Monday, March 31, 2014

No Car, No Problem. . . An Urban Solution!

So, what do you do if you need to go to Home Depot to buy a large pot for your overgrown Norfork Pine, plus a couple of bags of (heavy) potting soil -- and you don't have a car? No friends or relatives live nearby to give you a lift; no neighbors with a car, either.  Home Depot is only a half mile away so walking is easy enough, but what about on the way back?

You might feel stuck, unless you live in a public transportation mecca like New York City, or across the Hudson in Jersey City, like Drew and I. The subway is 8-minutes away, a ferry to Lower Manhattan a brisk 12-minute walk, and taxis are always an option.  But the subway and ferry are in the opposite direction from Home Depot, and a taxi?  No need. We're young-ish, fit-ish, and we have. . . a handcart!

When we lived in Moscow, the vast majority of people pulling a handcart were babushkas, older women, much older than I, who ambled slowly down sidewalks pulling their carts behind them.
"Never!" I thought. "I will never be seen pulling one of those carts."
A tote bag or sak purse were stylishly acceptable, but a handcart? Give me another twenty years.

Then we moved to NYC.

Whole Foods, the most upscale, preppy, organically and sustainably fashionable place to grocery shop in Lower Manhattan - where we first lived -  actually sells handcarts. Young parents and professional Wall Streeters buy and use them.  Can it be that babushkas have been years ahead of the game, trend setters in schlepping, all this time?

Finally recognizing the coolness of a handcart, I bought one. The loveliest color, of course. My shoulders, biceps and triceps, which had been begging, relentlessly, for one, thanked me profusely.

The Home Depot trip this weekend was the test. Could the handcart handle heavy, fragile and BIG, at the same time? Uneven sidewalks, jarring curbs, sneaky pot holes? We would see.
(Drew - Schlepper, Twylla- Photographer)

Step One -
Pack up and check out
Will it fit?

Step Two -
Over the first curb,
So far, so good!



Step Three -
Maneuvering traffic. . .
Take a right before
the tunnel!


Step Four -
 Not only did the handcart do a 100%, A+, totally terrific job, but it looked sharp at the same time!
 Not nearly as sharp, though, as the man pulling it. 
Even babushkas would be impressed.  


  1. We all break down and get a cart eventually. Congrats on your bright red one. I too thought it was an "old lady" thing but it really does make grocery and other shopping easier.

  2. Absolutely! Maybe we'll meet up at Shoprite with our carts one day. :-)

  3. Such a fun read! Proud of my young, fit parents ;)

  4. Thanks! We just try to keep up with our children. :-)


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