By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Attention Republican delegates: looking for a way to kill time in your host city before the elephantine fun really starts up tonight? According to the New York City Host Committee 2004, it's Fashion and Retail Day! (Good thing it wasn't yesterday when a half million snarling protesters might have impeded your progress as you wended from Saks to Lord & Taylor.)
In any case, to help our reactionary guests feel at home, the Tourneau store is offering $100 toward the purchase of a watch that costs upwards of $375. (Now you can have something really chic to consult when the Democrats chant, "It is time for them to go.") If you already have a diamond Rolex, Aaron Basha, a jewelry store on Madison Avenue that specializes in tiny enameled, jewel-encrusted baby-shoe charms, is offering a free gift with purchase (but here's the catchthey don't have anything for less than $1,000.) Hungry? Bust the latte-liberal stereotype by sipping and supping at Cosi, where the owners are offering delegates $2 off any salad or sandwich.
On the other hand, you might want to confine your shopping to themed souvenir merch, in which case you should check out the Grand Old marketPlace (GOP, get it?), which has set up a boutiques in the New York Hilton. Unfortunately, not to put too fine a point on it, the stuff sucks. Where are the stuffed-shirt Cheney dolls? Whither the platinum pachyderms? (Actually Steuben glass has a sterling silver elephant-topped glass globe for $1,500and, mindful not to miss a potential sale, they offer a donkey in the same pose for the same price.) Sadly, the Grand Old Marketplace has nothing but dull programs, prosaic pins, and pallid polo shirts.
Lastly, though he wouldn't give us a permit to muss the Great Lawn, our mayor has engineered something called the Welcome Peaceful Protesters card, so we can grab a bargain too. (One question: if you were arrested in a police sweep at the Critical Mass bike event or the theater district demo, do you have to relinquish your discount?) Here's just a brief sample (the full list is at nycvisit.com) of what you'll receive for maintaining a Gandhi-like composure through the week:
To help facilitate the making of inflammatory posters, Kroll Office Products is offering 10 percent off, plus a free magic marker with a purchase of $10 or more; the Super Runners Shop is throwing in an "Exercise Your Right to Vote" T-shirt with goods that exceed $50; and the Greenwich Village pottery shop Our Name is Mud (they are responsible for the touching display of 9-11 memorial tiles on the fence at Seventh Avenue South and Greenwich Avenue) is knocking 20 percent off the price of their hand-thrown plates, pots, and mugs.
But how strange is American life? While Cosi, where you'd think cappuccino-swilling socialists would have a toehold, is offering the GOP a discount, that temple of conformity and suburban dullness, Appleby's, is courting demonstrators with 20 percent off cardboard burgers and limp fries. Go figure.