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. Lisa Hay says:

    I was just visiting NYC on business in Dec. before Christmas and it was just gorgeous all decorated for the holidays. I found time to get out and see everything I could in the few days I was there. I have a wonderful friend from France that works with me and her love and delight for NY were so contagious! Just wanted to share I felt the same way you are feeling about the city! Hope you have a wonderful trip the rest of the way! I agree with the guys on being treated like a princess – my husband, Rick, is the best and treats me like a princess everyday!
    Hugs to you,
    Lisa xoxoxox

  2. Kathy Steensrud says:

    Oh Susan, please do make bedsheets and giant mugs with your art…I would love to wake up to your gentle water colors and an inspiring cup of coffee brimming with your art! Both would be just delicious! Love you to pieces, Kathy

  3. Oh my what a wonderful trip you’re having! I can just picture the rooms you’re staying in. I bet it’s wonderful. Happy traveling!

  4. Judy Ann from Georgia says:

    Oh, one more comment about your “Yin and Yang” story…when my daughter was really little (30 years ago), we were up in the mountains of North Georgia in a little country restaurant, and she asked to go to the restroom which was in my view, but she returned rather quickly and asked the question, …..”Mama, am I a “buck” or a “doe?”. We all had a good laugh about that!!! Needless to say, I explained that us girls were “does” and boys were “bucks” in the world of “deer”. Kelly is now 36 and we still laugh about that one. Have a wonderful time in New York!

  5. Jane alexander says:

    Susan, it’s so amazing to read your blog. It always make me feel almost like I was there! Wonderful husbands or friends surely are a blessing. I have one of these wonderful men.
    Jane Alexander

  6. Kirsten Wichert says:

    I’m singing “Memories…….” because I haven’t been in NYC for 30 years! Looks more beautiful than I remembered. The photos are beautiful. I’m trying not to be too jealous! You both take incredible photographs. So I’ll just have to enjoy your trip with you! (Almost as good as being there?)
    Will you visit the 9/11 memorial? That’s the one thing I know has for sure changed in my absence. I used to see the twin towers everyday from my town in N.J. As for the business end of your trip………..We (girlfriends) would love anything with your artwork on it!!! We just crave anything Susan B. Thanks again for including us in your wonderful adventure!

  7. Robin in New Jersey says:

    Ah, the city. I am only about 45 miles from NYC, but rarely go there. It’s very expensive for me to go there even for a day. Your narration of your time there and pictures are lovely. I have been to the library, so your pics brought back fond memories.

  8. Kathy Phenix says:

    Oh, Judy Ann, I’m with you—addicted. A true Branchaholic. Who needs meetings?? We’re having too much fun. You had me at the NYC Library lion picture. I don’t ever remember going into the library. I’ve always had to stop and “worship” the lions. They are a NYC favorite!! The British tea shop sounds wonderful. What a compliment to Joe–“Are you British?”
    I’m so jealous that you get to go to the gift show. I’ve always wanted to attend one. I once told my husband that I wanted to open a gift shop just so I could attend these shows. Can’t wait to see what you bring home. Thanks for being so generous with your life. Love, Kathy

  9. Linda P says:

    Oh thank you for taking us along!!! I’ve only been through NYC – only stopping long enough to go to the Statue. I was like a fish out of water, but I want to go and must go with someone “in the know”. Loved the photos, and the visual picture of your room truly is snuggly!
    Thank you for a wonderful post to live thru you!!

  10. Diane says:

    Susan, I cant tell you how happy it is making me to read your blog! I HAD to stop and pop two slices of honey-whole wheat bread into the toaster just now after reading about your toast! lol…its true! Time for “tea”! All of the wonderful, beautiful places you are getting to see and experience….I am so happy for you and Joe! This blog makes it feel just as though I have one of my my best girlfriends telling me all about her trip and I am feeling the same thrill as I see the pics and read the words! Keep having fun!!!

  11. Love, love… love NYC. I will miss zipping down there when I move to Park City, Utah. We were just there in December on a NYC girls only trip. So much fun. So much to see. So much energy. We also have friends on the upper east side. Love the brownstones there. Thanks for your fun post and pics. Love that too 🙂

  12. Cecelia from Virginia says:

    I love New York City—lucky you!!

  13. Vickie says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip to NYC. I was there when I was 12 (a very long time ago) and was only able to walk on the sidewalks of 5th Avenue. I appreciate being able to see the “inside” of the buildings. 🙂 Have a wonderful time Princess Susan!

  14. Hi Susan!! At first glance I thought you were staying in Meg Ryan’s apartment in You’ve Got Mail!! I ♥ that apartment!! It looks like you are having the time of your life, being treated like a princess and eating lots of yummy food!! Thanks so much for taking us to NYC with you! xoxo Debbie

    • Joy Pence says:

      I love her apartment too! That is one of my favorite movies. I watch it over and over and try to see every detail of her apartment and the city. Also a big Thank you to Susan for taking us along on your trip. How yummy the “breakfast in bed” looked. I agree we ladies are princesses! and should be treated as such. I get such a feeling of peace when I read your blog. I just love every minute of it! xoxo Joy

  15. Terry says:

    Hi, Susan!

    What a delightful post! You are such a wonderful writer! I soak up every word you write.

    I am fortunate to live only about 45 minutes from Manhattan. My husband and I will take the ferry over and spend a day or the evening. My daughters and I go often also. I am definitely going to take my girls to the tea house. I am also going to return to the library and look for Winnie the Pooh and friends. I don’t know how I missed them!

    I am happy you are having such a wonderful time, and the weather has been so nice.

    Happy Anniversary!


  16. Suzanne in Sydney, Australia says:

    What a marvelous way to start my morning, a e-virtual trip to New York – ah it’s on my Bucket List My daughter has awesome photos taken on her week’s visit, but a 25 y.o. looks at a city differently to a (hehe) mature age woman :). I enjoyed the restaurant view and the shops. I have some incredible photos of shop window displays taken when I was in London and Paris some years ago (visiting same daughter when she worked there). I find these as interesting as the national monuments. Thank you and enjoy being a princess.

    • sbranch says:

      The shop windows are truly pieces of art . . . the dresses and clothes and poses … everything, colors! Just wonderful!

  17. D Sorenson says:

    Thank you, thank you for all the beautiful photos and sharing your experiences with us! You’ll never know how much I needed and appreciated being able to take some time away from things just to read this healing blog today. Susan, you’re the Best, and thank you Joe, for treating her like the princess she is!!

  18. Lynn L. says:

    I took my daughter this past July to NYC for her high school graduation gift. She wanted that rather than a party. I am a country girl and hadn’t been to THE city in about 28 years. We had a nice time, but I felt so out of my element and felt responsible for showing her a wonderful time. Such pressure! I wish I had known about that tea shop. We both would have loved that. She’s a tea-aholic! Oh, how we would love a tea cup with your art on it, please!!! And sheets and dish towels too. Wish I had been able to read your posts of your trip before I took her. Well, we’ll just have to go again with all of the wonderful new information you are sharing with us.

  19. Susan Martin says:

    I love the idea of your art work on sheets! I’m having a terrible time finding “pretty” sheets – I used to be able to get them anywhere, and now it seems like they’re all boring solids…
    You are such a descriptive writer – I could see the guest room in my head. It sounds like you’re having a wonderful time!
    Thanks for sharing with all of us : – )

  20. JudyCinNC says:

    Yin and Yang , hee, hee – I would have done the same thing. Too cute and your pictures and descriptions are gorgeous and delightful. Judy C

  21. Barbara T from Wolverine Lake, MI says:

    OH! how wonderful. loved the stories of the trip so far. let me suggest a GREAT tea room in NYC. it’s called Lady Mendl’s. I have a friend who went to NYC with me, she had heard of Lady Mendl and had it on her To Do list so we went ….fabulous! We make it a point to try to visit each and every tea room that we hear of. well, after Lady Mendl all things must now be compared and my daughter announced a while back…..Mom!!!!! You and Mrs. Hall have turned into TEA SNOBS! really? I love it! so we are now self-proclaimed tea snobs and it’s all because of a Sept visit to NYC. google it to find it – they are so proud of the fact they have no sign out front….you can’t find it unless you know it’s there. sooooo beautiful, so tasty! as well as tasteful and elegant. reservations required. 🙂 I hope you are able to go!! I give it 2 thumbs up! (and a pinky too)

  22. Debbie '51 says:

    I so want to put my husband in contact with Joe – I think he should learn a bit more about this “Princess Syndrome”!
    Love your friend’s cozy snuggy room.
    Love sharing your visit.
    Love and miss NewYorkNewYork!
    Go have more fun!

  23. Brenda says:

    What a lovely post. Thank you for taking us along with you to New York! Have not been there myself I will live through your eyes for now.

  24. Judy says:

    My daughter brought me to Tea and Sympathy many years ago when she was a new transplant to NYC from Boston. We had a “delicious” time there. I had lived in NYC for a sort time when I was about her age. It was so much fun having her show me around her neighborhood. I was very proud of my girl. Thanks for jarring my memory bank.

  25. Lindy says:

    I can smell the city just from your pictures! It is a GREAT city to explore.
    Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

  26. Bonny ~* says:

    My daughter is in college in CT and we took a mother/daughter trip into NYC two years ago…shopping in SOHO, eating in one delicious place after another, seeing Wicked…it was such fun! Surely you have been to Serendipity and had their frozen hot chocolate…it’s a must! Their food is good too!! I also love all the “garage” shops on Canal street! And the MET! So much to do!!!!

  27. Nancy Sussan says:

    Gosh so nice to see NYC–it is my home at least in my mind– even tho I’ve been on the west coast for a couple decades, to me NYC is always home. Yin and Yang are the Chinese symbols representing the male and female dynamic, the active and passive means of attracting something. Yin is female, yang is male. They are the halves of each other, both equally wonderful and powerful. Here’s hoping you get to pee with fewer complications in the future!

    • sbranch says:

      You would have known where to go! I always knew one was one, and the other was the other, it’s just which was which was my problem! Thank you, I love your wish! 🙂

  28. Janet says:

    Have never enjoyed someone else’s fun so much!! A real vicarious visit to the Big Apple. And I realized something too. Susan, as much as I LOVE your art, and watercolors, and designs, and all things visual AND recipes, AND ideas for the seasons, decorating, entertaining, gardening, homekeeping etc… WITHOUT QUESTION it is your skill with words [we’re talking Awesome Descriptive Powers here] that keep me coming back every day to your blog – the only one I read by the way. Not that I’m surprised – voracious readers have always made the best writers. What you do, see, taste, feel, smell, experience – your readers/girlfriends all get to experience too – to the Nth power! [Please] never never stop writing… and enjoy the rest of your visit to NYC. I know I’m going to… :>)

  29. Jeanne Hedin says:

    Your stories and pictures are always a bright spot. I especially appreciate your underlying attitude toward life . . . appreciating details and finding joy in everything you do, no matter where you are. A peek into your trip to NYC was such a nice break in a difficult week dealing with the loss of a dear family member. Thank you!

  30. Jacquelyn Wirthlin says:

    Heavens, what a wonderful post! Loved the pictures but especially the “Yin and Yang” story! That could have come from “Lucy and Ethel” … Ethel and Fred owned a Brownstone which was converted into apartments where they all lived … What great fun. Aren’t we all princesses … lol. Thanks for sharing, Sue.
    Jackie in Las Vegas

  31. Jo Ann V says:

    I was in New York over 48 years when I was l9. My traveling companion was an ll year old girl who was the sister of my best friend. We traveled by train from the Midwest to visit her. She had married a New Yorker and we were paying her a visit. The things that stand out in my mind were the trip to the Statue of Liberty. We climbed up the many steps to the statues torch. It was early summer and and the steps were very narrow, only one way and very hot. I do remember the view. So incredible. My girlfriend and her husband took us to dinner at a Play Boy club and for a small town girl I was taken aback by the scantly clad young beautiful waitresses. I even had the good fortune to see Causis Clay walking down the street with his followers. Remember this was the early 60″s.

  32. Pam G. says:

    thanks for sharing NYC with us. It sounds like great fun, esp. with such a luxurious place to stay.
    I have to tell you that I am now the proud owner of 4 pieces of Emma Bridgewater pottery-straight from England. I have always loved her pottery and after reading your blog recently I decided I just had to treat myself-now I need to clean cupboards so I can display it and some of my other lovely pieces that have been packed away since we moved 7 yrs. ago-so much for minimalism.

  33. Pat Simon says:

    Your fabrics have already become pillowcases for the little girls in my life (and some of the big girls who need something special to dream on….) I have been making Happy Birthday pillowcases – would love to see you create a HB fabric. It could grace all kinds of things….pillowcases, quilts, aprons. When I leave your blog, I’m going to look for the New York Public Library gift shop (via computer). Library gift shops are wonderful (but I am a Librarian so anything Library is wonderful to me). We have an amazing old Library here in the Baltimore are – Enoch Pratt Central Branch. Beautiful architecture, shelves of glorious books, quiet rooms, tall ceilings. I spent many Saturdays roaming around the Pratt when I was in high school. Dragged my friends there after one of the girls finished orchestra practice at the Peabody. Those were the days…..

  34. Patty says:

    Oh my! What a joy to read your blog post today! Thank you -Thank you!! Sometimes you just MAKE my day!!! Keep on having a good time! Blessings back to you! You are such a blessing.

  35. Angela says:

    Please Susan keep the photos coming! I’ve been to NYC so many times and always something new to discover. One of the many great things about the city. I’ve added Tea & Sympathy to my list of new things to discover for my next trip there. I’ve been wanting to tell you I picked up the December & January issues (just last Saturday), of British Edition Country Living per your recommendations. I love, love, love it! Also picked up Jamie magazine, another great British magazine filled with delicious and gorgeous food. My husband also loved the photo and info about Pooh and friends. He’s a big Pooh and friends fan, he just watched the latest Winnie the Pooh movie with our son. Thank you for allowing us to live vicariously through you! Can’t wait for your next post.

  36. Laura Croyle says:

    Thank-you for sharing your wonderful trip with us! This is So much fun, being an armchair traveler with you as our guide! I don’t know if I’ll ever get to see NYC, so now I get to see it through your eyes, which is even better because I wouldn’t know where to start! Can’t believe you’re taking the time to share it all with us!

  37. Sara says:

    What a wonderful and magical trip!!! Enjoy!!!

  38. Gina says:

    After the day I had, reading your blog was a nice pick me up and helped me start to shake off the yucky stuff. Thanks for sharing the beauty and pleasure of your day!

  39. Susan Edwards says:

    Thank you sharing your New York visit with us … through your words and pictures, I could visualize being there. By the way, Joe sounds like one amazing husband. 🙂

  40. mari1017 says:

    lovely post ~ how wonderful to have an oversized teacup with your artwork ♥ would love that! thanks for all the beautiful pix of NYC – always loved the library ~ one of the best! keep enjoying ~ how long will you be in the city?

  41. TJ says:

    The ballet slipper sheet are wonderful and perfect for my 7-year old granddaughter who made her debut performance in The Nutcracker Ballet just before Christmas 2011. She was cast as a “Doll” Act I and a “Butterfly ~ Papillon” Act III. Little Miss has been dancing since age 3 when we started kicking off our holiday season by attending The Nutcracker. It’s a very special tradition…even more so now that she is performing and loving it.

    I’ll have to show Little Miss your pictures of the original Winnie the Pooh toys. She is in love with this book. I started reading the stories to her with lots of “expression”…how else to capture the charm of the characters…and she would alway ask to hear certain parts again and again. I noticed recently that the book is in the car so she can read the stories herself when I drive her to school. So adorable to see her little head buried in the book when I glance at my rear view mirror.

    She will also be tickled to see the “Lions” at the NY Library on 5th Avenue!

    Happy Anniversary Susan and Joe…continue celebrating your journey!

  42. Heidi says:

    Aren’t the old buildings beautiful?! Love NYC!!
    I would have chosen Yin too!!!!

  43. GardenGirl says:

    Terrific post today Sue – I’m not the first to thank you for your generous spirit with your travelogues – but let me add my voice nonetheless. Love to visit NYC – have not been there for quite some time. Last visit we went to see my grandparents names listed on the stone wall at Ellis Island. So much emotion feeling the history of that place! Love that mug. I can see so many different images of yours painted there – perfect for my morning coffee AND afternoon tea. Enjoy the rest of your anniversary trip. Not sure when you’ll be heading back home but I hope you’ll be cheering on our NE team this Sunday! -Kathy

  44. Rae Ann says:

    Thank you, Susan for another absolutely delightful chapter in your travelogue…I have to admit I’m drooling over all you and Joe have shared with us…enjoy the rest of your time in NYC…and WOW…is Joe a keeper or what!!!

  45. Cynthia Krynock says:

    Sigh…..the romantic life you lead! I can just picture you enjoying yourselves…..a wonderful way to spend your anniversary and your time at the gift show is good too….I am all for the sheets….something I learned years ago….a good set of sheets, even if they cost a pretty penny, will by far outlast the ones that you pay pittance for….I rather like spending a pretty penny myself….that way, I have lovely sheets to sleep on, that will last longer than 20 minutes! I hope that you do some of your art on some sheets like the ones you showed us!


  46. Karen C says:

    Thank you Susan! I will forever know, go through the Yang door. Love the trip so far! Keep us all smiling 🙂

  47. Carol D. says:

    I love all your posts, but this one is particularly wonderful!! We get to go to N.Y.C. this summer (from Iowa) My hubby has meetings there. Our grandaughter lives in Queens and is a manager of a French restaraunt in Manhattan. I plan on dragging everyone I can to Tea and Symphony now that I know it exists! Have a feeling it would be best to make it a girly thing. Perhaps I can convince my daughter and sister of said grandaughter to come from PA.

  48. Silvia Niomi says:

    boy, how I miss the East coast. Funny a bit over 20 years ago while you were heading East, I was headed to the West coast (it was my parent’s idea) and here I’ve been. I was so blue at not being in the middle of a snow storm. While the West has its merit it is not like the East coast. Seeing the pictures you’ve posted of the snow and New York (been there once) makes me home sick. Do people still make snowmen there still?
    On the brown building…. sure reminds me of Holly Golightly from Breakfast At Tiffanys. You know, recently Holly’s building was for sale. If I’d won the lottery I might’ve considered checking it out.
    One last thing, even though I have a hubby I’m a do it yourself ‘kind of gal’ always have had to. But, recently he started bringing me coffee in the morning, what a wonderful feeling. When for some reason it doesn’t work out for him to do so I sure miss it…. it must be the ‘Princess thing within’ you mentioned:) always Love Love Love your posts.

    • sbranch says:

      Those little things mean a lot! Yes, they still make snow men (if there’s ever any snow!) and the kids still wear the funny hats and there are still ice skaters with scarves flapping out in the wind… and fireplaces to come in from the cold to. Lovely here, but good there too. The world is a wonderful place!

  49. Chris Wells says:

    What a wonderful venture you have taken us on, and in style I might add! Thankyou for making what otherwise could have been a very dull week, absolutely heavenly. Love to you and Joe and Happy Anniversary and many, many more………….hope you keep taking us with you. XOXO

    • sbranch says:

      I think I will…you are all fun to have along, you make the trip even better — I’m always looking at things and thinking, ooooo, the girls would love this!

  50. Priscilla says:

    Your Joe must be a real sweetheart! Those French girls knew the right guy to ask to take a picture of them! Thank you soooooo much for sharing your excursions and impressions of NYC. This post is wonderful, books, tea and food. You know us so well! Have a safe trip home, we have loved your trip to NY!

  51. Mia Sophia says:

    Susan…Glad you are having such a glorious time in NYC! The last time I was there (live in CA), I visited Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Bldg and the US Open at Flushing Meadows. My son wanted to go to the World Trade Center but we were short on time. I told him we would have to see it another time. Then we boarded a New England coastal cruise and left port for Halifax Nova Scotia on September 9th, 2001. An anniversary trip that also changed the course of history. Never save for another time what you can squeeze in today!

  52. Juliana says:

    Perfect song! Always love your musical choices! So glad you are enjoying the city and what beautiful weather – they knew you were coming! I used to work across the street from the Library and would love to go during my lunch hour – such a nice little escape. I have to agree with so many others, as many times as I’ve been in the city, I am sooo enjoying it through your “eyes”! I always loved imagining what the inside of one of those gorgeous brownstones was like and thoroughly enjoyed every bit of your description.! I cannot wait to see how the city inspires your art, looking forward to all the new things to come!!! Thanks for always sharing your wonderful talent and gifts!

  53. Kit says:

    Oh what a lovely post! I am originally from New Jersey, so your photos of New York make me smile. And what lovely descriptions of your morning routine! I am very envious….LOL Have a lovely trip! Kit

  54. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello “Princess” Susan! I was thrilled to see your “enchanting” photos from New York City!!! Thank you for sharing your special 25th Anniversary Vacation via your blog….it was a special treat!!!!

  55. Tamar Weaver says:

    Lucky girl, indeed! Good for you. 🙂

  56. Marian says:

    Oh, Susan, thank you so much for the virtual trip to NYC — I felt just like I was there. I lived and worked in the city for several years and adored it, but finally left when my southern roots were calling me home to NC. I have not been back in a few years and this visit of yours, which you have so kindly shared, was a little slice of heaven! I hope you continue to have a wonderful time on your trip and fabulous weather to accommodate you. Best wishes to you two on your anniversary — and more wishes for many more happy years together.

  57. Linda says:

    Scary kind of coincidence–I just downloaded last night a photo of Milne’s son with his Pooh bear…… is on Pinterest if you are interested in seeing it.
    Glad you are so happy in NYC but where are all the millions of people. The photo of the French girls outside the library–no people. ….the photo inside the buildings…no people…..the brownstones……curiouser and curiouser!!

    • sbranch says:

      The cab driver says that Jan-February is the quietest time in NY! Who knew! At rush hour, as we are speeding by in cabs, we do see the sidewalks filled, but it’s really been very nice and peaceful!

  58. Dorothy Ann says:

    Thank you Susan…for sharing and showing all of your amazing and wonderful travel us girlfriends…starting with your Ferry ride from the Vineyard, through quaint towns and right into the magic that is New York City!

    I was born in New York City as was Ron, my husband, and even though we now live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we experienced “our Home city” once more, through your expressive tales and photos.
    Happy Anniversary to you both!
    Oh, the Places You’ll Go! You’re Off and Away! There is fun to be done!
    So, Susan and Joe…as Dr. Seuss would say…Today is your Day!
    Love to you both…Dorothy Ann and Ron

  59. Victoria says:

    Dear Susan,
    It’s 3:00 in the morning and I’m lying here in bed quietly reading my iPhone not to wake hubby, while I’m in NYC with you and Joe having so much fun through your beautiful most perfect descriptions. Thank you for taking us all along! I’m loving it all… You are doing just the kinds of things I would love to do! I’m right there with you choosing the wrong door. I never knew yin and yang also had a gender ID…I learn so much from you!
    Oh, the damage I could do to my credit card in the gift shops and the show that I’ve always wanted to go to… But I’m so happy you’re there having fun and finding inspiration.
    It’s the perfect trip for all of us!
    Girl and Jack will be so glad to see you!
    Blessings, xo!

  60. Marie says:

    Susan, I am enjoying this visit to New York with you so very much. We seem to like all of the same things. I guess that is that kindred spirit thing and like attracting like. I would have been the same outside of that washroom . . . I don’t know my Yin from my Yang either! I think all women should be treated like Princesses and frequently. It works for me! (I think the end result would be that you end up with a man who feels a bit like a Prince, don’t you think???) Too bad your little sojourn has to end, but all good things do come to an end eventually. I know another adventure will be waiting though, so it’s all good. xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      It’s all good, and I get to go home to kitties, but not before we stop at two antique malls on the way home! So yes, it’s really all good!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Oh, have fun antiquing! We took a day to do that the week between Christmas and New Year’s and really had fun. Do you need someone to carry your packages?–just call me! 🙂 LOL

  61. Soozcat says:

    You know, it took me years to realize where Eeyore’s name came from… until one day I happened to overhear someone English pronouncing the name. Of course! The sound of a donkey’s bray! (Yes, I iz so smart.)

    Your brownstone hideaway sounds like a small slice of urban heaven. Enjoy!

  62. DonnaRay says:

    Hey Princess of NYC (and every other place where Joe is by your side), thank you for such a lovely time…….I can taste the toast, smell the old library books, hear the Tao chatter, feel the tea steam on my face…….you have a terrific talent for “bringing us along”. Where are we going today? 🙂 DonnaRay

    • sbranch says:

      Well, we are up, we’ve had first cups of tea, and we’re packed. We’re going to walk over to Madison Avenue (because it’s so pretty) to find some breakfast, then over to where we left the car to bring it back where we are staying and pack up … then it’s off to Costco in CT (stocking up), 2 antique store stops, and then the ferry! Perfect meanderful kind of day! Still a little dark out there, but I see a clear blue sky, which bodes well! Tonight? Kitty hugs! Have a wonderful day DonnaRay!

  63. Patti says:

    Have you ever thought about writing a book (fiction). Your blog posts pull me in and wrap me up in a big cozy hug! I was totally with you this morning in NYC. Thanks for that!

  64. Mary Pacey says:

    Thank you so much for sharing all the pictures. I LOVE old libraries- the ones with mable floors, wood bookcases and very high ceilings. I don’t think I’lll ever own/use an electronic book reader–how impersonal!
    Hope you get to see some museums. I want to go back and see the modern art museum next time (it didn’t open early enough for us to visit).
    Looking forward to new items on your website.

    • Janet says:

      Totally agree, Mary. I’ll always want a “real” bound paper book in my hands. The convenience of a Nook or Kindle is appealing… but I’m a Cancer and we love tradition and all things old. And you don’t need anything to read a real book except your eyes – nothing to charge or plug in. PAPER BOOKS FOREVER! PS – I even love the way they smell. I know it’s a little odd but but the first thing I do when I get a new book is open it in the middle and breathe deeply… That wonderful booky library smell…

  65. Thank you for the amazing trip to NYC it was so much fun to go along with you. I just want to give my take on feeling like a true Princess (which every woman deserves)….you need to reciprocate by treating your man like Prince Charming…it’s the Yin/Yang (if I might) of life, if you treat someone with love/respect it will come back to you!! Now that I am “older” I am ready to graduate to Queen which will make Angela Princess (which she has always been) and Jim my King…he will love his new title!! Also, putting titles aside everyone deserves to feel special and as long as you are loved that is all that matters. I want to thank you again for taking me along on your journey I truly enjoyed myself. Have a safe trip back to your kitties and give them lots of “kitty kisses”. Happy SUPER BOWL weekend to everyone (another excuse to eat lots of goodies)!!!!! YAY…

  66. April O'Toole says:

    Thank You Susan! I feel as if I am there!

  67. Diana says:

    I also want to thank you Susan for the virtual trip to NYC! I will get there one day with my Prince, but until then, I have so enjoyed “our” trip! Ha! All those places sound like places I could spend sooo much time in.. I love little out-of-the-way shops/stores/restaurants and my problem is I want to spend A LOT of time in each place… to see all the people… at different times of day, and the many changes in one place… but the world intrudes and you have to move on…. I know the ktties will be glad to see you. Enjoy your final day of your trip! Happy Happy Anniversary to you and Joe!…Many Many more to come!

  68. Debbie says:

    Hi Susan,
    I would love to visit with my partner maybe for a weekend in March/April…can you recommend a nice place to stay?????

    tahnk you

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Debbie . . . I’d love to give you a recommendation but I only see these places from the outside . . . as you know, I live here, and when my friends come, they stay with us! Try this link … they give all kinds of recommendations . . . plus you can see pictures of the different places and know if they’re your cup of tea. It’s really hard to go wrong around here. The island is 100 square miles, there are buses that will take you between towns, but if you want to get out on your own time, you will need a car. Hope this helps! Have a wonderful time!

  69. Julie Cavrich says:

    Your picture of Park Avenue reminded me of the many wonderful trips my Sweet Mom and I took to NYC. We had never been to the library, so if I ever get up to NYC again I must stop there. And, I must agree with the other girlfriends, your Joe is a sweetheart! Thank you, for taking us along. Hugs and Kisses to the Kitties!

  70. Olga Tischlinger says:

    Dear Susan, you might be happy to know that your blog is read and very much enjoyed in a cosy house in the Czech Republic. I showed NYC pictures to my daughter who just turned 6 on 2/2. We made a long pause when looking at the original toys of the Pooh Bear, Eeyore etc. Today, my daughter took out a book I bought in SF 10 years ago when visiting. It´s the Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh. The very first story made us smile and warm inside on this freezing day. I have more beautiful books to share with my daughter like the Little House in the Big Woods and Anne of Green Gable – your favorite too. Well, she must learn English first. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Olga

  71. Joanie B says:

    LOVELY! Thanks for being the bright spot in my day, cheering me up and awakening the JOY of just being alive. It’s important to take moments during the day to just SEE. You are a good reminder. I am pinning the photo of Christopher’s friends, all well worn, loved and treasured.

  72. Beth says:

    I had to thank you for the adorable wallpaper currently on my computer. Being a single gal, I don’t usually get too excited about Valentine’s Day, however, this year we find out the gender of my sister’s baby-to-be! The first baby in the family and I’m crazy with excitement. So I’m loving my hearts wallpaper, makes me think of this beautiful blessing to our family! 🙂

  73. Janet Rowland says:

    I love traveling with you! Thanks for taking us along.

  74. Debi Hutchinson says:

    I absolutely loved this New York blog! I totally felt like I was right there with you and Joe. Thank you so much!

  75. Kari says:

    This is such a rich photo journey and you are a wonderful writer. Thanks for sharing the fun, the stories, the beautiful and surprisingly quiet places you found in NYC! Enjoy!!

  76. Pom Pom says:

    Oh, it was so much fun to scroll down and take this trip with you two!
    A blog friend sent me Beatrix Potter: A Journal just today, so I am looking out at the deep Denver snow and enjoying a little BP!
    I bet you will turn all the inspiration into stuff for us (to buy and LOVE!)
    Sometimes I don’t leave a comment because there are so many, but know you are spreading plenty of sparkle. Thank you!

  77. Anita says:

    Safe trip home–glad you both had such an enjoyable trip. Thanks for sharing so much with us all. The antique malls will be the icing on your cake! 🙂

  78. Cathy in Golden, CO says:

    I’ve loved your visit in NYC. Beautiful pictures too! 29 years ago, we spent our honeymoon in NYC. It was like a dream come true for a girl from Iowa and Colorado who only saw it on TV or in the movies. Remember the Naked City??? Anyway, we couldn’t get back for our anniversary but it was wonderful to see it through your eyes AND I enjoyed the library. I’ve never been there but will have to check it out next time! My husband is originally from Yonkers – so we do get back there every year or two. Thanks for sharing your trip. I’ve enjoyed it! PS: BIG snowstorm here today! Well over 14 inches, blowing, drifting snow! EXCITING!

  79. mel cunningham says:


  80. Cathy Geisler says:

    Hi Susan!
    I’m still travelling with you (vicariously though it be) and having a great time too I must say♥ I so enjoy visiting Libraries when we travel, I worked in our small local library for years…. loved it!I just had to comment on the “Princess”
    subject. When we remodelled our old farmhouse we added a “Princess” room for our grandaughter(really just a tiny bedroom full of windows that look out into the huge manitoba maple trees in the yard and the beautiful views of the valley we live in.) Anyway, each morning on the weekend my husband Rick brings me a coffee and we sit in the princess room watching the world go by. What a wonderful way to start the day! My husband knows how to treat me like a princess too!♥ Lucky me♥ Take care, Cathy

  81. Carol C says:

    My sister and I went to NYC by train in early Dec. last year. I insisted that we go see Pooh because I always visit him when in town. She thought I was nuts but went along. In the end she had as hard a time leaving as I do. There’s just something so endearing about those REAL characters. In the gift shop I bought a book that is the “authorized” continuation of the Pooh books, but I can’t bear (no pun intended) to read it. I always cry at the end of Pooh Corner. The first time I visited him, I had read in the paper that Pooh was at the offices of Dutton Publishers. When Jim and I went to NY the next time we looked up the address and walked to their offices. When we got off the elevator the receptionist asked our business. When I told him, he pushed an intercom button and told someone, “There’s a lady here to see Winnie the Pooh”. A lady came out and explained that he was out on tour but gave me some balloons and pawprint autographs (which I still have!) Isn’t my husband a sport to go along with that?! I won’t tell you about our trips to Beatrix Potter’s house or Paddington Station.

  82. Deb says:

    NY, NY! Fun trip for you and your hubby! “Joe Rocks!” 🙂 So great of you two to share your wonderful trip pics with us! Thank you!! I just did the long distance calendar page flip to February with my sister yesterday….LOVE February on both the large and small calendars, and the desk blotter calendar too! Hugs to our favorite artist and our inspiration! oxo PS. Here in Southwest Missouri tonight we think we just saw Piglet fly by… 😐

  83. stephanie says:

    Too much fun! I’m so glad you got to Tea and Sympathy (I was one of the girlfriends nagging you to go!).

    I don’t know if we’re allowed to post links on your site – but I thought you’d get a kick out of this video (it will give you something to watch on the ride home!) – a 1941 British video on “Tea Making Tips” (in honor of Tea and Sympathy!):!

  84. Anne says: New York brownstones….that one looks like Carrie’s place in “Sex in the City”….I would love to see your beautiful watercolors on those sheets! Thanks for the virtual trip – have a safe passage homeward 🙂

  85. Conni Haden says:

    Thanks for sharing. Loved the moments shared with friends and travels. I was checking your vintage pieces this am….and LOVE the Vintage baby dish and cup set. I actually have that very cup from when I was a baby. I am 60…so that may give you a time frame for looking for more information. I am asking my parents if I had a little plate like the one shown in your set. Safe travels…its very SNOWY here in Colorado. xoxoxo Conni Haden

  86. Karen P. says:

    Have always wanted to live in a brownstone! Your description sounds heavenly! And the great workout you’d get just running up and down the flights of stairs! What fun things you’re seeing. Love the big library…..and LOVE that they have Pooh and friends.

    Would definitely LOVE to see your designs on pj’s, sheets, teacups, etc…..finally found Earl Grey Lavender tea…..Yum!!!!! Would be better in a SB teacup! xoxo….kp

  87. kim says:

    What a wonderful time to visit with our lovely mild winter continuing into February.
    I’m going to NYC next weekend to see “War Horse”, my annual birthday gift from my dear husband :0).
    I hope you had a wonderful time, I look forward to seeing what gifts we’ll find in your shop.

  88. erica evers says:

    Greetings friend!

    Gee whiz Susan, it’s awesome that you take the time to prepare such an awesome post! THANK-YOU! My life isn’t as exciting nor full of adventure but that’s oooohhhhhh-kay! I’m workin’ on it.

    Before I forget, happy 25th Anniversary! My favourite photo of the bunch is the one where you and your beloved are toasting one another in celebration of your love. Him, with what looks to be a martini, with 2 olives (my favourite) and you, with what looks to be a white wine. You know why I like that one? It’s about the “yin and yang” in relationships. Your choice of drinks reflect that to me. Life and all it encompasses, yet all so workable. So lovely.

    Now, while I’m on the subject of YIN and YANG, I’m a tad bit confused with the bathroom story you told. I needed to research YIN and YANG with Google (it’s what I do when everytime I’m confuddled) and I’m thinking that you were at the right door originally….the YIN one. The mister that came out of the YIN door, should have been coming out from the YANG door, which you ran into! I’ve had a few of those happenings myself, and I think we all should agree that a simple Susan Branch drawing of stick boys and stick girls on bathroom doors world-wide, would be so much simpler at such a critical time in ones life! 🙂 What d’ya think?

    Gift shows are both inspirational and tiring, and I’m sure you’ve found some awesome merchandise, concepts and ideas! It’s a shopping trip extra-ordinary. When you arrive home take a well deserved REST and I look forward to seeing your next post.
    Huge hugs all the way from little ole’ me in Vancouver, BC. Canada! XO


    • sbranch says:

      I was thinking I wished I had a piece of chalk in my purse! I could have saved all the rest of the people for that night! 🙂 Thank you Erica!!

  89. Julie says:

    What are Jack and Girl Kitty doing with out you guys???

  90. Julie says:

    Over 12 inches of snow here today in Nebraska so stayed inside where warm and cozy.
    Best part of day – visiting New York via your blog!! Like everyone has said, thank you! I intentionally read very slowly cause didn’t want it to end. 🙂
    Now i want to go buy Dancing with Mrs Dalloway! Maybe we all could have a book club?!

  91. Enikö says:

    How wonderful! I love New York…don’t get there nearly enough! LOVE the original Winnie the Pooh & friends collection…thanks for posting it! xo

  92. nanette says:


    You are so good to share this fun trip with all of us!


  93. nanette says:

    oh, yes! I’m voting you do the sheets AND jammies! I can hardly wait!

    I took the beautiful “Love” book to my best friend today for her Valentine’s gift and she LOVED it!

    (and I’m loving my copy, too! )


  94. Sandy Richmond says:

    Good morning Susan,
    It was fun to follow your trip to NYC. I’ve been there several times and now my son and daughter in law live there. Never boring in NYC! I am going to make your ribs today for Super Bowl Sunday. I live in MA – is there alot of hype on MV about the game? Looking forward to your next post, whatever it may be…

  95. Linda Trokey says:


    Looks like you and Joe are enjoying all the quaint places New York has to offer. Those are the best – you walk down one of the busiest streets in the country, turn a small corner to find a tree-lined street and there, tucked away down a couple stairs, is a wonderful little shop of some kind. It’s either filled with wonderful old books, or beautiful linens and amazing china or possibly items made by you! Thanks for the detailed descriptions of your trip – I feel like I’m travelling right there too.


  96. Beth Foraker says:

    Dear Susan, Last summer, we went on a magical trip to New York celebrating our first child’s graduation from high school. We took in all of the sights with proper open-mouthed amazement and created so many wonderful city memories. One was a night at Tao! Imagine four kids (ages 18, 16, 12 and 5) and a mom and dad just sitting near that giant buddha transported to another world — incredible! Anyway, I wish I could upload a photo of that night because I took photos of those bathroom doors and stood lost in thought at the profound question of which I was — yin or yang — and feeling exactly like you: country mouse in the city! 🙂 I’m sure many people also told you to visit Serendipty. Another fantastic spot! We stumbled on a tea room on the Upper East Side that was also a quiet spot of comfort in a crazy loud city. But my favorite was Central Park…what vision and beauty plopped in the middle of 6 million people! Anyway, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy your trip and three cheers to Joe — the awesome breakfast bringer-upper! ~Beth

    • sbranch says:

      Central Park is the miracle of New York. How smart they were to save such a huge wonderful space!!! What fun to be at Tao with your kids! I would have liked to sit at your table!

  97. Priscilla in Naples, Florida says:

    Even though I’ve not been to New York City in over 5 years, it was wonderful to reminisce along with your photos and descriptions reminding me of many of the places I’ve been in NYC. And, here’s another even though, even though I own all your “cook” books, I am a Vegan so don’t actually stay true to all the recipes; must be all the pretty pictures, watercolors, the ribbon markers, and the LOVE! 🙂 So, it was wonderful to see that many of the restaurants you visited had Organic and Vegan foods on the menus. Such LOVE! As I told my eldest grandson recently, we didn’t need to refer to foods as Organic when we were growing up because that’s how all foods were raised; but nowadays, if you want to avoid chemicals, you go for the Organic section. xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      I pretty much only get organic. Unless it’s a watermelon or cantalope with a thick tough skin. But I try to cook with organic, which gets easier all the time. New York is so smart, they want everyone to be happy! 🙂

  98. Barbara Viscome says:

    Susan, you are unique in this world. There is nobody like you…nobody!
    What the world needs now is Halloween wrapping paper. I have a Halloween birthday and I am tired of gifts wrapped in make-shift Halloween wrapping paper like a black paper table cloth or Halloween material. Hallmark says there is no market for Halloween wrapping paper, but I strongly disagree. There are so many people with Halloween birthdays. Every time I tell someone I have a Halloween birthday…every time….they immediately tell me they know someone with one.
    I wrote this because I l o v e your idea of birthday material…love, love,love, it.
    You bring ” cute ” and “charming” back to this world. Thank you!

    • sbranch says:

      I love it, you know your halloween birthday situation!!! I often find that “the market” is an idiot — but for some reason, the idiot is running the asylum!!! Thank you Barbara! Have a wonderful day!

  99. Karen says:

    Susan, Thank You for your inspiration…it gives me a reason to look forward to each day! Happy Valentine’s Day..the Heart pan is adorable!

  100. Hi Susan,
    I love the cute little girl valentine – so sweet. Thanks & have a “sweet” valentines day.
    ♥ Barbara

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