Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ernesto the Three-Dollar Umbrella* Slayer

All carnage spotted within a 3-block walk.

*For you non-New York residents - One thing that is extremely easy to purchase at a moment's notice in New York City is a cheap umbrella. Every newstand & shoeshine shop carries them. The cheapest are three dollars - when the sun is shining. These may actually have been five-dollar umbrellas, because the minute it starts to rain, the price of your standard black folding three-dollar umbrella goes up to five dollars. Econ 101, supply and demand in action. In addition, when the raindrops start to fall, the standard newstand supply is instantly augmented by hard-working immigrants pushing carts full of umbrellas and chanting "Umbrella! Umbrella! Umbrella!" (sorry if that's not PC, it's just what happens!). The umbrellas last about as long as you'd expect an umbrella that costs three dollars (or five if it's raining) to last, but if you are careful about not letting the wind get on the wrong side of 'em, they'll generally get you through a few rainy days before they give up. Ernesto was WAY more than they were ever supposed to stand, though - these poor shattered wrecks didn't have a chance.

BTW I spotted them all on the way to & from the tugboat races. Yep, I did feel well enough to go see them & it was a GLORIOUS day for a tugboat challenge. They were GREAT! Got some good pictures (plus a nifty Reinauer cap, and an MS Harborfest t-shirt, usually don't buy t-shirts but this was too cool to pass up, plus it was a fundraiser for MS)- will try to post some later this week.

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