A Memorial Day and a bargain

This morning as I went to the subway the streets were filled with firemen dressed in their dress uniforms. Every year in the fall the fire department holds a memorial service  at the Fireman’s Memorial on Riverside Drive and 100th street.
( This image comes from NYC Parks)

Some years the local pubs and restaurants are filled with very sad ( and drunk firemen). I’m guessing that this was not the hardest of years in terms of loss. Some years you see the firemen walking away from the memorial with their faces full of pain. This year, not so much.
As I walked to the subway I was joined by  groups of firemen making their way back home. 

Firemen are big guys.  There were probably thirty of them on my subway car. I realized while looking at them that men who earn their livings through physical labor move differently than men who earn their livings sitting behind a desk. I also realized that you don’t often see men who earn their livings through physical labor in suits.

So there they were standing together in  loose groups by fire house ( I checked out their various badges),  getting more and more relaxed as we got further and further away from the memorial. It was an honor to share the subway with them.
After my appointment I decided to check out the fabric stores on 35th street.  I need to make myself a new nightgown. I wasn’t going to buy anything unless it was a really good deal.

One of the stores, it may have been Butterfly, had a bin of remnants in the back. I noticed long lengths of silk shantung and organza.  The lengths ( several yards each) were cut from the bolt,some were 24 inches wide. It isn’t so good for making clothing, but it’s prefect for making challah  covers.

I was told to bundle all of the fabrics I was interested in and then someone would settle on a price with me. I put together a huge bundle. I was ready to leave it all if I wasn’t happy with the price.    The manager looked through my stack of fabric. He quoted a price, $30.

This is what I got. In bundle 1. Each of these pieces of fabric is many, many yards, say 5 yards, perhaps more. The orange organza is just a crazy amount of fabric.

These pieced of silk range from 1/2 a yard to a yard.

And finally….100_3078
Crinkle silk, many yards by 12 inches and the embellished organza, 18 inches by 45 inches.

The shopkeeper was happy to have the silk out of his store. I was happy to oblige. There are a lot of challah covers here.  The blue silks may actually turn into a nightgown.

My mother used to describe a bargain in Yiddish as being cheaper than borscht.
This load of fabric, which was nearly too heavy to carry was far cheaper than borscht.

I just figured out the yardage for the larger pieces.

I have
22  yards x 12 inches of the orange organza.
33 yards x 24 inches of taupe shantung
23 yards x 24  inches light blue shantung
15 yards  x 12 inches of orange crinkle silk

93 yards ( OK it's all narrow, but still!)

various pieces of 45 inch wide silk.


  1. oh WOW this is awesome. Can't wait to see some of the results.


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