When a Shopping Binge Goes (Temporarily) Bad

Saturday after brunch, I struck out on my own without my voice of shopping reason (Porter) to guide me. Very. Dangerous. Stuff. 

Prior to brunch, I'd stopped into John Derian and talked myself OUT of buying a new candle (major coup), but then talked myself into buying a German duster and body scrub brush (pictured) (major setback). Desperately in need of a new suit, I soldiered onto SoHo.  Suiting didn't seem to suit me, but I did find two great dresses for Porter to wear in Turkey. And then I went to Pearl River. 

Pearl River is like my version of Sam's Club.  Where a Sam's Clubber may go in for a jumbo bag of coffee beans and come out with a flat screen TV and a lifetime supply of bar-bq sauce, I entered Pearl River for nothing at all and came out with six blue and white bowls, a tin race car, a straw hat, wooden stick pencils, a blue and white porcelain vase, gardening shears, a carved bone cicada letter opener and the two largest blue and white porcelain planters they sell. 

Highly elated and hopeful, I told the doubtful sales guys, "Oh, no worries here, I'll just jump into a cab!"  

Those same store guys struggled to help me to the curb. They waved at me on that curb as they took smoke break after smoke break after smoke break. Hopeless despair descended. No available cabs passed. 

After generations had elapsed, I tried to lift my planters (and the heavy water catcher platter things) to seek out a more strategic spot. I got 'em up about an inch. With these porcelain balls + chains holding me down and frost bite and tundra muscles (that state of cold when it takes about nine hours for your bottom to thaw) taking hold, I contemplated a shopper's Sophie's Choice: do I leave the beloved planters behind and save myself? I cannot die outside Pearl River! 

In the end, I did not die on Broadway, but I almost cried.  A cab eventually saved me. I came home, struggled to get everything inside in different trips, and felt pure joy as I unwrapped all my finds and thawed out my bottom.  It seems a little agony makes gluttony that much more sweet.


  1. Alexis says:

    No human being with any sense can resist Pearl River. I'm glad you survived!

  2. Sounds like you really earned your treasures! I've often found myself hefting things around cities too- makes you feel dopey until you have them installed in your house and all is right with the world again.

  3. kelly says:

    thanks for the wonderful tale. as a fellow pearl river junkie, i can't begin to tell you how many times something very similar has happened to me in exactly the same place. glad to hear i'm not the only one...

  4. thank god it's a three-hour drive to pearl river. i love that place. i buy toothbrushes in bulk there since i am only there once or twice a year. they have the best tortoise-shell toothbrushes that i can't find anywhere else!

  5. You really know how to tell a tale! :)

  6. haha, you are so awesome, hollister. so glad you hear you made such awesome purchases. and i hope your presentation went well today!

  7. seem slike you weaved your way through a treasure trove of stores...hope to feature soon on my blog a day in dublin incorporating a walk through the cities best finds for home decor, furniture, vintage and antiques....watch out for my posts! its my dream to live and work in NYC for a while so i really enjoy checking in your blog...

  8. I have so got to get to Pearl River! How have I missed this store??? Everyone is talking about it this week!

  9. Did you not know that they deliver??? I always buy a ton of stuff for clients and then have it delivered to their apartments. So much easier!

    But your story reminds me of the time I bought a huge bag of books including the Julius Shulman 3-book set at the Taschen warehouse sale and had to leave them there while it took me a half hour to find a cab.

  10. You make me feel better about all those times I would haul a case of wine in my bike racks. (hint: use a courier bag for anything red you might want to drink within the next 2 days)

    And I want those planters for my balcony!

  11. i fully understand everything you mentioned..
    later, when you look at the objects, you do chuckle and think? "i really love what i do...am i nuts? no... i wouldn't change a thing"

    and go on loving them or your clients do!

  12. fully understand everything you mentioned..
    when you look at the objects time and time again, you do chuckle and think? "i really love what i do...am i nuts? no... i wouldn't change a thing"

    and go on loving them or your clients do!

  13. It's just impossible to stop myself because it's so freakin' cheap! Those planters were only $69 each! And HC - they even told me about the delivery, but I was so overtaken by porcelain endorphins that I told them not to bother. What a fool!

  14. I love those brushes at John Derian! And I feel your pain...I landed in NYC from San Francisco this morning with no gloves...a shade away from frostbite, I'm telling you!

  15. The Bean says:

    That's an excellent Pearl River analogy. That place is dangerous.

  16. Caroline says:

    "...a shopper's Sophie's Choice"

    Probably the best literary reference ever. I'm in tears here.