40 Fit N' Stylish
MetroCard Tote Bag Homage to Nora Ephron

I Love My Purse

September 14, 2017 2 Comments

I’ve decided to take my purse for walks. It receives more compliments and warm smiles than Lucy, our Jack Russell Terrier. I never have to apologize for the purse’s barking or wildness. And, no one asks me if it will bite them.

My cherished purse is a MetroCard Tote Bag. I know a bag is not a purse. Some negotiate the world with guilt. I’m negotiating through it with denial. I tell strangers that my puppy is sweet when she barks fierce enough to inspire fear. Don’t knock it. We all negotiate our way through life with something.

MetroCard Tote Bag

If you’re a shy person looking for a conversation starter, skip the puppies, kittens, and sweet babies and buy the tote. People will smile at you and tell you how much they love your bag. It has unisex appeal. So, whether you’re wanting a man or a woman to talk to you, it won’t matter.

How did I know that I should buy the MetroCard Tote Bag?

Nora Ephron. She’s a famous writer that too many people don’t seem to remember. She’s amazing. Everyone should know her. In her essay, I Hate My Purse, she wrote, “And wherever I go, people say to me, I love that bag. Where did you get that bag? And I tell them I bought it at the Transit Museum in Grand Central Terminal…”

I’ve wanted that bag for two years. Stopping at the Transit Museum Shop in Grand Central Terminal to buy that bag was on my must list when Chris and I booked our trip to New York City. It’s the first place we went after settling into our room at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi and thank God.

Before we left the hotel, I switched into the black turtleneck in honor of Ephron. One bag was on the rack when we arrived. I checked the price, $26, just like Nora said it was when she wrote her essay more than 11 years ago. I overheard another woman asking the saleswoman about the bag. It was the last one in stock. It was meant to be. I felt like I should be dropped right into one of her fantastic romantic comedies.

Taking Nora’s Advice is a Good Choice.

Now people say to me, “I love your bag! Where did you get that bag?” I’ve had the bag for 7 days. The man I bought my 1984 sweatshirt from told me he loved my bag.  A barista in the Manhattan Mall hollered her adoration as she tied her apron and rushed behind a counter. The back of my arm was tapped on 5th Avenue by a woman, so she could tell me how great my bag is. I hesitated about using it at the fashion show I went to on Monday. No need. While there, my bag received compliments from a photojournalist, a gaffer-type, one of the event’s organizers, and a makeup artist. The woman who blow-combed my hair loves my bag. Even a guy cashiering at Chipotle in Rochester, Minnesota does.

When people say things to me about my bag, I ask, “Do you know who Nora Ephron is?” They say, “No.” I say, “She’s this amazing writer. If you’ve seen the movies ‘When Harry Met Sally’ or ‘You’ve Got Mail’ or ‘Julie and Julia’, you know some of her work. When I get a blank look back, I know who I’m talking to is at least a decade younger than me.

What Else Do I Love About My Purse?

I can carry sneakers in it. You may not think this is important. I walked from West 19th to West 53rd to get from Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit to the Museum of Modern Art in what I consider to be a practical pair of heels. It’s important. I don’t think I’ll ever buy a purse that can’t carry sneakers again. Unless it’s a small evening clutch for more formal occasions. It’ll be one of those begrudging purchases. Who am I kidding? I love fashion and shopping. I also love my purse.

It can endure rain, though its contents may not fare quite as well. To understand the importance of this feature, you really should read Ephron’s I Hate My Purse.

I do not need to pretend that I want to make an effort to match my purse with my outfit when I go out with my MetroCard Tote Bag. After buying my 2-tone navy and light blue Michael Kors purse, I started buying more navy and light blue clothing. I’m bad at switching purses and feel silly when I’m in a black dress carrying a stylish 2-tone blue bag. That purse was an investment, so I started making my wardrobe match it. For all my effort, a receptionist at a salon with nails that almost matched it took notice once and complimented it. A couple of friends have too. I love my friends. It’s more exciting to get compliments from strangers.

I think that if you want the bag you should buy the plane tickets or make the drive to New York City. You should go into the Grand Central Station Terminal and see if the bag is there for you to buy. Then you’ll know if it was meant to be. If you’re one of those online shoppers or you heart certainty more than chance, it’s available to order via the New York Transit Museum Store.

P.S. I am not being compensated even a little bit for my opinion about my purse.

If you’d like to buy a fantastic book and are okay with a writer getting compensated for her work, you may want to check out one of the titles below:



  1. Concetta Bencivenga

    September 15, 2017

    Hi there,

    I’m the Director of the New York Transit Museum and, well, I love this post! So glad you are enjoying the purse- come back and visit us again soon. And, for the record? Anything that mentions our incredible institution in the same breath as Nora Ephron is a certifiable great NYC moment- so thanks for that as well.

    With warmest regards,
    Concetta Anne Bencivenga
    Director, NY Transit Museum

    • mmcnallan

      September 15, 2017

      Thank you so much for your note! I’m so glad you enjoyed (and that there was one purse left there for me to buy that day). I’m sure I’ll be back.

Comments are closed.