Monday, March 03, 2008

what really matters

When I went home for Christmas, I came bearing fabulous imposter gifts. You know, the coach purses and tiffany jewelry that cost me all of $10 down on Canal street. Anyway, it was such a big hit at Christmas, that my Mother and Aunt came up to visit me for the weekend.

We started off the weekend with hitting the typical tourist events like Central Park, 5th Ave (the Tiffany and Co building), Rockefeller center, Empire State Building, Macy’s at Herald Square, etc. Granted I’ve done this tour about a thousand times but I didn’t complain because it made them soooo happy. We went to the top of the Empire State Building and lasted all of five minutes because the 20 degree wind froze our faces off instantly. We did slip into the restroom to see if the water in the toilet would sway. Here is the conversation among the three of us that happened behind the closed stall:
“Okay lets see if it will move”
“I can’t see the bowl from here, scoot over”
“I think I see some movement”
“Really, I think it the water”
“Maybe if we flush it”
“No we have to wait for it to be still”
“It isn’t doing anything and it is starting to smell!”
When we opened the stall door, an old Asian woman gave us the strangest look. I guess I would too if I didn’t know what we were talking about.

We took in two Broadway shows. I had heard rave reviews of Mary Poppins, and I can vouch it is as magical and wonderful as they say. I probably would have liked it even more if I had not just seen Grease the day before. Yeah, Grease. It got shitty reviews and some guy told me they couldn’t pay him enough to see it. They are all wrong! It was so catchy and upbeat that I left humming and snapping my fingers. Plus the Sandy and Risso parts were being played by understudies (mediocre at best) and it still rocked! Loved the girl playing Frenchie who may have technically been a dwarf.

One evening I took them down to Little Italy to eat some really good Italian food. I swear it is a “cannot miss” area. Each time I have eaten at a different place, and each time the food has been fantastic. I told them to walk down the token three blocks that make up Little Italy and choose a place. While we were browsing the menus, my Aunt declared that we must eat here. I asked her if she saw something extra good on the menu, and she replied “no, but did you see how cute the Matre’de was!” Ah ha ha, and the food was equally as delicious.

Although both plays were fantastic, the highlight of the weekend was shopping for fake stuff on Canal street. Both my Mom and Aunt brought $500 cash and a long list of items request items from friends and family. They were so excited to follow small Asian men and women to a backroom and buy imitation Coach, Fendi, Prada, and Gucci purses. They also picked up pasminas, cashmere scarves, and Burberry scarves for $5 (or less) a pop. Then we hit the jewelry sector where they happily collected Tiffany & Co, Chanel, and Coach jewelry. At the end of the day, we had six (yes six!) full size non descript black garbage bags. I think my Aunt got 11 purses, 4 bracelets, 3 necklaces, 6 pasminias, 4 scarves, 12 “I heart NY” shirts, and one statue of liberty 14k gold charm.

Here is my personal favorite moment:
We followed our fake purse liaison down the block assuming we were going to yet another back room. Well she pulled up to this van, looked around, opened the door and told us to get in! Ummmm a VAN! Okay, I’ve been in my share of back rooms, attic spaces, utility closets, and basement storage rooms to buy fake purses, but never a van. I checked the drivers seat because I didn’t want to jump in and have it take us to some slave labor sweatshop in Queens or something. I could only imagine. Anyway, here we are in the back of a van (or minivan) looking at the stacks and stacks of purses they had on display. Getting a look at the purses was a problem since all the van windows were covered up and the only light we had was the tiny dimmed overhead cab light. I was huddled in the corner as the van managed to contain myself, the fake purse liaison, my Mom, my Aunt, another random girl shopper, and about 500 fake purses. When they finally made their purses (yes they bought something from the back of a VAN!), the liaison made us wait till the coast was clear before literally shoving us out the side door. On the street a mid-20’s guy who was standing nearby asked if we had seen a girl inside there. He was her boyfriend and he was getting ready to raid the van if he heard even a peep of distress from her. My Mom later remarked that we should have told him “oh you mean the body in the corner”. Now you know who gave me my unique sense of humor.


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