The Merchant’s House

The Merchant’s House is a museum in NoHo, showing a rich merchant family’s life in the 19th century. Since Friday it is decorated for Christmas. I went to see it on a guided tour this afternoon.

The house was built in the 1830s, when the family moved to what then was uptown because living conditions downtown had become noisy and unattractive. It has been constructed as a row house then but is now standing all alone on 4th Street between Lafayette Street and Bowery.
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Our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. He told the history of the house and its time by the daily life of the Treadwell family, who built the house and lived in it with eight children and four Irish servants. Most amazing was the way business were supposed to be started. The man who wanted to start a business with another man would send his wife there. She would hand over a card. The way the card was folded showed what that visit was about. If the matter seemed interesting to the other man’s wife she was invited in for a brief visit, could sit in the parlor and get an impression of the other family’s situation. I’m happy I wasn’t a rich man’s wife then. This would not have been a proper job for me.

The weather has changed completely since yesterday. Sunshine greeted me this morning and warm air came into my overheated bedroom through the window I had left half open to be able to sleep.
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So I set out in a skirt, light coat and sunglasses to meet up with Soh Ang for brunch before we went to the museum. We had it in Five Points on Great Jones Street. It is a very busy place on Sunday mornings but we got a table. I had a Breakfast Sausage Benedict and a Grapefruit Cooler. The Breakfast Sausage Benedict was a plate of two cheese scones with spicy sausage and Sauce Benedict on them and a bit of green at the side. I loved the contrast of the spicy sausage and the soft and slightly lemony sauce. The Grapefruit Cooler was Gin, Campari and grapefruit juice. Nice color, refreshing and not too strong. A great brunch drink. Even So hang had a drink with her Fish Tacos, a Mimosa. After we finished our food Soh Ang asked the waiter for one single Churro as she had seen a plate of Churros at another table. We shared a plate of Churros with Mexican chocolate then, as a single one was not available. The churros came very thick and soft but with too much sugar on them. She had the leftovers packed and handed them over to me, like always. No wonder I gain weight constantly.
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After we left the museum we walked north. On 12th Street we came across a thrift store where I saw a picture of a little girl that looked so much like me as a little girl. If I had a little bit of room left in my luggage I might have bought it. We as well found a very nice dress – for 200 $, in a thrift shop. Ok, this is New York City and who knows whose dress it had been.
Having passed Union Square we walked further north on Broadway. We checked out the holiday stuff at ABC Carpet. Very beautiful and very pricey. At 23nd Street we parted. I walked over to Park Avenue to get some little gifts at Bath & Body Works and then took the subway uptown. I got off at 72nd Street and walked to Barnes & Noble on 83rd to look for Christmas CDs. They don’t have a great selection. I have to find another place.

All in all it was a great last Sunday.

What I learned today:
Brunch is a good way to start a Sunday – I should take that home.

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