Friday, April 06, 2007

Hot Purses = Cool Stories

Although this weekend was a sober one since my Mom was in town visiting, it is not without the wacky and entertaining stories people have come to expect from my blog posts.

My Mom and I started the trip with the usual tourist attractions (see previous tour de NY posts). Additionally we ate at the famed Katz deli in SoHo and the Sardi’s restaurant (the place with all the character portraits of famous people). I wouldn’t recommend either. The over priced food was mediocre just because the atmosphere let them get away with it. Additionally, we hit the Museum of Natural history. That I do recommend if you A) sneak in food, B) have all day to spend, and C) are wearing the most comfortable shoes ever.

We had our own personal war against the weather man. Days where the temperature was supposed to hit mid 60’s, turned out to be barely 50 and rainy. Fool me once…you get the drift. Seriously, every day was way off and we paid the price with dressing to match.

I wanted my Mom to have a real NY experience. Thankfully my prayers were answered. She learned (as I have) that when you bump into a person on the street, you don’t stop and say “sorry” or “excuse me”, you shoulder check them back. Also we came across an Asian man sprawled out on the sidewalk with his bicycle and a large woman bending over him. He started cursing in broken English (yes I am so bad), “Fuck you…(unknown)…fuck you fucking lady”! The woman started to walk away and then turned on her heels to shout back “I was going to try to help you, but then you cursed at me, so Fuck you too”! The whole time my mom and I stood and stared at the scene with gaping mouths. Ah ha ha ha.

The moment of torture came at Macy’s. My sister is getting married in Jamaica this summer. Well since it is an island in the Caribbean, my mom is obligated to visit the beach. She was in need of a new swimsuit since the last time she was at a beach or pool was 1985. Okay get the mental picture in your head of a slightly overweight 60 year old lady who hasn’t seen any sun in 20 years…not get it out of your head…this is my mom you are thinking of. I approached the sales lady in the swimsuit department and asked where the more “matronly” suits (you know something with a skirt) were since all we saw was itty bitty string bikinis. She gave me a confused look, looked at my mom, and then said the “one pieces are in the back”. Okay I was forced to sit outside the dressing room only to be called in every other minute to look at my mom in a bathing suit. This lasted an hour and she even tried on two identical suits….twice! I will forever be scared.

The funniest moment of the trip occurred on the last day. We ventured to Canal street in SoHo to buy a good knock-off purse. My mom and sister both wanted some imitation purse for a working man’s price. While in a costume jewelry shop, I asked the Asian sales lady if she had a friend who sold coach or prada purses. She told me to wait there. A few minutes later we were approached by the sales lady and her “friend” who told us to follow her. Canal street is known for people walking around the street with rolling luggage, boxes, or even tied together bed sheets full of purses. You simply follow them around the corner (out of the public view) and look at their “stash” and purchase, cash only of course. We I was surprised when she took us to a crappy convenience/dollar store across the street. She whispered to the guy behind the cash register. He turned around and opened an “employee’s only” door and said “you follow me now”. We walk down the stairs into a dark basement/storeroom. My mom was scared out of her mind and was grasping my arm like crazy. She later told me that we could have “taken” him since he was a small Asian man and we were two burly women. Well we weave in an out of the various boxes in the basement/storeroom and come to a pad-locked door. He unlocks it and swings open the door to reveal a room full of purses. We looked at the selection and some were priced over $200 (of course you have to ask the price since everything is bargain down). We found a nice coach purse and a nice Louis Vinton purse for $40 each. I was only half looking at them (mostly just keeping an eye on the guy) and decided they looked like decent to good knock offs. While we were making our purchase, another tourist woman walked in the room. She said she was there over the weekend and decided to get herself some more purses. I was thinking why would you want more than one or two imitation purses. I later found out her reason. He put our bags in the non discrete black garbage bag (because nothing says I just purchased some black market goods like a black garbage bag) and we left. On the way out, my mom brought to my attention the sign on the basement door. It said “please close the door behind you, thake you”. Ah ha ha….thake!

Anyway, we got home and started to look more closely at the purses. I took out my imitation coach purse from Chicago and compared it to the other. The new one had the correct fabric…in fact it had the correct everything…even the details. The lining for both was correct, the buckles said Coach/LV, the zipper was metal and said Coach/LV, they both even had the sew in label tag on the inside of the purse. In fact they had the key chains, purse storage/protector bags, and retail price tags from Coach/LV. My mom and I looked at each other and realized these were not good knock offs, these were the real things and they were probably hot! We called the sister and told her “we just got you a stolen real Louis Vinton purse!” Now I figured the woman visiting the “store” again realized they were real and was either trying to make a profit of reselling them or give out some mighty nice Christmas/Birthday presents.


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