Joanne Hegarty: Why I’m packing some positivity

Upbeat vibes in the city, Wearing a MaxMara coat, leggings by Cos, boots by The White Company, bag by Celine

You can find upbeat vibes all around the city by wearing a MaxMara jacket, Cos leggings, Boots by The White Company and a Celine bag 

You wouldn’t think an app that helps you test for Covid could lift your mood – but that’s America for you. We were so happy to see the instruction video that was full of positive restaurant sounds and promises of freedom, even before our bad results.

New Yorkers are known for their optimism, even under gray winter skies. And it’s a look I packed into my bulging  suitcase when we flew home from our short family break. Because nothing makes us look, or feel, better than the attitude that life’s champagne glass is  always half full.


And even though the c-word was, as ever, dominating the news during our stay, you’d never have known it from the happy crowds in some of my favourite New York institutions – from Bubby’s diner in Tribeca to Emilio’s Ballato, an old-school Italian in Soho, to afternoon tea at the Upper East Side’s Carlyle Hotel.

When on holiday, I love people-watching – and it’s never more thrilling than in New York. Even the pampered army of  Big Apple dogs have their own wardrobes of coats, ribbons  and rubber booties.

My other favourite New York pastime is – obviously! – shopping. There are so many stores in the city that you can’t resist. Again, there’s that wonderful positivity, with shop assistants so much more on their game than at home. Frame Soho’s selection of jeans is far greater than that found in London. Because they were so flattering on the assistant in the shop, I bought a pair.

And, call me a fashion fool, but I love New Yorkers’ uplifting salutes. As their ‘have a beautiful day’ rings in my ears, I want to promise back: ‘I’ll darn well try!’ On New Year’s Eve, I went to Saks Fifth Avenue where history seeps out from the changing rooms. As a Park Avenue mom, I saw her purchase the most stunning white feathered gown for her daughter. It was dazzling!

Another thing that I enjoy doing in New York City is house hunting. My favorite haunts include Perry Street in West Village and Charles Street. Both are lined with beautiful brownstones. Sarah Jessica Parker lived here for almost 20 years.

 She’s now living around the corner in an even more impressive address. Meanwhile, Perry Street is still full of tourists taking photos of the fictional home of SJP’s alter ego Carrie Bradshaw. The whole area is like a movie set – and when we were there, there was the added bonus of festive garlands and twinkling trees. So life-affirming. This is how chic it looks. It’s just like New York.

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Brighten up the season in apple green. Jumper, £89,

Simple but gorgeous. Necklace, £180,

This puffer is my favorite. Coat, £89.99,