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The devil fakes Prada

Once again this year we spring breaked -- leaving us broke -- to New York City, as part of our continuing efforts to inject some street-smarts into our children.

We have both lived and worked in the New York City area and have often thought that kids in the Buffalo area have an innocence about them that those from larger metro areas don't have. Not to say they're innocent, but Buffalo youngsters lack the harder-edged cynicsm, hyper-competitiveness, and affluenza-based sense of entitlement that we've observed elsewhere. Kids here also have easier access to more things, and the parents don't have to be rich to provide them.

Perhaps we took the street smarts too far -- in our innocent outing to Chinatown, we were looking at "designer" purses (OK, designer knockoffs) in one of the many small shops that peddle purses, perfumes, sunglasses and jewelry. Turns out that the stores are just fronts, and the "good stuff" such as the fake Prada and Coach bags are hidden behind a trap door, sometimes two trap doors. So we went behind one hidden door and saw a wall-full of "Coach" and "Prada" bags and wallets displayed. We were examining the bags and bartering, when suddenly the proprietress threw two "Prada" bags in a garbage bag, handed them to us, and shouted "$40 -- hurry -- police coming!" We dropped the bag of bags, ran out of the store, and saw a police car down the street.

I've since been Googling to learn more about the whole counterfeit business, and it is pretty unseemly. Who knows if one is supporting organized crime, terrorism, or child labor when buying this stuff. So maybe we will scratch this from the list next time ...

We went to see "Legally Blonde" on Broadway in its opening night of previews. It was a fun show -- entertaining and enjoyable for both kids and parents. I predict it will be a hit, as there are few shows outside the Disney orbit that are for a family audience. OK, it's not Stephen Sondheim, but who can drag three kids to "The Assassins?"


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