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September 21, 2008

I and I take on Soho

September 21. Day 83.

Any concerns about authenticity are instantly quelled by brunch at Pastis.

My friends and NY hosts, I&J, took me there this morning, and half the time we were eating the eye candy. The coked-out trust fund girl with brittle hair sitting next to a lady in a mumu two tables away, the very stylish Spanish speaking couple who were visibly pawing at a Nueva York guide in front of everyone while their daughter, rightfully, wished her parents were from the UWS, not, like, Venezuela. Vaina! The guy who took an hour to make his hair look like he took thirty seconds on it. We're all fakes, I remembered. Naturally.

After brunch, I and I headed to Soho for some street shopping. She's having a baby, and I (meaning me) wanted to get her (meaning I) something cute. At Bonpoint, the saleswoman was warning a couple that a cotton dress they were looking at was "impractical." Why, asked the future mother. "Because it's white," she replied. Obviously. A $140 infant sweater in a darker color, however, is totally practical.

We wandered around a few more baby stores, but nothing jumped out at either of us. And then, we spotted them. Onsies. Lined up on a little rack, on Prince Street (I think). The first one had a rendering of Madonna on it and said, helpfully, "Madonna." Perfect for brunches at Pastis. I asked the salesman how much it was.


I put it back, played it cool. The ol' street vendor approach.

He talked to some other shoppers, and then I asked him if he'd agree to $13. Deal. Maybe I should have shot for $10. (If I were with anyone else, I might have felt strange bargaining for a present in front of the recipient, but we are way beyond that.)

We kept walking and came across a table with some really cool necklaces. I couldn't find a picture of them online - that's how new (or fleeting) the trend is. In any case, I asked the price. "$20 - and that's a really good price. I mean, someone told me recently she saw the exact same piece in a boutique for $90." I feigned disbelief. And then, told her it wasn't really my style and walked away. A guy with long hair sitting on the bumper of a white van, who had been totally silent, whispered something to the saleswoman.

"You can have it for $15!" she called after me.


Of course, the necklace resurfaced a few blocks down. This time, it was in a luscious rust color, none of that blingy gold and chrome from the other place. Going for $15.

"Can we say $10?"

This woman shook her head. I walked away. But it was a cool necklace. And cheaper.

I wandered back.

"What about $12?"

She nodded. So for twisty necklaces and straight deals, check out Mary, from Kenya, now at the Wooster and Spring street market.

Gained: $5.
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