Day of Golightly


Well, when I get it [a case of the mean reds], the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany's. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that'd make me feel like Tiffany's, then - then I'd buy some furniture and give the cat a name! 


As some of you know, I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's for the first time last month and completely adored it. (For fun, check out the original 1961 New York Times  review of the movie.) I relate to Holly Golightly on some levels, and Brock reminds me so much of Paul Varjak (he even sort of looks  like him!). As soon as I found out we were heading to New York, I knew I had to personally recreate the opening scene of the movie.

I wasn't quite  up for going all-out on this: Ms. Golightly arrives at Tiffany's at 5AM, just as the sun is coming up. For me, that would've entailed waking up at 3:30 (half-hour to get ready, hour to catch the PATH over to Manhattan and metro up to Fifth Avenue). I did, however, wear a black dress. And pearls. It was a terribly overcast and gloomy day and so we decided to forgo picture-taking, which means we'll just have to go back this  weekend and do it all over again. I'm not complaining--any chance I get to channel Audrey Hepburn, I'll take!

We went inside to browse, but what kind of Audrey Hepburn channeler would I be if I wasn't spontaneous? I took off my wedding ring and asked a saleswoman where the engagement rings were. Second floor. Brock removed his wedding band in the elevator, and we spent the next half-hour with a wonderful saleswoman named Catherine who helped us find the perfect  ring.

A 1.75-carat round diamond in an 18K yellow gold setting. The cut and quality of Tiffany diamonds are simply breathtaking--I've never seen anything sparkle so much.

Catherine sat us down and showed us all sorts of different options. A waiter offered us champagne. Instead, we sipped crisp water as Catherine talked us through varying degrees of clarity, color, and financing. Luckily for my dear fiancee, I just couldn't take my eyes off the one above--which, at $23,000--happened to be the least expensive of the lot! Well below what we told Catherine we'd budgeted for ($30,000-$35,000).

In the end, we asked if we could go discuss things over lunch. And with that, the act was over. It was fun to pretend and to be doted on. I feel badly that we led sweet Catherine on--if any of you are ever in the market for a Tiffany diamond, go to her!--but I'm pretty sure we had her fooled. We were both dressed nicely, spoke maturely, and in the era of internet millionaires and trust fund babies, who's to say that two twenty-somethings can't afford a $35,000 engagement ring?

Well, these two certainly can't. Instead, Brock swiped the napkin that his water glass had been laid on :)

Our day was only going to get better. By the time we left Tiffany & Co. we were famished,  so we popped into the first restaurant that looked appealing and reasonably priced.

It felt like stepping into an episode of "Mad Men." Counter service, waiters in white jackets, the Beach Boys playing in the background. Minus the Uggs boots on the girl across the room from me, I'd've guessed Eisenhower was still president.

Every patron was a local, and I'm fairly certain that most employees had been working there since before I was born. Our waiter was a tall, older man named Rick. He spoke with a quintessential New York accent with quintessential New York confidence to boot. In between water refills, he regaled us with tales of when he met  the Beach Boys, and when he wasn't doing that, he puttered around near the counter singing along outloud with each song that played.

The employees had great camaraderie, every person a character. I'm surprised TLC hasn't made a reality show out of them yet. As far as greasy spoon diners go, Prime Burger was the best I've ever been to. Great people, great atmosphere, and, of course, great food. In-N-Out burgers are the ugly step-sisters of the burger Brock ordered, and the French toast I ate was done right. (Trust me. I am a French toast connoisseur.) I think that's what I liked about Prime Burger--no frills, just simple food done right.

Our self-proclaimed Day of Golightly was far from over, however. Our next stop was Park Avenue at 52nd Street, which is where this scene takes place:

Again, photos coming later ;)

On our way there, we passed a sign on the street that read "SPECIAL: PALM READINGS $5" Normally I'm not one to be into psychic mumbo-jumbo, but today  I was Holly Golightly. And if anyone would jump at the chance for a $5 palm reading, it would be her. We rang the psychic on the intercom and she buzzed us up.

Her name was Valerie, and the space she worked in a was a residential apartment, but she'd set aside a room for her work. It was dimly lit. A crystal ball lay on the table next to a stack of Tarot cards; a large poster of the chakras hung on the wall to my right. Various other mystical bric-a-brac adorned the room. Brock left the room (palm readings are meant to be private, apparently) and I opened my right palm for Valerie.

She told me I have a long life-line--I'll live to be 91 or 92 years old.  She said I am very kind-hearted, but have a hot temper (ding! nailed it).

"Have you ever thought about owning your own business?" she asked.

"No, why?

"Because you're very bossy. You would be good at it."

Alright, so far this girl was spot-on, so I began listening more intently. 

"Do you have children?"

"No, not yet."

"You're going to have three. Two boys and one girl. This is the year for you to have kids."


"Yes. You'll find out you're pregnant in July, maybe August."


"You have a black aura."

"A what?

"A black aura."

That didn't sound good. "What does that mean?"

"Somebody is very jealous of you, and their negative energy is hurting you. It's making your aura black, preventing you from achieving your full potential. Without this negative energy, you would have the job you're supposed to have right now. Do you know of anybody who could be jealous of you? Somebody who wants your marriage to fail?"

Wellll, I couldn't necessarily think of anybody hoping for the latter (IF YOU ARE, STOP IT) but I'm pretty sure EVERY PERSON IN AMERICA would be jealous of me right now. Living in the city rent-free, unemployed, just bumming around and exploring all day. Um, yeah. I'm sure one or two people are jealous about that.

"You are not happy. No matter what you have, no matter how reasons you have to be happy, you still feel a hole inside of you."

This is not true. I am happy. (Confused sometimes, and trying to figure my life out a little, but definitely  happy.) Despite the inner recoil I felt when she told me that, I played along and acknowledged her.

"You are also a little psychic yourself."

My entire body ticked backward as I raised an eyebrow. "What?"

"Not like me. You can't read Tarot cards or anything. But you read people very well. You know when they're lying to your face. You know their true intentions."

Considered yourselves warned, guys. I'm watching you. Allllllllways watching.

Anyway, that was just about all the information my $5 bought me. Naturally, Valerie tried to sell me on $100 worth of services and potions to cleanse my black aura. Come to think of it, I wouldn't be surprised if everybody who walks in there has black auras--psychics gotta stay in business, you know ;)

WOW, this is turning into a marathon post. You guys still with me? Here. Let's take five. Run to the bathroom if you need to and grab a snack.


Annnnnd we're back!

The next stop on our Day of Golightly was the New York Public Library.

Aside from being an essential part of any Golightly tour, it was a great way to get out of the cold and rest our feet. We sat in the main reading room for about twenty minutes or so--Brock passing time with a book while I literally stared at the walls. This would be dreadfully boring in just about any other location, but here? 

No. Not here.

Beaux Arts perfection. I can't choose a favorite between this and Grand Central Station.

Next on our agenda was 169 East 71st Street at Lexington Avenue. The sun had come out a little bit by this point, so I do  have a picture for you.

Holly's apartment! A local woman passing by told us that it had been on the market recently, eventually selling for a cool $15 million.

As if we hadn't done enough that day, we walked across Central Park on our way to the Museum of Natural History. This museum has nothing to do with Breakfast at Tiffany's, but I've always wanted to go and Brock can get free tickets through work.

A beautiful collection of jade in the gems exhibit (I have always loved how beautifully Asian artisans work with jade); the 563-carat Star of India, the world's largest sapphire; Brock in front of his favorite dinosaur, the Allosaurus (Tyrannosaurus is such a poseur); the giant Barosaurus in the museum's rotunda; amazing display at the African mammals exhibit.

The most impressive thing about the Museum of Natural History--aside from the sheer quantity of stuff--is how beautifully all the animal exhibits are done. Everything looks so authentic! I think they should rename it to the Museum of Taxidermy, but I may be alone on that. It was terribly crowded in the museum (Saturday, duh), so we breezed through the highlights and called it good.

Finally, and I mean finally,  we ended the day with the Hunger Games  at a theater near our apartment in Jersey. Needless to say, we collapsed on our bed that night. Good thing, too, because I wasn't about to ease up the pace on Sunday ;)


Wow, reading over that post gives me a new appreciation for Brock. Can you believe he did all this on his day off?!  No rest for the wicked, baby. Or, apparently, for husbands who indulge their wife's need to see EVERYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.


  1. Thank you for such a lovely (I channel Holly too) tribute to my hometown. My daughter Lexi sent me your post and it has brightened my day! She has listened to my pinIng for New York, New Yorkers, New York food, people, noise etc for her whole life. I grew up on 9th Ave and 55th St, played in Central Park (they even had a nursery school at the playground in 1964) and lived in constant awe of the vibrancy and magic of NYC. Enjoy your time there (although New jersey doesn't give you the special feeling you get when walkIng on CPW late at night, with your grandma and her dog, to get milk and talking about nothIng) and post more! I will be there in June (in the city) maybe a tour of real ny is in order. Thanks again for a great post! Susan Clark

  2. Oh, you and the things you do! Hope you enjoyed it all! And YES: you have an amazing Brock.


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