Out of my element

The Belly is going on location. I’m heading to NYC tomorrow with my bestie, the Fabulous Miss Y. She invited me to be her Valentine in the Big City, and we’ll try to refrain from meeting on top of the Empire State Building like they do in those cheesy rom-coms. We’ll see a show, eat some great food, shop, and peep into the store windows. I’ve reserved a spot to tour the 9/11 Memorial, which seems like a great idea and came highly recommended by my sherpa Amy, but as it becomes more of a reality, I’m anxious. While it’s important to never forget and to honor the innocent victims, I’m nervous about confronting the emotions contained within that event. I envision myself gritting my teeth and looking with one eye squeezed shut, then rushing out of there while thinking happy thoughts.

I’m also anxious about the weather. I am not a cold-weather girl. My blood is thinned from living in South Texas, and temps below 50 make me nervous. The weather forecast for NYC this weekend? Cold. Really, really cold. Maybe even some snow. Luckily we dodged the wrath of Nemo. The idea of that much snow gives me the vapors. I’ve got a wool coat, purchased in North Carolina and used maybe once since returning to the great state of Texas. I have a hat that’s cute more than warm: kinda crocheted-looking with decorative gaps in between stitches. I have a pair of hot pink gloves, which I will be shocked if I manage to keep together in a pair all weekend long. I have several scarves, again more decorative than useful. I’ve never fancied spending money on cold-weather gear; there literally are some “winters” in which we need nothing more than a windbreaker. But now I’m being called up to the big leagues, where real weather exists.



I’m nervous.

I’m also rather uneducated about this. I get the concept of layers. But what I’m not sure of is the logistics. I’ll get all bundled up in layers, maybe even a sweater under my coat, and cover any remaining exposed skin with my flimsy, holey hat, gloves, and scarf, and hit the streets. But what do I do with all that clobber once I arrive at my destination? I don’t envision myself strolling the MOMA all bundled up, but what becomes of the cold-weather gear once I’m toasty warm and out of the elements? Do y’all walk around holding big heaps of protective clothing? Do you carry a small bag in which to stuff your coat? I know the trick of stashing hat & gloves in the coat pockets and shoving the scarf into a coat sleeve, but then what? Shopping while holding a heaping coat stuffed with accessories seems like a drag. And when I sit down in a restaurant, do I fold my coat up and put it on an empty chair? Hanging it on the back of my chair seems gauche and rife with opportunity for a passing waiter to spill something. Keeping up with all that winter gear seems complicated enough; wearing a coat that smells of spilled soup is too much.


I’m a little out of my element here.



16 Comments on “Out of my element”

  1. Scorchy says:

    From a NYer: Dress warm, but don’t overdress–when you go in and out of stores, places you’ll overheat and the you’ll overchill. Bring a hat or earmuffs, and warm gloves and shoes and you’ll be fine. Oh, and lots of tissues–for your runny nose. Sit on your coat, lots of places have hooks (but sit on your coat–bed bugs). My friend, you are a tourist and there is no hiding it! Revel in it! AND ENJOY YOUR DAY!! Wheeeeeee! 🙂

  2. gozzygirl says:

    Your post made this Canadian laugh. Dress not just for the weather but for what you’re going to do. You need to dress warmer if you’re waiting outside than if you’re walking. So, if you want to go up the Empire State Building, time your vis it with shorter lines. And most museums and restaurants have coat check rooms so you won’t have to carry your outdoor gear around.

    But embrace the cold and hope for a hot flash to warm you up if you do get cold! Enjoy the big apple!

  3. billgncs says:

    a camisole, a light sweater, then a jacket. Add some gloves and a stylish scarf and you are golden. Enjoy your trip.

  4. How exciting. Have a wonderful time!

  5. leia in la la land says:

    We were at the MOMA last year and although it wasn’t all that cold I think they may have a coat check. Have a great time!

  6. Christy says:

    Just reading this stresses me out. You know how much I hate to pack! Have a blast!!!!

  7. I know you will have a good time; it’s just getting your mind to agree. I completely relate to your aversion to cold weather. Oh but what wonderful sights you will see (sounds like Dr. Seuss). xox

  8. mmr says:

    Do us proud in the Big Apple, Sister Texas Gal, and have lots of fun. I think you should wear some rodeo boots and fringe and own it. Totally kidding. Bright side thought that only a few of us know about: no headlights in the cold!

  9. Look for the coat racks…and if someone says they have some Coach bags to sell you but they’re in a back room of a pawn shop…don’t believe them.

  10. I am so charmed by your consideration for the cold climate. It has me smiling. (Mind you, I wouldn’t know how to handle the hot-hot-heat of Texas!) But don’t worry too much about carrying your stuff around – many places have lockers if you ask after them – bring some quarters too. And just in case, bring a purse that can hold your hat/mitts/scarf.

    Most importantly, HAVE FUN!! 🙂

  11. Two words: Big Bag. The big tote bag that serves as one of the carry on pieces on the plane….

    HAVE tons of fun. So much to see and it sounds like your friend has it all planned. The observation deck at the ESB is open til 2AM. You MUST go up….. cheesy or not! The 9/11 memorial may bring a tear to your eye. Lots of lower Manhattan is still not inhabited from “Sandy” ….. Some businesses still operating out of temp office space…. Residents still displaced. I don’t know how extensive it is, just that it’s ongoing. My running around NY is generally in the high streets. Museum row on the west side… Hospital row on the east side…..

    I’m sure your friend will have plenty of spare cold weather accessories and will show you the ropes about dressing properly.

    I love that you are doing V Day with your bestie…. I think that’s extra special!


  12. i have one word for you – CASHMERE. it’s not itchy, breathes and you don’t need layers. pants and a sweater, you’ll be good to go. oh, and what anne marie said – BIG bag!

    what a fabulous time you will have, celebrating with your bestie. what i wouldn’t give… can’t wait for the post to tell all about it.

    love, XOXO,

    karen, TC

  13. Barb Fernald says:

    You have really smart friends! All the advice I was thinking has already been mentioned. Coat check at museums. Carry a big tote. Cashmere. Well timed hot flashes. A coat on the back of a chair doesn’t get in the way too much, but beware hanging your big tote bag on the chair. I had a friend whose bag was stolen that way in NYC and she’s someone who has lived many times in the city.
    I’m sure you will have a fabulous time. NYC is so much fun!

  14. […] has a special Valentine’s wish this year.  Elaine is still writing her haiku each day; The Pink Underbelly is off on an adventure in NYC,  and there are exciting developments going on in Kim’s […]

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