Saturday, February 20, 2010

New York state of mind

With New York fresh in my mind I thought I'd put up some of my favorite pics from a trip to NYC last July and chronicle our shopping expedition on Canal Street.

A great time was had by all that weekend. We saw so much and covered so much ground! Those double-decker bus tours rock! They take you everywhere you could possibly want to go and best of all you can get on and off as many times as you want.

The trip kicked off with drinks at the fab Plaza Hotel.

Klaudia, me and Paige with our $25 drinks! Yes....they were worth it! ;)

Scoring in Chinatown
The second day we took the bus tour into Chinatown to hit up legendary Canal Street in pursuit of that infamous New York staple, the Holy Grail known to all women as- The Knock Off.

But we weren't looking for just any old knock offs. No, we weren't interested in the super cheap, bad logo and incorrectly spelled name kind of stuff. Nope. No Prado or Goach bags for us! We wanted the good stuff, you know, the really good stuff where you have to actually touch the bag to realize it's a fake. Ha! ;)

Unfortunately we got off the bus far too early, many blocks away from Canal. After walking for a while, a water break at a Starbucks and consulting other wandering tourists, we finally stumbled onto Canal. Still though, no bags were in sight. Who knew it'd be so hard to get a hold of those suckers!

On our way to Canal we wandered up an aisle offering up these delicacies. Yes, those are bugs.

Almost ready to give up we finally spotted three tourists who had the "quality" goods we were looking for. The ladies pointed us toward a nondescript guy randomly standing on the sidewalk. We approached him, inquiring about the bags. After looking over his shoulder (yes, he actually did this) he walked us to a van a few feet away. Thinking it would be filled to the brim with our elusive knock offs we leaned in, expectation filling the air. He slid open the door and low and behold.....there was nothing in there! Confused, we just stared, dumbfounded into the empty van.

Now I must admit for one second, for just for one nano-second I thought he was going to ask us to get into that van so that he could "drive" us to the bag "location". My mind raced. What should we do? Run? Scream? It flashed in my mind- three fiesty women, one small Asian man....we could take him! (Yes, this all happened within that nano-second.)

Bagman (that's what we'll call him) reached down and pulled out a laminated card that had pictures of the goods. Klaudia perused the many choices and pointed to the one she wanted. Bagman sent some sort of signal to someone standing on the corner at the end of the street and that person yelled something to someone further down.

I'm pretty sure we thought we'd just waltz on down to Chinatown and the bags would be there, displayed on tables in the street like in a flea market. I never thought it'd be so under cover, so illegal feeling. It felt like we were buying crack or something! Everyone was acting so covert, anxious and nervous. Who knew it was so complicated?

Bagman said it'd take five minutes to get the bag. It took more like 15 minutes. The heat was so stifling that we almost left before it got there. Fortunately, just as we had turned to go someone came running up, out of breath as if the cops were hot on his tail. He handed the bag off to Bagman and took off in a random direction. After a thorough inspection and some deliberation my friend purchased the bag. Frazzled from the heat and our Canal Street experience, we made our way over to Little Italy for some much needed food and drinks!

Here's a great article about knock offs in Chinatown! Gives you an inside look into the counterfeit bag industry and its link to the underground criminal world!

The view from our sidewalk table in Little Italy.

No we weren't the only ones at the Statue! I ran up there right 
when there was a break in the crowd and Klaudia snapped this shot!

Ellis Island is worth the visit. I'd been to NYC before but didn't want to take the time during that trip to check it out. During the summer lines for the Statue and Ellis can be 4-5 hours long! Luckily my friend Paige is a NYC veteran and knew that if we wanted to go we'd have to be at the ferry terminal right when it opened. We were on one of the first ferries over and avoided the crazy wait and crowd.

While riding the subway we met some local girls who told us that a great place to get drinks was at the top of the Met! This picture shows off the amazing sculpture that was on exhibit. The steel tree sculpture is named “Maelstrom” by the artist Roxy Paine.


  1. loved your story about NYC haven't been down canal st in 15 years

  2. Love the NYC story! Always an adventure in a big city! Love that!

  3. thank you for the tour of China Town and New York city!

  4. I would love to go to NYC just to go shopping,,and see all the statues..thanks for sharing with us,,

  5. Great post! Brings back memories of my days as a bus tour escort and spending weekends in NYC. Glad you had fun!