I just got back from New York. It’s the first time I visited the city in ten years.
The energy astounds me. New York knows how to put me in my place and make me feel tiny. All of my flaws can be on display – like their garbage, on the street – and no one cares or even seems to notice. I spent half a day in Little Italy wearing these:
It was the best $6 ever spent.
No one said a thing, except one hustler, who called me Hollywood.
The search for fake fendis
Fake fendi…or it is real?
Did I mention I have a crazy family? Because I do. I have a mom, sister, and male cousin who decided part of the New York experience was being led down a hidden corridor and into a room lined with counterfit handbags and filled with teenagers dressed in “I Love New York” tee-shirts.
“Purses, watches,” a squat, middle-aged Chinese man says. My cousin looks at him cooly, smoking a cigarette.
“Ok, where are they?” he asks.
The man shows a make-shift catalog and says if we buy one, he’ll pull up with the bags.
This won’t do for us. We’re native Chicagoans and not naive.
We then follow the man from a few steps behind and eventually he nods at a petite, black-hair woman who leads us to the back of a store. She pushes a wall. It opens to reveal a room only slightly bigger than a closet, filled with bright turquoise Prada, several vintage-style Guccis that look like they belong on the set of Mad Men, and a bunch of flashy Fendis.
The negotiation begins. My cousin talks him down to $80 for two purses and got him to throw in a wallet.
We have no idea if that’s a good price or not.
City smarts: don’t try to take pictures of all tacky trinkets in Chinatown. You will be screamed at.
the Sex & the City Tour
I am unabashedly obsessed with the show. So I took the tour even after reading this article, which tears it a new one, using terms like “pale midwesterners,” to describe the various Carries, Samanthas, and Charlottes (no Mirandas) on the tour and likens the men to sulky handbags.
The age of the internet means there isn’t any room for surprise. Everytime we turned the corner, I’d lean over to my sister and say, “Oh yeah, they explained this part. This is when we get to see Aiden’s bar.”
She dismissed the article as a pretentious piece of trash. At around $40, cocktails not included the tour was pricy, but so is everything in New York. Not only did it give us a lot of background on a show we used to watch while lying in her bed, eating Benn & Jerry’s, it gave us a sense of New York neighborhoods.
It was a tour bus down memory lane for the two of us. The only problem is that you’re ushered from place to place pretty fast, like a gaggle of school children. There is a free cupcake and it was a damn good one.
The crowning moment is that I found a life-changing lipgloss on the tour at Fresh cosmetics. I promise for my male readers (do I have …any readers?) that I will never post something this girly again.
Near Death Experience
Goodbye fair city!
My trip was marred by a near-death experience on the way home. I don’t know how close to death I was, but it’s the closet to death I’ve ever felt.
I took one of those small planes from Porter Airlines from New York to Toronto to Quebec City. I knew before I took off on the Porter flight it was going to be a rocky one. The air was swirling with a storm and it was drizzling.
I am in no way blaming the airline for stomach churning, drink fallin’, say-a-silent-prayer turbulence. But yes, during the flight the plane dropped and skidded a bit. Drinks spilled. People screamed like they were on a roller coaster, only with real terror in their voices.
The poor conference-going guy next to me tried to keep me calm by looking at me and talking to about my job the whole time.
I still feel panicky when I think about it. I want to grip the chair I’m sitting in right now, except it doesn’t have any arms. I couldn’t sleep for days after that and kept googling “plane crashes, Quebec.”
Side bar: So far, I adore Porter Air. Their customer service is top-notch. They have the most fantastic little layover spot, complete with free coffee, and it’s cheap. They also have the most attractive “studes” I’ve ever seen.