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Friday, August 14, 2009


To cap off the day, we decided while we all still had cash left we should hit Canal St. for some shopping. Previous trips to Canal St. featured secret rooms, back alleys, and garbage sacks full of handbags. They now have something none of us were prepared for: Mini Van Stores. Shannon and I ventured into the first “Coach” mini van and the vendor shut us in. The windows were tinted and it was HOT!! It was so hot that I just wanted out of the van but it appeared we would never escape without a purchase. Finally, I offended him by offering $10 for a purple Coach bag, and at that point he threw us out of the van.

There was one shop with the secret room, which Laurel nicknamed the treehouse. Laurel and Shannon both found some Gucci and Coach there. However, I was unimpressed at this point. I was beginning to believe that I would leave Canal Street bagless, how utterly sad. The other new technique the vendors use is to show you pictures or a catalogue of what they have before you climb in the van. One lady approached me with her catalogue and I saw a Stephen Sprouse designed Louis Vuitton that intrigued me. I indicated that I liked the bag, but I really didn’t want to get back in a van. It’s quite traumatic for the freak of nature tall girl to be confined to small, hot places.

This lady was probably 5 foot 2 on her best day but she literally grabbed my arm and almost threw me over her shoulder into the van. Fortunately, Laurel witnessed the assault and climbed into the bag van behind me. At this point, I was buying. Her superhuman strength freaked me out and I thought of the money more as paying of a ransom for my freedom before she had to use anymore of her Greco Roman wrestling moves on me. So, although she didn’t have the original color that I wanted, I purchased and ran for my life. Later, I saw a woman on the street carrying the bag I had wanted, I was tempted to approach her and ask what van she bought it out of.

During this shopping scandal, there was a substory developing. Shannon was able to reunite with her cousin David after not seeing each other for twenty years. He was so amazing to us during our trip, it was great to have a local around. David also, God bless him, served as photographer. We took a total of 476 pictures during our time in New York and David probably took 90% of those for us.