Jen needed to go to a candy store to pick up some special candy for some wedding invitations she is doing and so after our trek up to Grandpa’s old stomping grounds, we caught the train at 96th to head way downtown to a place called Economy Candy. When we got on the train, it was being held because of “police activity” at 86th and that meant that once we got going, it was a crowded train ride all the way down to 14th street. I tried to people watch, which you really couldn’t avoid doing since there were so many people on the train. I was amused to see one man board the train reading 1492, which I assumed he was doing in connection with some course on history attempting to relate its curriculum ot the upcoming Columbus Day holiday. Of course, it could have been a coincidence. More amusing were the two woman who nearly got into a fight because neither wanted to budge from their cramped space on the train.
We finally made it down to 108 Rivington Street, where Economy Candy is located and the first thing I noticed upon walking inside was that the whole entire placed smelled like Halloween. It’s not a very big place, but it is probably the largest candy store I have ever been in. Typical of famous New York shops with New York reputation, the sign above the counter read, “There will be a $5 charge for whining.” No one was whining. In fact, this place was a child’s dream, or a dentist’s dream, depending upon your perspective.
There were all sorts of candy, some of which I thought were long extinct. I took in as much as I could and finally turned to Jen and said, in a haughty tone, “I’ll be impressed if and only if they have Clark bars.” Jen reached her hand into a red box just under my nose and said, “You mean like this?” Sure enough, boxes and boxes of Clark bars. They had a 16 ounce jaw breaker that sold for $9. I estimated the diameter to be 4-5 inches. You literally had to lick your way to the point where it could fit into your mouth. Forget Tootsie Pops, how many licks would it take to get to the center of the “Mega Bruiser” jaw breaker?
Among some of the candy that could be found, that I had all but forgotten about: every variety of Pez you can imagine. There were pop rocks and lemonheads, and Boston baked beans. There were boxes and boxes of candy cigarettes! All of the parents seemed to afraid to allow their kids to buy a pack, even though it’s what all of the kids wanted to buy. There was a taffy kind of candy called “Mary Janes”, the name of which amused me. There were un-opened packs of 1988 Topps baseball cards. Could you imagine how stale that stick of gum must be 18 years later? They also had the Harry Potter jelly beans, complete with two new flavors: bacon and rotten egg.
As it turns out, Jen could not find the candy she was looking for in this candy emporium and so she had to make due with an alternative selection. She wanted to get me a Clark bar, but I refused. While I like looking at candy, I no longer eat it. She asked me what she should get for Jason and the answer was staring me right in the face: Sugar Daddy.
We took a bus back uptown and all of my observing must have worn me out. I slept most of the way.