Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in Chinatown

Possibly my favorite part of the New York trip was the search for fabulous knock-off bags in Chinatown. I didn't necessarily go the with the intention of looking for a purse—we were really just going for dinner. But once I saw all the wonderful counterfeit products out on the sidewalk, I started to get the itch. Lucky for me, Kate also wanted to shop a bit, so off we went.

I'd never experienced the underground counterfeit world, so I really had no idea what the protocol was, but I was ready for an adventure!

The first couple of stores we went to weren't anything special—mostly just touristy junk. Then we ran into this little gem.

There was no way I could resist that, so we headed down the extremely shady stairwell and took a look inside. Unfortunately there wasn't as much pink as I'd hoped. The walls were pink and covered with an array of "designer" sunglasses and random ipod accessories. Kind of boring. Then the young Asian clerk asked if we wanted to see their selection of "Tiffany" jewelry. Finally, something interesting, but no purses.

Todd, Kate, and I continued on our journey while the others wandered a bit behind us. While we were passing one store, a young Asian man started waving us in. He looked very excited and we couldn't help but check it out. We were assuming he just wanted to show us something in the store until he made his way to the very back of the store, opened up a slightly hidden door in the back wall, and insisted we go in.

It was while I was passing through this door that I thought I might never see the outside world again. Nevertheless, I had to see what in the world was back there. So we traveled through a very small room, then through another door and into knock-off purse heaven.

I'm not really up on designer purses, so I was really just planning on going for a Coach purse. Classic. Sure enough, hanging on the wall were dozens of Coach purses. There was one I really loved but it was a little bigger than I like and it was $50 which is more than I wanted to spend on a fake Coach purse. So made our exit and set out to find more shady back rooms.

We stopped at a few more stores where Kate and Sara both found purses (not from the back room!) so I was starting to feel a little bad making everyone walk around more. Finally, we came to one more store that seemed to have a good selection of purses. I went in to look around a bit and finally they invited me to their back room. This one wasn't quite as big as the first one, but it had pretty much the perfect Coach purse for me; a very happy ending to our first day in New York.


Sher said...

This is Sheryl, Marc's sister.
Did my dad share his story about the REAL China and the fact that that's legit? My dad came back w/ Coach bags for me, my sister and Sara. Pretty cool!
Glad you guys had a blast :)

Kim said...

Yes, we did hear a little about these Chinese goods. I guess I need to head there next!