Stilettos for Spatulas

I used to be completely and totally obsessed with shoes. I was the typical Sex and the City watching, Manolo Blahnik fiending, girly cocktail drinking chick. I spent large portions of my paycheck on gorgeous strappy stilettos and chunky wedges. I loved shoes.

I'm not sure exactly when I stopped caring about shoes so much and started caring about kitchenware. It didn't happen suddenly, but one day I noticed it had been a year since my last shoe expenditure and I still didn't have and money in my savings account. Where, pray tell, was all my money going?

I glanced around my cluttered kitchen and and spied the new magnetic knife rack we had yet to install. I saw the jars of anchovies and capers lined up next to a plethora of vinegars and oils. I thought of the new tea strainer nestled in the drawer, alongside the new egg timer and the new cheese grater. And then it dawned on me: I had unconsciously traded in Jimmy Choo for Cuisinart!

Not that I don't still adore gorgeous footwear, but I've acquired a deeper love for all sorts of culinary tools and specialty ingredients. It's clearly where much of my money is going. And if Macy's Union Square's Shoes on Two is heaven for a shoe junkie, the its kitchenware equivalent is Kamei Housewares and Restaurant Supply on Clement Street.

If you owned a Chinese restaurant and you wanted to set up the entire kitchen and dining room for not a lot of money, this is the place you would go. They have ridiculously low prices on everything from flatware and plates to pots, pans, salt shakers and sake cups. The enormous space is positively packed with narrow aisles just exploding with everything you could ever want for your kitchen. 

And trust me, I want it all! I never leave without spending at least $40. Even if all I came in for was chopsticks, you'd better believe I'm coming out with a zester, a deep frying ladle, some tupperware, and maybe even a new serving platter as well. It's simply impossible to describe the overwhelming sense of joy and excitement I feel when wandering the aisles of Kamei. Perhaps this makes me seem like a bit of an obsessive food-gadget nerd, but it cannot be helped. 

Though I may not necessarily need all these wonderful tools, I feel more relaxed and confident in the kitchen, just knowing they're nearby. And you know, come to think of it, i don't need sexy stilettos either. But strangely enough, I feel more confident and relaxed in them as well. Funny how that is.