Double bagging - Like it or not, there’s a 5-cent charge for paper bags these days which beats having to walk the streets of NYC with an armful of unbagged products. But West Side Market on the UES takes it to another level. They double-bag all bags before you get there. So if you have one large item, like maybe laundry detergent or a bottle of something, or a small item like a lemon or a roll, and want a paper bag, you have to take a double bag and pay 10 cents, or as the register receipt confirms, “ 2 @ 0.05.” Talk about giving new meaning to double dipping.
Just bring your palm - It seems the palm reading business is hitting the streets. I noted in a recent column the palmist on Lex Ave. in the 70s who has a table and chair set up for readings on the street corner. Not to be outdone 18th St. between First and Second Ave. has its very own palm readers on the street. They advertise their specialties and give you a choice of Psychic Tarot Cards or Palm Tarot Cards. Don’t know how COVID restrictions apply indoors to this type of venture, but one can only wonder if having a table and chair set up for each session on the street will lead to other offerings - like tea leaf and coffee ground readings. One does have to look to the future.
Reader readback - Hazel Feldman, a Stuy Town reader, responded to my recent column about the rabbi who took to the streets to blow the shofar for the onset of the Jewish New Year. Without printing the entire letter, here’s what she said: “That darling rabbi should be hearing the deafening applause and post sounding noises that we all gave to our essential hospital workers months ago. He is very essential for the souls, hearts, and minds of all who yearn for anything normal. The New Year will arrive, but houses of worship will remain empty.” She went on to comment about the way some businesses are managing the shortage of coins. Some are offering to round up so the customer gets no change. My solution is rounding down and charging less so change isn’t needed. Reader Feldman writes that she benefited twice by the shortage. First, when the beauty supply shop in Chelsea allowed her to take her hair roller purchase for almost a dollar less and Lots for Less let her walk away with her tea purchase for a dollar less. You decide. Do you want change?
Newspaper Saturday night - Waiting for the arrival of the Sunday NY Times on Saturday is a ritual that existed until newspapers went online. While you can read the newspapers online all you want and whenever you want, nobody can convince me that reading the Sunday Times online comes close to reading the print paper. So when 7 o’clock arrives on Saturday nights I’m right there at the local bodega who is privileged to take the stack. In the old days, when newspapers were in print only, the papers arrived in trucks with hundreds of papers in 30 or 40 bundles. Now I wait for an SUV or a 2- or 4-door sedan to make the delivery of maybe 15 papers. But it’s worth the wait.