Friday, August 27, 2010

on a mission (lyn)

Much as it may seem otherwise, I am not an impulsive shopper.  At least when it comes to furniture.  About ten years ago, I was at a friend’s house.  Her to do list for the day included buying a table, right below picking up cleaning, and dropping off shoes to be re-soled. For her, it was just one more thing to do that day.  She would go to a couple of stores, find a table she liked, and that would be that.  It amazed me, as it could take me (and did take me) years to find the exact dining table I wanted.  I am the same way about chairs and lamps and dressers.  In April, Zelia and I went to the lighting district and she bought a few lamps for Rodrigo and Victoria’s rooms, all within an hour.  I’d probably still be looking.

My current quest is to find a small side table, no more than 15 inches round and 17 to 18 inches tall, to go next to a chair.  My specificity makes it difficult to find.  I recently saw one at ABC Carpet and Home that would be perfect, but it was much more than I wanted to spend. 

Yesterday I see in the paper that ABC has in outlet, and they are having a big sale, “up to 75% off.”  Unlike the store which is in Manhattan, the outlet is in the Bronx.  The South Bronx, to be exact.  Wkipedia describes the South Bronx this way:

It is situated in the poorest congressional district in the country…almost 50% of the population lives below the poverty line…drug trafficking, gang activity, and prostitution are all still common throughout the South Bronx…Its precincts record the highest violent crime rates in the city.

I decide to go anyway.  I print out walking directions from the subway, and I leave, with visions of finding the perfect little table for next to nothing.

I emerge from the subway station and begin walking.  I feel like Sherman McCoy in The Bonfire of the Vanities.  There is graffiti everywhere.  On buildings.  On trucks.  On walls.  The only commercial industry I see is automotive.  Body Shops are in abundance.  I ask someone if it’s safe to walk here and am told, “As long as it’s daytime.”  I imagine myself getting murdered, and my friends asking, “What was she doing walking around the South Bronx?”

I get to the ABC Outlet and find nothing.  I leave and hurriedly walk the streets to the subway station.

I make it home just in time for lunch.  A salad and a bowl of grapes never tasted so comforting.

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