Monday, November 05, 2007

When the girls came

There were a few stories that I didn't tell in hopes I would have pictures to go along with them. Allow me to take you back a few weeks, when my friends Allison (In the middle of pic) and Gretchen (On the right) came to "The Big City." I'm not sure if I mentioned that Allison was in her first trimester of her second pregnancy and was a little touch-and-go on the stomach side of things. She had a wonderful day on Saturday with Gretch and I. We went to Central park and walked to the fountain, saw the central park guards on the black horses, took a picture of melty ice rink (it was 80 degrees), then moved to the Hello Deli (Which is closed on Weekends BTW) and headed south to canal street, which is where story one takes place.

Story One
Gretchen was told my numerous people that Canal street is where you go to get Gucci, Prada, and Coach purses at a "discount" price. So we jumped on the bus from Midtown so the gals could get a look at the city and head south. We got off the bus and was instantly asked by a lovely small Asian woman if we wanted designer bags. I just kept walking acting like I didn't hear her and Gretchen stopped and yelled in her charming Midwest accent "HEY MANDI, IS THIS IT, IS THIS IT?" I shockingly with a smile turned and made eye contact and gave her the "lets keep moving" head nod when she thought, uh oh Mandi didn't hear me I must have to yell louder "HEY MANDI IS THIS IT, IS THIS HOW WE GET PURSES?" Horrified and extremely amused I turned around and said, "LETS KEEP MOVING!" The sweet Asian lady saw that it was safer to move on the next group of tourists. When Gretchen caught up with me, through my laughter, I had to quickly explain that "discounted purses" meant "Illegal Knock-Offs" and that we had to be sly about it. A quiet Asian man then approached us and said "Coach, Prada" come to my shop. We followed him to a tiny little building that was locked, down a flight of stairs that weren't finished being constructed, down a hallway that led to a back room with another lock. While we were going down the stairs, our lovingly pregnant friend Allison was saying something to the effect of "I'm not liking this" and "oh my word" which she still disputes she says to this day. Anyway, he unlocked the door into what looked like a tiny little boutique, well lit, with purses hanging from floor to ceiling. We picked out our "Discounted Purses" and were heading up the stairs when he yelled "WAIT" quickly passing us and peaking out the door to see if it was safe to exit. At that point it dawned on the two Midwestern women that this was, in fact, illegal and if we got caught we could be prosecuted to the fullest extent of NYC law. Although that didn't actually happen, we are now safe to roam the streets sporting our discount coach swag and live to tell the legend I like to call "When Gretchen yelled, Canal street answered"

Here is the fruit of our labor.

Story Two
Since we were free and clear of our criminal activity, we decided to go to the South Street Seaport and over to the Staten Island Ferry. We ran down the subway stairs and I made us jump on the train in the station to head south, only we jumped on the Q, and for those who don't know, the Q is an express train to Brooklyn, not the train we take to the South Street Seaport. OOPS! At that point Allison's NYC excursions were beginning to wear on her poor little prego body. She became instantly and extremely ill. When I realized we are on the Q train a kind gentlemen asked us where we were trying to go. I said, "The south Street Seaport, but we are on the Q aren't we?" He said, "Yup, you're going to Brooklyn, but I live in Brooklyn, and it's a lovely place to visit." He asked Allison and Gretchen where they were from and told Gretchen to get her camera ready for the great view of lower Manhattan when we cross over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn. Allison became so ill we saw tears in her eyes. She told us at the next stop we were going to have to find a bathroom. Our new friend said "There isn't really a bathroom at the first two stops of this train, not one that you will want to use anyway." We explained to him that Allison is pregnant. He said "Well, I live in Park Slope, a few blocks from the train, my wife is home, we have three bathrooms and you are welcome to come to our house and use ours." Allison said "I think I'm going to have to." With tears in her eyes and concern on our faces we introduced ourselves to our new friend Gary. We followed him off the train, he phoned his wife and told her he was bringing home three strangers and one of them is pregnant, sick, and needs a bathroom ASAP. She was at the door waiting for us with the door to the bathroom open. Allison bolted in and we went back into the kitchen and began to get to know our "Brooklyn Guardian Angels" Gary and Jennifer. They live in a beautiful brownstone that Gary fixed up with his bare hands in the 80's. They were both soooooo sweet we felt like we had known them forever! If anyone says New Yorkers are not nice, those people have never been ill and in need on a Q-Train to Brooklyn! We stayed about 45 minutes, Allison was well enough to hop back on the train and make it up to Harlem, and now we have friends in Park Slope! Here is a picture of Gary and Jennifer on the front steps of their Brownstone.

I thought these two stories were to great to go untold. I hope you enjoyed them...

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