When I was packing/cleaning for my current trip to New York, The Boy accused me of being a purse hoarder. I pooh-poohed his complaint, but I may have to admit that I have a slight problem.
In my quest to convince The Mister that we belong in New York, I eschewed my comfort zone of Times Square and headed to parts of New York that I only heard of through Law & Order reruns (The Lenny era, obviously).
I made my way over to Canal Street, wanting to see the legendary area where a person can get knock-offs (imitation items) and see if anything caught my eye. As soon as I stepped on the corner of Church and Canal, an older Asian man sidled next to me and barely whispered “Handbag?”
I nodded, then he took off, me struggling to keep up. That man could MOVE. He made a gesture to another man who joined us. As we walked, codes were passed: an umbrella opened and closed three times in rapid succession, a cap tilted then righted, ears tugged. The system is tight and lucrative. I realized I wasn’t the only person following a strange man.
Finally, I was taken to a small corner where four people surrounded me. I tightened my hand around my pen, ready to fight if I needed. However, this circle was so I could look at pictures of bags and decide. I found one I liked and after haggling over the price (my mom is the QUEEN of haggling) the youngest of the group trotted off to get my goods.
I lit a cigarette, trying to appear cool, but I was thrilled! I was getting a cute little bag on Canal Street. Little things excite me.
The young man returned, looked around, then presented the bag to me. I paid, then everyone seemed to fade away after quick instructions on where to catch the E train uptown.
I stood smoking a few more seconds, then realized I needed to fade away myself. Here I am on one of the most notorious streets chilling. I stored my item, then made my way to the subway, shaking my head no as others asked if I wanted a handbag.