Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back Room Bargains - Is it a Crime?

Psssst! Lady - wanna buy a handbag? Gucci? Prada? Chanel? Woo Hoo! Now we're talking! Left the upscale Fifth Avenue shops today and headed downtown to Canal Street where we were told we could find the designer knock-off bags. I know. I know. It's all wrong , bad, possibly even criminal but there is a recession going on still and we needed new bags for the fall season. So sue me! It's not like any of you have never done it, and if you haven't, I'd highly recommend it, if even for the entertainment value.
So there we were, looking as conspicuous as we possibly could in this down scale neighbourhood and it wasn't more than a minute before we were being guided into back alleys and hidden back rooms to view the wares. It was all so seedy and underground and we fearlessly allowed ourselves to be led into low ceiling basements that stunk of damp and urine and at the end of a long hallway, locked doors were opened to reveal walls of designer bags, fans blowing to keep us cool in the unventilated spaces, while Asian women who could barely speak English stood guard at the door while we perused the merchandise. Women of all ages and races pawed through the labels, examining the bags for flaws or how authentic they looked and once they had chosen their favorites, the bargaining would begin.
Such subterfuge, such daring - now we were having fun! The picture above shows you just how much fun we had! The one problem we had was after our haul, we were heading to the Village for a late lunch and we looked a bit obvious as the knock-off bags we bought were stuffed into bags that looked for all intents and purposes like green garbage bags! This would not do, now that we were hanging out in a much nicer hood. So we did what any woman in our shoes would do, we went and bought shopping bags (the black & white polka dots and squares you see in the corner of the photo) to hide our crime and stuffed our illegal booty inside them and proceeded to blend in better. The garbage bags really had to go!
We ended up with 5 bags and 2 wallets - Gucci and Chanel - Peg got 3 bags and one wallet and I departed Canal Street with 2 bags and one wallet. Now I'm covered for fall/winter and even next spring. All that for $90. Now that's what I call a recession busting solution. I'm not so sure about the certificates of authenticity that were stuffed inside the bags, but I won't tell if you don't.
Mission accomplished!

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