There’s a shopping spot near me – it’s like the last yuppie strip before Harlem. You’ll find a Whole Foods, Starbucks, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Modell’s, Rite-Aid, Petco and Duane Reade. Above it is upscale high-rise apartments.

I bought baby gift wrapping paper at Duane Reade, which was poking out of the reusable shopping bag I was carrying. I was dressed in gray skinny jeans with black suede booties and a (fake) leather jacket over a striped T-shirt. I tell you this because I thought I looked young and cool.

That’s when I had two odd encounters.

At Starbucks, a young man and barista were talking about Black Party, a block-party-type event in my neighborhood. Then the young man turned to me and said, “you know you’ll get kicked out of your co-op if they know you are at Starbucks.”

I smiled because I didn’t know what to say then ordered a chai latte. As I left, I wondered if I looked like someone who would be a co-op member. I don’t even think there is a co-op near me.

About a block away, three girls of about 10 ran toward me with fliers in their hands. “Would you like to come to our youth church?” one asked. “You can bring your kids.”

I thanked her and took the flier.

Interesting feedback for my image discussion. I’ll add “co-op member” and “mom” to the list of how people see me.

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