?
Ann: We lived in NY for a while and in lots of different neighborhoods - so we’ll stay almost anywhere We get up and go… and often times we plan last minute, and we’ll book it on Snaptravel. That being said, this is your anniversary so you should not be doing that.
Sid: We may use Snaptravel sometimes... but I’m sure you picked an awesome place, and maybe plan your meals around that neighborhood. I guarantee you there are 2-3 killer spots within a few blocks of wherever you are, no matter what kind of thing you’re into. And then you don’t have to worry about the subway and cabs and all that. We stay at the Marlton a lot. It’s not too expensive and cozy and we know the staff. Rooms are tiny but Ann is small so we get by… we also like the breakfast that comes with the room there, though I do love, love a diner breakfast.
Ann: So after breakfast we’re going to walk through Washington Square Park.
Sid: And there are like three record stores on the way. I have a hard time walking by them without going in.
Ann: So we’ll hit a record store. Then we go to McNally Jackson bookstore or the MoMA Design store, then lunch in Chinatown.
JB: Is there a specific place in Chinatown?
Sid: Yes, Nom Wah.
Ann: A lot of people know about it but it’s still super cool. I also like to look at all the grocery stores there with all the exotic foods in them. Maybe pick up something to bring back. Then we would take the subway uptown, all the way up to the Upper East Side and we’ll go to the Met. We’ll probably only spend an hour in there because we like to walk fast. Then we'll walk through the park… and run into Bergdorf's.
Sid: We’re in retail and we like to be inspired.
Ann: We’ll go back to the Marlton and change and have a drink at the bar. I like that bar – its cozy. If we’re feeling anniversary and romantic we’ll get ourselves to the Odeon for dinner, because that’s where we had our first date.
Sid: We didn’t eat there, just got a drink at the bar. But we go back there for our anniversary a lot. Now we eat dinner.
Ann: I have just described my high-heeled evening non-walking shoes... but if we change our minds we could walk to Balthazar. I love it there. It happens to be a great place to eat at the bar by yourself. They have a tradition of bringing you a glass of champagne if you are dining alone. Even better with a date.
Sid: And then we’ll head back to the Marlton, maybe have a night cap and a nibble of chocolate that I picked up at Duane Reade and call it a day.
Ann: A great day.