May 10, 2008


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We had the best time! Left Friday at 6 am. First flight for Assistant. They tried three times to let the landing gear down while they circled and circled and circled! Oi. Thank God, the third time was the charm. Dot talked Assistant through it very calmly.
I kept trying to remember the whole Act of Contrition! Decided, "Jesus have mercy and forgive me" was enough. Fear can be so cleansing! lol
We arrived at LaGuardia about noon. Were picked up by the best transport service ever. We gratefully inhaled the bottles of Smart Water in the Escalade.
We stayed at Milford Plaza on 8th and 43rd (ish). Around the corner was the Minskoff Theatre where we would see LION KING Saturday night. Across the street was Carmines. We ate there Friday night after getting our hair done at the Minardi Salon on 61st and Madison Ave.
Talking to Carmine Minardi was one of the highlights of the trip for me. He really is a southern gentleman in a northern body. I would love to work at his friendly and highly professional salon. His staff is amazing. We only got a glimpse of the famous Beth Minardi as she dashed through the salon between appointments. She is truly one of the great hair colorists of our time. I hopefully will get to mentor under her within the next year. She does a one on one mentorship, Tues through Fri.
After getting our hair done, we went to Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral. It is is beautiful, majestic. The Mass was very simple. Honestly, I miss my own parish. Haven't been for three weeks with my travels. I was touched that all three of the girls attended Mass with me.
After, we zoomed over to H and M for some crazed shopping. I say that because it is so packed and forget a fitting room! I bought a great jacket that Jade found for me, two scarves and a bracelet and earrings. It was getting cold, so the jacket was comforting!
Carmine's was a blast. We shared a bottle of admittedly wonderful wine. I tend to just order house to save money. Dot insisted on this French wine. Ah, she was right. Of course we made friends with a couple tables of people around us. Hence the foursome photo (with Jade holding the treasured bottle)!
Saturday was shopping day. Breakfast at the Brooklyn Diner, back to St Patrick's gift shop, and stopped into Sax. Dot tried on the most woohoo hat ever. Darn that it was $500!! We drooled over the shoes on the eighth floor, then on to Canal Street so Assistant could experience buying PURSES!! We had many fun adventures. Jade got one purse, I found four, Assistant bought two and Dot never could find the purfect match.
With a start, Jade announced it was 6:00. We flew on the subway back to our rooms to prepare for the theatre. Even though many are going more and more casual, we wanted to honor all that talent and production by dressing to the nines! That we did. And the usher thanked us for looking so glammy!
We were seated in the center of the first row in the balcony. With no one to ask, we began taking our own picture! We snapped about four when the Camera Nazi stomped over to us and screeched for us to HALT or she would shoot!!! We did not know it was a federal offence, punishable by death, to take our own photo. It was rather funny.
LION KING is a must see. We were a mountain of goose-bumps.
Sunday we went to Westway Diner for breakfast. We then split to attend the Beth and Carmine Minardi BEAUTY FOCUS class and Dot went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Our class was extremely inspiring both in technique and in professionalism. We learned that much of what we have been practicing has truly been hitting the mark, but definitely had the barre raised.
My direction of attempting a luxury atmosphere and service is where the industry is heading. They predict that only the low budget and the high end salons will survive and thrive during this rocky economy. I learned after Hurricane Ivan that women really need the salon to have some sense of normalcy.
Sunday night we journeyed on the subway to Chinatown, then walked to Little Italy (what an abrupt change in atmosphere) to dine at La Mela. By far, it was the best experience of the trip. La Mela is a very small restaurant with very personal service. The atmosphere is calm and homey in the Italian sense. The chemistry between the four of us was perfect. We all shared our hearts and left feeling deeply bonded.
We took a cab home and set our clocks for 4:00 am. The alarm went off way too early for our bodies, but we had committed to being in the studio audience of Good Morning America. We staggered to slap on some glamour and made our way through the very cold and rainy morning to stand in line outside GMA til 6:15.
Lovely time to forget my umbrella. So here I am, a relatively accomplished stylist, about to be on national TV with frizzily, frazzily unkempt looking hair! Maybe that is why the cameras cut me from every shot! Sam Champion, the weatherman, was so friendly. He came over and spoke to all of us.
I could hardly see him, because I was still dizzy from my close encounter with Patrick Demsey, who had ambled over about eight feet in front of me, to stop, look straight into my eyes and say, "Hi."
I gulped and hope something intelligible came out of my mouth. Assistant attested to every client this week that "he singled Hattigrace out, only speaking to her!!". Patrick Demsey kindly posed with many for photos. I, of course, never regained my composure to request a photo, not to mention my pride over how wretched my hair looked!
After GMA, we were asked to be guests on the show GMA Now, an internet show. We hopped into the biggest elevator I have ever seen, walked into the green room to be briefed on our part in the Laughter Yoga piece (!!!). While waiting I looked up to see Brooke Parkhurst walk in with a red Kentucky Derby hat on! How small is this world that I would run into the sister of my friend and client in a NYC TV studio?!!
After our TV debut, we did a bit of shopping for gifts, ate lunch, packed up our room and began, sadly enough, to leave the City.
TT had texted me "Watch out NYC, the real Fantastic Four have arrived!" It was a fantastic trip.


The Manic Street Preacher said...

That sounds - to use the US vernacular - awesome!!!

Glad yer had a good time babe.

Camera Nazi? So many cctv's over here they could hardly stop you takin' a pic anywhere lately.

Love n hugs n ta to you n TT for bein my pals xx

Gardenia said...

What a wonderful, wonderful trip that must have been. So many doors opened up to you, and LOL, the heavens too (dumping rain).

Sounds like good company, good to be encouraged in your profession and personally.

Yes, the salons are a place to go for comfort, to feel better, not for a quick who knows what always have that elegance around you that speaks, "You are important."

D.T. said...

WOW! That sounds like a blast! OMG Ms. Hatti Grace...I'm so happy you had fun! I might venture off to New York during the summer, but I'm still not sure. Who knows, though? After reading about your adventurous time, I may just have to go and pay the Big Apple a visit!

Joni said...

Sounds like you had a blast! What wonderful memories you made.

The camera nazi wouldn't let you take your OWN picture of yourselves? How strange is that? Lucky you snapped before they arrived!

Thanks for sharing the pics!

Jada's Gigi said...

What a delious trip! How wonderful and what memories to go with the pics!

Anonymous said...

Haven't read your blog in ages. So glad to hear your trip was wonderful. I miss NYC/Brooklyn ... far more than I expected to!