Lunatics at the Mall…

We have only been in the U.S. for a few days so far, and this really isn’t a leisure trip per se. Right now we are some 40% through a LONG road trip on the East coast to see perhaps 10 colleges and universities in 6 days, so that the Teen gets an idea of some of the possible options out there when she hopefully applies to college in a couple of years. We have visited several schools thus far and after driving from New Hampshire to Massachusetts to Rhode Island to Connecticut, listening to college admissions officers and excessively cheery tour guides, and it was definitely time for a scheduled break. Of course that meant a detour to Woodbury Commons, an outlet shopping mall in Central Valley, New York.

The mall seems to have gone downhill in the past year or two, at least from the perspective of bargain finds. With no Williams Sonoma outlet store, my fondness for the place is quickly waning. But I did find a few doodads at Crate & Barrel for use in the new restaurants back home. But try finding 220V blenders in the U.S., that’s not easy. At any rate, the simple point of this post is to update regulars about our brief stop, and otherwise outrageously silly mental breakdown in the parking lot of yet another one-night stay hotel near Woodbury Commons. It has always been the Teen’s dream to spend one night here, so she can shop in relative leisure, so this is her summer treat. But last night, after 4 nights in different hotels, we opened up the trunk of our rented SUV and I realized we were just packed to the gills with 6 humongous suitcases/duffel bags, and assorted other stuff. It was like a scene from a silly movie spoofing Pinoys at bargain outlet malls. And we didn’t buy much at the mall yesterday evening… This is luggage being transported from New England to relatives in New York, along with pasalubongs, etc. but we still have another couple hundred miles of travel to see another half dozen schools before we get to our final destination. Many of you may not see the point, but for those of you who get this visual (the Filipino version of Woody Allen movie scene), let’s just say all three of us were laughing out loud and opening up suitcases to find undergarments, toiletries, socks, etc. in the parking lot, so we didn’t have to bring all our suitcases into the hotel. It is absurd moments like these that will be imprinted in our memory banks. Not the number of extracurricular clubs or size of the dorm rooms or the near perfect SAT’s needed to gain admission to some spectacularly hard to get into college. :)

Things are wicked crazy on this trip, so forgive me for another week of slow posts. I promise to send confirmation emails to eyeball participants within the next day or so. There are no surprises, folks who left comments before I cut off reservations are all on the list. If you happen to be at Woodbury Commons today and see three pinoys with mismatched socks and looking a bit haggard, that may be us. :)

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65 Responses

  1. OMG, you need a trip to Tanger and the biggest Williams Sonoma outlet on the East Coast.
    Have to go get BB boxes for you to pack. We could never live out of a back pack, maybe it’s just in the genes.

  2. Not to speak damagingly of your road trip, it seems to me more like a National Lampoon Vacation movie rather than a certifiable crazy Woody Allen movie… wait a minute may be you’re right.

  3. Footloose, National Lampoon would definitely seem appropriate, but if you got the comments, rolled eyes, deep from the gut laughter that only MM, Mrs. MM & daughter share as an inside joke, it is very Woody Allen. :) Sister, I didn’t mention that under the maletas are already 3 boxes ready to be assembled! knifenut, yes, we passed by Wesleyan. :)

  4. You are so funny! Surely there were other shops at Woodbury that might interest at least Mrs. MM? (Prada, Chanel, Christian Dior… kidding….) BTW, that’s a lot of luggage. Your relatives and friends are so lucky to have you carry that around all the way from Manila. Are you partial to Universities in the East Coast? There’s always Stanford and UC Berkeley in CA! :-)

  5. hi marketman! i’m wondering if you visited williams college in the berkshires :) i went there for college and finished law school here in the philippines. williams is really a fantastic place :)

  6. Wesleyan is a great school. Good faculty, relatively low student to faculty ratio, very solid international student population and tight Fil/Fil-Am and Asian/Asian-American communities. Infinite possibilities for independent research and study abroad semesters (with very adequate grant money support). After 18 years in the Phliippines, it was very refreshing to spend 4 years in a community where everyone was educated on social justice, with zero tolerance for sexism and racism. My only complaint was the New England weather got old after the first year but since you’re looking for schools in the east coast, that might be a given.

    If Wesleyan is in your short list, feel free to email me and ask me the stuff tour guides wouldn’t be able to answer. Not all the parent horror stories are true ;) (e.g. The “naked dorm” isn’t as naked as most people make it out to be)

  7. all the beautiful campuses, and especially dazzling in the fall! but i can imagine the hilarious scene of opening and closing of bags and all manner of luggage. happened to me a couple of times right at the check in counters when my baggage proved overweight and i had to unpack some boxes so i could transfer some items to my carry-on bag. i intended to take out cosmetics and toiletries, but out came undies and what not!

    we pinoys have it down pat, too..we always carry a spare roll of packing/duct tape in case we need to open and reseal boxes!

  8. there are now co-ed dorms with co-ed bathrooms. not sure where or if this is the norm. but just an FYI as this was news to me.

  9. Millet…you are too funny! But what you said is so true…we have duct tape, etc.

    MM…someone like you and Mrs.MM must have packing luggages down to a science! Hubby does a looooot of traveling and relies on me to pack his suitcase. I have it pat down to a science, too ….now that I can pack a week’s worth of things he will use in a carry on luggage…his business attire and casual clothing as well. Even if he had to open it and take for instance a pair of socks, he need not unpack everything just to get it

    But I have this vivid picture in my head of your scenario.,MM…you’re right, Footloose…MM as Chevy Chase and Mrs, MM as Beverly and the Teen as the daughter….hahahahah

    BTW…MM…We do not have Williams-Sonoma here or Crate and Barrel (that is in Toronto) but I can take you to wholesalers and feast your eyes on kitchen kaboodles you can use for your restaurant…for home use, we have Gourmet Warehouse…for antiques, we have a whole row of stores on Main St. For Mrs.MM and the Teen, high end stores on Yaletown and Robson St.

  10. OMG…that’s how long I haven’t been to Woodbury! No more Williams Sonoma outlet!!!! I guess it’s just Tangers for me then… sometimes, it’s the only reason why I go to the outlets.

    Good luck to the Teen and to all of you in search of a college…I know it’s hard work looking for the best. Enjoy your busy and maddening trip here on the East coast.

  11. What a merry road trip!! A grandnephew started last fall at Colgate and a grandniece will be coming to study at Mount Holyoke. You are right, MM, the teen has lots of choices for schools all along the Eastern seaboard.

  12. East coast kids like UC Berkeley but some Chinoy friends of ours would never send their kids there after a visit to the campus a couple of months ago. Too weird for their taste but I love the way Berkeley is, though I love Stanford more (more beautiful tall people) hehehe.

  13. We’ve taken these road trips from Toronto to New Haven, Connecticut 4 times in the past year when my son started at Yale last Fall. We would pass through Woodbury Commons as a “break” and do some shopping. @Mari, one of our favorite stores is Williams Sonoma and I was so disappointed that they closed the store at Woodbury when I dropped by in May.

  14. Pinoys with mismatched socks isn’t all that unusual (o_O). I think that’s really neat that you’re taking time to tour US colleges with the family. Sounds like there’s an affinity the East Coast considering that you are an alumni and that your sister resides there.

    I know some readers mentioned Bay Area schools such as Stanford, Berkeley (Cal). Depending on what you and the teen want, there is the UC system as a whole (Santa Cruz, Davis, UCLA), private universities, including Catholic (Santa Clara, St. Mary’s, USF) and the state system (San Jose and Cal Poly). All of which are good schools and not far from Williams and Sonoma.

  15. ..that outlet upstate NY wouldn’t be much of a bargain considering the taxes…I used to live 20 min away from Woodbury. It was fun to browse or fight for real bargains during holidays. Now, it’s Jersey outlets for me, where the taxes are less or nil, on clothes and shoes. Have fun MM and family! Filipinos hardly ever travel light…

  16. OMG such stress. I sympathise. I currently have a 17 year old (the last of them, thank God, so I get to retire) doing the bac français and who is allergic to study. He does however love eating, so I hope on your road trip you at least get to eat some really good stuff!!!

  17. With all the crazy travel you will be doing in the next week or so, it will be these “silly” moments that your Teen will remember with great fondness when she is all grown-up — giggling/laughing with Mom-n-Dad and digging in the many suitcases for undies, toothbrushes and deodorant.

  18. I have a 16 year old and will surely be going through the rounds next year. Any chance of an eyeball for Market Manila ‘fans’ in New York?

  19. Millet, that’s too funny, and true… in the SUV with us, a bag with 2-3 rolls of strapping tape with cutters plus pentel pens and 3-4 unopened boxes from staples for the final stop before we prepare luggage for check-in. :)

  20. I used to be able to travel for days with a lightweight backpack, but as I get older the suitcase gets bigger. Is this aging, you think?

    millet, yes to packing tape. But while traveling in India I forgot to put the roll in check-in luggage, and the security staff were really hard on me at pre-departure. Like I was going to tie up the airplane crew!

  21. Duct tape can be very versatile in quite unexpected ways you know. Combined with the imagination of cops from the country where they routinely ignite unwanted daughters-in-law, the possibilities become staggering.

  22. I never commment but as an alumna of the University of Virginia, I vote that you include this in your itenerary of colleges for the teen. The campus is beautiful and Charlottesville is a quaint town.

  23. Footloose, my duct tape hero is RED GREEN and EARL C. (my best friend …a retired cop and who has an endless supply of duct tape but not into igniting people….hahahaha) I have learned soooooo much about duct tape from them!

  24. Oh Betty Q. I’d like to compare your chocolate chip cookies with that of David Lebovitz. He also uses salted butter and cooks it into beurre noisette before incorporating into the batter. Same address or if you have lost it, it’s a hotmail account starting with mansor47. Thanks ahead.

    Btw, Garrison Keillor in his Prairie Home Companion often stages full episodes featuring the more dramatic of duct tape’s uses.

  25. LOL, MM what an adventure you guys had in the parking lot! We can also relate to that when we try to minimize stuffs we want to bring to the hotels. Road trips are fun.
    Good luck to the Teen!

  26. I’ve noticed that with this post, alot of your readers from US blogged this time. And when its about local fruit, our kababayans back home get their time in penning their comments. It just shows who much widely spread readers you have.

    RE: Universities search – medio hindi ako maka-relate kasi my daughters were not able to go to College; and my nieces and nephews who were born here, they went to Houston States Universities and stayed at their home; except the youngest who went to NYU dahil yon daw ang dream nya. So in our family, she is the first to go live in a dormitory, away from home.

  27. I just graduated from BYU-Hawaii. You should consider it. Do your kids qualify for Pellgrants? Anyways, if they do then college should not be a problem. Ivy leagues are so expensive.

  28. MM are you visiting your sister? will she be sending home more of her jams? wish I could try them at the dinner in cebu, see you in a few weeks

  29. You got me laughing Mr. MM! :D
    Enjoy the road trip adventure! All the best to your Teen when she applies for college.
    advance Happy Father’s Day!

  30. So funny, MM! Amazing that you guys still had your humor intact. No sungitan at all in spite of the cramped up space??? And, I just have to ask this — Did you have rear view or did you have to rely on the side mirror to see what’s behind? Funny, funny, funny!

  31. Hi Marketman; just dropping by here to request for a review about Bulcachong of Davao; Many people are misled about this kind of food; this recipe remains mysterious since the creator never shared the ingredients to anyone. Hope you can share your thoughts on this, if you have tasted this kind of exotic delicacy.

    Take care on your trip to the US. Cheers idol! :-)

  32. “Pentel pens” hahaha, yeah I remember this word, my kids will be laughing every time my mom says this. It’s cute and dated products much like Frigidaire for refrigerator hehehe. Offices and kids nowadays use SHARPEES (markers); yes SHARPEES and DUCT TAPES go together well… gotta love balikbayan boxes.

    *I’m betting Microsoft Office (WORD) Tools/Spelling and Grammar won’t even recognize the word “Pentel” as a company.

  33. Off-Topic…..MM…CONGRATULATIONS on the soft opening of your Zubuchon resto at One Mango Place yesterday. The Mrs. and I had a wonderful lunch yesterday…Mongo with Zubuchon and Zubuchon Crispy Pata (with rice of course) and for dessert Joan’s Leche Flan and Manang Lima’s Bico (and coffee). Oh, and the IBA Shake was super!

  34. Artisan, thanks for that. Was trying to keep it under the radar for a few days but there were over 300+ value meals sold yesterday (lechon at below cost just so folks could taste it) and several folks that kindly came in to lunch or dine…

    Staff are still working on getting things right, and some recipes bound to be either altered or dropped as customers give us feedback. I too, LOVE the iba shake. And the cat is out of the bag on the Crispy Lechon Pata. :)

  35. This reminds me of all our trips to the States. I always take pictures of our bags before leaving and after arriving – they seem to breed! :D We also went through this kind of roadtrip about 3 years ago for my sister. It was a lot of fun, checking out the different schools.

    You mentioned that you passed through Rhode Island too, did you check out Roger Williams U? :) That’s where my sister ended up going and currently the only Filipina, if I’m not mistaken hehe. She graduates next year tho! :)

  36. MM, I should have known that you were buying blenders (220 v). Those should be easy to buy in Singapore and Bangkok. Or you can also get them from the Imarflex outlet on Buendia Ave., Makati, close to the LRT Taft. Am now in Singapore on my way home to Manila. See you in Cebu next Saturday.

  37. almost homeward-bound, MM…good luck on the Filipino Samsonites (aka boxes)…it’s a tedious chore, but the joy they bring to the family back home is priceless…hope you have a good short list of Univ for the Teen…how about Tita Cory’s school uptown, Manhattan?

    @moni—good timing…pls take plentry of pictures!!! great tips on blenders, etc.

  38. Brown University!!! But of course the uni the teen will go to depends on the course/program she chooses to pursue..still, check out Brown if you have time – I think she’ll love the residence halls, campus life, even accommodations off-campus (in Providence).

  39. Careful leaving your bags in the city limits, they may be there when you return.

  40. Happy Fathers Day to you MM and to Dads in this site–enjoy the ‘eyeball’ Artisan..

  41. Dual voltage or 220 volt blenders are extremely difficult to find in the US and wickedly expensive in the better stores in Manila. I concur with moni, I’ve seen Cuisinart blenders advertised by Imarflex on Buendia (several streets before Taft Avenue). They should be less expensive than the ones in most appliance stores in Manila.

  42. On this father’s day, I thought I might call your attention to a couple of pretty good read since Marketman is evidently an admirer of British cool (007 and his precursor Reilley, the ace of spies, not Sir Walter). The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsythe celebrated its 40th anniversary of publication. I bought my copy as I came out of watching the movie, so it must have been 1973. What recommended it to me was its director, Fred Zinneman, he of High Noon, From Here To Eternity (who can forget that iconic kiss on the sand) and A Man for All Seasons renown. Turned out to be a stonking chase of a movie. While I was listening to this great BBC coverage of its anniversary https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011v1bl I stumbled on an obit of another absolutely cool Brit character, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/special-forces-obituaries/8568395/Sir-Patrick-Leigh-Fermor.html

  43. MM, something to put in the back burner for your restos — Sharp and Panasonic rice cookers are relatively inexpensive in Bangkok. They’re very sturdy and come in various styles, colors and sizes, including the humongous ones for institutional use. I’ve always bought our rice cookers in Bangkok. So far, none has conked out.

  44. By your leave, MM – I am responding to Footloose in Canada – re Patrick Leigh Fermor – been a great admirer of Fermor – A Gift of Time. Between the Woods and the Water, A Time of Gifts, A Time to Keep Silence, Travels in Northern Greece – a literary giant indeed! How I wish he left a gift for us, a memoir of his later years.

  45. Middlebury in Vermont is a nice school. I would also recommend Northwestern but it’s not in the East Coast. Although Chicago is a very beautiful city. Goodluck with your trip!

  46. Just wanted to comment on the knives in your poll. I think those are high carbon steel knives you’re referring to. The metal is soft which causes the edge to misalign and dull quickly, but nothing a good steel and stone can’t fix in a jiffy. They tend to rust, but daily use and care prevents this from happening. Since the metal’s soft, these knives are easy to sharpen to a very fine edge, which is great for the delicate knife work needed in Japanese restaurants. They’re available locally, sometimes in Japanese groceries for around P600 I think.

  47. i’m all for east coast schools! there’s nothing quite like a US east coast undergraduate experience(i went to fordham) :) such a precious and special time.

  48. sorry mm this is off topic, just would like to share a new “learning.”

    just a few days after i clicked footloose’s link to PLF’s obituary, i found a 1950 edition of “ill met by moonlight” at a booksale branch for only P20. i’d never heard of PLF before and then i found this book. how amazing is that? :)

  49. LOVE WOODBURRY COMMONS!! NYU IN LOWER MANHATTAN OR HERE IN DUKE UNIVERSITY, LOVE THE CAMPUS!!

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