Sunday, December 2, 2007

Shopping Commute

It's crazy what you miss when you move. There are the obvious things, like regionally unique customs or topography and there are the less obvious things.

When I went to Colorado, I missed the buzz of New York City (and the concerts) and pizza from Famous Pizza in Connecticut. When I came back to Connecticut, I missed the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the spectacular starry nights and the taste of fresh Angus beef.

And now in New York City I miss living in a beach town, horseback riding, driving in my car...and discount department stores. Yes, it's true, in the sea of wondrous shopping that is New York City, I long for a Manhattan Kohl's and Target. I guess you can take the girl out of suburbia but you can't take the suburbia out of the girl.

Kohl's is where I like to get my winter leggings and tights, my socks and occasionally a cheap basic shirt or two. Target is where I buy most of my health and beauty stuff as well as my purses. Sorry Coach, my favorite. And sorry Kate Spade, you may be two blocks away from my work with your new wonderful 5th Ave store but I don't make that kind of salary yet. The Bed Bath and Beyond at 61st and 1st also sells discounted toiletries but it isn't quite the same fun experience that Target is. I was so mad a couple of months ago that I wrote Target an email pretty much demanding they open a store in Manhattan proper, preferably on the Upper East the 70s...maybe between 3rd and 2nd Aves...?

At least there is a Target accessible by subway at the Atlantic Ave. Terminal in Brooklyn. I made the trip yesterday, taking the 6 to 59th St and then cruising the rest of the way on the 4. I know I whine about the subway a lot but it is a cheap thrill riding the express lines on the weekend. It feels like an underground roller coaster ride! You go so fast and it's kind of herky jerky and you stop less often. My favorite part is when you breeze past stations with everything a blur. And it's much less crowded than weekdays so you can actually somewhat enjoy the ride. Some lines like the N have awesome skyline views when you cross the Manhattan Bridge and the Queensboro bridge.

Since I was on the 4, we did the river crossing underground and I missed out on the views. I was in full-on shopping mode so it didn't much matter. Last time I hauled to Brooklyn Target the place looked like it had been ransacked -- empty shelves and much of what we needed out of stock. I'm not sure if the early time had anything to do with it, but the trip was much better this time around. It wasn't very crowded and I was able to find everything I wanted except for these Glade glass nice-smelly things I swear by in my apartment and winter tights. In fact it was so nice I stayed longer than I planned to and bought more than I'd initially planned.

I had to pass on the bulky items I used to buy in Stamford and then drive back to Norwalk, like laundry detergent, paper towels and the like. I browsed their furniture section but nothing really caught my eye. Eventually I checked out and left.

Back in Manhattan I was still longing for my winter tights, and a Kohl's. There are other places carrying the tights, yes, but none so cheap and disposable as what I want. I don't care if the tights last for only one season when I get them at Kohl's because they're cheap and the styles change so quickly anyway. I have one pair of textured brown tights from last season, and the rest ended up in the trash as passé. They also carry some pretty cute shoes. But the closest location, according to their website, is in Jersey City. No thanks. If I'm going to Jersey, it's for Ikea.

I tried a couple of the discounters around -- Daffy's and Strawberry -- and then hit Forever 21, H&M and even the TJ Maxx on 6th Ave. Nothing caught my eye. I'm probably being overly picky. Sounds like a trip to the suburbs is in order.

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