It was a beautiful evening, so we decided to park the car in Hyde Park and walk the shopping district. We'd read something about a tree-lighting ceremony and imagined busy shops, sidewalk coffee and possibly some live music in the square.
Boy were we ever wrong! Apart from a couple of the anchor
stores, the place is a dead-zone, barely on life-support. We checked out Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware (more about that in a moment), found a coffee bar, then strolled back to the car. As we were walking, alongside empty store after empty store, we noticed loud Muzak coming from speakers overhead.
It was surreal. As if we were walking through a city just a short while after some kind of an apocalyptic event had wiped out the population.... Who knows, maybe the Left Behind books got it right and we missed the Second Coming (don't get me started!). The street was all papered over windows, hollow interiors, empty store fronts. The street lights were burning but there was hardly a soul to be seen. All gone, but - disturbingly - somebody had forgotten to turn off the Muzak!
Alice in Wonderland:
Maybe Alice in Wonderland is a better image. In Restoration Hardware everything was out of scale. I sat on armchairs with my legs hanging off the ends like a small child in grandpa's chair. It was all king-sized and up. Over-scaled furniture, huge fe-fi-fo-fum home accents, sofas the size of small aircraft carriers. Everything in shades of chocolate, grey, camel and variations on muted beige.
The effect was not just ultra-masculine but opulent, pretentious, self-aggrandizing masculine, built for people with really big butts. There was enough room in one leather club chair for both Morgan and Morgan. If you catch my drift....
So we looked, examined bizarrely inflated price-tags, and made our way back to the street. On the way out, Rebekah said to the sales-person, "This place has changed a lot in the past year..." "Yes, she replied.... But in our hearts we still think of ourselves as a simple hardware store...."
Right. Okay. We're tracking with that. Back to Brandon I guess and cheap furniture for average sized rear-ends....