Thursday, May 05, 2005

[written May 4:] The Q train is a nice one. It comes up from underground and goes over the Manhattan Bridge. I have taken it twice now during the evening rush hour. I never noticed before how quiet people are on a crowded subway train. It's like a library in there, and those that aren't reading are staring at their shoes or off into space. But when the daylight hits the keyed-up windows, all heads turn to look outside at the New York skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge and the Hudson River.

I already have a list of about 25 things I want to do this weekend. It's hard to vacation here when you're working all the time. I did some real work at work today, which is going great, even though my new office has military-grade toilet paper and no container recycling. And for lunch I went and got a fancy mixed salad. I think I might have mentioned this a year or so ago, but they do this thing here that they really should do in Northampton, where you pick the type of lettuce and four ingredients and dressing and a guy mixes it all up, chops it, dresses it, and then mixes it some more, before usually throwing a piece of bread on top and sending you on your way. I am still trying to get used to how things are priced here; my salad was $8.50. I am embarrassed to admit that when I saw the "850" the guy had written on the lid, I thought it might be some kind of code for the cashier and couldn't possibly be the price. P.S.: With tax it was $9.23.

I live and work in a kind of a fancy neighborhood. Across the street (Fifth Ave.) from my office is an Anthropologie, a J. Crew, and a Banana Republic. At this point I have browsed all of them. And at all of them, the cheapest and most common price for a skirt is $88, and for a simple top, $48. After looking at clothes for a while today, I started noticing the price, and if the skirt was $88 instead of $98 or $149, I'd actually consider it. This is why people go crazy with the spending here. There's also a small boutique place on my way home, called Agnes B or something, and I went in because the clothes looked simple and not ostentatious. And absolutely everything in there - a dress, a sweater, a silk shirt - cost $240. Good lord. So far I have bought nothing (save a couple of magazines and lots of food) but I don't know how much longer that can last.

There's Shape-Note Singing this weekend; Saturday is in Manhattan, Sunday in Brooklyn. I will try to make the Saturday one; It’s in the East Village, at The Living Room. Rock.


av said...

Wow, you are working on 5th Ave. You are living out a lot of girls' dreams right now. Those prices are based on carefully conducted market research. If people pay a little more but feel ripped off that's no good either, so it's that special price where people still feel that they are paying slightly under the value they think they're getting. Also, isn't $88 kind of hard to remember? $89 is a lot easier to figure out. I mean shit, that's $90! But $88 is cute, like $48. I get the JCrew catalog and I can't even believe those prices. Oh, the Anthropologie catalog just came the other day... they had two skirts, both priced at $148 or something, one made in USA and one "imported". I was wondering what their margin on the imported skirt was.

They make salads like that in SF. They are priced maybe $1.50-$2 cheaper in SF, but same deal. It's cool. I wonder what I'll eat for lunch in my new neighborhood, probably tacos 24/7.

debl said...

For the salad, I made a mistake of adding chicken, which probably made it a couple bucks more. But it was so good with the chicken!

I walked uptown during lunch yesterday and discovered a Gap and a Limited in the next block up. They'll seem like discount stores after Anthropologie. Which I adore, by the way, but haven't had any reason to buy anything there.

Anonymous said...

I was coincidentally flipping through the Anthropologie catalog while reading your blog, and I noticed that around 90% of the prices end in 8. I'm not joking. I agree with av, 8 is the new 9.

That Gap a block uptown from your office has a Gap Body attached to it where I buy all of my bras. They have good bras for the smaller-boobed ladies like my/ourselves.


Anonymous said...

Eight is such a nice friendly number--all curves. Not like that 9, with its pointy end that's gearing up to jab you. 9! Ouch!

New York is definitely giving you good material. You belong here. You belong to the city. As Glenn Frey once said.

Love, Alice

Anonymous said...

That's the EAST river you're going over, not the Hudson.
Ah, newbies...