Sunday, January 17, 2010

Till You Drop

I’m a good shopper – I can shop for hours on end. I’m good at looking for sales. I do enjoy having nice things. I think I have good taste (though I suppose no one believes themselves to have bad taste.) I strike a good balance of research beforehand and spontaneous shopping.

I’m a bad shopper – I’m thrifty/frugal/cheap/miserly. There are many genres of consumer goods that are entirely unappealing to me. My decision making is frequently longer than my co-shoppers would like.

So, all in all, I’m probably a pretty average shopper. I’m not making it into the Olympics, but I can hold my own.

New York is rather famous for its shopping. But I feel like this is much less of a distinction than it was a decade ago. I was strolling through the CBS store, pondering buying a copy of The Bro Code, and I thought to myself: I can buy this on the internet. For less. And while I did find things on my trip that cost less than their internet cousins, it was relatively rare.

So I did some of the touristy shopping; or at least perused. Times Square, Century 21 etc etc. I didn’t make it to any of the “districts” (garment district etc) because I couldn’t think of anything that I needed or could afford (stupid Africa trip!) in those areas.

So perhaps this aspect of New York was squandered on me, at least this time. My purchases for the trip included the following, and were pretty much limited to the following:

1 tie
1 shirt
2 cufflinks
52 sweet Frank Lloyd Wright playing cards.
I wanted that to be a neat sequential list, but 1,1,2,52 isn’t a mathematical pattern that I’m aware of.

I did learn some things about NYC shopping:
• Employees are more aggressive. Normally earbuds keep away sales associates, but not in some stores. They spoke through the music, tapped my arm, even threatened me. They didn’t really threaten me.
• The Apple store is far too popular. I would shoot myself if I worked there.
• DVD stores, labeled only as DVD Store, are in fact porn stores. At least the 2 that I tried. There’s about one rack of movies right as you enter the store, then racks of racks for the rest of the store.
• The best prices are in Spanish stores.
• You’re not allowed to look through the records books in FAO Schwarz. Even if the workers leave them lying on the countertop. But if you do read them, they tell you which celebrities have bought what. TomKat and Suri looked at the Muppet display, but didn’t end up buying one.
• I wish I liked souvenirs, because NYC is the souvenir capital of the world. I could even buy souvenirs of places other than NYC.
• It makes sense to sell pashminas and hats on street corners. It’s freaking cold. It doesn’t really make sense to sell movie scripts or pictures of high heels. But I can only assume they make a profit so what do I know.
• It’s not economical to buy groceries at delis.

Tomorrow’s NYC article: No Apples for Me

1 comment:

Lara said...

Ooh, Africa trip? I want to hear about this!