Readers, as a born-and-bred New Yorker, I'm not easily startled, but being within 100 yards of the fatal shooting by police of a knife-wielding maniac while en route to Mood Fabrics yesterday was certainly out of the ordinary.
Fortunately not even gunfire could dampen the spirits of our intrepid group of gregarious go-getters at yesterday's second annual MPB Day event. What fun we had! Nobody took a bullet and it never did rain.
The day began at 9:30 am, when I met Teri, Sandra, Harriet, Marty, and Linda at the Chelsea flea market on 25th Street.
|Teri, Sandra, Harriet, Marty, and Linda|
Braving humidity that frizzed our hair but kept us looking dewy, we uncovered fabulous vintage collectibles, among them this Singer metal wastepaper basket (no takers at $25).
Yet another vintage feather wig, this time in stunning chartreuse!
Foam board-mounted Polyester poster autographed by John Waters!
|Teri, Peter, and Linda|
At 11 am, we all assembled at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum and Clean Restrooms, where we introduced ourselves, voided our bladders, and caught the delightful Fashion, A-Z exhibit. I had seen this free exhibit a number of times before, so I was able to concentrate on keeping people from taking photographs, leaning in too close to the mannequins (triggering the alarm system), and fingering the stiff taffeta ruching on the Charles James gown on display.
Next, we headed around the block to the delightful Brown Cup cafe, where we met a few late arrivals (among them Michael and birthday girl Marie) and fortified ourselves for the challenges ahead.
|Lisa and Michael|
After lunch it was time to hit the fabric stores. A special thanks to Nancy and Cindy for leading a high-end fabric store group to Mood, while I, the Pied Piper of Payless, escorted the bargain hunters up to such 39th Street favorites as Chic Fabrics, Fabrics for Less, and Paron's.
|Aimee and Donna|
From 39th St., we walked south to the new Around the World Magazine Shop and Bookstore (148 West 37th St), which offers an astonishingly wide selection of international fashion magazines and books.
My now fast-wilting group decided to hit Mood (225 West 37th St.) just as a symphony of bullets, sirens, and general pandemonium broke out behind us. I never felt happier to be safe inside a fabric store -- and not just any fabric store, but three floors of fabric fabulosity -- toile for days and so much more!
Next we headed to the Kinokuniya bookstore cafe (41st & 6th Ave.), zigzagging through blocked-off streets, police tape, squad cars, ambulances, and gawking mobs. It was time for a cool beverage!
The high-end and low(er)-end groups now reassembled in the southwest corner of Bryant Park, where we sipped frappes, provided on-site counseling to the traumatized, and showed off our fabric and notion purchases. Before we knew it, it was time for hugs and good-byes.
|Helen displays her purchases.|
I think this was most successful MPB Day yet, readers. I was delighted to see so many new faces, though we did have repeaters from last year as well -- primarily former attendees who, due to poor performance, were asked to attend MPB Day again this year. While nearly all participants were promoted this time around, I am sad to report that neither Cindy nor Aussie Mike performed as hoped, and both will be asked to attend MPB Day again next summer. Poor Cindy: this will be her third and final attempt.
And so, readers, another MPB Day goes down in history. I hope our ripped-from-the-headlines crime adventure won't keep anyone from attending next year (already scheduled for Saturday, August 10th). Shoot-outs in the Garment District are rare occurrences, and usually limited to the staff of It's a Material World (257 West 39th St.).
In closing, I'd like to thank all my new best friends: Jen, Ericka, Sharelle, Kanisa, Melissa, Johanna, Helen, Suzanne, Gina, Aimee, Randi, Marty, Teri, Nicole, Roberta, Claudine, Nancy, Jeanne, Kathy, Kelsey, Harriet (and Clay), Sandra, Lisa, Donna, Antoinette, Kyle, Marie, Joanne, Mike, Cindy, and Linda (did I miss anyone?) You guys are the best!
You can see more photos of all the festivities -- and drama -- here.
Have a great day, everybody!
UPDATE: You can read about Marie's experience on her blog, Knitted Gems, here. And Kyle's on her blog, Vacuuming the Lawn, here! Linda tells her side of the story here.