Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Friday

Yesterday was my first official Summer Friday -- hands in the air for the Friday dance!

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Do you know about the wonder that is Summer Friday? It goes like this: in an effort to help employees get a head start on weekend plans (i.e. drive out to the Hamptons), companies allow employees to leave the office early. Every company has a slightly different arrangement, but ours is pretty simple. We can leave at 3pm, provided our work is done. There has to be someone in each department who stays the full day to provide coverage, but for me that means I only have to stay every 3rd or 4th Friday. Not bad!

I had hoped to use this time to meet up with a friend for a drink (feel like I've been so out of the loop with my girlfriends lately), but everyone was either working or, in fact, headed out of town this afternoon. I decided to spend the afternoon focused on two things I love: shopping and eating!

This will be boring for non-NYers, but there is a section of the UWS (my old hood) that has become a bit of haven for shiny new retail establishments, particularly big-box stores not typically found in Manhattan. A rash of condo development paved the way as huge new ground floor locations offered space normally not found in the city. This area (Columbus btw 96th and 100th) is a little out of the way, but I'd been wanting to check it out, particularly because of the recent opening of Manhattan's first HomeGoods.

You love HomeGoods as much as I do, right? I am actually a fairly recent convert, but I am making up for lost time. It is not unusual for me to be pushing two carts loaded with goodies.

A massive thunderstorm kind of put a damper on my outing (I'd go in a store while the sun was out, come out and be pelted by apocalyptic hail), but I eventually made it to my primary destination.

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First thought: kinda small.

NYC stores are always a little weird. With so little space, they are often ridiculously cramped or spread out on multiple tiny floors. The upper level of this store was almost like a boutique. I've been in bigger GAP stores. But luckily I spotted an escalator, which I learned led to a much bigger lower level.

UWS Home Goods is Nate approved!
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For my first experience, I would give this store a 'B'. Didn't have the selection of goods as the suburban locations, and certainly not in the same quantities...but I managed to find a couple of must-haves for my cart:

This is my favorite -- spotted it from 50 paces away and made a beeline for it. I would have bought more if they had them!

My new accessories are in place in my place and they look great. Maybe I'll do a little house tour soon (I do have a little house!).

My second stop this afternoon was Whole Foods. I love me some Whole Foods, but I don't shop there much anymore (Trader Joe's is two blocks away and much more wallet-friendly). I really wanted to check out this new store, so I decided to splurge on some of my WF faves.

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When it comes to Whole Foods, I am a sucker for the prepared foods. I went right for the chicken salad and bought a couple of mini whole grain rolls to put it on. I don't know why, but this is one of my favorite comfort dinners. Apparently when I kick back, I like pretend I'm at a baby shower.

Too lazy to get out the big camera. Not a food blogger, clearly.
I picked up a few other goodies like roast turkey, potatoes, and pita chips. I also grabbed a WF granola bar in the bakery section -- just like homemade and SO good (no pic because I nom nom nom'd it right away) and headed to the check out.

And then I remembered why I don't shop at Whole Foods a lot.

$35 for a half-full bag. I think I'll stick with my friend Trader Joe for my regular shopping trips. Congrats though, UWS: your Whole Foods is lovely!

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I managed to get back to Brooklyn as the crazy weather started to subside. I came home and found this photo on Twitter:

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Friday night with some good grub and a good pup. Indeed, there's no place like home.


  1. In Spain - Summer Fridays are just the same! 3 PM is the absolute latest I think you will find anyone working in this country. What I wouldn't give to spend my Friday afternoon at WF or TJ's. Buy cheap organic stuff for me, ok? :)

  2. Yay for Summer Fridays in Spain! Good thing, too...I'm sure it takes the Spaniards a LONG time to get to the Hamptons! ;)

    And I promise, I shall not take my proximity to WF/TJ for granted. Actually headed out to engage my neighbors in a little hand-to-hand combat over organic bananas right now!