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Away From Home

Sunday, June 12, 2005


I went shopping with Joe and his friend Dave today. At one point, Joe informed me that "I hang out with Dave so that I know what it feels like to hang out with me." I'm not making any conclusions; just throwing that out there.

First we went down to Ghetto Warehouse National Wholesale Liquidators, which is down in the District. It's six stops away on the subway, and takes about 15-20 minutes to get there. Except we didn't take the subway, Dave drove. Thanks to the District's brilliant city planners, it took upwards of 30 minutes to get there.

So what was the place like? As Joe quite aptly put it, "It's like a Wal-Mart for poor people." Think of the average clientele that Wal-Mart commands, and then reduce their income levels. Also reduce the quality (and price) of the goods proportionally. That's this place.

That being said, just like not everything at Wal-Mart is crap, this place had some decent stuff too, at very good prices. I may end up getting my grill there -- a charcoal grill, with rolling stand/cart and two trays was $40. One of the best prices I've seen around here (though admittedly I haven't scoured the market).

After that we went to eat, and found a place called the "Hard Times Cafe," stuck right in the middle of a strip mall. We walked in, and the place was decked out in a quasi-Texas theme. I say quasi because, well, they failed. The food was good, though.

Then we went to Ikea! I confess, I hadn't actually been in an Ikea before. Because I suspect that the majority of readers haven't either, let me introduce you. Ikea is the king of self-assembled furniture. As you walk through the store, their "showroom" is a path through all of these little rooms, decked out with their stuff. Really a neat way to display merchandise; you get to see not only what it looks like fully-assembled, but also as part of an actual room. They also have just about everything else you'd need for a home, at pretty reasonable prices. I didn't buy anything today, but we'll probably end up making a trip back sometime after we move.


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