Right at the top of my bucket list for many years? New York City. Finally, after waiting forever, a friend of the same vintage and I made the trek. Theatre, musicals, art galleries, museums, breakfast, lunch and dinner (only way to fit in all the restaurants we wanted to try), tours, Central Park, more eating, wine and cocktails – and of course SHOPPING. I loved every minute, but my three favourites were “A Night with Janis”, a church service in Harlem and the purchase of what came to be known as “The New York Coat”.

Those of you who have visited New York have many memories I’m sure…for us the subway was an unfamiliar form of transportation, but we learned to navigate our way around. Of course we rode in the legendary New York Cabs, but for the most part we took the subway.

Our hotel advertised a rooftop lounge which we were eager to try. To our disappointment it was only open Wednesdays and Saturdays. Our stay was only one week and Saturday there were reservations for a play. So…late Wednesday night we thought we’d stop for a drink before returning to our room and falling into bed. Surprised by the entrance – a steel door without a sign, we rang the buzzer as directed and a very large, muscle bound young man ushered us in. Down a poorly lit hallway, into a service elevator and up to the rooftop. Just before letting us out he advised us that we were in for a treat – Wednesdays were Brazilian nights. Hmmmm what might that mean? We soon found out. In the centre of the rooftop was a covered space that housed the bar, a dance floor and a live Latin band. The rest of the rooftop was made comfortable with easy chairs, couches, love seats and coffee tables. Candles provided most of the lighting. It was very romantic, memorable and exciting to see the lights of NYC from that perspective. Even better though, was the fact that we were two of a handful of people who didn’t appear to be Latin American. To our delight and pleasure, they all seemed to be excellent dancers and were friendly and welcoming. For the next two hours we were totally entertained by the incredible dancing manoeuvres of our new friends. a completely unplanned and unexpected adventure for us. That memory of a warm fall evening surrounded by physical comfort, bright lights filling the sky and spectacular dancing is one that will stay with me forever!

Janis Joplin is an all time favourite of mine and we were lucky enough to get two tickets, not together but it didn’t matter, to spend the evening in one of the oldest theatres in New York totally immersed in Janis’ life and music. Another life time memory!

As you may have guessed I’m a music lover and gospel is one of my favourite genres. The church service on Sunday morning in Harlem was everything I imagined it to be complete with ladies dressed in their Sunday best wearing hats and “This Little Light of Mine”. I highly recommend it!

A visit to NYC isn’t complete without at least an afternoon of shopping. Personally, I’m not much of a shopper but when you’re in New York you must – right? A trip to the infamous Saks was our first stop and we visited many of the high end clothing and shoe shops. My favourite purchase though, was a gorgeous black velvet, flocked, big collared poofy coat with hot pink satin lining, size 2 for my grand daughter. I could hardly wait to unpack and get the coat over to her when I got home. She loved it, as much as a 2 year old can be impressed by a coat, and kept running the silk lining over her lips. The first wearing was to a family function. When it was time to leave she was eager to don her coat so she could show it to her older cousins. While the adults were saying their goodbyes the cousins were trying out some new version of silly putty. Gooey, slimy, sticky stuff that somehow attached itself to the beautiful pink lining! The more we tried to remove it the more of a mess it was making. Trying to make light of it so no one would feel responsible, I was silently crushed that the beautiful New York Coat would be permanently ruined and never worn again.

As soon as I got home I called my friend the home economics teacher. Her advice – DON’T touch it, take it to the cleaners, they’re the professionals. That’s just what I did and you guessed it, the coat was restored to its original, glamorous state and was worn for the next two years until my grand daughter was over 4. First as a coat for special occasions and then, because she got so much attention wearing it, she wanted to wear it as an everyday coat. The New York coat has been passed down to the next female cousins and still looks perfect. A happy ending for my favourite New York purchase.

Now…the point of the story – trust that the experts know what they’re doing and take clothing mishaps to them before you try to do it yourself.

Mango Cleaners will be able to solve the problem much more readily if they are the first problem solvers and don’t have to deal with other cleaning products that have been experimented with. If you haven’t used Mango Cleaners yet, try them out. A knowledgeable and friendly staff will help you with all your cleaning and dry-cleaning needs. They offer home pick up and a laundry club that is efficient and a huge time saver. Check it out!

The New York Coat