Most of the work I do for the Globe these days is cookbook reviews, but every once in a while I’ll take on another kind of assignment.

At the end of the summer, I was in Manhattan with my son, who was attending fencing camp in midtown.  I tooled around town on a Citibike (exhilarating, sometimes terrifying), re-visited a lot of my old food haunts, and hung around in Chinatown quite a bit.

While bopping around Canal Street, I got to re-connect with an old friend, Pearl River Mart.  If you lived in Manhattan in the 80’s and 90’s in a boho tax bracket, Pearl River was a life-saver.  You could get one-of-a-kind Christmas and birthday gifts for practically nothing,not to mention staples like cotton T-shirts, bamboo everything, and china galore.

Since those happy, thrifty days, Pearl River’s gone a bit more upscale, like everything in the city.  It still feels like a treasure box, though, and it’s worth a visit if you’re in town.

If you look carefully at the attached 15-year-old picture, you can see an assortment of paper lanterns from Pearl River – a steal for like $1 at the time.

Click here to read today’s story about Pearl River in the Boston Globe.   Hit the paywall?  Click here for the PDF version