From Someone Else’s House in New York!

Good morning, girls!  You know how it is when you are staying in someone else’s house and it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you’re dying for a cup of tea?  Maybe you turn on your computer and put on some good wake-up music first . . .

We are staying with friends in their beautiful five-story brownstone on the upper east side of New York City.  I’m not familiar with the inside of many Manhattan brownstones, but from the outside you can see they are all rather vertically designed. In our friend’s house, the kitchen and dining room are on the ground floor; up one steep flight of stairs is a long living room with tall windows at both ends.  The guest room, where we’re staying, is up the next narrow, curving, highly polished set of stairs (slippery to the person carrying a cup of tea!) — our room (I’m never leaving) is a little suite that takes up the whole third floor. Separated from the sleeping area by a large closet,  is a small, cozy sitting room (where I am now). It’s all dark wood, with a mooshey brown velvetish sofa (perfect for a person to read on, has a soft blanket on the back of it), wood floors, a wall of wonderful floor-to-ceiling book shelves filled with books, a beautiful old Oriental rug in faded colors of soft green, camel, and burgundy, a giant TV, and a comfortable armchair.  It is like a cocoon in here.  You wear this room like your favorite sweater; put it on and never want to take it off, perfect to wear over your jammies.

 I took a shower yesterday, in the bathroom off this little snuggy room; came out wrapped in thick white terry towels, my wet hair wrapped up in a towel turban; Joe came up from the kitchen bringing me a plate with thick, crunchy, seedy New York bread with raisins in it, toasted and buttered, along with slices of warm roasted chicken and a cold tangerine.  I sat on the brown velvet sofa, clean from the shower, put the plate on my toweled lap and ate; peeled my tangerine which sent spritzes of juice off into the air. So that’s how the day began.  Deep happy citrus breath.  So quiet here, you would never know you are in the middle of the city that never sleeps.

This was last night.  Yes, we are the kind of tourists who like to stop in the middle of Park Avenue to take pictures with mouth agape, a bit of drool at corners, because it’s just so BEAUTIFUL.  Because of Ellis Island, New York is called “America’s Hometown” — so many of us got our start right here there is historical DNA everywhere you look. We are crossing Park Avenue on our way home; it is positively balmy weather, and we’ve just had an amazing dinner at an amazing restaurant called Tao.

Here’s a photo of Tao from our table . . . it’s in what used to be the stable for the Vanderbilt family in the 1800’s (every building in NY is filled with history) — the photo is a bit out of focus, didn’t want to have anyone looking at me so I didn’t use a flash!  See the huge Buddha at the back?  We are on the second floor, overlooking the first floor dining room.

The food was SO good; we had salty edamame beans to snack on with cocktails; I had a delicious Pad Thai, with rice noodles, chili peppers, lime, garlic, bean sprouts and grilled shrimp; we had coconut ice cream and pineapple sorbet for dessert, and chocolate fortune cookies.  But my favorite (besides people watching and the gorgeous clothes) was the bathroom. First I had to find it . . . down a long stairway, in the middle of a narrow hall; there were two doors to choose from, one on your right, one on your left, across from one another, exactly alike except one door said YIN and the other said YANG. Which door would you go in?  Think about it for a moment.  I was alone, had no one to mull this over with . . . personally, at the time, I felt more like a Yin than a Yang, but I wasn’t about to just go with it. We don’t get out much on the Vineyard, our doors always have SOMETHING to tell you which door is yours.  So I waited in the empty brown hallway, poised to go in, facing the YIN door, waiting for the next woman to come out.  The door opened, I took a small step forward, then quickly stepped back, coming eye to eye with a man who was trying to squeeze past me into the hallway.  “Uh, huh,” I said, “Just what I thought.”  The man laughed and said, “I did the same thing!”  So funny. Nice thing for him to say.  I felt like less of an idiot as I turned and ran into the YANG door!  You can take the girl out of the country . . . I could set my clock by what I think . . . If I think, “go right,” that automatically means I should “go left.”  I’m rather unfailing that way.  I should depend on it more.

I was a whole lot less out of my element here at Tea and Sympathy in Greenwich Village.  So many of you mentioned that we should go here, we had to take your advice . . . whipping through the city streets down to the Village in our cab . . . you were right and it was delicious!  We loved it!  We also loved English bacon when we were in England and haven’t been able to get it since . . . so the bacon sandwich was irresistible to me; Joe had sausage roll, mash, and beans, and the waitress asked him if he was English.  He beamed.  Joe went to school in England for a year when he was twelve, so he is kind of English is what he thinks.  We shared this tender little treacle cake in a puddle of vanilla custard.  The people who worked here were charming and British and sweet, and it felt like home. It’s a tiny little spot, perfect place to take your book or your British Country Living (heavenly magazine which you can get at Barnes and Noble, by the way!) and sit at a table in the window to while away a rainy afternoon.  The gift shop next door was filled with English food and lots of English China, tea pots and cups.  Such a good thing to do in the middle of a busy day!  We highly recommend it!

From there we grabbed a cab down to the Javits Center where we’ve been attending the New York Gift Show the last couple of days. . . looking for new products for my art, things we would love for ourselves, and hope you will like to have too!  Rows and rows of gorgeous things . . .

Thinking, wouldn’t my art look pretty on sheets like this?  We could have them in our web store!

Or on a nice big cup like this?  We found all sorts of fun things . . . from printed aprons and dish towels, to bird feeders they would make to match the arbor in my back yard, to heavy decorated ribbon boxes and packaged herb seeds.

On our way home, we stopped at the New York Public Library because of the rumor that we might be able to see the original toys, the Pooh Bear (Winnie), Tigger, Kanga, Piglet, Eeyore, that A. A. Milne gave his little two year old boy, Christopher Robin.  I wanted to take pictures of them for you.  But they wouldn’t let me.  So I found this one in Google images.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  My mother always says that, and sometimes, it’s true!  They were in a large rectangular glass box, all together, close to each other just like this.  The sweet old toys are a bit worn, but they look loved; definitely loved by me . . .  I have to say, Piglet was my favorite.  You will know which one he is by process of elimination.

This beautiful library is free, open to the public; Virginia Woolf’s handwritten diary was there too, right near Pooh and friends.  See the girls on the steps?  Those are French girls visiting New York . . . I know because they asked Joe to take their picture.  The New York Public Library is just one more reason to be proud of this beautiful city.

He really did love those girls! 🙂

I have to show you a couple of photos of the library!  It’s just too beautiful!

This is the Main Reading Room, computers, books, and researchers . . . all very quiet!

The Gift Shop!  (We brake for gift shops!) I picked up a book called Dancing with Mrs. Dalloway, a book full of stories of the inspirations behind the great works of literature; opened it right to the page about Beatrix Potter where she is illustrating a letter to a child; took it as a sign and now it’s my book!

OK, I have to get going.  Joe just came upstairs, herding me out of the cocoon, toward the shower, bringing me breakfast again . . . I’m pushing my luck, two days in a row!  This time it was that same delicious buttered toast, with a cut-up apple, white cheddar cheese, a tangerine and a slice of ham!  And another cup of tea!  Very lucky girl.  Someday I should tell you about the Princess syndrome the boys were talking about at dinner last night, I think I am seeing it in action…they think it’s smart to treat women like Princesses, and I must say, I could not agree with them more! 


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322 Responses to From Someone Else’s House in New York!

  1. kathy g says:

    I love traveling with you. Thanks for taking us places we’ve not seen there.

  2. Judy Ann from Georgia says:

    I went to the Doctor. He said I had all the symptoms…daily visits to the website…sometimes hourly visits, just for a see if there’s anything new…to get me high! He told me to “get a life.” But I want a life like yours. Can’t help it! I’m hooked! The Doctor told me, “I’m a “Branchaholic.” And there’s no cure! I get high looking at all the pic’s, making the recipes, I even got a new kitten to go with my older cat. Thank God I haven’t started attending any meetings! I just can’t get enough of “Susan Branch” I am a “Branchaholic” Are there any more “Branchaholics” out there like me? Lol… Love You Lots! Thanks for Making Our Lives Richer, Susan!!! Keep it coming…

  3. Karen says:

    Dear Susan,
    I must say that I am enjoying the trip to New York immensely. Your description of your guest suite and the wonderful food that Joe brought you the past couple of days was so perfect that I actually feel as though I am sitting in the room with you! What a wonderful gift you are giving all of your girlfriends! As I sit here at my computer I feel as though I am a thousand miles away on vacation ….simply a treat!! Thank you, my sweet friend!

  4. Nina says:

    O Susan How fabulous! I have always loved the brownstones in New York when we have visited! And the Library looks wonderful! O if only it could talk…..
    I’m sooo glad you and Joe are having a fab time didn’t doubt you wouldn’t for a minute! Thank you for sharing again! xxxx

  5. Pamela Jewett says:

    Hi Susan, et Bon Jour Joe 🙂

    Sigh…..Who is enjoying your vacatioin more? Me or you!!
    Thank you.
    xoxo Pam

  6. Cynthia Nolan says:

    I am enjoying your trip so much. I have never been but it is on my bucket list. I hope to go when this round of chemo ends. I want to say thanks to the girls who posted that they wanted me to win the birdee shakers. It was so sweet to know how much people really do care. Hope you have a great day everyone, it is 70 degrees in SC.

  7. florence rozler says:

    every blog makes me dream,they make me fell like I’m where you are !!!Thanks have a great day.

  8. Laura Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful travelogue with all of us. I am enjoying it so much, wishing I had had time to visit some of the places you did! (We had to shorten our trip to NYC to an overnight trip so that my son wouldn’t get kicked out of his driver’s ed class!!) BUT we did get to go to a concert at Carnegie Hall and wander around on foot for several hours, enjoying the fabulous weather. And we decided to be brave and drive directly into Manhattan, which was scary and exciting at the same time. We also stayed in a friend’s apartment, like you did, with a real doorman and everything. Made us feel like real New Yorkers! Isn’t NYC fun?

  9. Carol Hesch says:

    HI Susan—–Thanks SO much for the lovely story and pictures… I feel like I am on ‘vaca’ (va-kay:) Had lunch with a Girlfriend yesterday and she gave me ‘your’ address book, some note cards and a calendar!! YAY! Isn’t it great when a true Girlfriend knows your heart!!!
    Have fun!!!!!!!!

  10. Nellie says:

    How wonderful to read about your fabulous trip! Thank you so much for taking us along.:-)

  11. Cheryl Walsh says:

    You are not failing me – I told you I would visit NY thru your eyes and what a gift!

  12. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Love, love, loving the travel blog!!! It’s almost like being there. Sounds like you’re having a wonderful time and that’s what it’s all about. 🙂 Fabulous pictures and beautiful descriptive journaling of each adventure. I could actually smell the tangerine spritzes of juice in the air. I can’t wait for your next one!

  13. Karen D says:

    Looks like you are having the time of your lives! So lucky to have such a beautiful and comfortable place to stay and such great friends! I always try to make a lovely “cocoon space” for my guests too, but your friends have really mastered it – a whole 3rd floor suite! WOW! Love hearing about the restaurants and can’t wait to see the new things for your store!

  14. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Where do I start, love the music, the brownstone…..? Wonderful blog dear Susan & Joe, & THANK YOU ♥♥ Loved every bit of it including the cocoon & NY at night! What a treat – I haven’t been past Arkansas! Brilliant boys, princess treatment works! Again, THANK YOU!♥♥XO

  15. Elaine Hull says:

    Dear Susan, I so enjoy your blog. The photos are so interesting and you have such a fun personality it is like visiting a friend. Seeing the sights “with you” and the descriptions of the yummy foods is such fun. Thank you for taking the time to do this. Hugs. Elaine

  16. Patricia from Philly says:

    I heart YOU and JOE for showing me and the Girlfriends how you heart NY!
    Thanks so much! Joe, just keep treating Susan as a Princess; it will come right back to you! Remember the saying about “small treats” every day!

  17. Maryellen says:

    Again, thank you so much Susan. Thank you for sharing your lovely travel with us. Thank you for your way with words that make me feel like I am wearing the fuzzy robe, sipping hot tea in that lovely suite, (what a wonderful home and what wonderful friends to have!). I think I was in your pocket as you visited the treasures at library, as the “third” at your precious little tea shop tea party. I would love to visit New York City someday and would like to take the Susan Branch Tour Package, please!

  18. Deborah says:

    You had a wonderful time! I appreciate the library info and pictures, as i love libraries, and worked in one for a long time. There is just something so special about all those books, all in one place in such order! Love the Pooh and friends info and picture!!! What a wonderful trip!

  19. Audrianne in Holland Michigan along the shores of Lake Macatawa says:

    Here’s a quiz for you: What are the names of the lions outside of the New York Public Library. Answer: Patience and Fortitude.

  20. Ana says:

    Wonderful post! Wonderful trip! Lovely!

  21. Deb from Dixie says:

    Ah…..all I can do is take a deep breath and say thanks so much for taking us all along on your journey through New York… feels like we are right there with you, every description…..creates a picture in the head and heart….and touches our own memories of times spent in the Big Apple.
    Sounds like you and Joe are having a wonderful time, another great adventure…and making so many happy memories of your 25th Anniversary trip.
    So happy for you both!

  22. Barb says:

    Hi Susan, Wow, these pictures are beautiful. I feel like I’m visiting New york City right along with you. You’re so descriptive as you describe the townhouse; sounds so cosy and comfortable where you were staying. The restaraunt and pics of the city at night are gorgeous, too. But why wouldn’t they let you take pics of the Pooh toys? Anyhow, it’s been so much fun “tagging along” with you. Thanks for sharing all this with us!

    • sbranch says:

      I have no idea, because we wouldn’t use a flash, but it’s the rules!

      • Janet says:

        You can’t take photos in the Louvre either. I’d like to know if there’s an actual physical reason – such as a photo flash being harmful to the item – or whether it’s just some legal deal. My $$’s on legal [and Shakespeare was right]. :>)

        • sbranch says:

          It used to be the flash, the light, that hurt things, but now we don’t need flash, so I don’t understand why they still don’t want it. Maybe the noise? Maybe something to do with copyright and image use.

  23. Susan Havey says:

    Oh, Susan, you are a Princess, and what a lovely anniversary gift to be treated like one! That Joe is a “keeper” as we say out West! I love that big mug you photographed and thanks for sharing the library pictures. What a gorgeous place and open to the public. M-m-m-m-m, Pad Thai, one of my favs, and good for you, too, if you add extra veggies. I’m so glad you are having a wonderful time and keep cocooning so the Princess syndrome sticks!!

  24. Lori says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It all sounds and looks wonderful. The food, the gifts and to top it off Pooh and friends … bliss. Enjoy!

  25. Kerry S. says:

    Thank you a hundred million times for sharing your trip with us! What a great view of the city you’ve given us! My dream trip is to go there before I’m too old to appreciate it and to be able to walk, walk & walk some more!
    Love those sheets too!

  26. Sherry Kennedy says:

    I’m enjoying my second cup of coffee, along with your wonderful descriptions of NYC and such lovely personal places to visit. Your friend’s brownstone sounds so cosy and inviting. I don’t blame you for not wanting to ever leave it! I’m making notes on Tea and Sympathy and Tao restaurant for my next visit to NYC. Thank you for sharing your trip with us girlfriends. I’m loving it! xoxoxo

  27. Marsha McGinnis says:

    Thank you, Susan. As always … you put a smile on my face and start me day out right !

  28. Coni says:

    Another wonderful post! But, then, we’d expect nothing less from you. 🙂

    Looks like you’re eating well ~ which is always important when on vacation!

    I adore the set of sheets on the far left of the top shelf! And the cute little tea cup! Would LOVE to be at the gift show!

    The NY Library is a real treasure. I love spending time in libraries, museums, and gift shops.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I’m having a great time! And I know others are, too!

    Keep enjoying! I can’t wait to see more!

  29. Carol says:

    Did you love the table lamps in the NYPL Main Reading Room? You can actually buy one at Levenger’s on-line:
    Have you been swept away by the CASH CAB yet? Fingers crossed!
    Your blog, your writing, and your photography are appreciated. I look forward to every entry. Happy Anniversary again!

  30. Pat Mofjeld says:

    This was great–feel like “I WAS THERE”. (remember, the movies we saw in History in school that started sort of that way?) Thanks, again, for sharing your trip with us. I love the things you take photos of, things that we would, too! And thank you for the photo of Winnie and his friends. I suspected the library would not let you take photos but this one is just as good. I’ve never seen the “originals”–it was great to see them! Sounds like you are having a fun trip. Yes, I could live with having the Princess Syndrome though I have to admit that Norm treats me very, very well–I am very appreciative of him! Look forward to the next “installation”… 🙂

  31. ~Sheila~ says:

    It all looks wonderful. My daughter loves NY, and keeps telling me I should visit.
    If I could guarantee that someone would bring me yummy breakfasts and take me to see Pooh and Piglet I would be there in a shot. I’ve always wanted to see inside those brownstones, you have certainly whet my appetite. Enjoy the rest of your trip…safe journey!
    hugs ♥

  32. Holly says:

    Susan, your trip sounds fantastic! Plus the weather has been nice enough for you to be out and about. I loved the photos of Winnie & friends, and the library!! There is a Netflix video called “The People’s Palace” that is available for instant viewing. I’ve watched it several times, and the NY library is on my places to visit too. Thanks for all the photos, and descriptions of your wonderful trip. Enjoy the rest!

  33. Linda Wattier says:

    This is so exciting! You must be having a great time.Thanks for taking the time to include us. Been to New York once. Have a great day!

  34. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    Thank you so much for the tour!
    My girlfriend and I were supposed to go for my 50th birthday but life got in the way~
    After seeing this we are definitely going~soon! I hope to get to Ellis Island and confirm the records for my dad’s father’s side of the family. I did find the ship’s register online and found out the spelling of the last name was changed! I never knew that and either did the rest of the family~ that is why it is so important to ask while people are still alive! I am so glad I took the family history on my dad’s mother’s side.Then the library~ I think I could spend a week ~at least ~ and that’s just for the books~again thank you for the tour! I could just go on and on~ You knowwhat? You could have a second career as a tour guide!!
    Blessings & safe travels~

    • Terrie McMahan says:

      Lynn ~ I did similar research several years ago when I was working toward’s my Master’s degree in Boston. My paternal relatives came to the city during Ireland’s potato famine. Turns out the spelling of our last name was also changed by Immigration…it’s supposed to be spelled with an “o,” like yours! For awhile, I went back to the original spelling. It pleased my grandfather, but my siblings made such fun that I eventually quit. ;o)
      ~ Theresa Ann McMahan

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        Thanks Terri for responding!
        My dad’s family came over from Yugoslavia. It’s easy to understand why people who spoke with broken English could be misunderstood.
        I find it interesting that McMahon ( my married name) is sometimes spelled with an a~ I saw McMahon spelled that way before and now I know why!
        I plan on watching ” Who do you think you are? ” on t.v. tonight~ I believe it is on NBC. I don’t know if you are familar with this show or not ~ famous people go back and trace their roots. Martin Sheen is going to be on and he is part Irish/Spanish. He is going to Dublin to trace his roots~ should be interesting! Take care~

  35. Miss holly says:

    Oh my gosh !! What a fantastic trip……my absolute favorite is pooh ..piglet and the gang!!! I had no idea they were there…I feel a train ride in my future…have fun!!!
    P.s. the sheet idea…..oh yea……..

  36. joan says:

    Oh, you are being seriously spoiled! Thank you for the little tour. I adore libraries and would love to visit that one. Have a wonderful visit. =)

  37. Carol Maurer says:

    Good morning Susan,
    What fun you and Joe are having!! I loved the pictures that you took of some stuff from the gift show. Loved those sheets and also the painted cup! I could go wild in there!
    The brownstone where you guys are staying with friends sounds absolutely gorgeous! You certainly would be getting lots of exercise in a home like that that’s for sure.
    The New York Library is very cool! Sooooo big! I believe the libraries back east are alot larger than the ones out west. I know the one in Woborn, MA is huge also.
    Have a great day today and looking forward to reading more about the city in blogs to come.
    Carol M.

  38. Jack says:

    You’re beginning to sound New Yorkish already — When you grab those cabs ….just where do you grab them?
    And EVerything looks wonderfully overwhelming ….reminds me of downtown Clarkdale ..
    Keep your eyes open for pickpockets and terrorists .

    • sbranch says:

      Just like downtown Clarkdale, Arizona, Dad! We are watching for trouble at all times! 🙂

      • Kirsten Wichert says:

        Oh, Jack! You are sooooooo funny! I love your line about pickpockets and terrorists! I guess I will be too afraid to visit downtown Clarkdale.

  39. Cindy Maulin says:

    dear yang…hilarious susan…!!! just smiling as i read your post and happy that you are having such a grand time in ol’ NY…i know what you mean about the library Boston son emailed me shortly after he moved there saying he was addicted to The Boston Public Library and all of the wonderful history it we went when we visited and were smitten too..would love to see the one in NY..someday….just know you had to have loved Tea and Sympathy…right up your alley…’til next time girlfriend… cherri-o!!!
    love, cindy

  40. Patricia Dorwin says:

    What a lovely visit to NYC through your eyes. I would love the point shoe sheets for my granddaughter Grace who danced the role of “Clara” in “The Nutcracker” last Thanksgiving. Hope they show up in your catalog.
    I’m pretty sure that Joe has elevated you to “Princess” status, so I think you should add a small crown to the next picture of you that you draw. Just saying….

  41. Jennifer says:

    Your morning sounds perfect!!

  42. Patricia says:

    Looks like a great trip! I like the sound of your “cocoon”…sounds like heaven. Now I officially want sticky toffee pudding with double cream. A trip to NYC and Tea and Sympathy is on the list for spring. Enjoy!

  43. Linda P. says:

    I am so glad you are taking us along on your trip. We are planning a trip to New York next year so I am taking notes on the places you are visiting – Tea and Sympathy for sure. I was in New York 15 years ago and I could of spent all day looking at the old building – it is just amazing. Thank you

  44. Country Gal says:

    Oh sounds like a wonderful place ! YUMMY bacon sandwhich my British mum, dad and family called them bacon butty as I do to this day and treacle cake chased down with a cup of tea oh how perfect! My mum used to make treacle pie oh it is soo good ! My family are Brits so I know all about tea with yummy goodies. Fantastic photos I have never been there but this post makes me feel like I have, thanks for taking us along !

  45. Jeanette says:

    Susan, What a delightful post! I LOVE all the details you provide, feel like I’m right there with you. Gives me new impetus to visit a few place I haven’t yet and I’m from NY! Go figure – you’d never get to ALL the places you like in a city that big. Hope the rest of your day is splendid and enchanting – oh, princess you!!! (wink, wink) I can see your tiara poking out now…xoxo, Jeanette

  46. Aggie says:

    Thanks for sharing your NY adventure. What a great city! Big sigh…I ♥ NY…I think it’s time to plan a trip 🙂 Someone mentioned the Library Hotel in a previous post – my favorite place to stay in NY.

  47. Martha Ellen says:

    What a lovely brownstone you and Joe are enjoying! Everything is so exciting–your descriptions are making me feel right there. Loved seeing the Tao —looks divine and yummy. I wouldn’t have had any idea whether to go in Yin or Yang! The library is magnificent! What a treat for you to see the Pooh toys!!! Keep on being a princess and enjoy your anniversary week!!! ♥

  48. Kim says:

    Yes, boys should treat us like Princesses and we should treat them like Heroes!

  49. Ann Y. says:

    So glad you are having a magical time…sounds perfect. I have put Tea and Sympathy on my list ! And the Library….Pooh ! I know, we took the tour when we were there and it is so wonderful that the library is there, and it is FREE to everyone. Sounds like you have the perfect place to stay with friends and are enjoying your bite of the Big Apple…and it is delicious ! Thanks for sharing the fun !

  50. Debbie Hallock says:

    Great pictures as usual. Feel as if we are there. Enjoy the rest of your time.

  51. Judy says:

    I just love all the history in the East and would give a lot to see the inside of one of those beautiful brownstones. We have been to Boston and New York but I really want to spend more time there as 2 weeks is not enough but it was enough to make me realize I wanted to see more. Thank you for sharing your trip it has given me more things to put on my to visit list. Your choice of Pad Thai brought back some memories for me. We lived in Thailand for almost three years and the city we lived in had a night market that we went to about once a week to eat and my choice was invariably Pad Thai – it was so delicious. I got teased about it a lot because Thai people consider it the classic tourist dish but it was so good and I have never found any since that measured up. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  52. Pam says:

    So many nice things and lovely places to visit. Thanks for taking us along!!

  53. Katherine says:

    It all looks wonderful, Susan! I love your pictures. 🙂

  54. Angie(Tink!) says:

    A New York Blog Today…. Oh Joy! Good Afternoon Princess Sue! ♥….Oh I am in Such a New York State of Mind! Thank You for Sharing all Your New York Magic With Us Sweet Sue (Huge Smile on My Face Today) 🙂 ( I Love all Your Photos!) Your Fabulous Friends & Their 5 Story Brownstone! Dinner at TAO! Yum! Cab Rides…”Taxi”! Tea and Sympathy in Glorious Greenwhich Village! Ellis~Island The New York Gift Show & all it’s Treasures! The New York Public Library (I love that Place!) I L♥ve New York! Yay! oh… Bonjour to Joe & those “French~Girls”! Voila! 🙂 well Dear Sue looks like You & Joe are Twirling in all The NYC Bliss! Hugzzzzzzzz & Lots of NYC Pixie~Dust! xoxo Poof! ♥ More Fun on The Way! Yay! ♥ 🙂

  55. Dinahsoar says:

    Your Joe is a treasure! And I want to hear more about the Princess syndrome. And your cocoon–to die for. How wonderful and better than any fancy hotel, I think.

    When I saw the brownstone my mind went to “You’ve Got Mail”–the movie…brownstones are just one of the things I love about NYC. And Park Avenue–I always think of Green Acres–LOL…last time I saw it was riding in a cab on my way to a Broadway play during an Easter visit to my baby sis who then lived in NYC….oh what fun THAT was. We had a ball. I’ve never lived there–I’m just a simple country girl at heart and would feel out of my element there without family. (My brother lives there during the work week.) Would have the same conundrum about the Yin and Yang bathroom choices. And the library–would I love an elegant library like that?..Yes!!

    Sounds like you are having a great time…thanks for sharing..I’ve enjoyed our trip so much.

    And btw–I think you should write an autobiography. You have a gift with words–and painting!– and some wonderful insight… and your personal story is inspirational and uplifting. I think a lot of people would be blessed reading it. You’ve really lived an adventure of sorts! Your wonderful childhood and life on the west coast, the heartbreak of the end of a marriage–the despair, disappointment, even desperation…and rising from the ashes of that…to a life that is loved and envied by others–not in a jealous way but a happy– so happy for you– way, and the thought “I can have this same joy that Susan Branch has–what is her secret?’. Yes…a book would indeed .

    • sbranch says:

      I think I will! 🙂

      • Linda Pintarell says:


      • Charlene Hisayasu says:

        Dinahsoar (witty!)…a S. Branch autobiography is a perfect idea! Susan…looking forward to reading/viewing the seasons/colors of your life! 🙂

      • Terrie McMahan says:

        Oh, YES!! Please do, sweet Sue! Writer Curtis Sittenfeld calls this the “narrative arc,” and your life’s story certainly has such form. Very American, in it’s own way…with you as our Girl Next Door heroine, lending us hope and happiness and tears and new beginnings with each day…each snowfall…every full moon and “airing” and cuppa tea. Xoxo HURRAY!!

  56. Ann says:

    It feels like we are right there with you–you are such a good writer. Love the NYC library, we stay in that neighborhood every year on our annual visit. Hope you at least walked through Bryant Park. I agree with your princess theory, but once in a while I like to treat my husband like a prince.

  57. Marie (from Virginia) says:

    Susan~so glad you and Joe are celebrating in my hometown. I expected to see Meg Ryan skip-down those brownstone steps (You’ve Got Mail) and head over to the park to meet Tom Hanks. Enjoy all the moments…big and small.

    Marie xo

  58. Susan in the country says:

    Oh my! I could smell the tangerine you peeled…just love them.

  59. JoEllen says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely. And the very best part about the library is that it thinks of itself as YOUR library. Ask away, they’re happy to help. To dig. To find out. What a blissful time. Sooo happy for you two! Enjoy! xo

  60. Lisa R says:

    Love, love, love it all Susan!! The next best thing to being there, is seeing New York through your eyes! I thank you for this wonderful gift. Love your breakfast plates too! I tire sometimes of my same old breakfasts, so always happy for new suggestions. The bacon sandwich sounded so good, I’m on my way to make one for my lunch, along with a warm bowl of tomato basil soup! Can’t wait to see the today’s adventures. Enjoy it all!!

  61. Linda H says:

    Wow! What a delightful blog post today! New York should hire you as a travel promoter. While some may see New York as a cold, impersonal city, you have a knack for seeing the “cozier” aspects. I would have loved to see the original Winnie the Pooh and friends. There is so much beauty there as well-the library, brownstones, and all of the museums. I hope the rest of your time there is just as enchanting!

  62. Debbie N. says:

    Thank you for sharing your New York trip with us. The cocoon sounds lovely. I have never gone to New Your City so your pictures are worth a thousand words to me. Tea and Sympathy sounds like my cuppa to a tee. If I ever make it to NYC I’ll have to be sure and visit that shop. Continue with your lovely trip. I have to go and do my homework now :(.

  63. jeannine leonard says:

    Always loved winnie the pooh, classic in so many ways; the tea cup with the lavendar is so beautiful. So glad you are making memories and enjoying your anniversary, isn’t New York wonderful?

  64. Sharon says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip . I look forward to it everyday. I’ve wanted to go to New York for so long, now that my children are getting older I need to start a plan. BTW, we all love Joe for he is so good to you, our favorite artist.

  65. Susie Stevens says:


  66. Victoria Miller says:

    Loving vicariously enjoying your trip, and I must say thank you, thank you, and thank you again in particular for the visit to the library and the original ‘Pooh’ animals! Since I’m retired, I volunteer in the book sale room of our local library for a couple of hours a week. I love books, and so, of course, libraries. I also love the original Pooh books and illustrations, and it is a great treat to see the original animals the characters were modeled on! May the two of you continue to enjoy to the max your trip, and can’t thank you enough for the delight you add to my life. Incidentally, we went and saw The Artist yesterday — C’est magnifique!

  67. nonnie says:

    Looks heavenly, wish I were there, especially at the library!!!

  68. Susan Simon says:

    So glad to see you are having such a fabulous time. Your friends’ home sounds just wonderful… and Joe is so so sweet to bring you breakfast. Loved hearing about your sightseeing, and your experience in the Gift Show… but most of all, the library. What an amazing place… would love to see it in person one day. Have a great rest of your trip and safe travels home. All the best to you both, and Happy Anniversary once again.

  69. Pam K says:

    Miss Susan, after reading your blog today, I’m about to find some of your books to purchase on line. Reading your descriptions, it’s as if I’m there; I can picture everything. I’ve visited New York several times with my hubby, but never visited the Library or Tea and Sympathy. Those will be on our next trip’s stops.
    I’m having a down day today, but your writing always lightens my mood so thank you again. Pam K.

  70. Sarah says:

    I would have gone into the YIN room with you! 🙂 That’s just cruel to make us guess. 🙂

  71. Suzanne says:

    What a wonderful trip you and Joe are on, and thankyou for again bringing us along! I haven’t been to New York in years and now you’ve lit the urge to go again! I remember when last we went we ate at the Tavern on the Green and I will never forget it, it was the most beautiful restaurant I had ever been to. It was around the holidays so everything sparkled in lights. I remember having lunch at Macy’s way up on one of the floors, and it almost looked like it was still in the 50’s, the waitresses had these cute little uniforms on. Looking forward to your art on lots of new things as well; keep us posted. Have fun!

  72. Shanna says:

    Hi Susan!

    What a wonderful trip. I especially love the library and the Pooh collection. Piglet has always been my favorite too–and you’re right–I found him by elimination.

  73. Trace says:

    Oh what fun!!
    Thanks for taking us along. I am so enjoying the trip.
    Love Hugs & Joy

  74. Glenda says:

    Love Love Love this trip! Never wanted to go to NY because of all of the people. Didn’t think I could handle it but you have made it so seemingly approcable and now I am thinking about it! 🙂 Love all of the many things your and Joe are doing
    too. Would be just where I would want to go. You are the best! 🙂 Continue to have fun and once again, thank you.

  75. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    What fabulous pictures of New York. I think I may just go for a visit and see all the wonderful things you and Joe have seen. And the weather has been so beautiful the past few days.
    I will have my husband read this post so he can see how you get served breakfast 🙂 Lovely breakfast both days!!!
    I can’t wait to see what you brought back from the show
    have a wonderful safe trip home

  76. Jacqui G says:

    Your blog is beyond wonderful- wish I were there! And I just LOVED those ballet slipper sheets (sigh). Can’t wait to read more, I miss the City!
    xoxo Jacqui

  77. Susan McEnerney-Brasier says:

    Delightful, thank you so much for sharing. I am going through a difficult transition period, and it is so wonderful to get lost in someone else world for a little while……

  78. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Your posts never bore!

  79. dottie says:

    Oooooh. The brownstone sounds scrumptious. Loved the yin/yang restroom tale and had to giggle as I would have been doing the same thing. Loved the Pooh pals and the library. All the photos are wonderful but you may not guess which I loved most. Want to hazard a guess? I’ll be back later.

    • sbranch says:

      The tangerine?

      • dottie says:

        YOU are REALLY good, Susan Brach! It is just so WONDERFULLY ethereal — and I devour several bags or boxes of those lovely little clementines over the holidays each year. One of those delights of which one NEVER tires. Have you ever had Reine Claude plums? They are known in this country as Greengages and have engendered the same syndrome as the clementines — oh my.

  80. Pat says:

    Oh, Susan, I’ve live din NYC my entire life but reading your post made me want to run over to the NYC Public Library right now and see that exhibit and buy a copy of that book! There is always so much going on in the city that I can’t keep up with it all. I love living here for that reason! It sounds like you are having a fabulous time and have picked out the cutest things at the gift show. Enjoy the rest of your visit!

    PS: If you want a nice, historical NYC experience visit Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan. It is where President George Washington bid farewell to his troops after the Revolutionary War. There is a delicious restaurant and a museum in the tavern.

  81. Pat says:

    I am really enjoying our trip together. I feel like I have visited every stop along the way.

  82. Charlene Hisayasu says:

    At first I thought, “Could I possibly be the 1st comment?” Of course, NOT! You are wisely focusing on Joe and New York! As always, thank you for sharing! Your trip highlights are precious! Keep enjoying your wonderful days! ♥♥♥

  83. Kimi says:

    Hi Susan

    Well it looks to me you are having a great time their with Joe how fun is New York look at all the wonderful places to go and Enjoy!!! very nice to see the city by way of Susan Branch love this! I’m sure however you are ready to get home “Oh their is nothing like your own bed and kitchen yes even looking out your back door and heat up some water for some hot tea! happy for you Susan when you get back home I’m sure Girl kitty & Jack miss you both.. Gods love to you both have a safe trip home. XO

  84. Sarah Maldonado says:

    Loved this post and I want that breakfast you had today. The remains in the photo indicate it was ALL yummy! Thank you for the library photos….especially the Pooh animals and the enormity of the rooms….would love to see it but your photo helped me feel like I DID see it. 🙂 Thank you for taking us on your “private” anniversary, Susan and JoEy.

  85. Would your hosts allow you to take interior pics? I’ve never seen the inside of one of those Brownstones. Sound so interesting! I’m loving your pics!

  86. Mary S. says:

    In answer to Laurie Ann’s question – Yes! There are many “Branchoholics” out here!!
    How exciting to read your blog!!! Wow! New York – how I long to go there!
    Also, I would Adore seeing a photo of the “cocoon”!!! Would that be possible? It sounds heavenly!!

    • sbranch says:

      I would love to do it, but our friend might not love it if I do, so I have to be a little careful!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        I understand entirely…Gosh, if you were visiting me, I’m not sure I would want you posting photos you took inside my house–especially sometimes!!! LOL! And I will never get over the fact that a friend took a photo inside my house while I was out of the room–without asking permission!!! I have forever not quite felt the same about her being in our home. I wouldn’t have probably minded if she had asked, but the fact that she did it on the sly, without asking, has really bothered me…there is this privacy and trust issue now… 🙂

  87. Gert says:

    Oh Susan…I feel like I’m right there with you & lovin every minute of it! Everything is just like I dreamed it would be! Your guest floor sounds amazing! Cozy..warm and oh so inviting! I can see why you wouldn’t want to leave…however, once you’re out it is just unbelievable! The sites, the food & the people….how cool is this? Yeah, we finally made it to New York…that being said my prince always treats me like a princess…smile… Blessings & continue to enjoy your trip!


  88. oh what a delicious post!

    The island of trees, etc in the middle of the cross roads!! love it!! So wish Charlottetown would do it, but then it’d take up all our street lol

    Yin – Yang… sad to say, I choose yang because they’d for sure put the men first 🙁

    Ballerina sheets!!!! Heaven for little girls!!!

    Lavender tea cup is beautiful! I love lavender everything! *i say as i type in my lavender room* lol

    love the bears… so loved <3

    that library! wow.. in my little town, the library is the size of a living room 😉

    So glad I'm now subbed in the right place to get your blogs as you post them 🙂

    Denise of Ingleside, PEI

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      I LOVED the teacup with the lavender on it, too…what a cup to drink Earl Grey with Lavender tea out of!!! 🙂

  89. Wendy says:

    Must. Go. East.
    Must. Go. East.

    You make NYC look so MAGICAL!!!

    Favorite part of this blog entry: the cozy room that you wear like a sweater. I can envision it and I would love to spend an entire day in it!

  90. Terri says:

    Oh loved the Winnie the Pooh picture. How cute! And what kind of tea did you drink at Tea and Sympathy? Loved the cups you drank tea from! So adorable! What an awesome trip! Time for a spot of tea for me! LOL!!

  91. Linda Pintarell says:

    Perfect post ever! I’ve started my NYC itinerary list of things to do and see. TU for being so helpful. I’ve been thinking I would like to visit and see a couple of Broadway shows and this post has pushed this thought HIGHER up my priority list. I need to make it a reality! Thank you for sharing.

  92. Jennie says:

    You must be a princess because your adventure is sounding like a wonderful fairytale- I hope it ends ‘Happily Ever After’!

  93. Peggy Cooper says:

    New York really is my home town, but alas, it’s been very many years since I was there. I think I’ll have to plan a little trip, and since it’s been so long, it will be like visiting someplace new.

    I had a similar NY bathroom quandry. Well, maybe similar isn’t the right word. I was in what turned out to be a gay bar with a friend, and didn’t know whether I was a Queen or King :o) Now that I live in the West, I run into the occasional sign referring to animals of different gender. I have to say I’m always glad when they have the universal signs with the girl in a dress.

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      I was in a restaurant once that had pictures of hunting dogs on the bathroom doors and the words “setters” and “pointers” on the doors!
      DUH, I had to go back to the table and ask Norm what they meant!!! LOL

  94. Nancy says:

    Thank you for sharing this trip with all of us…..I’ve never been to NYC but want to take my granddaughter soon… seeing it through your eyes (and camera lens!)

  95. Greta Ostrovitz says:

    You have touched my heart once again. I lived in NY on 57th Street for many years and I know that snapshot image of Park Ave, the walk down Fifth Ave near the library, Tao, the sensory overload of NY even after all those years. I was a regular at Tea & Sympathy and I highly recommend their cookbook so that everyone can enjoy their treats at home. I spent many hours there, exactly as you described, at one of the tables by the windows. Second best was a little table by the cakes display, tucked into a corner taking in all of the magic. My NY years were the best years of my life. It truly is “America’s home town”.

  96. Kelly J. says:

    What an awesome record of your trip…keep ’em coming 🙂 And, I would love to see your art work on tea/coffee cups, then all of us girls could have ourselves one big tea party! Enjoy!

  97. Georgie says:

    Ahhhh! The dull dingy walls in the surgical family waiting area have. Even transformed right before my eyes! I see plush brown velvet couches and a table filled with toasted crusty bread with pools of melted butter. On the side there are chilled tangerines waiting to be peeled. And of course the vending machine has. Even transformed to a cozy tea corner with the nicest selection! The phone rang calling me back to reality with good news… Mom is out of surgery and all went well XOXO!

    Keep enjoying your journey Susan. Thanks for transporting us through our days into yours.

  98. you make me feel like I am with you every step of the way!! Thank you for my fun!
    Pink Hugs,

  99. Nancy B says:

    Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your anniversary celebration! I just knew I would love this experience! Can’t wait to see more….

  100. What fun to visit NYC through your eyes! What a delightful breakfast served almost in bed! I can just taste that delish crunchy raisin bread, and fruit and cheese, how decedent! sp? Love those sheets from Tea and Sympathy! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
    Have a safe trip home!

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