Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bidding Farewell / Newark / Christmas Day!

12/20 - 12/22/2008

[The fifth in a series of photoessays, the content of
which examines my holidays in NYC, DE, MD, VA,
and DC.]


On my way from a dentist's appointment to a series of
afternoon meetings in Newark, I passed by the old KB
Toy Works
on Kirkwood Highway. With some time to
spare before my first lunch meeting, I dropped into the
old store, with its chain in the midst of an ugly
liquidation, to salute the good old days.

Time was when I would have leapt for joints like this
at full price, not to mention at a 40% off storewide sale.
But those days, I suppose, are no longer with us; and
soon, neither will Kay Bee.


For the summers immediately following my senior year of high school,
and freshman year of college, I worked at a law firm down the
highway from this KB Toy Works. Every pay day, on my way home, I
would stop in at the record/DVD store, selecting a used CD or two, and
perhaps a movie, then drop by the toy store and browse for 15 minutes
or half an hour.

Godfather I, stencil wheatpaste, behind the Starbucks
on Main Street, Newark, DE.

KB Toys isn't the only remnant of my high school years to suffer the
travails of a recession; upon my arrival in Newark, I discovered that
the legendary Korner Diner, UD staple and on-and-off employment
for several local friends, had also figuratively shuttered its doors.

Korner Diner stood out as a landmark for me not only for its
adequate diner fare and exceptional hours, but in regards to its
incredibly laxity with regards to regulating its parking lot:
besides the Burger King and a vaguely distant shopping center,
Korner Diner was the only reliable free parking lot in the
downtown Newark area.

Goodnight, you princes of Newark;

You kings of New Castle.

Welcome to heartbreak.

OBEY sticker, Main Street, Newark, DE.

My friend Tom suggested Kildare's - a newly-opened establishment,
trying their luck amidst a recession in the always-ripe epicureanism
of a university town - on the strength of their burgers.

"Nordic Pack" Court Force Lows, design by, of course,

Same as it ever was.

An old friend from Charter, Tom returned to Newark
for graduate work after an undergraduate career spent
in New Jersey; ever since, I can rely on him to kick it
when I come through.

After a leisurely lunch with Tom, I headed back over to
my parents' church's office, from whence their pastor
and I headed over to Panera's, again on Main Street, to
break it down about ministry and the work in Delaware
and back at Yale.


Upon my return home, I discovered a recently-
arrived package from the Supreme web store.

Ever since the New Haven winter's inaugural flurries,
I had been keeping an eye out for a solid - and flizzy -
crewneck. Upon Supreme announcing their first (for
me) online sale in recent memory, I had an eye out
for one of these crested crewnecks. After half a month
of waffling, I pushed the button and headed in on it.

Free advertising with purchase.


After a solid semester of health, my grace ran out around
5 AM on Wednesday morning, Christmas Eve. Having
stayed up until around 3 AM to catch up on a stack of
X-Men comics delivered monthly to my parents' house
for the last five years, I went to bed feeling faintly ill and
discomfited; I woke at 5 AM with all the symptoms (and
they are unmistakable) of a stomach flu.

After spending a good 66-75% of the 24th in bed, and
having missed our family's traditional day-early
observance of Christmas dinner, I roused myself, wan
and peakish, for the Christmas Day celebrations.

The comforts of suburbanity.

The ever-watching Eye of the Media.

My family had also prepared presents for Lydia; and she,
in turn, had brought gifts for us.

$4 at the mall - a gift from me, to me!

My first pair of J's!

AJ XI LS Retro's... thanks mom + dad.

From the WeSC x Stash collaborative collection, a pair of
raw Japanese selvage... I grow increasingly cognizant
of the attractiveness of raw and dry denim. Again,
thanks to my parents who keep on providing even with
the state of the economy.

The NORT/Recon complimentary carry bag, encasing
(and not incaseing) my Johnny Blaze AM 90/360s.

And one last surprise from Mom and Dad. Straight from SBTG, a/k/a
Singaporean sneaker customizer Mark Ong, a Royalefam Be@rmy
t-shirt, issuing forth from a Medicom Be@rbrick X Royalefam
(in-house brand designed and produced by SBTG) collaboration.


Upon reflection, I'm incredibly grateful for my family.
Not only - though of course partly - for the material goods
with which they provide me, but just for knowing that
they care about me; that they are interested about my
interests, thoughtful enough to order a t-shirt from
Singapore or get me another pair of shoes when, as ought
to be fairly obvious to any of my observant readers or
casual acquaintances, I have more than a plentiful stock of
footwear. That they always, consistently, provide a warm,
welcoming place for me to come home to; even when I
consider New Haven more of a home than New Castle,
the knowledge that they are standing at the gates, waiting
in patience
, is a Godsend.

I'm trying to say, in words online because I don't really ever
know how, or when, to casually and easily say so in person,
thank you.

[Next: On the road again! Family and food throughout the
Midatlantic states.]

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