Category Archives: Shopping

Shopgirl

It’s been almost 20 years since Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks put Manhattan’s Upper West Side on the map in the rom-com classic You’ve Got Mail.

Visit my neighborhood today and all the movie’s sights are still here — the local restaurants where they rendezvoused, the farmer’s market, Riverside Park. Everything but her little Shop Around the Corner.

Well, that’s changing.

book-culture3Book Culture is opening their doors literally around the corner from my brownstone apartment and taking up the ‘small bookshop mantle’ that Meg’s character abandoned lo’ those many years ago.

Their window says it best:

youvegotmailNow, the modern version of the movie’s ‘big bad Fox Books’ exists today — Barnes & Noble is just a couple of blocks away.  So it will be interesting to see how this small store will compete on selection and pricing.

But I for one am excited to see life imitate art just feet from my doorsteps.

Wonder if the proprietor will be as photogenic?

Shiny objects

I can’t remember the last time I used a bonafide bookmark, let alone bought one.

Wait — now I can.

I purchased a metal bookmark in the likeness of the Tokyo Tower in their gift shop during my visit on my final day in Japan.

tokyotower_bookmark

It makes me want to pick up a real book and read it — instead of the Kindle I am usually reading these days.

Love it so much!

Tokyo, Day 4: Asakusa, Shibuya, Rippongi

After eating a hearty Japanese breakfast of green salad, rice and hot tea, I took the subway to the Asakusa district, which is home to Tokyo’s oldest attraction, the Senso-ji temple.

2014-07-27 09.03.45(I picked a good day to brave the trains.  Foot traffic was fairly light, and I found the signage and announcements clear and easy to understand.

And yes, the Tokyo subway is clean and quiet, except for the occasional screaming baby.)

2014-07-27 09.46.18The temple entrance is guarded by the gods of wind and thunder at the Kaminarimon Gate.  They didn’t seem that ferocious to me, and quite open to a selfie or two.

Once inside the gate, there was shopping galore, and I had the opportunity to get my fortune  — after saying a prayer and paying a small stipend.  I ended up getting “the very best fortune.”

So that’s cool.

2014-07-27 10.01.13The main hall is a five-story pagoda.  There’s a incense cauldron in front; people were rubbing the incense on themselves for good luck or simply waving the smoke toward themselves.

I opted for the latter.

2014-07-27 10.52.43Across the river from the temple is the Asahi Beer Hall. It’s golden plume, which is supposed to be beer foam, is a Tokyo landmark (although the locals call it the ‘golden turd’). I love that.

I was excited to visit the Taiko Drum Museum, but it wasn’t at the map location, and business owners nearby hadn’t heard of it.

Seems like they would have heard a drum…nevermind.

2014-07-27 11.57.21I jumped back on the subway and took the Ginza Line to the Shibuya district.

Shibuya Crossing is as new as Asakusa is old.  There are video screens and noise and thousands of people seemingly moving at once, but the chaos has a kind of order to it.

And remember the good-looking guy I saw yesterday plastered on buildings?

He was at Shibuya, too.  Gotta figure out who he is.

 

 

2014-07-27 12.38.50Hachiko the dog was there, too — well, the statute that is.

His master died in 1925, but the dog continued to go to the station to meet him until his own death some ten years later.

The pup was very popular; it was hard to get a shot.  I don’t know whose hand that is, but he is forever immortalized here on the Egg.

Lucky tourist.

After a stop back at the hotel for the standard wash, clothing change and nap — the heat really takes it out of you — I ended the day at the Roppingi Hills, a large shopping / arts / entertainment complex in the district where I am currently staying.

2014-07-27 16.38.09I visited the Mori Art Museum, an extraordinary contemporary art museum (with an even better store).

I’m told the  observatory has amazing city views, but it was closed because of the weather.  I found that odd…until it started storming.

It was slightly less sticky afterwards, so it was worth it.

I’m resting my feet and back until tomorrow.  Only one more morning of adventure and then the flight home to NYC!

 

No skin off my nose

I’m a big fan of candy; no secret about that.

zit jelliesThese jellies are particularly pretty.

Their ‘Tequila sunrise’ coloring is kind of lovely, going from yellow to that deep orange.  And the package reveals that they have a liquid center, which may be tasty.

So you have to wonder what sicko decided to call them…

zit poppersZit Poppers

Really?

That just ruins the whole thing.  And now I’ve ruined it for you, too.

Sorry.

Hope you’ve eaten.

 

 

Solutions for a small planet

Admit it — most of us don’t read the manual that comes with our new smart phones cover-to-cover.

Maybe not at all.

So it’s not surprising that articles like “21 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do” literally amaze.

However, I would like to add a feature to that list that applies to any brand of mobile phone.  It crosses platforms, versions, price points — you name it.  And in New York City, it has proven extremely valuable on a daily basis.

children-international-604cs032613

Sidewalk Ambassador Avoidance

Got a mobile phone at your ear?  Appear to be in a conversation?  They leave you alone.

World peace.  It’s what every beauty pageant contestant wants.

 

The name game

Is your name Chris? Or Audrey? Or Dominic? There’s a Diet Coke out there with your name on it.

Literally.

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found this bottle with Chris’ name on it at a hoagie shop near the Amtrak station in Paoli, Pennsylvania.  When I asked the employee at the counter about it, he had no clue what Coke was doing.

Which was helpful.

So I searched the bottle’s #ShareaCoke hashtag on Twitter and found a large community of people who had tweeted pics holding a bottle of Diet Coke bearing their own name!  How lucky for them.

I tweeted my Chris pic.  Hopefully he (or she) will appreciate it.  And if someone out there finds the elusive Carla bottle, comment/tweet/email/Facebook me.

This is suddenly very important.