Shades of Sunday Morning
You know those mornings when you wake up in the dark of the early hours, can't get back to sleep but not sure what to do next? Then there are those days you think wouldn't it be lovely to get out and explore the city, the woods, the moors whatever, before the full light of day hits to bring everyone out? Normally I avoid Fifth Avenue and Times Square but a recent Sunday morning grabbed me by the hand and took me wondering - no set agenda, no particular destination and without the crowds you can find yourself in Times Square before you know it. One of my earliest memories of New York is the fun I had exploring through the racks and racks of CD's (wishing they were vinyl but too late . . .) and sheet music at Colony Records - for all your Karaoke, Sheet Music and Broadway needs! It was the closest I was ever going to get to smelling the grease paint and the saw dust of all the backstage drama etc. Plus, sitting on that corner of 49th and Broadway it was right next door to the Brill Building, that hit factory which churned out the soundtrack for teenagers in love everywhere. One of the men who worked there, pale complexion, smooth dark hair and spectacles thick of glass and heavy of frame, was always my favourite go-to for my queries. He didn't just know where the Julie London hits were buried, he "adored Julie. She was just so beautiful . . ." he said, with almost tears in his eyes. Then there was the time I was after a recording of Yvonne de Carlo singing "I'm Still Here" from Stephen Sondheim's Follies. "Oh my God," he took down his heavy eyeglasses to wipe away a tear or two, "she's such an incredible woman, and how she cared for her husband." It was such a sad shock to discover that Colony Records went out of business and closed its doors. The landlord hiked the rent all the way from $1 million to a reported $5 million. Per month. No longer still here. But where has it all gone? The famed motto, "I found it at the Colony" has gone the way of the music business and will eventually be liquidated on the internet. I felt bad and I felt sad about Colony Records, and Larry Hagman who will forever be Major Anthony to me, as I wondered down lonely Broadway but then I ran into the only other person on the block, my first encounter of the day. Tim Gunn! I asked, ever so kindly, if I could take his photo. "Of course," he replied, "can you take one of us together?" I screamed inside, noooooo, please don't make me do that and please, no offense to bag ladies everywhere but I was looking like the best/worst of them and besides, gay men at make-up counters are always ticking me off for not exfoliating enough. So I fudged it and told him I didn't have the technical expertise, as in "I don't know how . . ." He thanked me for taking his photo, as indeed I thanked him for the privilege. He then held out his hand and introduced himself. "My name is Tim." What an absolute gentleman. . . and the reason for his very early Sunday dapperness was that he was on his way to the studio where they were taping the show, Project Runway. Please, I thought, take me with you. I'll do anything, iron costumes, sweep the floors, turn out the lights . . . But then we parted ways, he to the studio while I made my way to the Chelsea Hotel down on 23rd St for coffee and a donut/doughnut. It was by no means the end of the morning but more of that later. I needed a break before the next chapter came out of nowhere and hit me on the streets!
ooh you met Tim Gunn!! Lucky.
(I had some explaining to do to Mr Kuche, he kept asking “Who . . .?”)
Mr Kuche, the philistine… (don’t tell him I said that)
Mr Kuche will never know, believe me!
Lol!! Your city scenes always make me laugh!
Derrick, I’m not sure this is a good thing . . .
Oh, it’s good! I would have liked to see your bag lady impression!
Thank you for clearing that up Derrick. As for my bag lady impression, well, I prefer to maintain the mystique on that one except to say I looked lucky enough to have found a decent camera to have some fun with!
Ha! Love it!
And, I was grousing Sunday morning because I thought it was cold here in LA… Love your dose of East Coast reality, garnished with Tim Gunn magic!
And we all know how far a little magic takes us, don’t we . . .?
(Can’t wait to hear ALL about your recent Sunday adventures at the Oscars!)
If Mr. Kuche grouses tell him that you’re spreading the real New York to the rest of the country. Writing would be nice but a picture takes the viewer right on the spot. Love the post.
I can only apologise profusely and beg for forgiveness when Mr Kuche does grouse (I know my place!) but I shall be sure to give him your message for which I am so grateful, thank you Tom and happy you are enjoying the NY love!
And not only to the rest of the country, but to the world! Yours, in extremity, Gaynor. xx
i really have to visit new york one day… thanks for your stories!
Yes Olive, you must!
thanks for sharing your adventure Trish – win the morning & claim the day – Rod
Thanks Rod, my pleasure to share – even if it was a short-lived victory!
Wonderful post and pics. Thank you!
My thanks to you Gaynor, you who were there with me in spirit!
Great pictures, great story. And I’m a Julie London fan too.
Isn’t she just the best – a song for every mood and more!
I may have squeeeed when I got to the Tim Gunn photo. Brilliant!
I used to love the long, early-morning walks through Manhattan with my dog when it was still quiet out except for the other people with their dogs. It gives you a chance to really take a look at the city. You captured some beautiful moments!
Alison, I feel your squeeeee!
It must be so different, yet so beautiful, walking the streets of Utrecht!
I thought from the pictures, of Audrey wandering NYC in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s so fun to explore with no one around…except for Tim Gunn of course, he can stay.
Thank you Mae for reminding me of Audrey!
Fantastic shots, Patti! I have to admit I had to google Tim Gunn – very cool!
Isn’t he just so cool, plus he has one of the dreamiest voices (definitely worth a visit to youtube).
My short sample survey here confirms my suspicion that the world is very clearly divided between the devoted and the clueless when it comes to Tim Gunn. Not that’s there anything wrong with that!
Love the moody, early morn mist rising in the canyon. Would love to see that scene in early summer. The last gentleman has a “you’ve made my day” smile. Great shots, Patti! I do marvel at your work!
Summer seems so far away Annie! As for the charming Mr Gunn, that he spread so much sunshine so early on a Sunday morning made me feel so good, yet so feeble . . . !
I like your lyrical Manhattan reports so much!
That is so good to hear, thank you indeed Frizz! I sometimes think I talk too much . . .
So I was doing my usual, ‘Oh, that’s cool… nice… I like that…’ as I was scrolling through your photos, and then, ‘IS THAT… TIM GUNN?!’ How awesome! And how nice he sounds! Although it’s still is a bit of a nightmare of mine to see him somewhere, because I can’t even spell fashion (without a spell-checker, anyway)! Hmm… which plain black t-shirt should I wear today?!
Oh my daze, the daily drama and trauma as to which black t-shirt to wear, with which pair of jeans . . . .
Because I share your nightmare, I considered most seriously whether or not I should just keep my head down and keep walking past the most stylish Mr Gunn but then I thought no, it’s not about me (!) go for it, plus we were the only two on the street at that time and how lovely to be given a fresh reminder as to the generosity of simple good manners which he had in spades!
Seriously impressed SiG at how well you know your onions!
Is that what happens when you get out and about early in the morning …. you meet television stars???
Expect the unexpected!
The early bird catches — not just the worm — but the best of photo ops.
#3 and #4 especially are fabulous, examples of your terrific layering principles!
(Oh, tell Mr. Kuche he and I can hang out together, I never heard of Tim Gunn either.)
Thank you so much Judith! There were so many different layers to this day, how to put any of it together? And this was before I went anywhere near downtown for the next surprise!
I would pass your message on to Mr Kuche but I am quite confident that he will have forgotten any previous conversation concerning Mr Gunn and then it will be back to the drawing board of “Who. . . ?” all over again. I only have so much strength and energy! 🙂
You should youtube Mr Gunn. Love to know what you think!
I’m sure Tim Gunn is a charming man, and he has a wonderful smile for you (that gets good marks in my book!).
But after watching a couple of youtubes, including a fun mashup, what I’ve concluded is that he is parody proof. He gets there first. Somehow he puts me in mind of a male whats-her-name, the Vogue editor, Vreeland? in The September Issue. But his imperiousness and ego is MUCH easier to take.
Fashion is definitely important, both as an industry, and as an art expression. There was a show at the Met a few years back that I actually got to, and it was fabulous.
I have to tell you this, though, I never even coulda been a contendah. It’s a talent and a gift and a vocation.
(Hope this Dog isn’t too sharp-tongued — a Zodiac hazard for us all?)
I’ll put my hand up and admit that I have no idea who Tim Gunn is – in fact I wouldn’t know a ‘Celebrity’ were one to walk up to me and say hello. I guess I spend too much time not watching TV 😉
I loved your sad tale of Colony Records – so many pieces of ‘us’ are lost in that way. Excellent shots as always 🙂
what a delightful adventure!
enjoyed these stories. good for you to go for the photo op with Tim Gunn!
thanks for sharing.
MR. GUNN! Good for you, Patti!
Great photo essay.