Posts Tagged ‘soho’

I…I…I FEEL…I’M HAVING HEART PALPATATIONS!

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

 

      In a city that boasts more panic attacks than cockroaches, I’m certain those of you who live here don’t need me to advise you on anxiety attack catalysts.  But for the truly calm among you – Namaste, nice yoga mat, LoulouLemon rules –switching it up now and then isn’t a bad idea.   And so, as a service, I’ve taken the liberty of listing the absolutely finest places in New York City to get your panic attack on…

SOHO

      I am one of the few native New Yorkers who remembers SoHo when real read – poor artists lived there among the  factories and the warehouses.  The dopey, trendy stores were few and far between, Spring Street Natural Restaurant was still on Spring Street and there were a few actual bodegas.  But you can’t stop progress, and by the late 80s, the lofts were being bought up by investment bankers who referred to their lofts as “their space,” and rich parents from rich towns in Connecticut and Westchester and Long Island, who purchased them for their trust fund kids, in an effort to fool everyone into thinking that an editorial assistant making $18,000 a year could easily afford a million dollar loft.

            It has devolved further over the decades, becoming a neighborhood occupied by people who could buy Zucotti Park, Mergers and Acquisitions Ivy Leaguers who love to say, “I live in SoHo,” thinking that you’re thinking, “I wonder what kind of painter he is,” or “Gee – he’s like Alan Bates in An Unmarried Woman!”  Attention, investment bankers and hedge fund managers – we know you don’t know the difference between a Manet and a Monet, a Calder mobile and a mobile phone, an impressionist painter and an impressionist.

        SoHo 2014 = outdoors Short Hills mall.  You want an art  gallery?  Go to Chelsea.  You want Warby Parker sunglasses, a new case for your new iPad Air, want to calculate how many years you’ll have to work before you could afford a button at the Chloe Boutique on Greene Street?  This is your place.  It’s like a reverse Calcutta – thousands and thousands of people on the street, moving forward for no apparent reason, wandering aimlessly from block to block, wanting, desperately, to buy anything.  It’s the bald man in his sixties, arm-in-arm with the Swedish model who’s carrying enough high-end shopping bags to stock Rodeo Drive, the group of suburban teenage girls flash-mobbing Victoria’s Secret,  grandparents buying infant onesies from vendors who look like they haven’t bathed since they were in onesies. 

       There are no museums in SoHo.  There are no monuments, cathedrals, landmarks.   Don’t they sell Vuitton in Paris?  Then why are French tourists asking me, “Où est le Louis Vuitton shop?”  Why is there an entire store that sells nothing but Nespresso coffee makers? 

How many people come to SoHo to buy a $500 Espresso maker, made, by the way, not by some Italian coffee dynasty but by Nestle, the same company that makes the Crunch bar and Hot Pockets. I secretly think the coffee stuff is just a front and that they sell pot in the back, because with rent that’s almost $1,000 a square foot, really, how many trays of Hazelino coffee pods can they move in a day? Maui-Wowwie and Acapulco Gold pods – a whole other story…

 

OLD NAVY

      On the other end of the spectrum is Old Navy.  Now kudos for selling cheap crap and pricing it accordingly.  Do I want to spend five bucks on a pair of flip-flops, which is probably 4 bucks more than they cost to make, or must I have Havianas on my feet, which probably cost 2.4 Brazilian reals ($1 USD), and can pretty much look like flip-flops they sell at CVS.   Yes, I know the Havianas are supposed to be better for my feet but I’m not on “Survivor: The Galapagos” – I’m walking from my apartment to the laundry room, a boardwalk to the beach, the laundry room back to my apartment.  

It’s hard to believe that there are so many people who want, for the most part, really icky clothes made from cheap material that seem to come in sizes from “American Girl” to “American Buffalo.” Elastic.  Yay.   I know that it’s cheaper to buy a cartful of turquoise faux-wrap jersey dresses and hideous cap-sleeve chiffon blouses than a sandwich at Dean & DeLuca.  But from the moment you enter and are greeted by the hopped-up employees offering you a parachute-sized sack to stuff your logo-zip hoodies and cropped-drapey Capris into,  to the time you look at the other shoppers and think, “Ewwww – but I know when I wear that stone-washed mini, it will look like it’s from Bergdorf’s,” it’s a sartorial and five-sense invasive nightmare.  Even the name of the store makes me nervous because I don’t know what it means.  “Old Navy”?  Is  there a “new” Navy or a “young” Navy?  Is it the branch of the military or is it the color?  Or maybe it’s the bean.  There’s no “Old” Macy’s.  There’s “Old Spice,” but that’s a cheap after-shave.  Cheap after-shave, cheap crop-tops – see the connection?  Me neither.  Just stay away from the Old Navy 4th of July t-shirts.  They’re pilling.  Already. (more…)