The ins and outs of a young library media specialist's life. Rock, rock on.

Monday, July 10, 2006

$1 A Pound

Monday already? Is the summer moving at warp speed? Yesterday was just a blur of things happening at me. L and I decided to walk to Kendall so that we could join the ranks of degenerates who dig for their clothes on floors of dirty, stuffy, old warehouses. First, let me tell you that riding the T makes Kendall seem deceivingly close. Oh, just past Central? We can walk in like 20 minutes. Riiight. Try an hour. At noon. With the sun blazing and the humidity at 97%. We also weren't sure where exactly the Garment District was on Broadway, so we ended up passing it and backtracking a few blocks.

Regardless, intrepid explorers that we are, we made it. We wandered joyfully into the store and hit a wall of musty heat that must have been trapped inside that building since 1935. Ignoring the sweat running down my spine, I perused the wigs, sunglasses, and shoes, glancing warily over to the $1 a pound section now and then, shuddering slightly with both loathing and anticipation.

We headed upstairs to the more normal section of consignment clothes and costumes. I didn't seem to find anything "normal", but I can tell you that if you are into Halloween or costume parties in general, this is the place to be. They even had everything marked into sections, like Vintage 1960's Apparel. Holy crap, it was amazing. I had the best Jackie O. costume in my hands but put it back before it somehow found itself hanging in my closet.

Once all upstairs options had been exhausted, we looked at each other. We didn't need to speak, our eyes did all the talking. We knew we were heading down into the depths of $1 a pound. We nodded solemnly. The time had come.

If you have never been to the $1 a pound, here's the basic idea: it is a giant warehouse room, completely devoid of cleanliness and/or godliness into which all the clothes that didn't make it to the "normal" section upstairs are thrown haphazardly all over the floor. Patrons are then encouraged to dive right in, Scrooge McDuck-style, and unearth some vintage treasures. And everything you find you stuff in a plastic trash bag, which you get weighed, handing over dollars as appropriate. We saw people with big clear bags half-full, chatting to each other as they found certain sizes and types of clothes. "Girl, I got your size 16 shorts right here. They even be glow in the dark!"

All this sounds amazing, I know. Until you get there and you're dripping sweat and there are crazy people* just sitting on tops of heaps and heaps of clothing, picking through every article carefully, judging the size of stains, carefully considering labels. It's not like there are rows cut through the clothes, aisles in which to walk. You simply step onto the clothes, vaguely glad you didn't step in dog poop on the way there, and dig your way through.

My mother was horrified by this process when I told her where we were headed. What if there are cockroaches?! I informed her there'd probably be some screaming and thrashing about if there were, but that we were determined to find something. $1 a pound would not get the best of us this time.

After ten minutes of digging we were coated in sweat, dust, and synthetic fibers. We had found part of a kimono, part of a wetsuit, and lots and lots of ugly ass clothing. We were starting to get itchy, some kind of rash on our ankles either induced by the state of the clothing or our nervousness at wading through it all. We finally admitted defeat, crawled our way towards the door, and made it back out into a shining burst of sunlight. Oh, it would feel so good to get home and take a shower... except... are you kidding? It's 1:30? Really? But we have frisbee at 2! We better run back!

And so our day went**. Which is why we decided that today would be iced coffees, swimming at Spy Pond, and a leisurely stroll back.

Tomorrow's agenda: heading back to Rochester. So soon? Yes, so soon. Boston- I love you best, but this is the SummerNPW talking here. I'm doing the damn thing.

*Here "crazy" refers to many different types: the homeless, the people who dress as though they want you to think they're homeless, and MIT summer students.
**We did also find the place where they make these. Actually, we smelled it before we saw it, which was kind of awesome.


Post a Comment

<< Home

hit counter