I fooled around and fell in love ... with a small section of a very big city. I and two other girls wanted to stretch our legs after the WTC tour, so we took Church Street up to Broadway and headed to Soho. We incidentally skirted Chinatown without realizing it. The lack of Mandarin characters on the fringes fooled me.
For an Ohio girl who likes her shopping, Soho is wonderland. For an Ohio girl who's an anthropologist, it is CRACK. Actually, all of NYC is anthropology crack. There. Are. So. Many. People. Why were so many of them out shopping at 1:00 on a Wednesday? And oh, the hipsters. They started to wear on me a bit; going into Urban Outfitters was traumatic. Pearl River was fun and fantastically cheap, as was H&M. I bought some earrings (of course), a skirt, and a lot of things for other people.
Around 3:00 we decided to split up, and I just ... wandered. It was so much fun; I couldn't stop smiling. Underneath its hipster exterior, Soho is a massive and glorious capitalist enterprise. I learned what a sample sale is and fought the temptation to try on a $400 dress (even if it was 50% off). I called my mother from Bleecker Street and found a bunch of Fiestaware, which she collects. And I kept walking and looking at people and then it was suddenly time to meet up with everyone else. I only got to see a fraction of Chinatown, and this was walking at warp speed.
In other words, there will be return trips. Someday.