New York City is brutally cold this winter. It's an urban tundra, where dirty snow litters the frigid streets. When I escape my home, an agonizing, battering wind immediately shows its force. I often find myself taking shelter in random establishments. Grocery stores, bodegas, pharmacies - nothing is off limits.
With temperatures plummeting to an ultra-painful ONE degree this season, I ventured into more places than usual for safety. Killing the time as my body thawed, I browsed each of these odd establishments for TMNT merchandise.
What kind of ninjas did I spot in my neighborhood?
Raphael Ninja Combat Gear: It's been half a year since the Turtles hit the big screen with their newest movie. But apparently, merchandise can still be found in stores like Hilltop Pharmacy. Priced at an outrageous $24, the only thing this toy will be doing is collecting dust.
Cartoon Coin Bank: I spotted a set of 4 TMNT coin banks hidden on the shelf. The strangely-shaped metal containers feature the Turtles from the original cartoon series. I barely use cash, so you won't find me saving my pennies with these toy banks.
Lollipop Rings: Before moving to my current neighborhood, Deal$ was a store I knew little about. Now, I've come to learn what the place has to offer - useless junk at discount prices. The amount of rubbish Deal$ offers is astounding. These TMNT Candy Rings fall into their philosophy, cavity-inducing and cheap. Ruin your teeth for only $1?! Now, that's a deal!
Eggs with Candy: Although I don't know much about Deal$, the Easter Bunny does. The bushy-tailed rabbit has planted a set of 4 TMNT plastic eggs for shoppers to discover. With a different color representing each Turtle, I must admit, these holiday treats are pretty nifty.
BH Home Discount - 99¢ & Up
Calling All Turtles Action Battle Game: I despise stores like this. Their dilapidated appearance and pitiful inventory screams low prices, yet everything is pricier than you'd expect. Hoping for a dollar store-like experience, I ventured into this dingy establishment eager to purchase cheap, useless goods that I didn't need. But, everything was a rip off - like this miserable TMNT game for a whopping $16.
Band-Aids: Primarily found in the NYC area, Duane Reade is a chain pharmacy store that is a Rite-Aid/CVS clone. They sell similar goods for similar prices. For you beer enthusiasts, select locations even offer growler fills! But in my neighborhood, the best the store has are these TMNT Band-Aids.
Winter Hat: This lone Michelangelo winter hat was sadly sitting above a box of diapers. My instinct was to plop it on my head for a fun photo op. But fearing lice or bedbugs, I left the headwear in its sorry place. NYC is wonderful, but there are certain things you just don't do.
Tu Pais Supermarket
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (Individual Serving): This place is a far walk from my home, but is well worth the distance. The Tu Pais Supermarket is a museum of foods. Many of their packaged goods are nearing, or even past, their expiration dates. These individual Mac & Cheese cups popped up at the store almost a year ago! It's a fun, and gross, experience for fans of expired food merchandise.
Crush Soda Cans: Need a beverage to wash down that expired Mac & Cheese? The Tu Pais Supermarket strikes again! The promotional TMNT Crush soda cans from last summer's blockbuster are still here on store shelves.
If you're into sipping stale sodas, Tu Pais Supermarket offers 2 flavors - Donatello's Grape and Leonardo's Berry Punch. Pop the tab and guzzle down the stagnant sugary beverage.
It's too bad the Big Apple is an action figure wasteland. Without big box stores or many thrift shops, toy hunting options are usually limited. Luckily, the combo of dire weather and lots of walking led to the discovery of all these comically random TMNT products.
Next time you get chilly, step inside an unconventional establishment and scope out the ninjas in your neighborhood. Who knows what you'll find (most likely old soda).