I think one of the hardest adjustments in moving from DC to NYC has been comprehending exactly how large NYC is. I don’t even mean the masses of people or the could-be-overwhelming skyscrapers. Just the sheer expanse of land the city occupies is hard to grasp. In comparison, DC is minuscule. It used to feel like such a commitment to hop in an Uber for 20 minutes and go from Mount Pleasant to H Street… so much so that we rarely did it. Well – ha! – I miss those days.
My biggest concern in moving uptown was that I would never take the time to explore neighborhoods farther way, let alone go to another borough. I didn’t want to limit myself to the West side or feel stuck in my immediate neighborhood. What a waste it would be to live in NYC and only take advantage of a tiny fraction of it. The recent arctic chill has made it hard to be so enthusiastic about this pursuit, though. After a few weeks of hibernation, Cory and I decided to brave the weather and head over to the East Village for a Saturday night adventure. (Trying new things left and right – we are on a roll!)
We were excited to check out a place on St. Mark’s called Bua, but my practical brain still needed a little something more to warrant the commute across town… so I declared that I absolutely, positively could not go another day without a new winter coat! When we were first moving, Cory teased me endlessly about how I wouldn’t be able to hack a winter North of the Mason Dixon line. (Good news – so far I’m doing just fine.) My resounding comeback became “I just need a good coat!" and it’s become a little inside joke between us. As such, he embraced this spontaneous quest and we set off on a trail of stores between our apartment and Bua.
We had fun trying on coats, but ultimately I decided not to go for any of them and sourly accepted failure. A little bummed, but increasingly hungry, we headed off to Bua. Fine. Better not to impulsively purchase what should be an investment piece, right? Right. Plus, wouldn’t want to get hangry in the middle of a shopping spree… That would be a disaster (just ask Cory.)
Then, on our way down St. Mark’s, a shop’s elevated window-front displays caught our eyes. So we took one last detour into Search & Destroy, a punk-obsessed, alternative vintage shop that is not for the faint of heart. Mannequins donning studded leather bondage gear decorated the overstuffed clothing rounds and a sex toy equivalent of “Where’s Waldo" seemed to be in play across the store. None of this is a surprise to anyone who caught a glimpse at the XXX magazine “guest book" greeting you at the entry.
A little overwhelming? Yeah.. but once you embrace the vibe there are so many interesting finds! Most of them were far too outlandish for me outside of Halloween or similarly costumed occasions. We decided to browse around for a bit, trying on the most interesting of our finds.
Then, between the grunge leather vests, rainbow fur bomber jackets, and punk anarchist graphic tees, I managed to find a beautiful camel-colored, knee-length coat that fit like it was personally tailored for me. HOW? I don’t know, but success! Twenty dollars ($20!) and “a good coat" later, we headed off to Bua, thoroughly amused by the fate of our evening. If you think you can handle it, stop by Search & Destroy next time you’re in the area… never know what you’ll find!