Plunders and Blunder of Shopping Therapy and Gift Giving (to the Japanese)

Midtown sucks, we all agree. I try to be in and out, but when I have to wait around I seek a haven; a quiet place or I go to therapy, shopping therapy. It’s slim pickins’ but when I need a snack and reading time I head to Fika, a swedish espresso bar, with great coffee and pastries, including chocolate balls, great macaroons and my favorite sandwich, avocado with arugula, red onion and cream cheese on raisin bread.
And when I need to get a brain fix I head to Argosy, a 3-story fetish shop for used books and old prints.
On the bottom level you can find prints from $3, like that sweet flamingo (bottom right). I also picked up that Brooklyn Amusement Park poster (top left) from the late 80s for $10. The other two, a graphic novel with a dude chain sawing a tree (top right) and a weird Russian canned food print (bottom left) were $20 each. Pretty cheap for awesome artwork!
After a ride back home on the G train, which made me wonder they leave one door half open in each car when you wait at Court Square, I realized maybe it’s to keep the A/C inside. The MTA being energy conscious?
The plan was to go to Vintage Modern for the We See Stars trunk sale, but since the train ride was supersonic fast, I mosied around The One Well and chat with Kerry.
I wanted to buy a gift for my friend’s girl who is visiting from Japan. The problem with shopping for someone else is you always find things for yourself.
“That is totally normal!” Kerry assured me, so I bought these pearly pink old lady earrings ($28), which weren’t clip-ons, hallelujah! And for the lady friend I bought this adorable flower bowl ($12).
Then I headed over to the trunk sale and scored those arrow earrings ($18) and ate a gallon of potato chips. See that spread! Erica, the jewelry designer, also sells at the Dekalb Market on weekends.
Jon met me down the block for dinner at EAT after he ate a hot dog. Lucky! Our salad had the most delicious honey vinaigrette. Seth told us how to make it: just whisk together honey, oil and apple cider vinegar with a little salt. Magic.
While there I started unraveling all my wares from my shopping spree.
“Well I had a lot of time to kill!” I reasoned.
“So you shopped. You are such a good American,” Jon said.
“Look how adorable, right? She is going to love it!” I said proudly showing him the flowery bowl. Then I turned it over.
“MADE IN CHINA! I can’t give this to her!”
Every year, my parent’s friends, the Watanabe’s send us Christmas presents from Japan. As a kid (and as an adult) I beg to open all the origami wrapped gifts. When we turn them over we find the “Made in China” sticker and laugh, even though the gifts are always gorgeous. Meanwhile, we probably send them gifts made in China, too. Or worse, Canada!
Without thinking too hard about the history of far eastern diplomatic affairs or mass consumerism, I bought her the slate colored handmade bowl from Eat instead ($7), which is Made in Brooklyn and I happily kept the cute little Chinese bowl for myself.
Oh the blunders and plunders of gift exchange with the Japanese! Now hide my wallet and hope today is payday!

About Jen G

After living in NYC my entire life, I found the strongest sense of community in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Running this blog is truly an honor and the best part is meeting its readers in real life. Everyday I am energized by smiles and inspiring conversations with fellow Greenpointers who tirelessly do and create incredible things that are good for our community and share the same love I have for life here. If you see me walking with my little dog "D" - please say hi!

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