You want Handbag????

Trip Start May 31, 2007
Trip End Jun 11, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New York
Thursday, June 7, 2007

Greetings, from Chelsea!
Well we both have a bit of a cold.   I cannot imagine why as we have only been kind to our bodies the last week hahaha.   This morning we felt a little rough and as we headed out we walked a little slower, but soon we were experiencing one of our best days and the tired feeling faded away.
Before I describe our day, I will tell you about "The Drowsy Chaperone".   This play is at the Marquis Theatre (mom, this is the one where we saw Annie Get your Gun).   The musical is about a lonely man who is listening to a 1920's Broadway album soundtrack and there in his swuite the play comes alive with him narrating and commenting on the quality of the scene, acting and songs,  sometime positively and sometimes trashing it, but always in a very humorous way.   This show is primarily for comedy.   Not a deep plot and not flashiness of effects etc like Wicked.   As a comedy it was wonderful but we both enjoyed Wicked more.   We still think this one was great too but preferred Wicked. 
So back to today.
We headed to Chinatown.   This is the largest population of Chinese outside of China.   It is huge and growing very fast.   I went over some historic sights with Korinne as this is part of old New York and a lot has gone on here.    As of a few years ago conterfit handbags like Gucci and watches like Rolex were sold openly.  It was illegal then too but now they have really cracked down on this illegal activity.   Chinatown has a history of it's own illegal organized crime.   Police cracking down on sales has only moved this activity out of sight.   So very very often we were approached and asked the question of the day in a low voice, "You want handbag?" .   Koriine was unsure to say yes but I said I had read that it was relatively safe to go with them.   Then we were in the back of a small shop when a man asked us "You want handbag?".   Koriine said yes this time and soon a panel in the wall was moved and we were in behind the store in a hidden room full of designer handbags.   Well Korinne found 2 she liked a Prada and a Gucci bag.   And the bidding began hahahahah.   We got them to half there original offer.   Was that a deal???  Who knows and likely not but they are very nice bags.   So this set a precedent.   We were offered to see watches etc.   Eventually I got myself a watch and we each got some nice perfume at about 1/5th the department store cost.   I did the bartering and it always came down to us walking out the store and then they would take my offer.  It was fun.

We went for Dim Sum at Jing Fong a large Dim Sum palace in Chinatown.   Again we were in the minority.   In fact out of the entire restaurant which had at least 200 patrons we were the only white people.    You sit at large communal tables and carts come around and you do your best to point or communicate what you want.   Some English is spoken but not much.    We were able to communicate "no seafood" so all was good.   The food we ate was extremely unique and a new taste experience to anything we have eaten before.  We each had our favorite and had lots off food for only $16 total.  

We walked by little Italy which is really one street with Italian restaurants for tourists as Chinatown now surrounds it.   I had a cannoli from Ferraras.   They make the best in the world!
We headed into SoHo (named for the area SOuth of Houston).  This area was once the Garment District with sweatshops and then designer garment factories.   Then as artisits realized they could get large well lit lofts for painting and selling their art .   As NY does the success of Soho caused the rents to rise and the artists to leave but the area was popular and has become a shopping mecca for mostly upscale chains like MEXX, Prada, American Outfitters, Timberland and more but splashed in among them are some great little and not so little stores.   We shopped the area pretty thoroughly.   We bought a clock by an artist that is pretyy unique for in our front room.  This clock was purchased to remember my Grandmother that recently passed away.   At the same store they sold animation cells.  Korinne turned down the salesmen who offered her a signed Pepe le Pew for $1500 and and Willie Coyote for $795.   It was not even a consideration at that price but we looked.  We saw one cell in there for $16500.     Korinne did find some cheap fake jewelry and I was glad because she just can't find any cheap jewelry on this trip hahahahahaha.   The buildings in the area are some of my favorite with cast rion fascades and rock streets (not true cobblestone but similar). See pictures

We KEPT walking and headed into Greenwich Village.   This Artistic area around the NYU and Washington Square Park.   This area has some great cache and is fun to walk in.  We walked by the Triangle shirt and pant building.   This historic building was a sweat shop for women in 1911.   The request for fire safety and other safety features were denied.   A fire broke out and the fire department could not help them and 146 Garment workers jumped to there death or were burnt to death.   This horrible seen was well documented as many reporters witnessed the event.   It was the catalyst for the unionization of the garment industry, safety standards were made law and enforced, child labour laws being created and women given rights in the work force.   A huge tragedy that changed the north American labour scene forever. 

Parking in this City is an issue.   Here is a parking lot that has an electronic car stacker.  Very cool.   The second pictures is typical parking rates.

We  walked through Washington Park it was full of people and buskers.  Here is one that I really enjoyed.  Very talented.

We bought some really tasty peanut butter at the peanut butter company.   They make peanut butter only meals.  Yes peanut butter and jelly etc.  Mostly sandwhiches but we bought there peanut butter.

We ate some pizza at Ray's Pizza.   There are a million versions of Ray's Pizza and this fact is a bit of a joke on Seinfeld and the movie Elf.   It can be confusing which is the real original Ray's.   Santa in Elf said it was this one.    It may be but the pie was very ordinary and not near as good as the other one we had.   Good but nothing special.  So maybe being the first Ray's does not make it the best.

We decided the subway was unnecessary and walked all the way home to Chelsea.   We walked a long way today again.   


It is 7pm here and we are considering going to the Brooklyn Bridge tonight to walk it in the dark and see the lights but are tired.  So I will let you know tomorrow if we did.

Until then take care
Vaughn and Korinne
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