I dropped off my laundry and went shopping at Fairway today, chores I haven’t been able to keep up with the past few weeks with all the work I’ve had. I used my trusty Whole Foods soft shopping cart.
These are very popular now, everybody’s got one, and it folds up when not in use and I hang it from a hook on the wall in my front hallway. I love this thing and use it for everything from carrying the laundry (I rest the laundry bag on the fold out shelf at the bottom) to transporting light tools to a job, besides the obvious food shopping duties.
My first shopping cart was a small all-metal cart I picked up at the container store 12 years ago. That one lasted till this past October, and it served me well, despite having to jury-rig a screw into one part of the frame that kept popping out and making the whole thing lopsided.
The best thing about that cart from the container store was the big wheels front and back. There are more traditional (and cheaper) carts that have big wheels in the back and small ones in the front.
I’d never even thought about the wheels until the woman where I used to do the laundry in Williamsburg mentioned it.
“That’s a nice little cart,” she commented one day I went to do the laundry.
“Thank you,” I replied, not knowing what to make of it.
“Where’d you get it?” I had to think about it, I’d forgotten that it was at the container store, and I told the woman she could get a small one like it at the local Food Bazaar across the street.
“No, those are different. I want one with big wheels like yours. The wheels are better quality, too.” Something else I hadn’t noticed. Then I remembered where I’d gotten it and told the woman.
“Well, I never go to Manhattan, do you think you can pick one up for me the next time you are there? I’ll pay you” That was pretty presumptuous of her, and I was kind of taken aback at her request, but then I thought it’s ok to do something nice for a stranger.
“Yeah, I guess so.”
I needed a new one, the whole thing about the jury-rigged screw on the top brace was offensive to my sense of equilibrium, so I thought about buying a new one and giving her the old one. That was kind of offensive too, so I went and got her a cart and gave it to her a few days later. I would soldier on with my old cart for the time being.
She was very happy despite the $50 it cost her, and it’s good to see people smile.
That old cart got a lot of use, when we were moving out of that apartment I used it to transport bags of garbage across the street to my landlord’s store, carried Christmas trees in it, and transported a giant plant (with thorns) that we needed to get rid of before we moved. Danusia gave the plant to a young friend of hers who lived 5 blocks up Broadway in Bushwick. The plant was over 5 feet tall and floppy besides being thorny, and heavy as hell. It reminded me of one of the weird plants in Beetlejuice.
When the time came for a new one I remembered the soft ones at Whole Foods, and it was only $24, half the price of the container store cart. It keeps stuff dry, and it’s easy to carry up 5 flights of stairs, so I’m glad I chose it over another all metal cart.
I was on the subway last month and saw this homeless guy with a cart, two carts actually, but I only took a picture of this one, the one with all the shoes on it:
He was pretty clever, managing to tie all sorts of stuff onto the side of the carts in addition to all the stuff he had inside. Shopping carts are very handy indeed.
So today I spent over $100 at Fairway, too bad I forgot the coupon I’d gotten the last time that would have saved me $15. Maybe next time.
It was a lot of stuff, and the cart was pretty heavy, it was a real workout to get it up the hill from the river to Broadway on 132nd Street and I dreaded walking up 5 flights of stairs with it. But when I got home I just took it slow and let the cart rest on every third step. Good exercise, I told myself.
We got rid of the metal one, Danusia wanted to put a sign on it but I assured her someone was going to take it, either another tenant or an enterprising homeless person, so we are down to this one:
I wonder how I’m going to get the Christmas tree in it, though.