Escape to Nordstrom, Part II
Author’s note: This is the second part of a two-piece article I wrote about my trip to the flagship Nordstrom NYC store with my homies Brookie and Jennie. It was written in that strange era of time when humans still freely roamed the earth. How I fervently hope we will enjoy those freedoms again soon! In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy the vicarious escape. [Editor’s Note: Read Part I here.]
Friends, if you recall, my (dare I say uxorious) husband PVT sent me and two of my homies, Brooke and Jennie, on a quick little jaunt to the new flagship Nordstrom in NYC. I spent the entire morning of day one and a good portion of that afternoon shopping with my personal shopper, Giovanni, then lunching and quaffing at the Shoe Bar. Suddenly, it’s almost 4 p.m. – time for my appointment at the FaceGym! We haven’t even walked through the beauty department yet; we wind our way through a rainbow of cosmetics and perfumes and head up the stairs to the spa and salon area.
The number of services Nordstrom Beauty offers makes my heart burst: There’s Anastasia Beverly Hills for perfect brows; Base Coat, for nails; Blink Brow Bar; Dry Bar; Heyday, for facials; Kate Somerville, for skincare; the Light Salon, for laser and light therapies; Nordstrom Spa Body Services; Sisley Paris, for Frenchy facials; St. Tropez, for spray tans; the Waxing Room; and my choice, the FaceGym.
The FaceGym uses a “signature muscle-manipulation to lift, sculpt, tone and tighten.” The FaceGym was actually launched in the UK and has one other outpost to date in LA; it’s definitely legit, and I can’t believe I get to try it! My “trainer” – “It’s not a facial, it’s a workout!” – has the strongest, most competent hands that seem to penetrate into my skull – but strangely, it feels quite wonderful, like a deep tissue massage for my face. My trainer targets the face’s “40 forgotten muscles” with high-energy knuckling movements and whipping strokes to stimulate blood circulation, collagen production and cell renewal. And then she uses some sort of electrical wand that penetrates deep into my skin; I feel my face getting little shocks and tightening with the current.
Friends, I can’t tell you how glowy and young my face looks: This night, my old mom self doesn’t put on a drop of makeup besides lipstick and mascara to hit the streets of NYC. FaceGym recommends several sessions in a few weeks before a big event – your wedding, maybe – and I can see that the process would definitely have long-term benefits. Jennie is so impressed with my aura that she books an appointment for the next morning!
“Jagged Little Pill”
Giovanni, my devoted personal stylist, who pressured me exactly zero, meets us with an embarrassment of my riches. And suddenly, we have to hurry to get ready for our pre-show dinner at Carmine’s, a family-style Italian institution right across the street from our show, “Jagged Little Pill.”
We dress and primp quickly – I wear my new leather jacket – and we all look like pretty hot moms if I do say so myself! We are lucky to grab a cab – it’s freezing – and pop into our bustling, noisy restaurant. We sip Chianti (well not Jennie; she’s a buttery chard girl), slurp pasta and cover most topics under the sun, from kids to husbands to jobs to dreams. The service is prompt and solicitous, which is great because our show starts promptly at eight!
“Jagged Little Pill” is a relatively new show on Broadway, and it’s perfect for us. It hits on topics all close to our hearts: the pressure on parents to be “perfect,” the stress kids feel to get into top colleges, the difficulty of balancing work, family and self – it’s a doozy. Throw in a mom addicted to painkillers, a workaholic dad, an adopted black daughter who sees racism in the form of lower expectations – all of this is set to Alanis Morissette’s moody, dreamy music.
We laugh, we cry – Jennie wants to bring her whole family to see it. We stumble out of the show into the freezing night; it’s almost midnight, but it might as well be high noon given the crowds still pulsing through the streets. The Gap is still open! We can’t find a cab, so we meander back to our hotel, have a quick dance party, and collapse before one more day of abbreviated shopping.
“See You Tomorrow” Resale Department
In the morning, Jennie and Brooke take a quick tour of the TJ Maxx across the street from Nordstrom (ultimately disappointing), and I hit the Nordstrom Men’s store, which is also across the street from the main flagship. I get some cool shirts for my big boys from brands I’ve never heard of: Ice Cream and Saturdays NYC. Then we get Jennie situated for her appointment at the FaceGym, while Brooke and I hit the “See You Tomorrow” resale department.
This is a new concept for Nordstrom. At first I was a bit taken aback at the thought of buying secondhand clothing at my favorite chi chi store, but of course it’s done in a Nordstrom way. See You Tomorrow offers “a selection of previously owned clothing, shoes and accessories that’s highly coveted, expertly curated and continually changing. No longer is the life of clothing a straight line from new to old: now it’s a continuous circle.”
Everything we see is in near-perfect condition; the selection of Manolos makes me think Sarah Jessica Parker dropped some of her closet there! Brooke finds a beautiful pair of earrings that are, alas, still four figures. I find a darling rainbow sweatshirt by a brand I’ve never heard of – Re Done – it has an edgy, vintage feel. Everything is in such impeccable shape it hardly feels like resale.
Nike X Nordstrom NYC
Then we slip down to the Nike X Nordstrom NYC. It feels a little Versailles-esque with its red velvet walls and posh chairs and sofas. Oh the shoes are so beautiful, the leggings – all of it is workout perfection – almost too pretty in which to sweat! I’m enchanted by a pair of fruity leggings; all the shoes come in an infinite range of Nike rainbow perfection. There are security guards and foot cameras slanted downward to make sure that no one slips out with a pricey pair of unpaid shoes.
We meet a glowly post-FaceGym Jennie and trek through purses, where I have to purchase a darling new carry on – on sale! – for all my loot. We find Jennie a chi chi Burberry cap to wear to her son’s lacrosse games (please note: my dear friends are what Gretchen Rubin would call “underbuyers”). And then we’re lured in to the Glossier display. It’s not a brand I’m familiar with, but Brooke is – her nieces love it! It’s a hip, young, girl brand that embraces a “no makeup makeup” aesthetic. We try a perfume that adjusts to a person’s own pheromones, so it smells differently on everyone. Enchanting!
Then it’s time for lunch at Wolf: “Wolf is a refined yet comfortable space serving Italian-inspired fare with a Pacific Northwest twist.” It’s a beautiful, airy spot with plenty of windows looking out over the bustling 57th street corridor. I get fried oysters, my favorite fried food in the whole wide world.
And then – we’re off to pack, grab a cab, make a quick stop for frozen hot chocolate at the Upper East Side’s Serendipity (a dessert institution), and make our way to LaGuardia.
Can you believe we went all the way to the fabulous metropolis that is NYC, and really only left Nordstrom for dinner, a show and to sleep? Well, that’s a testament to the awesomeness of this store.
As of this writing, we’re still huddled and homebound. But friends, I hope by the time of this writing, or soon after, you can grab a super cheap flight and go! Your aching retail heart will be so very happy!