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I have completed most of my holiday shopping now, and efficiently I might add, finding everything I needed at two museum shops and the stores under the starry firmament of Grand Central Station.
As I live near SoHo and enjoy roaming its cobbled streets and glancing at its cast-iron facades, I thought I'd wrap up the holiday shopping there. I decided to play the poor rough street urchin and unfurl my fingerless gloves to see what a weakened dollar or two might bring home for holiday cheer. I have no Euros, sadly, and thus must look puppy-eyed and longing at the consumer sports of the visitors, thems in their fancy Marc Jacobs clothes.
So, yesterday, after straightening the flowers on my hat and rubbing the soot off my face, I bid farewell to the guv and mutts and took to the cobblestone streets south of Houston to search for affordable trinkets and plum pudding for me in-laws.
While I pressed my nose against the window pane of many a store I dared not enter, I visited several places for affordable gifts and warm places to get out of the cold and alight for some light refreshment.
I frequent these places at other times of the year, so what follows, in no particular order, is my personal itinerary for a typical day in SoHo. No clothing stores on this list, as I've already purchased those items elsewhere.
Vesuvio Bakery (160 Prince St.): always, always. Eggs, toast, bacon, and the waitress calls me "Bubbe." (Ed. Note, December 2008): Alas, now CLOSED.
Pearl River (477 Broadway) for strings of light, novelty lamps, sushi plates, lipstick cases.
MoMA Design Store (81 Spring St.): coffee cups, refrigerator magnets, pre-wrapped gifts, cute measuring tape.
Kate's Paperie (72 Spring St.): gift wrap, calendars.
Joe at Alessi (130 Greene St.): a hit of espresso, and a bag of Vienna Roast to take home.
Taschen (107 Greene St.): for Taschen books.
SoHo Park (62 Prince St.): my standard burger and brew break.
Vosges (132 Spring St.): RedFire chocolate bars.
Apple Store (103 Prince St.): for better earphones, and just to watch everyone else try out IPods. Walking Off the Big Apple is produced on a MacBook, by the way, the cool one in black.
Vintage NYC (482 Broome St.): a bottle of wine to take home and a glass at the wine bar.
"So, 'twas a good day, guv," I said when I returned home. "I ain't complainin'."